Sunday, February 11, 2018

How to Strike the Multitude of Digital Balances for Achieving a State of Dynamic Equilibrium

The digital organizations need to get away from letting things fall through and start creating “integrated wholes to achieve the dynamic equilibrium. 

Digital makes a significant impact on every aspect of the business both horizontally and vertically. Due to the “VUCA” nature of digitalization, change is unavoidable, firms that are skilled at managing digital dynamic can gain advantages in profitability, speed, business growth, and innovation enforcement. Organizations have to strike the multitude of digital balances which impact with each other in order to achieve such a state of dynamic equilibrium.

The balance of innovation and standardization: Digital dynamic enables companies to leverage varying business elements to chase innovation and accelerate business performance via cross-functional communication and collaboration. On one side, to win the fierce competition, businesses have to keep innovating for achieving the higher-than-expected business result; on the other side, the business needs a level of guidance to frame innovation and builds the standard to keep the business moving forward steadfastly. Standardization is inside-the-box, and innovation is outside-the-box, organizations indeed need both, and in fact, cannot really exist without a healthy balance of both in order to deliver business objectives. Overly rigid rules or processes will stifle innovation, but being “unruly” incurs risk as well. Thus, digital organizations need to strike the right balance and consider the digital continuum between innovation and standardization.

The balance of formal structure vs. informal structure: With increasing pace of changes, the challenge for organizations is to manage its portfolio of relevant cross-border strategic synergies and organizational interdependence with the appropriate mix of important organizational elements. Organizations should keep tuning their structures and underlying functions for getting digital ready. The “organizational design problem” would be to build the “best” mix of organizational elements that enable the organizational interdependence. What works and what doesn´t, depends on the nature of the organizational interdependence that needs to be enabled. New generations of digital technologies such as social platform or other collaboration tools are enabling not only the structured processes of the past but also the unstructured processes of the digital enterprise. In fact, it is important to balance both formal and informal organizational structures to improve the business adaptability and innovativeness. The organization should keep tuning its structure and process, to become more adaptable and innovative, take advantage of the latest digital technology platforms & tools, keep information flow frictionlessly, and provide the space for people to exercise their talent and unleash their potential. Striking the right balance, building and sustaining dynamics in a workforce is about collaboration which happens between people at the different level so ideas and knowledge can flow smoothly. The goal of the organizational structure tuning is to provide the creative workplace for people to exercise their talent, unlock their performance and potential.

The balance of “Push and pull” forces: Digital drives all sort of changes and innovations, proactively pushing ideas on how to leverage creative thoughts (soft) and the latest technology (hard) to drive revenue growth, increase business productivity, flexibility, and overall speed. Motivation is important to build the digital workforce. There are both “push and pull” factors in motivation. There is the time you need to push forward for getting people out of comfort zone or reaching the predefined business goals on time; there is also the time you need to pull all necessary resources and have people drive changes at their own pace for creating the business synergy. You are motivated to move away from something because it is painful or outdated and also move towards something which is inspiring, advancing, and delightful. You have to pull both hard and soft business elements together for building the differentiated business competency. From the problem-solving perspective, push people to think hard and break down “we always do things like that,” mentality; also pull all necessary resources and multiple viewpoints for discovering the best solution.

The digital paradigm shift is inevitable, to achieve such a state of effortless digital flow and dynamic balance, the digital organizations need to get away from letting things fall through and start creating “integrated wholes.” To stay competitive, forward-looking organizations have to manage these digital balance cycles to reach the next level of organizational maturity.


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