Saturday, January 20, 2018

From Problem-Solving Conundrum to Solution-Driven Digital Continuum

Digital management is responsible for designing, enabling, and mastering collaborative, innovative and intelligent problem-solving.

We are experiencing the major paradigm shift from the industrial machine age to the post-industrial information/ knowledge /insight/ digital ages at the societal level. These changes and transformations are reshaping our thinking and recasting the way we view ourselves, the systems of which we are the part, and the way how we live, think and work. Running a business is fundamentally a problem-solving continuum. With lightweight digital technologies and well-educated digital workforce, can organizations today move from problem-solving conundrum to a solution-driven digital continuum?

From unstructured problem-solving to systematic problem-solving: Compared to a couple of decades ago, today’s digital business ecosystem has become more complex and dynamic, interdependent and hyperconnected. it does make a smaller world, but also make businesses and the world super complex and full of uncertainty and ambiguity. Problems become much more complex than ever, therefore, problem-solving must be both systematic and innovative. It is important to apply System Thinking to gain the in-depth knowledge of the interdependence of things, understand the problem, and follow systems principles for solving them in a structural way under complex, uncertain and ambiguous circumstances. In order to solve both strategic and technical problems facing in businesses and our society, the interdependent thinking should be practiced. It is about how you apply Systems Thinking to view the thing as an interconnected and interdependent whole; and how to follow systems principles for solving problems under complex, uncertain, and ambiguous circumstances.

From seeking best practices to developing tailored solutions: In the considerably static industrial age, perhaps businesses can follow industry best practices for solving some of their problems. However, with increasing pace of changes and continuous digital disruptions, the practices that are "best" today are almost always not "best" in the future since practices, as well as technologies and markets, are constantly morphing under pressure from the waves of creative destruction that keep business in innovation mode. If the best practice you want to adopt is to be implemented in the same context, it could work. If the context is different, it is worth understanding how that difference could impact so-called best practice. These practices might be different across organizations, across departments, divisions, and affiliates within an organization and can change over time. In fact, they should change and evolve over time. Improvement in practice can be achieved through many different means- self-reflection, sharing of experiences, or comparison with a framework. The best practice is more about setting principles and standards, rather than specific “how” to solve problems. Best practices should get their claim from being the method that takes the least amount of time and resources to deliver a tailored solution. Never think there is a short list of solutions you can pick from. With a greater understanding of the problems, the trick is to increase the influence and be part of the solutions.

From pursuing the perfect solution which perhaps does not exist to making continuous adjustment and improvement: Problem-solving is a multi-stepped process that includes both problem resolution and solution implementation. All stages must be handled with attention and proficiency to ensure success. The intention is not about finding the perfect solution but making progressive problem resolution. There's the word difference between the noun 'perfect' with the implication of a 'perfect' entity and the verb ' perfecting.' The problem with perfectionists is that they don't have room for experimenting and looking behind or beyond the borders. It’s limiting innovation because they are too involved in making every detail perfect. It's important to explore the new solutions and pursue "perfecting" via making the continuous adjustment. This often means taking holistic thinking and customized approaches that may apply differently to each problem, and it involves people, process, and technology. The journey of problem-solving is not to pursue a perfect solution, but keep exploring a better way to solve the problem and make continuous improvement.

Digital management is responsible for designing, enabling, and mastering collaborative, innovative and intelligent problem-solving based on cross-siloed or cross-divisional collaboration and run a frictionless, immersive, and relentless digital business.


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