Friday, November 4, 2016

Building an Evolving Digital Organization

Building an evolving digital organization is about putting people at the center of the business.

The very characteristics of the digital age are hyper-connectivity and interdependence. Due to the “VUCA” nature of digitalization, the business complexity is unavoidable, companies that are skilled at managing complexity can gain advantages by pushing the boundaries of a more complicated business mix that provides opportunities to create inter-business value and ultimately building an evolving digital organization.

Self-awareness might be the first step to getting involved in a change process: Self-awareness means the true recognition, and total perception of the current state as it is, one’s role in that state and its impact, why and where that state needs to be changed. From a change management perspective, many organizations focus so heavily on the “doing,” they lose sight of the “purpose,” the “WHY” part of changes. Once people agree with the “WHY” part of the reasoning, they can develop their own level or means of participating. Because change cannot be completely manipulated from top-down, it starts from the mindset. Sometimes people are not part of change because they feel like they don’t need any transformation, and even the ones who recognize the importance or urgency of change, do not understand their own role, impact and most importantly, emotions involved in a change process. Change is a continuum and once you accept that life will be a constant shift going on around us, then you are able to seek ways and means of adjusting your perspective and those around you.

Embracing the “digital holism” for building an ever-evolving digital organization: If the majority of organizations at the industrial age are manipulated by silo thinking and hierarchical style, and then digital means holism and interconnectivity. Building an evolving digital organization is to advocate the concept of “business as a whole is superior to the sum of pieces.” It's important to leverage holistic thinking to understand the variety of business relationship. It is imperative that business leaders are willing to seek out help, break down silos, and harness cross-functional collaboration as they work to generate new ideas or solve problems. It’s important for leaders and managers for learning to think the systemic wholeness, in terms of how to break down silos between subcultures, shared goals. Cross-silo or cross-divisional collaboration is crucial to building dynamic digital capabilities. And organizations arise when the scale of the interrelations, interactions, or inter-relational interactions surpasses our brain's capacity to be able to do whatever it does with smaller scales.

The term ' digital fit' can be interpreted with a degree of variability: At the business level, the digital fit is about operational excellence, high-innovativeness, high-effectiveness, and agility. At the individual talent level, digital fit starts with digital mindsets and a set of digital skills and capabilities. Most of the organizations today are process and control driven. Emphasis is on compliance with the result people forget to think freely. ‘Fit' doesn't mean that everyone needs to have the same thought process, the same personalities, the same preferences, or the same experiences. 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. The fitness is also an important predictor of retention, so finding someone with the right fit can be significant cost savings over time if turnover has been a challenge for you. What is important is that everyone feels committed to the goals of the team, and are comfortable with the behavioral expectations associated with those goals.

Building an evolving digital organization is about putting people at the center of the business. Organizations are running by people to serve people and provide value to the people. When customers are delightful, employees are engaged, and shareholders are satisfied, the business is in the healthy life cycle to run, grow and transform.


My department works on developing tools for our users to alleviate some of their workload. In my experience, what developers often miss when designing applications is understanding the business question or business reason for the software. They focus on the specifics without putting a project together that addresses the big picture. What I feel like is missing in these developer’s tool kit is business architecture . I have recently taken a few of my SCRUM developers to an architecture workshop and realized that they aren’t used to thinking about the specific business problems and finding ways to use leverage their applications to meet overall business objectives. I think by giving developers better insight and perspective to business problems and pushing them to think more broadly, will they become better digital architects.

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