Friday, May 12, 2017

The Triple "Focal Point" of Digital Transformation

Digital organizational maturity is all about business effectiveness, agility, innovation, intelligence, delight, and people-centricity.

With rapid change and continuous digital disruptions today, to stay competitive, forward-looking organizations have to stretch out in every business dimension for driving the full-fledged digital transformation. At the high maturity level, companies need to embed digital into the very fabric of the business, explore digital in a structural way and laser focus on the most important things to get business digital ready.

Strategic responsiveness: Because the speed of change is accelerating and the information is growing exponentially, the digital strategy needs to be very dynamic and companies today have to become highly responsive. The strategy is not created in isolation, valuable and reliable real-time information about the organization must be available for crafting an effective digital strategy and execute it iteratively. The traditional strategy-execution are linear steps, but digital strategy- execution is an iterative continuum. Strategic responsiveness is the ability to process business information almost real time; break down the silos and communicate & collaborate with your business counterparts, dig through the real business problems and fix them; understanding the end customer expectations and experience. It is also crucial to make a periodic risk assessment and constant evaluation of the ever-changing business environment, otherwise, you may end up having a strategic plan which is oceans apart from reality. Strategic responsiveness is about the ability to move quickly and adapt to change proactively. If leading the digital transformation is like to orchestrate a symphony, strategic responsiveness occurs when all parts of the choir sing their respective parts in harmony to achieve a higher purpose and make a unique impact, to improve business agility and maturity.     

Flexible organizational structure: Digital business ecosystem is hyper-connected and the border of functions are blurring, and some say, even the industry is becoming the history. Every foresightful business claims they are in the information management business. Hence, the organizational design should be tuned to enforce flexibility and keep information flow with faster speed. The digital organization is more like a living thing than a mechanical system. Just like the membrane around every living cell is neither solid nor water; rather, it is a delicate balance between solid and water, to allow smooth movement in and out of the cell, and the cell can interact with its environment freely. So do today’s digital businesses. Limited hierarchy works best in a creative environment where the free flow of information & ideas and their prompt implementation is a key element of accelerating digital transformation. This is the image we need for digital businesses today, just solid enough to give some sort of form/meaning and open enough to its environment to allow business movement of people, ideas, and information in and out seamlessly. Hence, fine-tune your team or organizational structure so they can best express this purpose and accountability. Keep talent flowing and growing, empowering, communicating & collaborating, and providing the right resources at the point of interaction, let the capability shine, and allow those best capable of responding the quickest to do so. Organizations can shift their focus from process to execution via eliminating bureaucracy and move up the business maturity from functioning to firmness to delight, and from efficiency to effectiveness to agility.

Dynamic change capability: Digital transformation implies the radical change with accelerated speed. Building people-centric changeability is a prerequisite for dynamic digital strategy execution. There is no change for its own sake, there's always a clear business purpose behind it, and people are the core of changes. After all, where you presently stand determines the path you have to take to get to where you want to be. Change capability is one of the strategic capabilities which underpin a successful strategy execution and radical digital transformation. Change Management should always go hand in hand with strategy management. It means to strike the balance via managing two separate, but coherent management disciplines and delivery modes. Change is no longer just a one-time business initiative, but an ongoing and dynamic business capability.

Laser focusing on the most important things and maintaining the digital balance is a never-ending business lifecycle. The challenge for organizations is to manage its portfolio of relevant cross-border strategic synergies and organizational interdependence, fine-tune the structure and improve changeability, empower people, engage digital talent and balance effectiveness and efficiency. Organizations which operate this way have happy staff and customers, a strong balance sheet, and positive social influence upon the environment. Digital organizational maturity is all about business effectiveness, agility, innovation, intelligence, delight, and people-centricity.


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