Monday, February 13, 2017

Closing the Gap of Traditional Management vs. Holistic Digital Management

Most of the organizations at industrial era runs in the functional silos, and digital management focuses on broader collaboration.

At the industrial age, the majority of organizations have been operated with classic management discipline, which is based on a tacit assumption that organizations can be compared to machines as a mechanical system. Traditional management is inside out process oriented and efficiency driven. Consequently, silo functions and divide-and-conquer methodologies are promoted both in organizational design as well as task responsibility or accountability distribution. Nowadays, businesses are steadily moving into the digital era with characteristics of hyper-connectivity and interdependence, how to close the gaps between classic management and digital management in order to enforce cross-functional collaboration and improve business effectiveness and maturity?


Traditional management is to apply the reductionistic methodology to manage the achieve business efficiency; and holistic digital management is to apply Systems Thinking to ensure the overall health of business ecosystem: If the majority of organizations at the industrial age are manipulated by silo thinking and hierarchical management style. This is to be expected because most “classic” management principles date from the industrial revolution. The consequence of all of this is that “classic” management doesn’t take a systemic approach to management. Digital means holism and interconnectivity. It’s important for leaders and managers to learn how to think the systemic wholeness. This digital wholeness comprises various media that are each functionally contrary to the unitive, fluid and seamless nature of the whole. The holistic digital management is about leveraging Systems Thinking to set general management principles for understanding how the “part” interconnected with the”whole.” It’s about seeing interrelationships rather than isolated things, for understanding patterns of changes rather than static “snapshots.”


Most of the organizations at industrial era runs in the functional silos, and digital management focuses on broader collaboration: Traditional management focuses more on doing things right to improve efficiency. Because of traditional management, the business units often do not work in collaboration, as they are driven by a culture of silos, they fight for the limited resource in order to do what they believe is “locally” right instead of working together in order to do what is “globally right.” Digital organizations arise when the scale of the interrelations, interactions, or interrelational interactions surpasses our brain's capacity to be able to do whatever it does with smaller scales. Digital management styles include: Interrelational management processes being developed to help reduce the tensions, frictions, and conflicts that arise; interactional management processes being developed to help communicate objects and concepts; and interrelational interactions management processes being developed to help communicate objects and concepts that are being used, or that are wanted by other parties. Organizational management processes being developed that help to live together despite the disjunction process that took place as the size of the group exceeded your brain's threshold.


Many industrial organizations are inside out, process driven; but digital organizations are outside-in and customer-centric: Traditional management runs in silos; silos introduce lots of delays, waste, queues, and bottlenecks. The negative reactions to the problems come from a state of distrust, disengagement, and disempowerment. Just think of the time/energy/money wasted by this pattern of blaming others. Avoiding these patterns begins with a belief and understanding behaviors have ripple effects and that we all tend to be drawn into situations which force us to learn and grow, and focus on PROBLEM-SOLVING. The digital management focuses on cultivating the positive attitude with a problem-solving mindset. When people decide together to change something they don't look first for the negatives. They see the positives, the goals, the benefits, the vision. That drives them to work through the negatives together to find solutions, not problems. Holistic management (a Greek word meaning all, whole, entire, total) is about applying systems thinking to manage resources, recognizing initiatives which take a comprehensive, anticipatory, and design approach to radically advance human well-being and the health of business ecosystems.


The characteristics of digitalization are hyper-connectivity, hyper-complexity, and interdependence; and with increasing speed of changes, the traditional management is just not fit enough for speeding up and toning the business capability to respond to the opportunities and risks, and ensure the organization as a whole is more superior to the sum of pieces. It is imperative to close the modern management gap; transforming the traditional silo management style which often focuses on power and control to a holistic digital management discipline which harnesses communication and collaboration.

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