Thursday, January 11, 2018

Three Actions to Improve Digital Responsiveness of the Business

Organizations today must take the holistic digital management practices to harness cross-functional communication and collaboration. 

Digital means the increasing speed of change and continuous disruptions. With “VUCA” digital new normal, to survive the fierce competition and thrive with the long-term business advantage involve more planning, adjustment, and speed, and run a high-responsive, high-mature, and real-time digital organization. Here are three imperative actions organizations at the strategic level need to take for improving the digital responsiveness for running the digital powerhouse.

Break down silo thinking: The digital dynamic is where the digital disruption threatens to tear down legacy systems and practices just as it generates new opportunities. From the digital management perspective, it's natural to fear the unknown, question the unproven, and be skeptical of the latest technology trends or the next digital practice. The reality is that organizations that do not respond to external environmental changes will quickly outcompete as more innovative enterprises take their customers. In today's volatile economy, nothing impedes progress more than protective silos which are simply a form of bureaucratic management style designed to preserve the status quo. If most managers still apply old silo management mindsets to new ways of organizing and the hybrid structure, and this legacy of the old economy limits many digital organizations to unleash their full business potential. Thus, breaking down the silo thinking and digitizing the management disciplines and practices are the first step for running a high-responsive digital organization. Running a high-responsive organization also needs to have the flexibility to take the different approach with the adaptability to meet the business’s expectation, leverage tailored approaches to fit specific circumstances, ultimately respond to the external environment as geopolitics, rapid innovation, and social expectations change the business landscape and blur the digital territories.

Accelerate digital speed:
Today’s digital dynamic enables companies to leverage their various environments, or ecosystems, to chase growth opportunities and accelerate business performance. How successful organizations can handle digital disruption depends on how fast and capable they can adapt to the ever-changing environment. The hyper-connecting nature of digital offers particularly fertile ground for developing cross-industry ecosystems and business growth opportunities. Because the ways of doing business and meeting customer expectations both tend to be more flexible than the siloed industrial age. Nowadays the organization can manage its information and knowledge excellently so that the business can capture the business foresight and customer insight almost at the real time, and those organizations are able to ride the learning curve with speed and adapt to changes intelligently. With unprecedented digital convenience brought by lightweight digital technologies, there are always alternative ways to deliver products or services, delight customers and solve problems. The digital organizations are more dynamic, if you look at a business as a collection of subsystems, the degree of business responsiveness depends on how those subsystems interact with each other, and those interactions can be structural, technical, informational, or human. Companies need new ecosystem partners to pursue them, the point is to speed up. The less friction for the changes and the more seamless business interactions enable the business to flow and accelerate its performance and growth, and ultimately transcend into the highly responsive digital powerhouse.

Diminish bureaucracy: Generally speaking, bureaucracy is a system based on a hierarchy of authority and division of workforce functioning in a routine manner. Although organizational bureaucracy inherited from the traditional management discipline brings a certain level of business efficiency. Bureaucracy is criticized for its inflexibility, inefficiency, silo, stagnation, unresponsiveness, or lack of creativity, etc. With hyperconnectivity and increasing speed of changes, bureaucracy decelerates the speed of the business. Running a real-time digital organization means high-responsiveness and high speed. Digital organizations must have strategic responsiveness to process business information almost real-time, communicate and collaborate with business counterparts timely. Delayering becomes a lens through which it is possible to examine and fix many other issues including bureaucracy. Therefore, companies across sectors should be flexible to leverage tailored management approaches to fit specific circumstances, approach the flow zone when the positions in its hierarchy have clear and accountable tasks, ideas are shared and managed effectively, and processes are streamlined to improve organizational performance seamlessly.

Highly responsive organization means a lot of things for the digital transformation: Speed, innovation, agility, integration, modernization, optimization, intelligence, adaptability, flexibility, and maturity. Organizations today must take the holistic digital management practices to harness cross-functional communication and collaboration, increase business flexibility, and take all necessary actions without procrastination to improve digital responsiveness relentlessly.


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