Monday, April 9, 2018

What’s the Focal Point of your “Digital First” Approach

The goal to take the “digital first” approach is to create conditions so that the creative potential can manifest, and stay focus. 

More and more organizations across the vertical sectors are at the strategic inflection point of the digital transformation for speeding up changes by taking the “digital first” approach. Digitalization is the broader and longer journey with many leaps and jumps, distractions and perils. What is the focal point and how to achieve the higher-than-expected result and reap the benefit from changes?

Digital fluidity: Digital means the increasing pace of changes. Taking the “Digital First” approach starts with building up a dynamic organization with digital fluidity, streamline information flow, enforce cross-functional communication, and enhance the trustful business relationship. Some organizations show that communication is poor to non-existent. It is important to create the dynamic business environment for adapting to the increasing pace of changes, inspire idea sharing, enable knowledge flow, motivate changes, help people navigate through difficult change, collaborate with communities with geographically-distributed teams. Communication is important, however, what is even more important is the ability to connect. The connectivity in a digital business setting will have more antennae focused on the emergent business trends and foresee what’s going to happen and well prepare for the tide of changes. The hyper-connecting nature of digital offers particularly fertile ground for developing cross-industrial ecosystems and business growth opportunities. Digital fluidity via alignment, enablement, collaboration, integration or harmonization helps to unlock latent expertise, communicate and collaborate with communities across the business ecosystem, scale innovation, and amplify the best and next digital practices effortlessly.

Digital premium: Digitalization is a continuous journey with iterative steps. Companies need to keep tunning the organizational structures or underlying business functions and processes to achieve digital premium which means business effectiveness, responsiveness, performance, intelligence, innovation, and people-centricity. The overly rigid process is an outcome of using rigid process approaches where they don't belong. Consolidation, integration, modernization, optimization, etc are all important steps for fine-tuning a dynamic digital business with solid business capability, strong balance sheet, engaged employees and customers, and high-level operational excellence. The rate of change has accelerated, indicating that business leaders must learn how to strike a balance between managing complex issues today and predicting the uncertain issues of tomorrow. Uncertainty is the beast that organizations need to deal with today, thus, achieving the premium stage of digital maturity takes information-based forecast, dynamic planning, timely adjustment, relentless implementation, as well as cultivates the culture of learning and innovation.

Digital acceleration: Today’s digital dynamic enables companies to leverage their various environments, or ecosystems, to chase growth opportunities and accelerate business performance. How successful organizations can handle digital disruption depends on how fast and capable they can adapt to the ever-changing environment. Because the ways of doing business and meeting customer expectations both tend to be more flexible than the siloed industrial age. if you look at a business as a collection of subsystems, the degree of business responsiveness depends on how those subsystems interact with each other, and those interactions can be structural, technical, informational, or human. Speed matters for businesses’ surviving and thriving. Overly rigid hierarchy becomes the very obstacle to stifle changes and drag down the business speed. At today’s “VUCA” digital new normal, either adapt to the increasing pace of changes or you would become irrelevant gradually. Up to the next level, businesses not only need to adapt faster but need to accelerate, innovate and speed up digital transformation.

The goal to take the “digital first” approach is to create conditions so that the creative potential can manifest, and stay focus so that the business can unlock its performance and maximize its potential. Many information savvy organizations also reach the inflection point to accelerate and hit the turning point to breakthrough. 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, and drive business transformation steadfastly.

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