Thursday, July 5, 2018

Enforcing Organizational Hyper connectivity by Strengthening the Weakest Links

Digital transformation is not a stand-alone initiative, but a continuous journey to adapt to the digital new normal of the dynamic business world.

A business ecosystem, just like the natural ecosystem, is hyperconnected and interdependent. You have to scale up and dig underneath for exploring a full-fledged digitalization. To effectively respond to the digital dynamics, it is evolutionary to shift from inside-out traditional linear management discipline to outside-in, people-centric nonlinear management practices, focus on problem-solving, create business synergy, and strengthen the weakest links to enforce organizational hyperconnectivity.

Strengthen communication link: Digital communication is no longer the top-down one-way street to deliver “command and control” style management practices. However, in many of those traditional organizations, typically, one level of leadership communicates with the next level and so on, the message is somewhat diluted by the time it reaches the employee responsible for doing their job. No wonder there are “lost in translation” syndromes in cross-functional conversations, and there are all sorts of miscommunication at the different level of the organization, which diminish the business effectiveness and decrease employee productivity. Most of the organizations today are process and control driven, those processes become inflexible or the control is too rigid due to the increasing pace of changes and continuous digital disruptions. To strengthen communication link, it should categorize what kind of communication bottlenecks existing and which communication gaps should be closed. There are both “hard” communication barriers such as out of dated procedure or practices, inefficient processes, and “soft” communication pitfalls such as internal politics, bureaucracy, or silo, etc. With digital characteristics such as hyperconnectivity and interdependence, you can't separate things properly or you cannot predict the actual digital effect straightforwardly. To keep digital flow across the business and its ecosystem, it is important to keep communication open and creative, leverage the richness of multiple digital communication channels (technology-based communication and communication based on direct human contact) Leaders, or those who are sending the message, must have integrity, openness, and insight. They should also proactively collect feedback from staff at the different level of the organization, to ensure digital communication is the two-way street and message can flow top down or bottom up frictionlessly for making decisions timely or running the business effectively.

Strengthen IT link: Information is one of the most invaluable assets besides people, Information Management becomes the deciding factor for the long-term business success. Information Management is to connect people with the right information at the right time and location, to ensure that accurate information is accessible and shared within relevant business units. It means to break down the business silo mentality, create an information-enrich environment that encourages information flow and knowledge sharing. IT needs to be the super glue for integrating the fundamental business elements such as people, process, and technology into differentiated business competency. IT is also the backbone to run a hyperconnected and always-on digital organization. To strength IT link, IT leaders need to work with other business executives to co- make strategic decisions and provide the pieces of advice for the business to innovate. Identify business opportunities as well as potential risks brought by the latest digital technologies or overwhelming information, along with re-framing of in-place processes that filter and fund investments, with the goal to run an IT-savvy digital powerhouse.

Strength employee/customer experience: People-centricity is the core of digitalization. The total Employee/Customer Experience is typically comprised of a complex set or series of interrelated processes or steps. It represents the KEY "sensing" processes of an organization, a vehicle for "sensing" the external customer environment and "sensing" the internal employee environment. Focusing on Employee Experience in the work helps digital leaders orient their thinking and ensure they can develop the strategy that is integrated across the employee lifecycle and have the right impact on employees, so people are engaged both rationally (systems and processes) and emotionally (mindsets, attitudes, and behaviors). Externally, Customer Experience is being the main driver for differentiation and in the end business profitability. Ensure customers have multiple shopping channels, and their experiences are digitized and personalized to improve customer satisfaction, and to get the most value with the least effort.

Digital transformation is not a stand-alone initiative, but a continuous journey to adapt to the digital new normal of the dynamic business world. It becomes complex if things do interact, particularly in the case of "non-linear" interaction and interdependent relationship. It is imperative to enforce organizational hyperconnectivity and take a systematic approach through which all important business elements integrated and knitted into an ongoing business capability to implement the strategy, accelerate digital performance, and unleash business potential.


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