Saturday, June 9, 2018

Three Symptoms of Digital Conundrum

By identifying the symptoms of the digital conundrum at the early stage, businesses can adapt to change smoothly.

The digital paradigm shift means radical change. It represents the next stage of business maturity which will improve how the enterprise works and interacts with its ecosystem, with people at the center of its focus. Digitalization has multifaceted perspectives unfold into wider multi-dimensionally enhancing systemic continuum. In the digital organization, change is the new normal, happens all the time. The ability to change and business adaptability directly decide the organization’s long-term competency. However, Change Management has a very low success rate, business leaders should pay more attention to the symptoms of the digital conundrum, and ensure that change becomes the ongoing capability and an iterative business continuum.


Neglecting long-range planning: Digitalization is strategic movement and takes the long-range planning, this is especially important in these uncertain times. That should go hand in hand with contingency planning around “what if” scenarios. To both drive change seamlessly and sustain its effect, the good planning should be based on quality information about the customers, competition, internal capabilities, and cost. Now with uncertainty around with volatile marketing situation, fierce competition, disruptive technologies and so many variables to consider, the way to effectively deal with “VUCA” digital new normal is to reduce it by getting real-time information and refine it into the business insight and foresight. Often, the digital management gaps exist because the strategic planning or ideation team and implementation team have different focal point, priority, and performance evaluation criteria. The long-term planning can help the business stay focus, lead to better decisions and manage risks effectively. After that, organizations also need to have short-term goals which are aligned with the ‎business goals. Digitalization is the journey, strategy management and change management should go hand in hand so that the companies can act promptly according to situations with the rapid change business dynamic, both reap some quick wins and achieve the long-term benefit.

Relying on technology only to solve problems: Organizations rely more and more on information and technology. The digital world is information-intensive and technology driven. However, both information and technology are the means to end, not the end. They are critical ingredients, but not the only ingredient in the problem-solving capability. Do not get distracted or overwhelmed by them. Today’s businesses become overcomplex, the comprehensive solutions to many complex problems require interdisciplinary insight, multidimensional thought processes, effective communication and decision-making, efficient technology, optimal processes, cultural readiness, and integral business capabilities. There is no panacea for the emerging business problems. Problem-solving masters are those individuals or businesses who are equipped with the digital mindset, accumulate sufficient information and knowledge, leverage the powerful digital technologies, build the differentiated business competency, develop their own set of problem-solving methodologies and practices, avoid pitfalls and roadblocks on the way, master how to frame problems, especially macro-problems systematically and solve problems creatively.

What is “best” yesterday will not always be the best tomorrow: Many organizations seek examples to follow rather than develop the tailored solution. The problem is that the practices that are “best” today are almost always not the “best” in the future since practices, technologies, and markets are constantly morphing under pressure from the waves of digital disruptions, so it is important to keep the business in innovative mode. Some industry frameworks or best practices are efficient in managing process flow, but not netting broader perspectives on process effectiveness. The path of exploring the next best practices is to think more closely about business goals, iterative communication, and the multitude of choices. If the business only tries to emulate, there is a risk to that because when you emulate competitors, you start looking like them, you take the risk of eroding what makes your business special. Business leaders must check: What’s your organization’s “core competencies” or “differentiated capability.” The best practice is more about setting principles and standards. Markets change and shift and for each company attempting to deal with these changes, and there is a different path to follow. Digital is the era of innovation, every organization should strive to explore "the next best practices" throughout their organization. These practices might be different across organizations, across departments, and affiliates within an organization and can change over time. In fact, they should change and evolve over time.

Digital organizations have to stretch out in every business dimension for driving the full-fledged digital transformation. By identifying the symptoms of the digital conundrum at the early stage, businesses can adapt to change and take the digital journey with the clear vision, differentiated business competency, and steadfast speed.

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