Friday, May 25, 2018

Digital is the Era of ...

Human society is at a turning point that requires a significant adjustment in our evolutionary path rooted at the mindset level, either for driving changes or problem-solving.

We are at the dawn of the digital era. The effects of an increasingly digitalized world are now reaching into every corner of businesses. A digital paradigm is an emerging ecosystem of principles, policies, and practices that set limits or boundaries; but also offer the guidance for problem-solving or creating something new from old. The emerging digital era has many dimensions, how can you gain the deep understanding and embark on a meaningful digital journey?

Digital is the era of cognition:
Human society is at a turning point that requires a significant adjustment in our evolutionary path rooted at the mindset level, either for driving changes or problem-solving. Due to the scarcity of information and static setting in the industrial age, many people are used to living in the familiar territory with a static mindset based on a very limited thinking box they shape quite a long time ago, the content in that little thinking box can easily get stale and out of touch. Digital means the abundance of information, fast-paced changes, and continuous disruptions, growth mindset and cognitive intelligence are in demand for adapting to changes, riding learning curves to make the progressive movement. The thoughts piled with the thoughts build into a cognitive mind. Cognition is a faculty for the processing of information, acquiring knowledge through thoughts, experiences, senses, and changing preferences. These processes are analyzed from different perspectives within different contexts. With the exponential growth of information in the digital era, the most important capability of cognitive mind is the willingness and ability to seek out updated knowledge, address ignorance and assumptions, and make a discernment based on in-depth understanding. Great things and progress don’t happen inside your comfort zone or in a box which is associated with conventional wisdom. The deep problem that reveals is to understand what are the evolutionary pathways implied by the digital mind shift (from static mind to growth mind, from mechanical thinking to holistic thinking, from silo thinking to holistic thinking, etc.) and how we can leverage different thought processes to solve complex problems facing us today effectively. It’s important to look at the wider aspect around any problem space, also dig deeper to understand the effect of imposing boundaries within that space in order to overcome the challenges. The research of human development would suggest that there are many processes which play a causal role in helping people shape a cognitive mind that can operate at higher levels of complexity. Harnessing the different experiences, perspectives and ideas of people have enormous potential to move to the digital era of cognition steadily, as cognitive difference nurtures creativity and catalyze innovation.

Digital is the era of people centricity:
Hyper-connectivity enhances people-centricity. One of the key determinants of whether an organization can move to the digital new normal is how well it can delight customers and the digital maturity of its people. A business organization can only achieve high performance by taking the collaboration road to manage the seamless execution. People have to be ready for moving to a fluid structure, hyper-connected digital platform, the dynamic business state and get used to the complex digital ecosystem. To put simply, it’s about creating the people-centric business harmony; creating a business context where people can communicate and collaborate where they are empowered and respected. Many well-established organizations which used to live in the silos must learn how to become more considerate in order to build the people-centric and sustainable business by getting the fundamental right. Logically, an organization can approach the flow zone when the positions in its hierarchy have clear, accountable tasks. Technically, organizational design (structure, which includes policy) must be adaptable, take advantage of the latest digital technology platforms & tools, and provide the space for people to develop their capabilities, exercise their creativity, and unleash collective potential.


Digital is the era of innovation: Digital innovation has a broader spectrum and hybrid nature. A leading digital organization with innovation fluency can handle innovation streams for different goals, different time frames and manage a balanced portfolio including both radical innovation and incremental innovation, hard innovation and soft innovation. Creativity in the "corporate" world has a lot to do with fostering a creative environment. Innovation will happen when people are given free space to be creative without overly rigid structures to holding them back. There are people who can generate lots of original ideas, and it's equally important to have people who can evaluate and implement these ideas! The ideal innovation management system is to tap into everyone's skills and talents, without the typical impediments to cooperation, for keeping ideas flow, and thus, digital flow. Innovation can happen anywhere in the organization and its ecosystem, as well as deep context; but more often, digital innovation happens at the intersection of people and technology. Digital is the era of innovation, the business management must learn how to deal with pairs of duel forces to strike the right balance, such as innovation vs. efficiency; innovation vs. standardization; innovation vs. discipline. The best point of view is to see innovation as a system, and capable of delivering the organization-wide business competency.

The unprecedented digital convenience brought by powerful technologies changes the way we think, live, and work. Envisioning the future is exciting - Digital is the era of options, empathy, personalization, and sharing. The multidimensional digital effects provide impressive advantages in term of the business speed, the abundance of information, and the quality of the digital workforce. It is a radical paradigm shift which needs to expand the new thinking box, see through the wider lens, set new rules, and develop a series of management practices to make a leap into the digital new normal.

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