Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Setting Digital Mantras for Accelerating Digital Transformation

The dynamic digital organizations need to get away from letting things fall through and start creating “integrated wholes.”

Digital transformation is the long journey. Digital doesn’t mean just tear down all the old things in the previous era. In reality, digital means to strike the right balance between the new way and the “old way.” to do things, to strike the delicate balance. Organizations have to set fair principles, build the well-rounded capabilities, run up all important stages for reaching high digital maturity and reap the benefit via going digital with full speed.

Digital attitudes are about curiosity, being experimental and persistent: Being digital means to explore the new opportunities that fast-growing information and lightweight digital technologies could bring to the business. However, many senior executives are closed to the possibility that their established views could somehow be less right or perfect than the ones that got them to where they are now at the top. Further, people normally 'close' the boundaries of the system, so that less energy is transferred and, therefore, the fewer changes happen in the system, the business gets stuck somehow at the lower or middle level of the maturity, and people face difficulty to move out of the comfort zone. But the digital transformation is all about flow, information flow, idea flow, and mind flow. The differentiators between a digital leader and a laggard either at the individual or the organization level are mindsets and attitude - the intellectual curiosity, risk tolerance, creativity, changeability. So the adaptive digital attitude is to manage its complexity via organizational flexibility and agility enhancement. There is overwhelming practical evidence that a few underdog players in digital transformation are what make the most difference.

The challenge is to prioritize what you know about and keep an eye open for signs of things you don't know about: Due to the exponential growth of information and increasing speed of changes, many organizations experience “change fatigue,’ or the pains to break down the organizational bureaucracy and make the change happening smoothly. Therefore, it is important to understand what really matters and then put real horsepower behind these things, set the right priority to achieve well-defining goals. People must first be open to seeing and understanding that their status quo is probably anything but positives. It is only then that there is any real potential to change anything, such as processes, business models, or technology. Uncertainty, ambiguity, unpredictability, velocity etc., are the digital new normal, thus, digital strategy management is dynamic, it has to evolve the emergent business properties (opportunities/risks,e tc.)  and it can be difficult to find the right allocation of resources and talent to implementation of the plan while simultaneously monitoring feedback, managing risks, and meeting obligations to staff and customers. Digital strategy execution is not linear steps, but an iterative continuum.

Strike the right balance between orders (standardization) and ‘chaos’ (innovation): Digital transformation is all about balancing all major business elements impacting change: People, process, procedures and IT. And you have to maintain and fix any imbalance in those elements by managing them in a holistic way. For many businesses, especially legacy organizations, it is necessary to keep stable processes to run the business as always. But it is also important to do more with innovation. The business processes should be adaptively rational, to strike the right balance of ‘keeping the order,’ and sparking innovations, to move up the business maturity from functioning to delight. The challenge for organizations is to manage its portfolio of relevant cross-border strategic business competency and organizational interdependence with the appropriate mix of enabling organizational elements, engaging digital talent, balancing standardization and creativity, stability and changes.

Walkthrough “look, listen, question, understand, plan, test and collaboration” stages for digital tuning: Organizations and their people have to learn through their interactions with the environment. They act, observe the consequences of their actions, make inferences about those consequences, and draw implications for future action. In order to manage change and business transformation in a structural way, walk through the “look, listen, question, plan, test, collaboration” scenario. There is a need to delegate roles and responsibilities of the process, make each individual feel responsible for the success of the plan, have a strong honest communication plan in place, engage them actively and make sure that your new proposal solves their current problems, and provide the better working environment. Make your plan flexible and implement changes based on staff feedback.

Manage performance and manage your own attitude or everything else would be undermined: Change leadership and management matter: Be fair, be transparent, be energetic, have an open mindset, be reflective rather than reflexive, be an inspiring leader and a trustworthy partner. Most of the people, including leaders, often find themselves playing it safe and spending too much time trying to weigh risks and outcomes. Being willing to dive in rather than just dip your toes is sometimes needed even if you are scared. It is also important to build the culture of tolerance to encourage innovation. Change needs to be human-centered. People should know "where you are driving them to" and " what's on it for them."

Digital transformation is a long journey, organizations have to take a step-wise approach, continue assessing, fine-tuning and adapting. Without those steps, you could miss even a simple transformation; but with these logic steps, there is better chance to reach great success even in very challenging business transformation or restructuring. The dynamic digital organizations need to get away from letting things fall through and start creating “integrated wholes,”  ride above the learning curve and take the journey of digital transformation steadfastly.


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