Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Digital Transformation: From Deficiency & Inefficiency to Proficiency and profundity

Business will be more successful when they realize that one of their greatest strengths will be their multifaceted digital proficiency to scale up and shift from “doing digital” to “being digital."

We are at the dawn of digital age with the exponential growth of information, continuous disruptions, tremendous changes, hyperconnectivity, and interdependence. When led effectively, organizations can take the path to the next level of business effectiveness, innovation, and maturity; when led without a clear vision or thoughtful planning, it means information overloading, further confusion, and business ineffectiveness. It does raise the bar for digital leadership as well. As transformative digital leaders, can you participate proactively, look optimistically and engage constructively toward needs to be able to recognize areas of deficiencies and inefficiencies, then ask the open questions such as “What if?” and 'How about...?' And lead your organization to reach the level of proficiency and profundity?

Knowledge proficiency: It is the paradigm shift from information scarcity in the industrial age to knowledge abundance in the digital era. At today’s digital dynamic, information is abundant and even explosive. To quote Peter Drucker, knowledge is the most valuable commodity. It couldn’t be truer in the digital era. On one hand, the fresh knowledge can be captured from the abundance of information; on the other hand, it doesn’t take long for that knowledge to become a commodity once the market is exposed to it. Besides people, information is one of the most valuable assets in the organization today. Thus, the idea of applying the asset management principles to arrange your own corporate knowledge strategy is worth exploring. Although knowledge is more intangible, complex and dynamic compare to the physical asset, the organizations should be able to put some measurable value on the information and knowledge assets because it is "vital" to the business. Hence, information management and knowledge management should be managed holistically as the corporate asset; if done properly; it can turn the most valuable personally-owned information and knowledge assets into corporately owned assets. To reach the state of knowledge proficiency, it is also important to identify and close the gap between knowledge and insight, and help digital leaders and professionals to be not overwhelmed by the exponential growth of information and abundant knowledge, and capture the valuable business insight to make sound judgments and effective decisions. Organizations are complex adaptive living systems, which are comprised, in part, of people (subsystems) who are also complex adaptive living systems, all such systems function, grow and prosper by continually, via learning, innovating, adapting, and evolving.

Capability proficiency: If traditional organizations are often operated inside-out based on inefficient processes or deficient resources, and then digital businesses should focus on building capability and proficiency via outside-in customer lens, in order to make a digital leap effortlessly. An organization needs to ask whether they need the capability at the base level to keep the lights on, or at the competitive level to stay competitive in the business and at a differentiating level to be the key differentiator for its business. Because the digital business environment is nonlinear, dynamic, and volatile, some leading organizations have multiple core competencies defined as those that provide a real competitive advantage and are not easy to replicate. A core business competency is a seamless integration of multiple capabilities with a focus, in order to implement strategic goals smoothly. A cohesive set of business capabilities can further build into the business competency. And a core business competency is a deep organizational proficiency that enables a company to deliver unique value to customers, engage employees, out beat competitors, and achieve high-performance business results with speed.

Leadership proficiency: To lead organizations towards the uncharted water and blurred territories, today’s digital leaders must develop a broad set of skills, capabilities, and build a comprehensive leadership portfolio with differentiated leadership competency and hardcore leadership proficiency. Generally speaking, due to the speed of changes, especially at technology arena, a digital leader today needs to be a dynamic person with open, growth and complexity mindset, the high capability to handle personal attributes, manage impressions, have profound understanding of the digital ecosystem, communications to suit situations so as to make things happen. And they should also be good at motivating, engaging and building trust and the culture of learning and innovation in the entire organization. The top digital leaders should have the proficient understanding of their particular organization's current and potential corporate structure, senior management style, strategic plan, to practice the expert power, with the ability to master the variety of business dialects, move from one conversation to the other seamlessly, without “getting lost in translation.” The digital leaders need to understand their environment profoundly and playing field to develop a plan to harness the opportunities identified. To put simply, the digital leadership proficiency is based on their leadership authenticity (nature) and qualification (nurture).

Digital transformation is a leapfrogging business change. Business will be more successful when they realize that one of their greatest strengths will be their multifaceted digital proficiency to scale up and shift from “doing digital” to “being digital.” In fact, it is the time to better understand digital evolution and harness its power to serve human purposes and design the institutions and societies to be a well-balanced digital ecosystem with the abundance of energy and sustainable advantages via proficient skills and profound insight.


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