Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Three Highlight on the Roadmap of Digitalization

A clearly defined roadmap with a few notable highlights help us stay focus, be both strategic and tactical, understand how to overcome roadblocks, close blind spots, and make the digital journey both meaningful and delightful.

The digital world is so information-intensive, technology needs will only expand, and most likely expand hyperbolically. Digital transformation is an evolutionary journey. A comprehensive digitalization roadmap with a clear vision and a few impressive highlights helps the business navigate through uncharted water and blurred digital territories steadfastly. Digital leaders are visible, proactive, and innovative, they are able to communicate the roadmap and make sure it is flexible and evolves with the company’s long-term perspective. Here are three highlights in the roadmap of digitalization.

Anchor change as a new opportunity: Digitalization is a radical change. The successful businesses are the ones that can manage change fluently in a structural way. Now with the uncertainty around with the volatile market situations, extreme competition, advanced technology, and globalization, a clearly defined digitalization roadmap is important to steer the business in the right direction, anchor change as a new opportunity, and drive digitalization with a step-wise approach. Understanding the essence of changes and the very goal of digitalization is critical to clarify vision and stay focus. Because sometimes change is the problem, sometimes lack of change is the problem, often the lack of clarity to discern the difference is the problem. The focus of change and digitalization should include the actions designed to drive business growth and sustain performance improvement. Digital leaders need to practice critical thinking and ask deep questions. A good place to start asking questions is those that elicit where/what you are today (current state) and what does "the end of the road" also known as a target state. A digital roadmap with best practices is in place to serve as a framework upon which the business solution can be implemented over time, and change management is built into ongoing business capabilities.

Define more than one way of achieving the goal: The digital world is dynamic, nonlinear, uncertain, and volatile. One of the biggest challenges in this complex digital world is the fact that we need different perspectives, different knowledge and different ways to solve a problem, and take alternative paths for experimenting, adventuring and exploring the digital new normal, and achieve the well-set business goals. For each approach, estimate costs, resources required, timelines, risks involved, and trends. With today’s “VUCA” new normal, to survive the fierce competitions and thrive with the long-term business advantage involve more planning, adjustment, and speed. Because we are not perfect and even our plans will need modification due to unforeseen obstacles. Sometimes there is no "one" answer: there are some or many. Running an innovative business means that an organization can think “out of the box,” figure out alternative solutions from the outside-in lens, build new things based on the business needs, and come up with optimal solutions to either existing or emergent problems.

Satisfy both short-term gratification and long-term business result: Good leaders are the ones who don’t lose the sight of long-term or 'Big Picture,’ but they also spend ' necessary time, efforts, and resources on achieving the short-term goals. They are able to look beyond immediate problem resolution and become an integral part of strategic management to achieve the business’s long-term vision. Be cautious: The organizational management short-sightedness and running the business in a transactional mode only can cause digital ineffectiveness in the long run. To lead change effectively, break the digital journey down into several stages on the roadmap. Each stage is being a point where in business gets the benefit of the activities so far or taken up the activities so far to form a stepping stone for the big step. By focusing forward, we are able to more accurately judge the coming curves and obstacles on the path, and get into action in creative, positive, productive ways that educate, support and celebrate every emotional step of the change curve and take a collective digital transformation journey smoothly.

Looking forward is not always so easy, often it’s cloudy. The forward-looking view of the organization is to determine what the future needs to look like, what the digitalization must look like. When we jump into the digital future of “VUCA” new normal –Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity, a clearly defined roadmap with a few notable highlights help us stay focus, be both strategic and tactical, understand how to overcome roadblocks, close blind spots, deal with change inertia, and make the digital journey both meaningful and delightful.


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