Monday, June 25, 2018

Three Misguidance Stifles Digitalization

Digital era is volatile, complex, uncertain and ambiguous, misguidance will cause the business “getting lost” in the deep, deep digital reality.

Digital means flow and high velocity, closer to reality is that 'change' is continuously happening in such a dynamic environment of a company, with accelerated speed. It indicates that business leaders must learn how to strike the right balance between managing complex issues today and forecasting the uncertain issues of tomorrow, commit to transforming themselves into a highly innovative digital business powerhouse. Misguidance will cause business failing and stifle digitalization. To stay competitive, companies must be steered in the right direction, move from “Doing Digital” - experimenting with digital technology tools to “Being Digital” - running a full-fledged digital organization.

Misfit thinking: Digital is all about flow, information flow, idea flow, mind flow, and business flow. Digitalization is the transformative change which needs to optimize the underlying functions and processes, adjust both visible and invisible business elements as well as fine-tune the digital ecosystem accordingly. How successful you can lead such overarching changes depends on the depth of your understanding, the lenses you apply to view the digital landscape; the mindset you shape to drive changes, and the methodology you leverage to make change happen. Thus, misfit thinking is often the root cause of misguidance. Fundamentally, we are all part of social ecosystems with both individual and collective mindsets. To lead and sustain change forward, it requires a change of mindset at every level and has an in-depth understanding that things cannot stay the same. Leadership starts at the mindset level; to lead changes in the right direction, it is important to be able to seek out knowledge, have a profound understanding, address ignorance or assumptions to fill out blind spots. This is the groundwork that has to be done across the organizational hierarchy prior to initiating major changes.

Misinterpretation and miscommunication: Digital organizations are hyperconnected and interdependent, Digital Management is a set of interdisciplinary practices. It requires digital leaders and professionals to harness cross-functional communication and collaboration to ensure the business as a whole is superior to the sum of pieces. Contextual understanding is important to handle many complex business problems today. Often misinterpretation or miscommunication causes misguidance. Every organizational functions or division has its own focus and dialect, the mistake that most organizations make in this regard is that they fail to translate the high-level language of business strategy into the sub-strategy of business functions and then into the professional language of the various staff specialism. It is also important to understand the whole meaning of functional dialects and business cultures or subcultures without "getting lost in translation," in order to set the right guidance in a cohesive way.

Misalignment: Alignment often refers to arrangement and alliance. Business strategic alignment means how to translate business strategy into operational activities and create synergies in making strategy everyone’s daily work and mobilizing change through digital synchronization. Misalignment stifles digitalization. For example, the business alignment shouldn’t mean setting overly rigid business processes to stifle change or innovation. Alignment also goes beyond conformity and order-taking, it needs to include a close business partnership through interpersonal communication and effective governance discipline. The organizations that have high-mature alignment outperform their competitors and tend to be highly responsive to changes and good at innovation. To make the seamless alignment, Organizations need to fill the multifaceted gaps, such as business competency gaps - the place where the business wants to be and where the business is today; the gap between IT and business; the gap between what customers’ need and what the business offers; the gap between the business aggressiveness and the limited resources. Alignment is a multidimensional and continuous process that demands continuous attention to improving business harmony.

Digital era is volatile, complex, uncertain and ambiguous, misguidance will cause the business “getting lost” in the deep, deep digital reality. Digital leaders today must bridge the insight gap, gain contextual understanding, be knowledgeable and engaged, seek to engage others, and set the right guidance to achieve the ultimate business goals and reach the high-level business maturity.


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