Saturday, July 1, 2017

Three Things Digital Organizations Starve For

Today’s businesses cannot simply stand still, they have to keep learning, they must keep alert, starve for the invaluable things to get digital ready.

Going Digital is no brainer. However, reaching a high level of digital maturity is a thorny journey. Digital transformation is not just about using the latest technologies as a single dimensional enhancement, but a multidimensional evolution based on sociocultural, sociotechnical, socioeconomic, organizational, scientific, philosophical, psychological, and artistic, etc., lens. These dimensions interact and mutually influence each other. It is the digital paradigm shift. Adopting a different paradigm is like changing the glasses and new possibilities might emerge. Organizations have to keep learning agile, going broader to gain a holistic understanding of how digital can make an impact on the business, also dig deeper to handle both existing problems as well as emergent issues. Here are three things digital organizations starve for, in order to explore the new way to run the business as well as build differentiated core competence to get digital ready.

Digital organizations starve for creativity: Digital open the new chapter of innovation, creativity is the most needed skill in the Digital Era. Creativity has many forms and manifestations. The individual creativity is an innate thought process to create novel ideas, learn how to liberate the imagination and come up with a new approach to the world. Being creative is about how to solve a problem in a fresh way and an intelligent manner. And by manifesting creativity from an individual endeavor to a team activity and a collective effort, the horizon of creativity is expanded and amplified into the core capability of the business. Creativity converges with the concept of innovation that is the management discipline to transform innate ideas and achieve its business value. The collective creative potential can be unleashed to solve complex problems or overcome the common human challenges. Digital is the age of innovation. The leading digital organizations starve for creativity. Identify the great innovators and change agents who can think ahead, think big and think differently. Innovators find more viewing spots than the rest. They find angles to wiggle through where most are unable to even envision a place where there is an angle. Being creative means you need to get used to stepping outside the old box to unfamiliar territory. Therefore, it is important to create conditions so that the creative potential can manifest, and often the most disruptive person is the one you want to harness.


Digital organizations starve for constructive criticisms and positive skepticism: Digital ecosystem is complex and uncertain. There is no single leader, person or even a team in any organization can have all answers to the emergent business problems. Organizations today should starve for constructive criticisms, and continuous collect feedback from their employees, customers, or business s in order to make sound judgments and make effective decisions.  Keep in mind though, the quality of the feedback giver is crucial to the quality of feedback being given. The quality is about the person’s reputation, cognition, character, integrity, insight, and intention. Business should build an open and inclusive working atmosphere in which the positive skepticism is welcomed, and critical thinking is encouraged, people are inspired to provide positive feedbacks. However, as a feedback giver, you should take the responsibility of the words you say, with the good intention to build a culture of learning and innovation, and contribute to the business’s long-term success.

Digital organizations starve for building the differentiated set of business capabilities and the core business competency: Traditional organizations in the industrial age are often silo-based and inside-out process driven. Digital blurs the functional borders, geographical borders, business borders, and even industrial borders. It becomes more imperative to understand the business from outside-in customers’ lens, in order to build the dynamic business capabilities and the core business competency to adapt to increasing speed of changes and ever-evolving digital ecosystem with limited boundaries. A business capability is the firm’s ability to integrate, build, and reconfigure internal and external competences to address rapidly changing environments. When capabilities are suppressed in the organization, the vision would be dimmed and the culture is negative, and the organization would get stuck at the lower level of maturity. Capability views seem to be more open to considering both internal or external sourcing and provide a level of abstraction that allows more open considerations of the business ecosystem from the multidimensional lens. Building a set of high-effective and lego-like recombinant digital capabilities is the preparatory steps in getting the business digital-ready to master changes and accelerate digital transformation.

Digital is fluid, digital is also complex. It becomes complex if things do interact, particularly in the case of "non-linear" interaction and interdependent relationship. You can't separate things properly or you cannot predict the actual digital effect straightforwardly. Therefore, today’s businesses cannot simply stand still, they have to keep learning, they must keep alert, starve for the invaluable things to get digital ready.


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