Sunday, January 4, 2015

Digital Master Tuning III: The Future of Digital Organization

Digital masters are chasing the special digital charm, what is it?

Digital transformation is a journey, from digital strategy crafting to organizational structure tuning, it has to permeate into business strategy and vision, mindset, and action, culture and communication, process and capability, etc. As we addressed in Digital Master, only less than 5% of organizations reach the highest level of digital maturity. From Organization Design (OD) perspective, what’re the characteristics of a digital organization,  and how to improve its digital agility and overall maturity?
Diagnose the root cause of employee disengagement. Statistically, more than two-third of employees do not engage in the work they do. OD could regain some of the reputation it once had if they focused more on the root causes that employees are not engaged fully and not spend so much time chasing and trying to treat the symptoms. This requires that you start with a complete and accurate diagnosis of the organization's current state, identifying any barriers to excellence that may exist, then developing strategies for lowering or removing those barriers. In my opinion, this diagnostic shortcoming is where most OD processes get off to a poor start.
Improve business effectiveness and agility. Digital is the age of empathy. OD shall help organizations become more effective and agile by providing an environment within which employees at all levels are inspired and allowed to commit their best in the organization's service. This is definitely a leadership challenge because effective leaders inspire that commitment habitually. However, more often, the leadership of that ilk is in short supply. Very few of them understand all the gains they will enjoy from such initiatives in their organizations. Gains like profitability, agility, new learning, revenue growth and market expansion. Gains in culture change (adaptability and responsiveness), in innovation rate and employee retention for the second level of long-term business prosperity.
Well-mix the physical and virtual team to build the digital hybrid organization. Many 'old-fashioned' or 'classic' organizations and managers are still presence based, you can only do your job if you're physically here. The digital technologies such as enterprise social platform provide the unprecedented opportunity for cross-functional and cross-geographic communication and collaboration, and the job is not the place you go, but the work you accomplished. It is when 'newer' employees increase engagement when they feel trusted to get the job done...when and where they think is most productive and opportune. 
Build the culture of innovation and bridge the generational difference: The traditional leaders expect loyalty, digital workers demand engagement. The traditional leaders view the performance from a behavioral compliance to norms world, digital professionals view performance as largely knowledge based, agile critical-thinking, and particular to capability builder. Culture is the collective behavior, the behavior change comes first; right at the top reward the team and innovate initiatives. And then remove the fear of the unknown as they go towards implementation (and there are many unknowns on this journey), and it is the new normal. 
Do the right things before doing things right. OD is part of digital strategy because the characteristics of the digital world are complex, uncertain, and unknowns are commonplace, you just have to prepare for the different scenario. One shouldn’t think the strategy is easy. If you don't take the time and  make the effort to get the strategy right, you could end up "doing the wrong things right." Digital is all about the accelerated speed of changes, time horizons and speed are killing organizations today. "Hit the ground running" is the mantra. Hence, strategy-execution is the iterative continuum, not just the linear steps. Being effective (doing the right things) before doing things right (efficiency).
Visionary and motivational leaders are on demand: Low motivation leads to low commitment. To be an effective leader and see positive results, you must be invested, empowering and motivated yourself, if you plan to motivate others...rather than ignoring an employees growth, potential or pointing out their areas of weakness, offer tailored training and encouragement, catch them doing something right... well align employees’ talent with business’s differentiated capabilities, continue to develop your employees and ultimately drive business’s long-term prosperity.
In Digital Master, we sum up the 9 types of high mature digital organizations which present the unique organizational digital traits and value added characteristics, you can try this fun quiz and gain more knowledge and insight via it. Digital Master Fun Quiz
1. Digital masters are chasing the special digital charm, what is it?
A: Profit
B: Wisdom
C: Hail
D: Intelligence


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