Saturday, April 21, 2018

Climbing Up the Digital Pyramids to Improve Organizational Maturity

Real societal advancement is made through the work of advanced minds, update knowledge, unique insight, and progressive activities. 

Today’s organization simply just can’t stand still. Digital transformation is a journey rather than a destination. It starts with the realization that where you are currently no longer can deliver the business vision and objective of success for your company and your shareholders, especially for the long term. Bridging the 'gap of opportunity' between where you are and want to become is a welcomed challenge. Digitalization is not the flat road. It is the journey with many accumulated steps to climbing up the digital pyramids from doing digital to going digital to being digital.

Information-knowledge-insight pyramid: Digital means the abundance of information. Thus, managing information and climbing the information-knowledge insight pyramid is imperative for shaping a highly responsive and intelligent organization. An intelligent organization always look for opportunities across the business to increase the usage of information. Information Management is to make sure that the right information is in the right place at the right time and shared to the right persons for making the right decision. At the organization level, managing information lifecycle means that the business has the information, that the information has the right quality, that the information is used properly, but also that managing information (the information provisioning) is a strategic imperative. Individually, climbing knowledge pyramid is important for both leadership development and unlocking talent potential. Because knowing something is not equal to understanding it, understanding it doesn’t mean you can fully capture the insight, innovate and co-create the new knowledge, or abstract wisdom from it. Digital is the age of insight. Knowledge is often in the box; insight is thinking into the box after thinking out of the box. Insight takes both creativity and reasoning, intuition and logic, the power of acute observation and deduction, questioning, connection, penetration, discernment, perception called intellection or noesis. When reaching a high level of knowledge pyramid, the collective insight allows the organization to make effective decisions, respond timely to grasp business opportunities and avoid risks.

Incremental-substantial-radical innovation pyramid:
Digital is the age of innovation. Innovation is how to transform novel ideas to achieve its business value. Innovation is a nonlinear process with spiral cycle involving non-stable processes. Incremental innovation generally brings short-term value additions or competitive advantage with fewer risks. Breakthrough Innovation is better with greater ROI but with much greater risk. It takes the right mix of innovation appetite and attitude, courage, and skills to climb the innovation pyramid. Research identifies that innovation efforts that ultimately break new ground frequently are fraught with uncertainty on many dimensions -technical, market, resource and organizational uncertainties abound. This requires them to be managed with a whole different approach. When reaching the high level of innovation pyramid, organizations should be able to manage a balanced innovation portfolio which includes varieties of innovation, across the matrix of three types of innovation (process, product/service, business model) and three degrees of innovation (incremental, substantial, breakthrough).


The Maslow’s pyramid of needs: Digital is the age of people, and option. Unprecedented digital convenience brought by latest digital technologies change how we live, work, and think. Digital professionals today have better opportunities to climb the Maslow’s pyramid which is a motivational theory in psychology comprising different tiers of human needs, at the bottom is the basic "surviving" needs to the middle tier for" belonging" to the top tier of "self-actualization." In fact, it is an invaluable theory for understanding and managing people in today’s cross-generational, cross-cultural and cross-geographical workforce in the digital era. Because high professional today pursue freedom, independence, and autonomy, at the highest level, to explore meaning, purpose, and mastering of work. The era of face-to-face, top-down hierarchical management, and communication – something that is reassuring to many traditional managers are beginning to change. Digital management is now all about transparency, active listening, trust in the wisdom of the team, giving proper credit where it is due, and making constant experimentation.

A thousand-mile-digital -journey starts with the first step. It’s important to keep “FOCUS,” to break down the old organizational structural pyramid, but climb the emerging digital pyramids. Real societal advancement is made through the work of growth minds, update knowledge, unique insight, and progressive activities. When businesses and the world are catching up with the most advanced mindsets, stepping into the further-looking perspective, aligned with a positive attitude, fitting into the digital new normal, and integrating into upward movements to climbing those digital pyramids with accelerated speed, they reach the next level of digital maturity.

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