Tuesday, October 18, 2016

"CIO Master" Book Tuning #123: Three Digital Tuning to Rejuvenate IT Organization

The innovation and optimization for rejuvenating IT organization take planning, experimenting and scaling up.

With the increasing speed of change and exponential growth of information, the overly restricted  hierarchical organizations are no longer effective enough to adapt to the changes and keep information flow seamlessly, because speed is a key imperative these days and “silo” mentality as a product of rigid hierarchy hinders flexibility and agility. People, process, and technology, how to fine-tune those key business elements to rejuvenate IT and the company as a whole to improve its effectiveness, responsiveness, and maturity?


Digital mindset tuning: Digital mind flow is the most powerful force to rejuvenate a digital IT organization. The mindset to mind-flow is a significant perspective of digital transformation. This is the groundwork that has to be done at all levels prior to initiating major change. We are all part of social systems with both individual and collective mindsets. We can look at changing our own mindsets in the context of ourselves. Mindset is at the heart of our belief system. These are beliefs that we all hold and have formed over time via education, culture, or hard experience. To embrace change requires a change of mindset at every level and an understanding that things cannot stay the same. Change can only be sustained when the collective mind is shifting from mindset to mind flow, engage all employees in improving their processes, and create the expectation that positive behaviors and mutual respect are valued above everything else. What is needed right now is continuous change, inquisitiveness, and flexibility of our mind, completely away from being set in a fixed way, to put another way, our mind needs to be continually sharpened and shaped in order to adapt to the changes and harness innovation. Take the time to look at every situation from multiple points of view, rejuvenate new ideas and come out multiple solutions to each problem, to keep idea flow, mind flow, and the business flow.


Organizational structure tuning: The latest digital technologies and collaborative tools provide great opportunities for the business to optimize the organizational design for improving cross-functional communication, mass collaboration, and harness innovation, with the ultimate goals to unlock business purpose and unleash talent potential. Tune the digital organization so you can define your circles, roles, and authority through the members of your organization. It helps empower people, enforce iterative communication and cross-functional collaboration, also adapt the organization to a continuous changing surroundings. Push/encourage teams to "think in bigger boxes" (think outside of your job description and consider company and industry and even societal impacts). One of the key determinants of whether an organization can move to new digital structures is the development level of the people. People have to be ready for moving to a more fluid structure. Not only for things like conflict resolution, but also for the amazing business capacity and innovation capability these structure experiment or practices unlock, deal with collective shadow before it becomes a real problem, and amplify the collective wisdom to create business synergy.


Information/knowledge/innovation management tuning: In many traditional businesses, silo thinking slows down the change, and impedes information flow and knowledge sharing. Further, in many legacy organizations, their methods, and procedures/knowledge base are so large and their internal search capabilities so limited that using it is a dreadful chore. Even in a small firm, variations between the amounts and types of data need to support different lines of the business can be impossible to efficiently rationalize from an IT/systems perspective. Therefore, a healthy information-knowledge-insight-wisdom life cycle needs to be managed more systematically. Data/information/knowledge needs to be integrated into a holistic solution for building business intelligence and competency of the business. From innovation management perspective, ideas are crucial to an innovation program. You need to make sure, that your company has a steady flow of fresh ideas floating in your innovation pipeline, and, therefore, you need a methodological mainframe that allows you to do that. Most organizations say they have no problem with idea generation, but they under-support idea testing and wider adoption. Some highly innovative organizations fail to capitalize on their great ideas because there was no structure in place to manage the ideas. Keep hierarchy as low as possible. The process to support the creation of sustainable, systematic innovation can be structured. Innovation per se is like composing a symphony, lots of planning, but the music will come from the musicians, not the orchestrator.


Rejuvenating organizations to become digital ready is not an overnight phenomenon, organizational optimization takes planning, experimenting and scaling up. There are both big picture thinking, and in-depth understanding of the business; fine-tune the key business factors (people, process, technology), and take stepwise approaches to achieving strategic dexterity and business agility.




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