Saturday, December 10, 2016

Three Cognitive Fitness to Advance Digital Transformation

Digital fitness comes via cognitive fitness, it brings a fresh view or progressive mindset to advance digital transformation.

Being digital fit starts with mind fit. Being a digital professional means information savvy, innovativeness, advancement, and consistency. It’s more about the consistent image you deliver about being who you are or the mentality you have in or out of working hours. It is the convergence of your professional development and digital footprint. It becomes a life attitude. Here are three types of cognitive fitness to advance digital transformation.

Progression: Progress represents change. Without change, one cannot even stagnate. The modern society is a dynamic continuum with collective human progress. Real societal progress is made through the work of progressive and foreseeable minds. The advanced mind is the brainpower and driving force behind any kind of progress. From one generation to the other, from the primitive agricultural society to the siloed industrial age and we now steadfastly move into the today’s hyper-connected digital era, the human society is pushed forward via the contemporary minds which convey the vision and advocate progress. And such a progressive journey should never end. People with static mind consciously or subconsciously protect their status quo. A progressive mind is all about the desire to learn, grow and make the progress as the digital new normal. If it’s done right, learning should provide a lot of fun and enjoyment, as well as a sense of achievement and a growing bonus of self-worth and human advancement. The progressive minds in a collective setting can sustain a balance of diversified viewpoints, creativity, discipline; opportunities and risk; individualism and teamwork, democracy and unification; science and art, intuition and of course, forward-thinking and situational leadership.

Innovativeness: "Fit" in an organizational context simply means 'like us' or 'different from us.' The digital fit is less about thinking alike, more about thinking differently, to ignite creativity and bridge blind spots in decision-making. You need to think about fit differently than you do now. you need to discuss the types of talent needed to stretch your thinking and who have the cognitive difference, capabilities, and experience in multiple dimensions. In this way, you get the new perspective from outside your own disciplines, as if you let the ‘out of the box’ thought coming into your own thinking box, to frame a bigger box of thinking and increase the possibility to connect the wider dots for connectivity. To be truly creative, you will challenge the status quo, conventional wisdom, and beliefs, as you push the parameters of the norms of life. It’s important to set up a team with cognitive differences, and its team members can proactively stimulate the new energy of fresh thinking. The team’s creativity is amplified via talented people with the cognitive difference who can understand things from different angles and bring new perspectives to the table. It is not just about synchronizing of their individual inputs to make something that no one individual would achieve. It is even more than that, it has its own dynamic that is in a state of constant flux to keep creativity flow.

Accountability: Accountability is to be wise and brave enough to remove barriers to getting things done or change in time before the problem becomes overwhelming. It is a type of cognitive fitness to show the owner’s mentality and the professional attitude to make thinking and doing cohesively. True accountability focuses on learning to do things differently, rather than punishment. The true measure of accountability is about resilience, it is determined not by whether an individual or a team makes a mistake or not, but on how quickly they can recover so that customers, teammates, and others aren't negatively affected by the breakdown. Shared accountability or collective accountability involves shared ownership and responsibility because most breakdowns stem from silo behavior where people aren't coordinating, communicating, making decisions or solving problems in a way that considers consequences to others.

Digital fitness comes via cognitive fitness either at the individual or the organizational level. Organizations need the diversity of character, mindset, personality, talent, and experience to be innovative. You need to cultivate a willingness to learn to be comfortable with and value difference and hire people who seem “misfit,” but fit differently and progressively to advance digital transformation.


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