Friday, July 15, 2016

Three “DE” Effort in Digitizing the Organization

 In the Digital Era, the mechanistic work production metaphor is replaced with organic growth metaphor.

Digital makes a significant impact on every aspect of the business from people, process to technology, both horizontally and vertically. Businesses become hyperconnected and interdependent and get involved in the dynamic digital ecosystem all the time. Given the power of the cloud, social, mobile and analytics digital technologies to fuel business innovation, capability orchestration, and employee collaboration, digital becomes the very fabric of high performing business. However, the journey of digital transformation is a thorny journey, not a flat street. You have to remove the roadblocks and eliminate the barriers all the time. Here are three “DE” effort to shift from “doing Digital” -applying digital technologies to “Being Digital” - Running a high mature digital organization.

Debugging the organizational mindset: Organizational mindset is the collective mindset of its people - culture, it’s about how people think and do things here, the collective attitude and behavior. To go digital in a structural way and develop a systematic innovation - you need to have the organizational culture correct underneath - many companies can put in place a good systematic approach in process terms, but if the underlying culture doesn’t support risk-taking, collaboration, learning (often via "failure") and self-empowerment, then it’s very difficult to get the best out of the process. The shift to digital cuts across sectors, geographies, and leadership roles. But dealing with the challenge of digital change requires an accelerated digital mindset, taking an end-to-end response, building a comprehensive digital strategy, and rethinking the business and operating models, etc. The mindset is far more important than talent. Talent can always be developed by those with an open and right mindset. Hence, Leaders and talent with the digital transformational mind are in higher demand, as transformational leadership is all about change. As the vision and mission of the organization, all come under artifacts and go a long way in deciding the culture of the workplace. Metaphorically, organizational culture is like the computer app, once a while, you have to debug and update the version, and keep it running smoothly and fit the goals.

Delayering organizational structure: The digital transformation is now spreading rapidly to enable organizations of all shapes and sizes to reinvent themselves, retune the organizational structure, optimize business processes and capabilities. If the structure drives behaviors and people are able of self-reflection, then the responsibility could be to reflect on the organizational structure and the behavior, give feedback and - if necessary, aim for and facilitate changing of the structure. Delayering becomes a lens through which it is possible to examine and then fix many other issues. If you're an employee, you can brainstorm with your manager to adjust the structure for improving working productivity and effectiveness. If you're a manager, you can think holistically, leverage the latest digital collaboration platform and tools, change the structure by changing the way of working, tasks, roles, and responsibilities, etc. In the Digital Era, the mechanistic work production metaphor is replaced with organic growth metaphor, operational centrism becomes multi-disciplinary people-centrism, the linear system perception is replaced by complex nonlinear and adaptive system discipline, a goal-seeking system becomes purposeful, and technical behavior is replaced by socio-technical behavior. If you have a rigid organization that realizes it’s not viable or relevant, there’s a necessity switching to a fluid state, a less rigid and fluid organization is adaptive to change, more creative and flexible.

Debunk the myth of enterprise digital maturity: Digital makes a profound impact on specific functions to the business as a whole. the truth is that both the digital world and the physical one are indispensable parts of the business. The purpose of such radical digitalization is to make a significant difference in the overall levels of customer delight and achieve high performing business results. High mature digital organizations have highly innovative culture and creative workforce. Hence, they can not only build high-level digital capabilities but also drive enterprise-wide transformation. And they can reap long-term benefit from the efforts.

Radical digital takes these “DE” efforts, not through linear steps, but via cross-functional communication, iterative collaboration, and ongoing change management capacity. The real digital transformation taking place today isn’t the replacement of the one by the other, but harmonizing the hybrid nature of digitalization and making the good combinations that create wholly new sources of value and achieve high-level digital maturity.

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