Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Well-Prepare the "Digital Storms" to Accelerate Business Transformation

The "digital storms” do not happen in isolation from each other in predictable ways; they act as a complex and unpredictable way.

Digital storms are like the nature rainstorms, could be welcomed in one place and becomes overwhelmed at the other places. Whether it is perfect or not is circumstantial. The emergent digital dynamic is about hyperconnectivity, hyper-diversity, and hyper-dynamism. The exponential growth of data causes information storms; the increasing speed of changes leads to “business transformation storm”; the fierce competitions and people-centricity drive innovation storm. Moreover, these “digital storms” do not happen in isolation from each other in predictable ways. They act as a complex and unpredictable way. So, how to well prepare for them and reap significant business benefits through them?

The information storm: Information is growing exponentially and it is humanly impossible to explore all of the "art" out there around a subject or technology. So whether the information storm is “perfect” or not depends on the value it can provide. Information only has a value when it has been used. When information has been used to make an informed management decision to develop the right products, enter the new markets, exploit the new channels or having the information to be able to conduct day to day operations which have an output value. Information does not live alone but permeates to everywhere in the businesses. Thus, the value of information is not isolated. The effort of valuing information independent of its association to the value of related tangibles seems a difficult, if not a futile exercise. The reasons why many organization are overwhelmed by information storm: (1) They do not understand what raw material they have to play with (poor information management); (2) They do not apply the worthwhile evaluation to it to reveal the inherent value, but mostly, (3) They do not understand why they should do these things in the first place. The enabling value of information can be captured and an information lifecycle is developed - the different information is required at different points in the decision and operational delivery chain.

The innovation brainstorm: Idea generation is always important and innovation brainstorming should be always welcomed; but for some businesses, it could become overwhelmed. It’s not about too many ideas, but about the lack of effective processes or the innovation management framework (like the umbrella) to accelerate idea validation. Keep in mind: Innovation is not for its own sake, but for problem-solving. One of the issues about generating too many ideas is that one can get stuck in the rut of idea generation only. An idea is just an idea unless executed. To prepare for the “perfect” innovation brainstorm, companies need to have a process in place that allows for the submission of ideas and filters out the “nonsense” that sometimes occurs in brainstorming. Far too many innovation management experts excel in helping their organizations create ideas but come short in innovation management which is crucial for innovation to flourish. Before ideation, companies need to discover insights. After ideation, companies need to filter, prototype and validate their ideas. There needs to be a robust and flexible process to follow, the good ideas get discussed and funded and move forward. So the great attitude for innovation is to be fearless to experiment the new things and take a new adventure but to be well prepared for the idea/innovation management life cycle.

The change storm: Digital means the increasing speed of changes and inevitable business transformation. A changeable organization is to creating organizations where change is the norm and happens the whole time thereby delivering faster and increasing market share. Well-preparing change storms is about looking uphill to identify the real problems that matter, and on a scale that can make a difference; looking deeply into the future can have a profound effect on where you go, and how you get there; both uphill and into the future, you gain an understanding of the unintended consequences of your actions in the future. Change cannot be just another thing that needs to be accomplished. It has to be woven into communication, process, and action of the organization. Besides those macro, large-scale problems, at the intermediate or micro level, for either organization or individual, how do you get motivated to be innovative at daily basis via solving real-world problems large or small, in a creative way. Successful organizations see the changes coming and with pre-planning to overcome the resistance before it even manifests. They have the solid umbrella for the changing storm. Businesses will be more successful when they realize that one of their greatest strengths will be their change capability.

The digital transformation is now spreading rapidly to enable organizations of all shapes and sizes to reinvent themselves. But it is a long journey. The shift to digital cuts across sectors, geographies, and leadership roles, But dealing with the challenge of digital transformation requires an accelerated digital mindset, taking an end-to-end response, building a comprehensive set of business competency, to reap the business benefits via those "perfect or imperfect" digital storms, and achieve high-performance business results.


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