Thursday, January 3, 2019

Are You Well Ahead of Change Curve

Do not underestimate the learning curve, and do not get overwhelmed by the intensity of change as well.


The digital transformation, like the computer technology revolution itself, is a long journey over the bumpy road. It is reshaping our thinking and recasting the way we view ourselves, the systems of which we are the part of the environments. Digitalization 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. Digital leaders need to ask deep questions to understand whether their organizations are well ahead of change curve or get stuck at the middle of nowhere.


Take a logical scenario to gain curve awareness: Digital transformation is the large-scale changes. Having learning curve awareness means to understand how change capabilities are underpinned by change processes, people, and technology, and how much change capability is really required for the change effort you are kicking off. There are a number of common challenges in digitalization, such as transformative leadership, effective strategy execution, and a broader view of the hyperconnected digital ecosystem. etc. The real problem is to understand the curve and how it relates to change because going through the downs of the change curve has a negative impact on business performance. At either the individual or organizational level, if you fail to gain the curve awareness and climb the learning curve, you will get static and lag behind. Individually, there are both psychological curves and knowledge/skill/methodological curves for changes. Many people resist changes because of uncertainty, fear of taking them outside their comfort zone which generally gives them negative feeling. Thus, it’s important to motivate people to acquire the relevant knowledge, develop changeability, and then truly make change happening. Collaboratively, the organization needs to enforce communication, be flexible and skillful, to ride learning curves and build change as a dynamic business competency.

Maintain and fix any imbalance:
The radical change such as digitalization is not an isolated effort or silo management discipline. There are so many things organizations need to spin well simultaneously these days in order to keep the right balance. The most difficult topic during the digital transformation is about managing uncertainty especially when you change many things such as systems, processes, capacities, culture, and organization at the whole at the same time. To make effective organizational scope changes, you have to maintain and fix any imbalance in those critical business elements by enforcing cross-functional communication and collaboration and involving the cross-disciplinary management of different functions. Running a dynamic digital business requires maintaining a delicate balance between solid and liquid. It’s solid enough to execute well and it’s liquid enough to allow movement - information flow or idea flow, etc. It’s also important to leverage Systems Thinking for discovering the root cause of issues and seeing the interconnectivity between the parts and the whole. All stages must be handled with attention and proficiency to ensure the long-term business success.


Ride the learning curve with speed: With the increasing pace of change and high business velocity, adaptability matters, and speed matters. Change isn't managed through tasks on a plan, although you have to have them. It is managed on the ground, every day, in every conversation and interaction. If change processes are too rigid or overly prescribed, it could create the bottleneck of streamlining change scenario. Change Management process must be open to new insights and adaptable to the emerging events. It requires much more effective collaboration and optimized processes for minimizing cost, time and risk whilst maximizing scalable solutions. Speeding up also requires focus. Focus on digitizing the fundamental nature of enterprises or businesses, focus on what changes or technologies need to be adopted and what needs to be bypassed. Make sure that the roles and functions are stated perfectly, and the digital management styles are updated to enforce the interrelational management process to reduce tensions, frictions, and conflicts that arise.

The purpose of digitalization is to make a significant difference in the overall levels of business performance and organizational maturity. The increasing speed of changes forces digital leaders to get really creative on how they architect and implement change. Do not underestimate the learning curve, and do not get overwhelmed by the intensity of change as well. Riding the multitude of change curves takes pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, strategic planning, process, actions. 

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