Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Three Questions to Assess a Person’s Contemporary Digital Fit?

Digital contemporary fitness requires envisioning new perspectives, shaping the new box of thinking, building new competency.

Contemporary means “living or occurring at the same time” in the dictionary. To add the digital theme of the word, digital contemporary goes beyond describing the art or artist, digital contemporary professionals are perceived as modern, open-minded, informative, creative, and changeable to adapt to the digital new normal. They “think digitally,” contrary to analog thinking; they live digitally, not just because they use the latest fancy gadgets or wear the fashionable dresses, more because they are equipped with digital mindset, have the ability to adapt to changes or weather changes, and they have unique and impressive digital footprint to build their contemporary digital persona and capability portfolio cohesively and continually. Therefore, digital contemporary is less on style, more based on strength. You have to dig beyond the surface. Which questions should you ask to assess a person’s contemporary digital fit?

Do you have the contemporary digital mindset? There is no doubt we live in the digital era with advanced technology and rapid speed of changes. However, most of the mindsets today which shaped a couple of decades ago in the pre-digital era haven’t got updated enough yet. Digital means hyper-connectivity, the industrial mindset favor silos; Digital means flow, the industrial mindset prefers static thinking; Digital means people-centricity, the industrial mindset is more process-driven; Digital is the age of empathy, the industrial mind confuses sympathy with empathy; digital mind co-creates new knowledge based on the click-away abundant information and informal learning; the industrial mind just learns the existing knowledge often via formal education, which is often already outdated when applying later; digital fitness is based on recombinant capabilities and continuous delivery, and the industrial talent management focuses on static certificates or quantitative measurement only; digital is the era of innovation, but the industrial mind sticks to rigidity. In brief, the digital mindset has unconventional wisdom via critical thinking, creative thinking, and independent thinking. The conventional mind is bound by its beliefs and general practices, it perhaps works in considerably static industrial age. But in a digital society with more open culture, conventional wisdom has a negative connotation about sticking to the outdated concepts, traditions, cultures, or the old ways to do things. The contemporary digital professionals are authentic, creative, and confident. There is the tendency to constantly question the status quo, to think differently, act differently, deliver differently, and add value differently.

Do you have a contemporary working style? The work in the digital era is no longer just the place we go, but the tasks we accomplish. And learning also needs to be a daily routine in the lifetime journey. The advancement of digital brings the new level of professional freedom, of being “who you are,” and who you want to be. There are fine-tuned digital principles to follow, but less rigid procedures or hidden rules to obey.  In fact, by learning to live less by rules, we would see a fundamental digital paradigm shift as we know it. For example, from business management perspective, if each function in the company didn't have its own set of rules and behaviors by which it abides by, but with the common corporate principles everyone voluntarily follows, the working place without too much rigid processes or hidden rules will encourage more free thinking, true talent discovery, creativity, inclusiveness of thought and character. Because now businesses are always-on, hyperconnected, and interdependent, when silo or bureaucracy manipulates the corporate world, the talent potential couldn’t be unleashed, and the differentiated business capabilities couldn’t be built up, and business culture wouldn't be innovative.

Do you have a contemporary digital profile and portfolio? Your digital footprint becomes more crucial to reflect “who you are,” than your physical self, because it flows and dynamic, connects minds and hearts all over the globe. Digital footprint is more than the feet crunching in the sand, it may also like the wind blowing in the trees, the waves curling on the beach, the firework blossoms in the sky. Your digital profile needs to have a cohesive consistency with your “true-self,” though it doesn’t mean it should be as tedious as some daily routine, it should reflect your dynamic thought processes, your innate strength, and your professional brand. The contemporary digital professionals with innovative, proactive and progressive digital profile can reinvent themselves more seamlessly and amplify digital influence via practicing high professional knowledge power.

Digital contemporary fitness requires envisioning new perspectives, shaping the new box of thinking, building new competency, altering or changing the frame of reference to create previously unconsidered solutions. With rapid changes and frequent disruptions, we have to be able to reinvent ourselves and continue to build new capabilities, seek unconventional wisdom, develop "digital fitness" practices, with a broader vision to achieve more.


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