Saturday, May 21, 2016

What is the Business Fitness for Digital Paradigm Shift

The best-fit mind means “think differently,” the best fit team has complementary capabilities, and the best-fit organization has differentiated competency to achieve a high-performing result. 

Digital makes a significant impact on every aspect of the business from people, process to technology, both horizontally and vertically. Digital becomes the very fabric of high performing business, being outside-in and customer-centric is the new mantra for forward-looking and high mature digital organizations today. At the heart of digital, it is people and how to build a customer-centric organization. But how to assess the digital fitness of your organization for such a paradigm shift?

Self-diagnoses your business personality: Like people, every organization has its own personality, often, an organization's personality replicates the personality of its leader, and that the personalities of the leadership drive the culture of the organization. Do you have an “authentic” organization that encourages its people to express and grow, or do you have a “silo” organization which has many gaps and is made of the sum of parts, not the whole? What are the collective thought processes and behaviors that you can see in your organization? A disconnected or distant layer of management or leadership? A sea of administrative bureaucracy? Silo thinking or poor or inconsistent communication down or across the organization? How would you describe the prevailing business mood? Lack of clarity or direction? Lack of teamwork? Lack of trust in management? Work overload? Unclear or rapidly changing priorities? Continual firefighting? Ambivalence? What are the contributing environmental factors and behaviors? Slow or unclear priorities, strategies or decision processes?  A lack of recognition or honest feedback or a disconnect between recognition and performance? What are the needed changes in behavior, process, communication, accessibility, engagement, approach? Do you inspire open conversations about the work environment? etc.

Reimagine the fundamentals of how organizations work: At the age of digital, businesses today need nothing less than a paradigm shift in their thinking about the fundamentals of how organizations work to build an authentic culture and an engaging workforce. There are differences between work environment (business mood) and company culture. The work environment is floating on the surface, easy to see, feel, or measure, it is also relatively easy to change - even in days or weeks. Anyone in the organization can begin to change their work environment! But work culture is how people think and do things here, it is the collective mindset and attitude. A company's culture, which is heavily ingrained and implicit and not directly perceptible, is also very hard to change and changes slowly if at all. Top leadership team often “owns” and make a huge impact on business culture. Thus, leadership who listens well and provides ample room for the cultural development and leadership who actively partners with HR to develop and advocate an authentic culture, and promote a clear, simple plan for career progression sounds almost too simplistic, but it is indeed the most optimum and efficient route to higher employee engagement. Also, the reality is that the organizational structures and relationships with and between employees were designed for a very different age. It's not just a leadership or management issue; most organizations are grossly dysfunctional, despite often noble attempts at change by the leadership team. And because organizations look to and talk about and mimic their organizational managers and leaders, it is these groups (particularly the first line/middle-level managers) that have a lot of power to influence the environment quickly and substantially. To reimagine business, reinvent business culture, and reshape the way of doing things, leveraging the latest technologies to digitize business processes and fine-tune business culture can improve your business fitness for the paradigm shift.

Talent fitness and team fitness: Talent development is a continuous effort to groom the right talent for the business’s long-term prosperity. The employee development plan should be done with employees and not against them. Talent acquisition includes people and skills development, aligning people to organizational vision and values, succession planning, engagement and retention strategies through enlightened leadership and management practices. There are so many things employees will not tell their managers what's in their mind, and unfortunately, there are not so many things that are positives. It is an indication of a lack of true empathic leadership, lack of a culture of innovation and learning, lack of integral and effective talent management and performance management, it’s a real management challenge for all. Talent Management cannot be successfully done by Business Leaders or HR alone. Business leaders and HR have to work in partnership with an ideal Talent Management integrated with culture management and performance management. Only then will talent management and employee management, in general, be more comprehensive and advantageous for the company and employee. You need both best fit employees and high-performing teams. Sometimes, it’s not easy to bring all talented people and mold them into an effective team, and there's more to it than what you might think about, but bringing the best together successfully can be done and has been done many times before if you have a growth mind to truly understand digital fitness, and build a long-term talent strategy to achieve it. Either at the individual, team, or organizational level, digital fitness doesn’t mean to set the cookie-cutting standard to ensure that everyone needs to have the same thought process, the same personalities, the same preferences, or the same experiences. Indeed, the best-fit mind means “think differently,” the best fit team has complementary skills and capabilities, and the best-fit organization has differentiated competency to achieve a high-performing result. 

People need to be developed and grown so the positive energy can flow and collective human capabilities can really be transformed. Where you want to look for 'fit' is in relation to the values you want to build or maintain within your team, and the kinds of behaviors that you would expect to see as a result of, or in alignment with, those values. ' What is important is that everyone feels encouraged to grow, committed to the goals of the team, and are comfortable with the behavioral expectations associated with those goals, and the business as a whole can accelerate the speed on the journey of digitalization.


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