Monday, February 26, 2018

Three Digital Trends: “Less is More”

 Digital disruptions are inevitable, and digital transformation is unstoppable.

The digital world is dynamic, nonlinear, uncertain, and volatile. As we all know the only "Certainty" or a "Constant" is "CHANGE." Uncertainty is a given, just as it has always been and always will be. Digital makes the business flatter and the world smaller because of its nature of hyper-connectivity and interdependence. The digital paradigm shift is the transformation that is reshaping our thinking and recasting the way we view ourselves, the systems of which we are the part of the environments. The digital age has overwhelming data, abundant information, and frequent changes. However, “more” is not always better. Here are three digital trends of “Less is More.”

BoundaryLESS: Organizations rooted in the industrial era are composed of functional silos and overly restrictive hierarchy. Spanning boundaries limit organizational potential and innovativeness. Today’s emerging digital technologies enable companies to leverage their various environments, or ecosystems. The mechanistic production metaphor is replaced with the organic service metaphor because the digital organization is more like the living thing with an organic nature. Digital technologies blur the functional, business, and geographical territories so information can flow more freely across the business ecosystem. Digital businesses are boundaryLESS, technology centrism becomes multi-disciplinary, the linear system perception is replaced by the nonlinear adaptive system. The goal-seeking systems become more purposeful, and technical behavior is replaced by socio-technical behaviors. The digital organizations become so hyperconnected and interdependent that you cannot separate things properly or you couldn’t predict the actual effect of nonlinear interaction straightforwardly. The collaborative platforms enable companies to integrate the critical components to adopt more modular, multi-layered and expanded boundaryLESS organization. Digitalization is a multidimensional evolution based on scientific, artistic, philosophical, psychological, sociocultural, sociotechnical, socioeconomic,etc., lens. These dimensions interact and mutually influence each other to shape a dynamic and highly intelligent digital business. Digital organizations achieve balance and flexibility across the spectrum of a "local"/"specific" to "global"/ "holistic"/ "systemic" (boundaryless /trans-epistemic)/ "whole-systems" elaboration.

In the traditional organization with the lower level of maturity, the business is struggling with overly restrictive hierarchy and bureaucratic mentality, the friction to change is the very obstacle to move up to the next level of business maturity. Digital is all about flow, mind flow, data flow, information flow, and business flow. It means the increasing speed of changes, hyperconnectivity, and always-on business dynamic. To break down silos and run a frictionLESS organization, organizations can build a highly integrated business platform, fine-tune organizational structure to enable business flow, idea sharing, harness cross-functional communication, and collaboration. What now has to be understood are the digital dynamics of the business ecosystem within which the business is competing and with which the business is unavoidably entangled - the business dynamics driven more by horizontal linkages than by vertical (sovereign) accountabilities. From a people management perspective, bounded groups, homogeneous team setting, or insular tribes are evidence of silos and the root cause of the multitude of business gaps and friction of changes. In a frictionless digital workplace, supporting multiple paradigmatics of demand means working with multi-sided forms of demand supported by correspondingly multi-sided platforms. People are able to work across disciplines to either solve complex business problems or overcome common challenges, and the business possesses the integral capability to manage digital transformation frictionlessly in a structural way.

RelentLESS: Digital businesses are always on and hyperconnected. Digital leaders and professionals today must be the relentless change agents who can keep learning and adapt to changes proactively. It requires vision, focus, and strategy. To drive a seamless paradigm shift, 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 next big leap. By focusing forward, businesses are able to more accurately judge the coming curves and obstacles on the path, and get into action in creative, positive, productive ways. By leveraging the latest digital technologies and tools, change agents have courage, capabilities, and resilience to self-drive and drive others for making progress relentlessly. Pushed by the waves of changes and continuous disruptions, organizations have to keep improving, evolving, and innovating for reaching the next level of high performance and business maturity.

The digital business ecosystem is open, fluid, dynamic and energetic. Digital disruptions are inevitable, and digital transformation is unstoppable. Organizations shouldn’t just respond to them in a reactive way, it is the strategic imperative to drive a frictionLESS, boundaryLESS, and relentLESS digital transformation journey. In this regards, “LESS” is more for maximizing the full business potential and achieving the high-performance business result.


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