Friday, January 5, 2018

Three Root Causes of Digital Stagnation

To overcome digital stagnation, empower your change agents who present game-changing mindsets and well-rounded changeability.

Change becomes the new normal, and even the speed of change is accelerating. Either for individuals or businesses today, change is inevitable, some of us get it quicker than others. But too often changes are made as a reaction to outer impulses, crisis. From a change management perspective, what's the psychology behind the change? What are the possible change pitfalls on the way? What would be a good way to empower change agents and develop changeability? Many organizations are on the journey of digitalization, what are the root causes of digital stagnation?

Lack of vision: Resistance to change is often because people are unsure of what success will look like after the big change. They've got used to what they're doing. Why should they change that? They fear of unknowns and fear of failure. Thus, a clear vision provides the guiding light and direction for change to be kicked out and sustained. Without a clear vision, change either turns to be chaos or for its own sake. To clear the path to changes, whether that be the elimination of obstacles or to provide guidance and making an leadership influence so that people are limited only by their imagination. Change is always there; improvement can only be there if people accept change, and make the most out of it. Thus, people need to define what success means for them, as well as to the rest of the organization. Being a change leader means giving people confidence on where to go and how to get there, motivating them and also stretching them to live to their full potential, both individually and as members of a high performing team. Change fatigue is another potential pitfall if there are too many change efforts going on, but lack of vision and passion. A way to break that pattern is to develop a tangible, neutral description of success for the organization and how each role contributes to making the seamless change.


Complacency: Complacency almost always stems from a sense of success or living in a comfort zone. Organizations and individuals that are complacent do not look for new opportunities or hazards. Leaders often miss the big picture and become complacent! Complacency always has many excuses, such as, "If only,"" this is how we've always done it." “That’s not the way we do things around here,” etc. More often, a complacency mindset lives long after the success that created has disappeared. That is also the root cause of how the mighty falls. Collectively, complacency damages the culture. Because people with such mindset stop flowing their energy up towards the positive directions (learning new things or building new capabilities), and then, their energy more often flows down to the opposite way, negative emotions are out-of-control, further, enforce the culture of mediocrity which causes digital stagnation. If you stick to the comfort zone too long, you might lose the “mojo” to move forward. To adapt to change timely, it’s important to build your own set of changeabilities proactively, look forward and move on steadfastly.

Competitions at all levels: Healthy competition is important for either change or innovation. But too often transformational change is acted on the basis of improving one part of an organization at the expense of other parts of the organization, that will decelerate the speed of changes. Workplace competition is not always positive, sometimes politics or unprofessionalism stifles the business' changeability or diminishes the brightness of their true talent. Competitions at all levels of the organization can create unhealthy rivalries that result in workers resenting one another, which is especially true if one person or team always wins the competitions. If the majority of organizations at the industrial age are manipulated by silo thinking and hierarchical style, which often cause unhealthy internal competitions for limited resources, organizations lose their collaborative advantage as the whole. Many organizations today are running in between - the mix of old and new; the different departments or divisions within an organization have different speeds. “Coorpetition” is perhaps the right approach for running a highly energetic and highly collaborative digital business. The digital rule of thumb is that how to leverage energy in the more meaningful way; not just for beating down the competitors, but for living with purpose, strengthening the strength, unleashing talent potential, and running a successful digital business.

To overcome digital stagnation, empower your change agents who present game-changing mindsets and well-rounded changeability. Riding ahead of the change curve takes vision, strategy, courage, methodology, principles, and practices. The change happens seamlessly when changing is easier than maintaining the status quo and, more importantly, when people no longer feel threatened by it, when people enjoy learning, spend more time on creativity, and then businesses can make a leap of the digital journey effortlessly.


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