Thursday, February 1, 2018

Three “Elimination” Practices to Improve Digital Maturity

Digital transformation is now spreading rapidly to enable organizations of all shapes and sizes to reinvent themselves.

Digital organizations today aim to move into a more advanced stage of digital deployment by tailoring their own unique strength and business maturity and develop their own set of practices for digitizing and innovating. The business practice is always a combination of people and how they are used to doing things based on the set of principles and standards for adapting to changes in the business or technology shift. Here are three “elimination” practices to improve the business responsiveness, effectiveness, efficiency, and overall digital maturity.

Eliminate distractions: Digital organizations are always on and over-complex, there are emerging issues coming out on the daily basis, and it sucks up as many resources and as much time as it can. Many organizations suffer from overloaded tasks and overwhelming information, get trapped into “busyness,” overwhelmed with too many projects or change initiatives, short-term business concerns and continuous digital disruptions. There are too many things on the top executives’ plate now, there are both old problems and emergent issues; short-term pressures and long-term concerns, their time are stretched so thin that they do not allocate enough time to understand key issues or focus on true problem-solving. Thus, the challenge for the management is how to keep fundamental right, eliminate distractions, spend enough time on practicing strategic thinking, and setting the right prioritization for “doing more with innovation.” Because staying focus and prioritization bring transparency and improve management effectiveness and efficiency. When people get stuck in the old routine and comfort zone, they barely survive the whirlwind of daily busyness. Thus, it is also important to eliminate distractions and develop the culture of creativity.

Eliminate pre-conceptual assumptions or bias
: With the rapid growth of information and fast-paced changes, it’s important to challenge conventional wisdom and eliminate pre-conceptual assumptions or unconscious bias. Because when the assumption is wrong, the conclusion will also go wrong. Nothing is certain with the rapid digital flow, even you have to make a forecast, but you will never have complete information because the new information and events continue emerging. You have to challenge automatic assumptions or the existing business best practices because they are perhaps outdated already. It is important to leverage Systems Thinking which helps make more logical “assumptions,” discover interconnectivity and interdependence. From problem-solving perspectives, when following the same old practices to fix symptoms, it is no surprise that the problems will return again sooner or later. To 'just go ahead and fix it" carries assumptions, particularly, assumptions about something wrong, limiting, or not working in some way that requires 'fixing,” from where it emanates the greater context for understanding things from different angles and figure out the alternative ways to shape better solutions. Therefore, you need to be looking for something “hidden,” which is not always obvious, read between the lines, and figure out what hasn't been said, in order to make better assumptions or “forecasts.” It is also important to follow logical steps of “look, listen, question, understand, plan, test and collaboration,” keep developing the next practices for solving real problems and improving digital maturity.

Eliminate unnecessary complexity: There are many shades of corporate complexity, some are desired, some are unnecessary. Within the organizational context, it seems to be useful to separate complication from complexity. The complicated things can be simplified by reducing the number of components or changing the way they interact. The amount of waste tied up in the business process these days is astounding. In a corporate world, most managers still apply old silo management mindsets, you will find the attitude of complicating things in procedures or systems, people love to hang on to the complications and express how they are experts in dealing with complications. To eliminate unnecessary complexity, it’s important to have an optimized system that flows product, information, and services to the end user/consumer as effectively as possible via reducing the burden on the company, while trying to stay current with ever-changing technologies. Eliminating waste and optimizing business processes are the continuous journey. The purpose of managing complexity is not to, actually is impossible to eliminate it all, but on how to create synergy and build delight on it.

Digital transformation is now spreading rapidly to enable organizations of all shapes and sizes to reinvent themselves. Organizational management should practice eliminating bad things, and enforce good things. High-performance digital organizations understand what drives cost and what drives value, they have both vision and strategy, develop the next practices to improve the organizational changeability and maturity.


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