Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year Digital Master Tuning II: Five Digital Principles to Grease the Wheel of Digitalization

Change is not easy, it is not just a new year resolution, it's an ongoing capability.

It is the last day of 2014: From the world perspective, it’s a turbulent year, for many of us, it was also not a year full of joy. Still, the stories of global events will connect the world closer; and the bitterness of life can catalyze one’s maturity. And it is the very moment to wrap up such a year! Instead of dropping the crystal ball to predict the future trends, here, we start with the new book debut -Digital Master, the colorful flying wheel on the cover symbolizes the accelerating speed and tremendous energy and synergy behind the digital transformation. We would sum up the key principles to grease the wheel of digitalization in the new year & beyond, and share a few of our most popular blogs this year.  
  1. Digital Leadership Principle: EMPATHY

Digital is the age of empathy, it is the ability to think as if you were in the other person’s position, empathy conveys the RESPECT which is crucial to the binding peer-to-peer relationship and connects the mind and touch the heart. Without empathy, there cannot be the rapport and thus no sustainable business relationships. As the world moves into a hyper-connected and interdependent digital relationship age, empathy is the single defining quality that will distinguish great leaders from the rest, to go deeper, not louder; first, understand, then be understood; first listen, then make a conversation; first envision, then communicate; first observe, then perceive; first learn to absorb knowledge, then capture insight, and gain wisdom. Leadership influence via empathy is one of those things that makes the human world go round, being coherent with its physical shape, and being harmonized with nature ecosystem. Three Trends in Digital Leadership

2. Digital Mind Crafting Principle: Hybrid Thinking

Digital era is uncertain and ambiguous, hyperconnected and interdependent, linear or polar thinking will cause problems, not solutions. Agile Critical Thinking to recognize that logic and reason alone is inadequate. Logic and reason alone maintain low ceilings and there is not much possibility for sustainable problem solving. If logic and reason were the keys, all problems would have been solved long ago. One's own critical thinking ability or skills are only part of the equation since your judgment is affected by the corporate culture, imperfect information, competing agendas, etc. The practical reality is that taking the 'emotional' element is often what drives decisions. The hybrid mind -“agile critical thinking” approach is to teach people how to apply critical thinking techniques to evaluate and incorporate data about individual differences, team dynamics and organizational realities into the equation - rather than dismiss or minimize their impact.Critical thinking has the potential to be a deeply creative process, given that it includes the need to evaluate reasoning. This will very often require that we examine evidence (and other claims) in terms of other possibilities. Agile Critical Thinking

3. Digital Culture Principle: Inclusiversity

Inclusiversity mind focuses on commonalities as human beings, not difference. By focusing only on what makes people different, you actually gear their mind to think about differences first. This defeats the point of diversity. By not focusing so much on the diversities, but on the commonalities that we all have as human beings is an excellent way to create understanding, cohesion and collaboration. A great way to do this is to do an appreciative inquiry intervention whereby the first step is to ask people to interview each other 1:1 on what their best moments in life were, their hopes, dreams, and aspirations. People very quickly realize that there are far fewer differences between them than points they have in common, commonalities that can create the base for collaboration and success. It is important to have a handle on the unconscious bias that we all have, and how that can play out, unintentionally, in the workplace, that even before tackling diversity goals and objectives. You need to focus on the commonalities that exist between people. Also, look at diversity from a business context - how to manage diverse work teams, how to use it as a competitive advantage.

4. Digital Talent Management Principle: Hire Mindset, Build Capability

As only saying: hire character, train for skills. If the character is your authenticity, then mindset is your identification. Hiring mindset means to discover the very talent who can "figure it out." The right mind is the foundation to build competitive capabilities and drive the right attitude. That flies in the face of "hiring just for skills." Consider the position and environment you are hiring for. For example, if the role requires judgment, temperament, skills to persuade a larger group, understanding global social capital, managing diverse interests etc, filling it with a more systems thinking, complexity thinking and empathetic thinking type is the right approach. The linear skill set more often can not fit for the digital dynamic or collective world brains, but capabilities with the “recombinant” nature, can make the continuous delivery and improvement.

5. Digital Governance Principle: Prevention is more Superior than Fixing

The emergent digital technologies bring both significant opportunities and unprecedented risks in business and society today. It is critical to sense and deal with problems in their smallest state (spirit form) before they become the flame of the day. Essentially in every work situation, many managers face this conundrum: it's simply easier to fight fires than proactively prevent them. As the technical complexity and organizational complexity increase the half-life of the improvement cycle increases. Low hanging fruit gets results fast, but then the most difficult improvements and the capability building, with the impact of a paradigm change, take a very long time. In the area of projects, organizations go for firefighting rather than capability building; and therefore, fail to realize the three+ times returns available in the long run. It is easier to measure efficiency than effectiveness; it is easier to reactively fix the problems than proactively cultivating organizations' capability to successfully deliver their strategy and projects. Most organizations (even with generous measurement) were at level 1 where they achieved negative returns on their project investments over time.  Governance Rule #1.

Change is not easy, it is not just a new year resolution, it's an ongoing capability. Here is one of our most popular debates: Does the business or the world really want a transformational leader? What’s your thought at the end of the year? and what’s your new year wish or resolution?


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