Monday, November 13, 2017

Leverage Paraconsistent Logic to Steer Digital Transformation

It's important to leverage paraconsistent logic and multidimensional thinking for steering digital transformation in the right direction.

Digital transformation is more like a journey than a destination, it is no surprise that there are many confusions and frustrations on the way. There must have well thought-out planning and well-defined digital principles to deal with unprecedented uncertainty and increasing the pace of changes. In practice, digital leaders sometimes have to play oddball games and leverage paraconsistent logic to deal with contradictions and navigate through digital transformation. "The driving thought of paraconsistency is that there are situations in which information, scientific, or philosophical principles (and so on) are inconsistent, but in which people want to draw conclusions in a sensible fashion." (Encyclopedia).

Difference vs complementarity for digital balance: With “VUCA” new normal, there are many concepts seem to be opposite, indeed, they are complementary to keep the world balanced, such as simplicity vs. complexity; simplicity is the ultimate level of complexity, but every intelligent thing has a certain level of complexity, the world is composed with both; Individualism vs. communitarianism: individualism is about the rights of the individual, but communitarianism is about the rights of the group or society. It is actually about 'balancing of the individual's rights against those of the community to sustain the prosperity at both individual and societal level for the long term. Solid vs. flow, digital businesses are solid enough to “keep the lights on,” but also fluid enough to interact with the expanded digital ecosystem with accelerated speed. All these seemly opposite attributes are actually complementary to keep a delicate balance. Digital transformation is a journey of learning and doing continuum. People also learn most effectively through opposites. If you have experienced first hand the impact of mismanagement, you will be less likely to make those mistakes yourself especially if you take advantage of the experience to studiously analyze where it is failing and why. Thanks for the digital technologies, now we can share knowledge, brainstorm, and co-create ideas with “similar-minded,” or “complementary-minded” talented people at every corner of the world. You need to learn from them in order to practice paraconsistent logic and have an in-depth understanding of digital transformation.

Difference vs. Compatibility for digital fit: Organizations often advocate culture fit in people management. Digital leaders should ask those insightful questions via applying paraconsistent logic - What is digital fit? Is it about “like us” or “different from us”? The tendency is often to hire people who are like-minded and with similar backgrounds. However, digital is the age of innovation, many say, innovation cannot happen without diversity. You need to think about fit differently than you do now, to make a thoughtful comparison between difference vs. compatibility. You need to discuss the types of talent needed to stretch your thinking and who have diverse backgrounds in multiple dimensions, such as cognitive difference, character, education, life experience, work experience, culture intelligence, interests, etc. The compatible digital fit traits include growth mindset, learning agility, differentiated capabilities, and accepted behavior. Through leveraging paraconsistent logic, organizational fit, manifested in accepted and expected behavior, has a way of neutralizing differences and harness innovation.

Difference vs Paradox for digital innovation: Leverage paraconsistent logic to management discipline is also about paradox management. The paradox is the result of two opposing truths existing side by side, which can be both right. For example, being innovative is simply about being different, think different, see things differently and figure out the different way to do things. Setting rules and goals for creativity goes against the very nature of creativity. It’s critical to strike the right balance between ideation and execution part of the innovation process and management. Same as the standardization vs creativity, standardization is inside-the-box, and creativity is outside-the-box thinking. Hence, organizations indeed need both, and in fact, it cannot really exist without a healthy leverage of both. Digital technologies are creative disruptors, and information provides the very clue for the growth opportunity. Creative minds with cognitive differences are good at bringing the fresh perspective to the table. Business innovation has the characteristic of paradox, and often creativity is sparked by conflict. So, to leverage paraconsistent logic, conflict is not always bad, it is important to have a heterogeneous group setting and let people view an idea from different perspectives, brainstorm diverse thoughts and ideas, apply thinking techniques, harness different experiences, perspectives, and ideas of people, recognize your innovators,  encourage people to express themselves, brainstorm and share ideas, and inspire inclusiveness.

Digital transformation is a long journey, and the path for digital transformation can be iterative, evolutionary, revolutionary, or disruptive. Although you cannot predict every event happening on the journey, surely you need to proactively create a vision, make a good strategy, leverage paraconsistent logic and multidimensional thinking for steering digital transformation in the right direction.


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