Sunday, August 2, 2015

How to Leverage Systems Thinking in Designing a Digital Organizational Structure

 The System Thinking and views of the business world are more balanced, and it is sensitive to the emergent factors to keep things flow.

Digital shift is inevitable, the digital revolution is reshaping the way we live our lives and the way we work. It’s forcing a fundamental digital transformation of business and our society. How to design organizations to maintain viability and deliver tactical actions for strategic effect, given weak, noisy, or evolving feedback signals due to systemic adaptive complexity in its environment? What would be the balanced design principles to enable successful emergent behavior and function of the organization in order that its structure is emergent as a self-organizing, self-redesigning team of teams? Or to put simply, how to design a digital organizational structure with the well-aligned resources, processes, and rules?



Finding the good starting point to transform the state of organization from ‘rigid’ to ‘fluid’: Given that the environment is both complex and rapidly changing, then your model of that environment will always be less than desired. However, there are some good starting points that are what you know about change processes. If you have a rigid organization that realizes it’s not viable or relevant, there’s a necessity switching to a fluid state, a fluid organization has potential to be anything that gets organized to a specific form and then either reorganized to a new rigid state or relaxes back to a fluid again. A core challenge appears to be discerning systemic understanding from a feedback mechanism that is a dynamic flow of cumulative stress, a pleasure which drives change or reinforces across a network of evolving interconnections.
-Strategic or systemic outcomes-targets;
-Dynamic business competencies across business capability orchestrations; the magic of orchestrating the ecosystems;
-Dynamic transient operations; dynamic systemic operations competencies (across platforms, capabilities-application-to-operations; dynamic systemic capabilities aggregation & integration, dynamic systemic platforms orchestration and aggregation (in wide sense: resources, structures, processes etc);


Systems Thinking can help you understand the way that your models are functioning and are likely to continue functioning. This allows you to question, analyze, and evaluate the underlying drivers of these systems and whether those drivers are moving you toward what you actually want. Theoreticians and strategists think about the higher leverage areas while the practical person or tactician works among the lower leverage areas according to the assumed or defined goals, rules, structures, etc of the system. A core challenge appears to be discerning systemic understanding from a feedback mechanism that is a dynamic flow of cumulative stress and pleasure (drives change or reinforces) across a network of evolving interconnections.


Converting from the mechanistic industrial paradigm to the digital paradigm requires starting with new system oriented beliefs and thought processes. The mechanistic production metaphor is replaced with organic service metaphor, technology centrism becomes multi-disciplinary people-centrism, the linear system perception is replaced by complex nonlinear and adaptive system discipline, a goal-seeking system becomes purposeful, and technical behavior is replaced by socio-technical behavior. There is an emergence-vs-design-paradox thereon across the wicked complexities around the multi-sided competencies issues, including the full-spectrum of maturity-ladders. The organizations that have hit the heights of success in the digital world aren’t those that have determinedly followed the old industrial models and silo ways of thinking; it’s those that have forged a new path for digital shift.




The highly complex and dynamic system needs to be elaborated in a well-organized effort. The System Thinking and views of the business world are more balanced, and it is sensitive to the emergent factors to keep things flow. Balance and harmony are not fixed, they are flowing. There are systemic consequences and impacts of thinking and actions in terms of interconnections and interdependencies. And this is the philosophy behind any digital transformation.


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