Thursday, August 9, 2018

The “Zoom In, Zoom Out, & Diagnostic View” of Digitalization

Digital transformation isn’t just an extension of continuous improvement of the current business, but a quantum leap with radical change.

Organizations’ digitalization is surely a transformation journey, as it has to permeate into business vision, strategy, communication, culture, and processes. etc. Before taking actions, start a deep observation to understand your business by capturing a multifaceted view. Cognition, resources, information, motivation, or complexity of each dynamic affect the pace of transformation and timing of subsequent progress. Here is the “zoom in, zoom out, and diagnostic view” of digitalization.

The “zoom in” view: One of the important views of the business for top leaders is about how to zoom into the future as if it were closer. Make the vision clear and meaningful so that you know which direction you are leading organization toward and where the business is heading to. Determine what the future needs to look like and then, take a strategic approach to make the vision into the reality. Now with uncertainty around and increasing pace of changes, varying factors such volatile market situations, extreme competition, emerging digital technology trends, overwhelming growth of information, etc, all need to be considered in order to understand the business dynamic as well as stepping into the future cautiously. Let go of the current reality for allowing an unknown future state to emerge and manage change dynamically. A zoom-in view re-conceptualizes the future, connects the previously unconnected dots, visualizes the destination the organization intends to get and shapes the digital landscape of the business. The vision captured through a zoom-in view is not the mirage, it serves as the “guiding light” so that people can perceive themselves and their work reflected in it. It is through identifying the clear destination, charting the route for all from their own respective positions toward the destination, and then guiding along the way. With a zoom-in view of the future, an organization is able to evolve, adapt and innovate, without fear of changes; with a clear strategy, an organization is prepared to effectively and efficiently absorb and accept changes in all its forms.

The “zoom out” view: The zoom out view is about how to capture the holistic picture of the business. The digital business today is not just working within the industry, but also permeating cross-ecosystem which is dynamic, continuous and interactive. To gain the “zoom out” business views, senior business leaders are like the telescope, they are good at seeing the big picture, understanding the interconnectivity, and synthesizing the whole from the parts. It takes the interdisciplinary lens to understand the digital business sociologically, technologically, psychologically, economically, and anthropologically. After capturing a big picture type of "zoom out" view, and then, the strategic goals need to be well planned and thoughtfully renewed to achieve the “art of possible.” Behind every problem is a relationship dynamic out of the alignment. Being able to zoom out is an increasingly important skill in complex situations where it is impossible to predict the behavior of the whole from the behavior of the parts; and where the relationships between component parts are more important than the parts themselves. The zoom-out view helps to understand the interaction and interrelationship dynamic, diagnose the root cause of problems, and ensure that the business as a whole is superior to the sum of parts.

Diagnostic view: Running a digital business is the change, innovation, and problem-solving continuum. Having the diagnostic view helps to understand where and how you can and should improve and get the biggest effect and scale up across the digital ecosystem effortlessly. Digital leaders today have to check up frequently whether products or services can be delivered on time, on cost and most importantly, on value; whether the business is slow down due to the silo or bureaucratic management discipline; whether there are the management and planning deficiencies such as, too much paperwork, and too little focus on concrete deliverable, risk management or real progress tracking. It takes a system perspective to diagnose business issues and analyze the root cause of the business failure. A diagnostic view helps the business management to zoom into the significant details for fixing the problems really matter, and making continuous improvement. For lagging organizations, the ecosystems often have evolved without much attention or planning, but for leading digital businesses, taking a deep diagnostic view enables them understanding the current state of the business, identifying the strength and weakness of the company so that they can proactively planning, evolving, improving and innovating. Digital businesses and their people learn through their interactions with the environment, they observe, act, evaluate the consequences of their action, make inferences about those consequences, and draw implications for future action.

Digital transformation isn’t just an extension of continuous improvement of the current business, but a quantum leap with radical change. The multitude of views helps the business leaders and professionals gain a comprehensive understanding of their company and the evolving business ecosystem by zooming in, zooming out, looking forward and seeing underneath, with the ultimate goal to steer the business in the right direction, be thoughtfully renew it, and achieve the high-performance business results.

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