Friday, January 27, 2017

The Monthly Insight: From Incremental Change to Quantum Leap of Digital Transformation Jan. 2017


Digital means the increasing speed of changes, hyperconnectivity, and always-on businesses.

Change is inevitable, organizational change has become a common practice within an organization, but too often changes are made as a reaction to outer impulses, crisis, and demands. This is the bureaucracy’s way of meeting the challenges. A digital transformation is achieved via dynamic Strategy-Execution-Change life cycle management, though it is not all linear steps, but an iterative, ongoing and upgoing change continuum. How to ride ahead of the change curve and lead change effortlessly?

From Incremental Change to Quantum Leap of Digital
Transformation       

  • Three Principles in Managing Change Continuum? Change is a volatile subject, just like change itself. Everything changes continuously by following the laws of evolution, and the rate of change is accelerated. Organizations, like individuals, need to be in flow to operate smoothly. An organization achieves this state of equilibrium through its management practices. The strong support for continuous improvement is an essential strategy. The old stimuli of needing to change because of IT, major competitors or new market entrants are no longer the only catalysts for change. And today it is so much more about sensing emerging customers’ needs and creating new markets. The inevitable range, breadth, and pace of uncontrollable factors acting on any organizations mean constant fine tuning is essential. Change is not for its own sake, it is an ongoing business capability to execute the strategy and compete for the future.

  • Change as an Ongoing Capability? Change is a volatile subject, just like change itself. Everything changes continuously by following the laws of evolution, and the rate of change is accelerated. Corporate change can be a simple modification of strategy, a business process improvement or a more radical digital transformation. Either at the individual or organizational level, at the more static industrial era, change is a one-time project; at the digital age, change has to become an ongoing capability.

  • Change vs. Transformation? Change is defined in the Oxford dictionary as "substitution of one for another," and transformation is defined as "to CHANGE the character or form." The definition of transformation in the dictionary is, "to change (something) completely," so it’s much more than renewal, its rebirth, it includes the affective realm of experience. It makes sense to use the complexity of the shift required to differentiate between change and transformation. The biggest challenge with any large scale transformation program is – do the senior leaders truly understand the time and impact on the organization and do they have the intestinal fortitude to hold up to corrections in the face of quarterly earnings report pressure? In that light, isn't the point of the discussion here to clarify something about management? What is difficult about the concept of managing one or more changes as a means of accomplishing a managed transformation?

  • Change Management in Digital Transformation: Almost all of the forward-thinking organizations are at the journey of digital transformation. Digital means the increasing speed of changes, hyperconnectivity, and always-on businesses. And digital transformation is the leapfrogging from the accumulated changes, so how to manage changes more effectively? Anyone repeating the 70% failure rate for change programs should immediately arouse some suspicion. This would indicate that for nearly 20 years managers have been condoning and embarking on something which is known to fail 70% of the time. Would we really have accepted such incompetence over such a long period?

  • Three Aspects of Business Transformation? There are too many organizations with transformation programs that are not driven by strategy. So they end up being silo transformations with no systems thinking applied. How to manage a successful business transformation, such as digitalization or globalization?

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