Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The Five Dimensional Hybrid Models for Going Digital

Taking the multidimensional hybrid models for going digital is all about how to strike the right balance of reaping quick wins and focusing on the long-term strategic goal.

The digital paradigm has many dimensions.  Digital organizations today have the hybrid reality with both physical buildings and virtual platform, the old way and the new way of doing things. It implies the “always on” and hyper-connected business nature, exhibiting digital characteristics in various shades, extensiveness, and intensity. Therefore, digital management needs to adopt a hybrid model and take the holistic discipline with mixed management styles for managing everything that is necessary to get digital ready.

Transformation/Transaction: Transaction and transformation are the two sides of digital management coin. A transaction seeks continuity, a transformation seeks opportunity. Transaction-driven operational management usually views things from a single side internally, but transformation-driven strategic management takes a holistic view of things both internally and externally. When you are looking at grasping the emerging business opportunities and creating digital options, it’s about how to develop the organizational capability to explore new business models and make the wise investment based on the breadth of the vision and the depth of understanding. It’s the ability to work across disciplines to solve complex problems by taking the systematic approach. Digital transformation takes a holistic management discipline, to leverage their various environment and business ecosystems, to expand the organization’s horizon and elevate the business up to the next level of business maturity. You need to follow a set of well-defined business principles which would guide you in decision-making, how you relate to others, with which speed you could swim in the uncharted water, with business competency enable you surviving and thriving, and how you can steer in the right direction to reach the digital vision.

Innovation/Standardization: Consider running a high mature digital business is the continuum between innovation and standardization. To differentiate themselves from competitors, the business must be innovative, it should always be open to, be conscious of, and feel empowered to practice out-of-the-box thinking and experiment with new ways to do things. Innovation needs to involve different types of mindsets, structures, and organizations should integrate all different pieces and combine all that is available to them in imaginative and advantageous ways. On the other side, to scale up, businesses need standardization to improve profitability through volume and efficiency. To have the gain in cost efficiency, you need standardization. In fact, organizations should take the hybrid model - standardization vs. innovation can actually be standardization and innovation. The “dosage” of standardization and innovation in developing new products - meeting target cost in design engineering phase is the path worth taking.

Collaboration/Competition: The dawn of the digital era does mean the unprecedented level of mass collaboration, also means fierce competition. Businesses nowadays are using digital platforms and collaboration tools to improve the business relationship, engage employees, invite stakeholders for participating in broader conversations, monitor customers’ behavior, build digital clusters or communities to brainstorm fresh ideas and enforce multi-channel communications. They connect key resources and assets in their vicinity to create collegiality. On the other side, competition is part of the natural dynamics of life, healthy competition helps to stimulate innovation or catalyze change. But sometimes the intention of competition can be bad and the competitive arena can produce a myriad of unwise mentality and negative externalities. Thus, it is important to build the digital principles and disciplines to discern the positive motivation from negative energy behind the competition. The most effective digital workplace is the hybrid environment with energy flow and all sorts of diversity. It encourages harmonized communication, cross-functional collaboration, and professional competitions.

Simplicity/Complexity: Due to the “VUCA” nature of digitalization, business complexity is unavoidable and digital disruption is inevitable. It becomes complex if things do interact, particularly in the case of "nonlinear" interaction, since you can’t predict the actual effect of those business activities. Digital complexity comes through different characteristics such as enforced rules or regulations, mixed structure, diversity, volatility, ambiguity, unpredictability, nonlinearity, and increased flux. Companies that are skilled at managing complexity can gain advantages by pushing the boundaries of a more sophisticated business mix. The fundamental of the management discipline is to simplify things. With simplicity, what we are adding is clarity and purpose. When a business becomes overly complex and people get frustrated and annoyed by not being able to accomplish things easily, this drives the search for simpler concepts and methods. The hybrid model for going digital is to pursue the journey of keeping things simple but encouraging the needed complexity as well.

Performance/Potential: Performance keeps the lights on, and potentiality leads the business up to the next level of the organizational growth. Organizations need to take a hybrid model to “run, grow and transform” their business. Managing digital performance and improving business achievement as an iterative continuum means setting metrics, adjusting plans, measuring performance and understanding results dynamically. You need to take a hybrid model for both accelerating business performance and unlocking business potential. Business potential includes the ability to perform in the future and that’s what really matters. Sometimes, you even need to leverage all tradeoffs, retreat today’s performance a step back in order to accelerate the future performance three steps ahead. Performance-based management requires that the measurement and communication of performance are an integral part of an ongoing process and not an annual, quarterly, or monthly event, align the strategic level of measures with operational level metrics and manage business performance as an iterative management continuum.

The effects of an increasingly digitalized world are now reaching into every corner of businesses and every aspect of organizations. Taking the multidimensional hybrid models for going digital is all about how to strike the right balance of reaping quick wins and focusing on the long-term strategic goals, solidifying business performance and enabling the digital flow. The ultimate goal of the business either today or future is to achieve the high-performance result and accelerate the high-level business maturity.


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