Thursday, September 14, 2017

Stretch Out to Reach the Stage of Digital Renaissance

To reach this stage of the digital renaissance,  organizations have to stretch out in every business dimension, strengthen organizational capacity and build business competency.

Organizations large or small are on the journey of digital transformation. Digital is not a single dimensional technology adoption, but a multi-dimensional business expansion and optimization. Transformation efforts need to be undertaken as the means of getting to a defined different capability to accomplish a set of defined business goals. Digital transformation represents a break with the past, with a high level of impact and complexity. To reach this stage of the digital renaissance,  organizations have to stretch out in every business dimension, strengthen organizational capacity and build business competency for driving the full-fledged digital transformation.

Innovation as business competency: Digital is the age of innovation, and innovation is the differentiated business advantage. Innovation is more about how to transform creative ideas and achieve its business value, often in the systematic way. Historically, either from art, science, culture or management perspective, innovation blossom is always the symbol of the societal renaissance. Innovation shouldn’t just be the serendipity, but a solid business capability. Building innovation as the business competency requires shared vision plus innovative, committed and passionate leadership and its commitment to alignment and integration of people, process, practices, and technology across the enterprise. The challenge is that the culture of creativity is desired, but it cannot be mandated, it must evolve proactively. Each person wants and needs to know, understand and be willing to play a role in the business innovation and digital transformation. Especially C-level executives have the vision, want to maximize creativity and innovation at all levels in the organization for lifting their organization to the next cycle of the business growth. Innovativeness is the state of mind. Practically, you cannot impose a culture of innovation, but definitely, you can influence and put the right innovation elements into your management practices. Innovative leadership can influence people to become more creative, perhaps you can train people to understand innovative thinking to a certain degree, but how creatively productive they are, depends on each individual as well as the team setting. It takes time and generations of changes within a company to embrace the fresh thinking and the new way to do things, and ultimately reach the stage of the digital renaissance.

Change as the business new normal: Digital means the increasing speed of changes and ever-evolving business dynamic. The volatile and uncertain business environment make the change as an ongoing capability organizations must master. A changeable organization is to creating organizations where change is the norm and happens the whole time thereby delivering faster and increasing market share. The roadblocks to change include, but not limited to lack of direction, silo thinking, internal politics, culture inertia, misaligned systems/processes, too much hierarchy or centralization. Organizations reach the stage of the digital renaissance when change is not just a random business initiative or the other thing that needs to be accomplished. It has to be woven into communication, process, and action of the organization. The challenge for reaching such digital flow is that the transformative changes need to deprogram old mindset, let go of the outdated thinking or the “voice from the past,” and reprogram the collective minds with new perspectives, norms, and attitudes. It is like to recode the DNA of the business, challenging, but establishing a new blueprint for how top management should create the digital future reality.

Information Technology as the linchpin: Digital technologies bring unprecedented convenience and deeply influence on how we think, live, and do business nowadays. At the dawn of the Digital Era, all forward-thinking business leaders across industries claim they are in the Information Management businesses. IT is the linchpin and even the game changer. Where the organization on the technology or process adoption curve directly impacts on its maturity level of business performance and innovation: Is the organization a pioneer, mature adapter, or laggard? What are the risks in taking strategic initiatives? Because IT can integrate all important business elements into organizational competency. The focus of IT needs to get back to its root--the big "I" as Information, Intelligence, Innovation, Integration, and Improvement. To reach the stage of the digital renaissance, CIOs should have know-how attitude about business to strengthen IT as a business partner, they are able to demonstrate the full reasoning behind the proposal. Running IT as a business begins with understanding the true business needs, strengthens the weak links in the organization, and improves the business’s top-line business growth.

Digital disruptions are inevitable, and digital transformation is unstoppable. It is the transformation that is reshaping our thinking and recasting the way we view ourselves, the systems of which we are the part of the environments. It is important to understand that digital transformation is multifaceted, and it has to permeate into business vision, strategy, culture, communication, process, underlying functions, and structure, in order to make a quantum leap and reach the stage of the societal renaissance.


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