Friday, July 13, 2018

Avoid Digital Traps to Enhance Digital Fluency

A digital organization can bring greater awareness of intricacies and the systemic value of organizational practices, business capabilities, people dynamics, resource alignment, or technological touches. There is no one size fits all formula to pursue digitalization, each organization just has to "walk the talk," avoid hidden traps and explore their own way, build their own differentiated business competency to reach the next level of business maturity.

Efficiency trap: One of the pitfalls for transformation, either for improvement or innovation is sometimes getting the 'right answer' to the 'wrong question,' pursue efficiency (doing things right) before effectiveness (doing right things). That is the efficiency trap. Doing the wrong things differently isn't transformation. Or overly focus on efficiency may easily destroy the seed of innovation which is not quite ready to be analyzed for its profit margin. To avoid the efficiency trap, it is important to ensure that efficiency is to do what is effective, achieve high business satisfaction with less operating cost and good teamwork. Digital leaders must focus on effectiveness, to ensure that business having the vision and well-defined business goals. Because trying to fix the wrong cause of a problem will waste time and resources, increase anxiety, and lead ineffectiveness.

Experience trap: Experience, be it bad or good, has a repository of learnings of "do & don't"; it is about always learning the new things through it - either it’s success or failure. If lessons are not learned, then it is not experience. Any lessons learned are helpful in future progress. However, when experience saturates your mind, you are not open to understanding beyond what you’ve already known, such an experience trap will make your knowledge stale and stifle your creativity. The experiences become a hindrance to future progress when experience resist you to intake knowledge, or de-learn and relearn when necessary. Even worse, experience causes arrogance, boost ego, or drive “we’ve always done things like that,” mentality, and lead to leadership ineffectiveness. From leadership development perspective to a certain degree, the traditional assessment approaches are outdated because they often evaluate leaders only based on their existing skills or experiences, not whether they can stretch out to build integral capabilities or differentiated professional competency to grow into a new role. Further, experiences can no longer be measured quantitatively only, quality counts, dynamic counts, and learning agility counts. From innovation management perspective, Most of the organizations are not fertile ground for ideation, also do not have a culture of risk-tolerance. They fear taking risks and seldom learn from their mistakes. They are trapped by current experiences or conventional wisdom. But the fact is that anyone or any company that fervently wants to be creative must be willing to face risks, and overcome the fear associated with such risks for reaching the next level of the growth cycle.

Metrics trap:
The common measurement traps include such as, only focusing on quantitative metrics; only measure things based on convenience, not on how to truly improve business results; the metrics cause people to game the system, not to improve their performance; the metrics only tell the part of the story, but ignore the full picture, etc. To avoid metrics trap, it is important to define how you will measure performance success in meeting business purpose and vision, ensure that these measures are qualitative, quantitative, and persuasive, and implement whatever mechanisms you need to be able to gather the data. More often than not, business value is multidimensional, and business sentiment needs to get put into something more tangible, such as optimizing processes or improving productivity. Measure what it matters, to reflect the business value. The right set of metrics and effective performance management will directly impact on day-to-day decisions, business responsiveness, and overall organizational maturity.

At the high maturity level, companies need to embed digital into the very fabric of the business, explore digital in a structural way, to avoid digital traps for achieving digital fluency. A digital organization can bring greater awareness of intricacies and the systemic value of organizational systems, business capabilities, people dynamics, resource alignment, or technological touches for mastering change and make a leap of the digital paradigm shift.


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