Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Making Continuous Dialogues to Drive Digital Transformation

It is important to foster a healthy working environment where invaluable feedback and vital communication are based on information, trust, and reality. 

Digital transformation makes a profound impact from the specific function to the business as a whole. Organizations see the value and need for effective and coordinated communication as the tool to solve problems and drive changes seamlessly. Communication is the word means many things to many people and initiates a broad set of activities. Forward-looking companies across the vertical sector are on the journey of digital transformation, how to open continuous dialogues for driving digital transformation and leading business success for the long term?

Dialogue is a means of coordination based on expertise and responsibility: Organizations are social realities that emerge from the communication patterns of people. Communication, whether verbal, non-verbal or digital, is the coordination mechanism that makes organizations possible and makes a group of people as a cohesive team to achieve more. Digital transformation is a long journey, to keep the team motivated, it’s important to open digital dialogs for enforcing communication and encouraging cross-functional collaboration. However, most of the organizations today are process and control driven. The emphasis of management is on compliance, with the result people forget to think freely, communicate candidly, and do their work creatively. They get stuck in silo mentality and overly rigid organizational hierarchy. In today's volatile economy with the exponential growth of information and abundance of knowledge, nothing impedes innovation and digital transformation more than protective silos which are simply a form of the bureaucratic structure designed to preserve the status quo. To break down silos and catalyze changes, the strategic communication initiated by top digital leaders are not the top-down one-way street, it should embrace creativity, context, cascade, to enforce trust and accountability, streamline knowledge flow, and reach digital synchronization. It is also important to develop an open atmosphere with effective and candid communication, fortify cross-functional coordination based on information, expertise, and responsibility.

Dialogue is relevant when people can understand what is communicated and are able to translate it into action or expertise:
It’s all about striking the right balance to communicate effectively and achieve the end goals effortlessly. Communication is a means to end, not the end itself. The end is to gain knowledge, make effective decisions or take step-wise actions for solving problems and achieving the high-performance result. From the business management perspective, there are top leaders accountable for the business and it depends on their vision and ability to initiate digital dialogs, collect the team’s import and commitment to get the work well-done. To have this happen reliably requires a bidirectional and reciprocal cycle of listening and telling, and develops the culture of continuous improvement. Build stronger leadership teams and make effective cross-functional communication. Communication improves when team development is at its peak. Often, the communication bottleneck and the primary impediments to collaboration is a dissonance between upper and middle management and a similar dissonance between middle management and the frontline employees. Ultimately, these weakest links will break when change is intense and there is never truly an effort toward enterprise cohesion.

Digital dialogs are continuous conversations and iterative communication: Digital dialog is neither one-way street nor “once a while “event. It needs to be continuous, iterative, and multi-channel because change occurs on a continuum. Communication shouldn’t just enforce the hierarchical “command & control” management style. The digital dialogs need to be concise enough to convey the key message and creative enough to connect the heterogeneous audience. It’s the leadership capacity to be non-judgmental; the capacity to appreciate and communicate with respect for other people's ways, and keep them informed of your expectation. You need to help the audience wrap their brains around what will change, what the timeline is, what the benefits are and what the desired outcomes of the change are. Continuous digital dialog leads to continuous improvement and continuous journey of digital transformation. It performs in collateral activities, meaning that people can step out of their daily job to perform specific improvement activities, and improvement is the reward for being willing to change.

Digital transformation is a continuous journey for adapting to the new normal of businesses, faster, always on, hyper-connected and fiercely competitive. Continuous and consistent open dialogues should replace the 'business as usual,” and “command-control” management style. It is also important to foster a healthy working environment where invaluable feedback and vital communication are based on information, trust, and reality. The business is in a wholesome cycle of communicating, improving, and transforming.


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