Thursday, February 9, 2017

Monitor the Digital Pulse of Organizations

Monitoring digital pulse is the necessary step to shift from doing digital to going digital and being digital.

The multidimensional digital transformation provides impressive advantages in terms of the speed of delivering solutions and ability to adapt to changes. The effects of an increasingly digitalized world are now reaching into every corner of businesses and every aspect of organizations. Digital businesses nowadays are fast, always “on,” highly connected, interdependent, and ultra-competitive. Digital transformation is not a one-time project or a stand-alone initiative; it is a continuous journey to adapt to the new normal of the business world. As the business executive, how can you monitor the digital pulse of your company in order to lead changes steadfastly and manage the business effectively?


Information management pulse: Digital is the age of information abundance, the business needs IT to provide better information to achieve improved profitability. Monitoring information management pulse is to ensure IT can deliver accurate, authentic and on-time information to the business for making right decisions at the right time. If information based business insight built is poor or not managed in a proper way, it may lead to wrong decisions and hence impact on the business survival. Metaphorically, organization’s information pulse is like the “heartbeat” of the business, it needs to run at the right pace to keep the enterprise body circling well, energetic and healthy. The management of IT goes beyond IT because often information has to flow across functionally within the business ecosystem in order to capture the real business insight in a contextual, comprehensive, and holistic way. It takes organizational-scope support to manage business information life cycle. Through monitoring information pulse, the top leadership team can become more collaborative for taking responsibility of evaluating IT investment performance, breaking down silo thinking, in order to keep information flow, and thus, business flow and run a real-time smart organization.


Innovation pulse: Innovation is a production, adoption, assimilation, exploitation, and exploring of value-added novelty in the business. Digital is the age of innovation, it opens the new chapter of the playbook with the full spectrum of innovation management, such as incremental innovation, evolutionary innovation,  breakthrough innovation; hard and soft innovations such as products/services/business model/management/culture innovation. Innovation becomes simply ”creating value by solving simple or complex problems.” Monitoring the innovation pulse of your organization is to help the leadership team make an objective assessment of the business’s innovation capability; and read the organization’s culture expression, with the goal to build the working environment which encourages creative thinking and experimenting. Some companies use innovation quotients which integrate both numerical and qualitative information that relates to innovation success. Besides the hard numbers or numerical success indicators, it is important to bring more qualitative information that is crucial in understanding the health and well-being of the firm's innovation efforts. Always keep in mind, the goal of innovation assessment and measurement is to build innovation capacity and capability, not add the other layer of complication.

Change pulse: Digital means the increasing speed of changes. Change is always happening around us at work and life. Organizations and their people learn through their interactions with the environment. They act, observe the consequences of their action, make inferences about those consequences, and draw implications for future action. Monitoring the change pulse of the business is to assess the business’s maturity traits such as adaptability, flexibility, resilience, responsiveness, agility, effectiveness, speed, etc.  The changes delivered could be incremental, transitional (improving on a process) or transformational, if it is fundamentally shifting the entire business model of an organization. There are significant deliverable that must be tied to all plans. The bigger the 'change' the more important to keep it on track and take these into account early rather than late. The change pulse of your organization is synchronous with the pace of digital transformation. Periodic assessments are necessary to track initiative-steps. You must show the 'progress' as you go along. The process is adaptively rational. There is the pitfall in monitoring changes. Perhaps the difficulty in measuring change management is that the very thing we are measuring is changing. There is an inherent oxymoron in the term change management. We want people to change, and manage or control at the same time. Change is not for its own sake. It’s very important for any high performing organization to get the best alignment and leverage the great human potential that exists or is needed to achieve great results and to tap into the passion of the people!


Monitoring digital pulse is the necessary step to shift from doing digital to going digital and being digital. Going digital takes multifaceted management disciplines and structural approach to drilling down the critical success factors that underpin each of the higher level performance dimension. It’s a core shift in how the business operates and how it can make a digital leap. Understand your digital pulse to drive business transformation steadfastly.

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