Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Three Views to Gain Deep Understanding about the Digital Organization

Digital transformation represents the next stage of business maturity which will improve how the enterprise works and interact with its ecosystem, with the people at the center of its focus.


Digitalization implies the full-scale changes in the way the business is conducted, so adopting new digital technologies only is not sufficient. Digital organizations have to keep information flow, adapt to the continuous changes and business dynamic in thriving as the digital master. An organization achieves this state of equilibrium through its leadership effectiveness and management capacity. Here are three views to gain a deep understanding of the digital organization as well as how to unleash its full potential.


The structural view- what it is comprised of, and what is the future of the organizational structure: Due to rapid changes, the business complexity has increased exponentially due to these characteristics: Less structure, fewer rules and regulations, velocity, complexity, diversity, ambiguity, unpredictability, lack of linearity and increased flux, etc. Increasingly, enterprises find themselves enmeshed in the digital "eco-systems," whether they like it or not. For the most part, while they can influence and get influenced by these "ecosystems," they have limited "control" over these ecosystems. Thus, they have to keep tuning the organizational structure to adapt to such a digital new normal. The bottom line is how well the organizational structure is being influenced by factors such as: Does the chain of communications flow seamlessly, or does it stop at one level? Can the right people get the right information to make right decisions timely? Does the business culture influence collaboration, cross-functional team application? Does management endorse open source knowledge and mindset? Does innovation take the top down or bottom up; inside-out or outside-in approach? The autocratic or pyramidal enterprises are often limited by their DNA to take benefits of such ecosystems because the digital ecosystems are most likely to have a lattice-based architecture rather than a hierarchy. Thus, to improve the structural flexibility and strategic responsiveness of the business, the democratic processes will overtake hierarchical control, and then, the new organic, self-organizing digital system approach to organizational structure could become a reality. And that will be a true evolution for the digital transformation. In fact, tuning the organizational design and structure to achieve the high level of autonomy is the symbol of the digital maturity.


Behavioral view - how the organization behaves (upon application) and which behaviors should be encouraged: Digital is the age of people, building a people-centric organization is on the top agenda of every forward-thinking organization. Digital system themes with all the aggregates-spanning challenges, paradoxes and opportunities bring organizations further towards the challenges of constructing and enacting a people-centric organization. Loosely structured cross-border interdependencies and hyperconnectivity, on the other hand, require a much greater dose of informal organizational elements such as social networks, shared corporate culture, common business language, multi-dimensional capabilities, regular face-to-face meetings of cross-border people, and so on. To build a customer-centric organization, it’s important to foster a workplace that thrives on collaboration, social interaction and forward thinking. Enforce and maintain transparency, respect and build trust by not only saying the right things but acting in a manner equivalent to your words. Engage all employees in improving their professional capabilities and skills, and create the expectation that positive mentality, behaviors and mutual respect are valued above everything else, and creativity & innovation are encouraged and rewarded.


Interactive View - what contexts it is used in (and the behaviors evoked) and how to improve the organizational holism: Organizations and their people learn through their interactions with the environment. They act, observe the consequences of their action, make inferences about those consequences, and draw implications for future action.  Digital is also complex, it becomes complex if things do interact, particularly in the case of "nonlinear" interaction, you can't separate things properly or you cannot predict the actual effect of business interactions straightforwardly. Building and sustaining dynamics in a workforce are about collaboration with everyone at any level. Collaboration happens in that space in between people in relationship receptively and thoughtfully interacting with interest and care for one another's needs and activities. And organizations arise when the scale of the interrelations, interactions, or interrelational interactions surpasses our brain's capacity to be able to do whatever it does with smaller scales. If the majority of organizations at the industrial age are manipulated by silo thinking and hierarchical style, and then digital means holism and interconnectivity. Building an evolving digital organization is to advocate the concept of “business as a whole is superior to the sum of pieces.” If the organization understands itself in relation to its context, it should be able to determine whether it requires changing something to become viable. In other words, try to digitally connect key resources and assets in the context of the idea reaching innovation hubs and clusters across the digital ecosystem. Being digital fluent in contextual intelligence aids the management in understanding what’s relevant and what’s not. Context is part of a polygon. Each vertex dynamically interacts with the other vertices. One vertex is cognitive perception. Another vertex is the expectation that there is more going on than just the image. Each vertex interacts with the other, change happens as it interacts. In doing so, you can create the shared context for learning and co-creating. That, in turn, will further fuel more collaboration in innovative initiatives to their environments

Digital transformation represents the next stage of business maturity which will improve how the enterprise works and interact with its ecosystem, with the people at the center of its focus. Through understanding the digital business from the different viewpoints and manage it holistically, the digital organizations can better survive and thrive in volatility and uncertainty of digital dynamic, well adapt to the business nature of complexity and interdependence, and lift the overall business maturity significantly.  

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