Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Digital Gone Wild: How to Fix It

Having the in-depth understanding of the “Big WHY” before jumping into the technical HOW in order to adapt to the new world of digital business.

Digital transformation is the radical change. The most difficult topic of the digital transformation is to manage uncertainty especially when you change many things such as processes, culture, technologies, systems, and organization on the whole at the same time. It is a complicated moment for all people in the organization at all level. Visionary digital leaders should ask themselves: When the digital transformation is gone wild - how to fix it?

Prioritization is critical because the alternative is a land grab for resources or talent: Setting the right priority is critical to managing a seamless digital continuum because a company has finite resources to apply to get the best yield possible to meet stakeholders’ expectation. It takes commitment and discipline to stay focused on the real priorities of the business instead of being distracted by what seems to be more urgent at any given moment. The challenging is really about helping the sponsors, being able to ask the right questions and fitting together different strategy components. In practice, this means a well defined and structural approach to defining strategic goals and measurements, cascading them out to front-line teams, clear methods and personnel to effect improvements, make regular reviews to chart progress and fine-tune efforts.Continuously try to improve, develop, and change everything in a prioritized order as long as it creates a more long-term business advantage and solves the critical business challenges.

The challenge is on how to prioritize what you know about and keep an eye open for signs of things you don't know about: Running a digital organization is challenging due to unprecedented uncertainty, velocity,  and complexity. There is known known, known unknown, and unknown unknown. There is no surprise, once a while, the digital seems to be going wild, and chaos swallows the order in a moment. Be paranoid to think ahead, but don’t be panic. Make a dynamic planning to evolve the emergent properties and leverage the nonlinear logic for managing the dynamic digital continuum. As a digital leader today, you cannot think in terms of single thread serial actions alone nor can you give undue priority to areas that are covered by the tactical implementation of the strategy. So, the really important thing is to understand the core business of your enterprise and the critical problem to solve. There is no way to create a definitive prioritized list without more business context. The "right" answer about the highest business priority is that it depends on which of these areas are most in need of improvement in the organization in question.

Keep prioritizing, iterating, learning and working on a rhythm of sustained delivery, to bring back the order from chaos: Evaluation and prioritization are taken place to leverage resources in management, bring transparency to the organization, and create healthy internal competitions among new ideas and business initiatives. Setting priority to leverage limited resources and talent to maximizing business value is an important step in climbing organizational maturity. Most of the traditional organizations stick to the lower level of maturity mode (reactive, inside-out, and operational driven), but to bring the new order to the digital setting, they must move up the maturity level to become truly proactive and outside-in, more flexible and people-centric.  

Digital transformation is the ongoing journey, with the updated management principles and practices. Digital has gone wide: How to fix it? Do not just fix the symptom via band-aid approaches. But having the in-depth understanding of the “Big WHY” before jumping into the technical HOW in order to adapt to the new world of digital business. Although you cannot predict every event happening on the journey, surely you need to proactively create a vision, make a good strategy, set the right priority, and execute it via an iterative business continuum.


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