Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Digital Holism

“Being holistic” suggests a genuine sense of exploration and innovation.

Digital disruptions are inevitable, and digital transformation is unstoppable. Organizations shouldn’t just respond to them in a reactive way. To stay competitive, companies must go beyond experimenting with digital, take a holistic approach, commit to transforming themselves into a fully digital business powerhouse.

Holistic thinking: Holistic thinking" refers to a big picture mentality, and understand that the whole is often greater than the sum of the parts, from the management perspective. “Being holistic” suggests a genuine sense of exploration and innovation. Enterprise is the complex system, every change initiative, either at a functional level or corporate scope, has to make sure the business as a whole is more optimal than the sum of pieces. Holistic thinking becomes important but also challenging due to the complexity of digital organizations. And organizations arise when the scale of the interrelations, interactions, or inter-relational interactions surpasses our brain's capacity to be able to do whatever it does with smaller scales. Holistic thinking has a correlation with systems thinking which is the thought process for seeing interrelationships rather than isolated things, from seeing patterns of change rather than static “snapshots.”

Holistic Problem-solving: The opposite of holistic thinking is silo thinking which is the root causes of many business problems today. In terms of a holistic 'viewpoint,’ one does often need to integrate different stereotyped ('mechanistic') viewpoints; it is the integration and searches for new viewpoints that are holistic. At times, when you only want to see things from your own point of view, see what you want to see, or, hear-what-you-want-to-hear, often you miss the point to understand the real problem holistically as well as how to solve it creatively or systematically. Often times, people have a tendency to try to fix a symptom which results from the actual cause of the problem. When they do this, they throw good money after bad. They allow problems to grow under the surface, out of sight, out of mind, until it’s too late. Until the underlying problem is addressed, the symptom will continue to return. Thus, it is important to take a holistic approach to solve real problems, there needs to be a better appreciation to examine a situation and understand the problem from different angles and zoom out to see the larger system and their part in the mess, in order to come out the optimal solutions without too many side effects.

Holistic Management Discipline: Digital is full of uncertainty, velocity, complexity, and ambiguity. It's important to leverage holistic and systems thinking to understand the variety of business relationship and manage the business in a more structural way. The organizational management short-sightedness, silo, and running the business in a transactional mode cause digital ineffectiveness for the long run. The holistic management focuses on the long-term and transformative business management practice. The digital business today is not just working within the industry, but also permeating cross-ecosystem which is dynamic, continuous and interactive. The business ecosystem is just like the natural ecosystem, first, it needs to be understood in a holistic matter, then, needs to be well planned, and also needs to be thoughtfully renewed as well. Such a dynamic ecosystem explicitly seeks to create a holistic and creative environment where people can grow, innovate, and businesses focus on dynamic resources, long-term perspective, scalable performance, and harmonized relationship.

The digital paradigm means holism, hyperconnectivity, interdependence, and integration. Digital transformation is the journey for solving problems caused by "Conflict," "Out of Balance," “Lack of Logic.” Therefore, it is critical to apply a holistic management discipline which can break through the industrial constraints and limitations and in pursuit of possibilities rather than impossibilities, to drive changes and accelerate digital transformation.


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