Saturday, May 5, 2018

Digital Cohelience (Coherence + Resilience)

Coherence improves business flow, and resilience makes business robust and anti-fragile. 

Traditional organizations usually apply reductionistic management principle to run the business as the sum of pieces. It used to be that we were seeing silos as making the boundaries and territories of different lines of business within an organization. However, digital means hyperconnectivity and interdependence. The challenge for organizations is to manage its portfolio of relevant cross-border strategic synergies and organizational interdependence, fine-tune the structure and improve changeability to achieve coherence, manage risks to improve effectiveness. Or to put simply, we perhaps need to coin another hybrid word “Cohelience” (coherence + resilience) for articulating the very characteristic of digital maturity.

Digital coherence: Consider digital organization as the coherent, self-organized but interlaced and hyper-connected ecosystem, coherence is about logic and consistency. The “business logic" is a blanket term that coveys varying aspects of the business. It comprises business rules that express business policy, workflow or information flow from one person to another. If the logic is clear enough, the business is operated frictionlessly and change can be implemented seamlessly. Consistency remains a favorite mantra for management. IT is essential in earning and holding the trust of one's team. Consistency facilitates efficiencies in operations and the ability to deliver a shared brand promise across service, sector, and business boundaries. High performers seek to make the value they create visible to their external stakeholders and deliver premium products/services/solutions consistently. The differentiated business competency is based on having a deeper understanding of the drivers of value in their specific markets, the imagination to think differently and the courage to translate those thoughts into action. Logic plus consistency lead to coherence. The digital coherence is the decisive factor for the success of business strategy implementation and how well organizations can take the step-wise approach to make the digital change, continual renewal, and build a long-term winning position of the business.

Digital resilience: The fast growth information and disruptive nature of technology bring both abundant opportunities and unprecedented risks to the business today. Strategic risks are about uncertainties, inherent variability and the unknown interdependencies among sources of risks that could have an effect on the delivery of strategic objectives. More often than not, businesses can get disrupted even overnight. Therefore, to survive and thrive, businesses today must present resilience to fail fast and fail forward, with the capability to manage risk intelligently. Deploy an enterprise-wide risk management with a clear organizational risk management structure which defines "individual" roles/structure, such as risk management, compliance, internal audit, business processes, continuous improvement and specific functions (quality, environment, safety...). With the high degree of hyperconnectivity and interdependence, risk management is no longer one single department’s job, but a risk management mechanism which needs to be well embedded into both soft business factor such as corporate culture and a hard organizational element such as process; it is less about control, but more about risk intelligence.

Coherence improves business flow, and resilience makes business robust and anti-fragile. “Cohelience” is one of the hybrid business characteristics to enable the organization embedding digital into the very fabric of the business, explore digital in a structural way. Fundamentally, what distinguishes high performers from others is the recognition that focus, innovation, cost, and execution are no longer distinct choices for competitive advantage, but must all co-exist to achieve coherence when seeking the optimal balance of competitive success.