Monday, July 23, 2018

The Hybrid Digital Management Disciplines

The rate of change has accelerated, indicating that business leaders must learn how to strike a balance between managing the top prioritized business problems today and predicting the uncertain issues of tomorrow.

The digital paradigm has many dimensions, it is like to solve a jigsaw puzzle with thousands of pieces, easy to get lost when trying to capture the big picture. Digital transformation is the journey for solving problems caused by "conflict," "out of balance," and “lack of logic.” It has to expand into every dimension of the organization with a structural approach. Thus, digital management is a hybrid and holistic discipline with mixed management styles for managing everything that is necessary to get people to adopt new ways of working such as cross-functional communication and collaboration, organizational structure design, change management, talent development, digital business readiness, and stakeholder management, etc.

Take a balanced management discipline: Digital organizations today have the hybrid reality with both physical buildings and virtual platform, the old way and the new way to do things. While information and technology provide the new frontier for work systems, there are also challenges with issues of human “connectivity.” Therefore, the business management needs to have a harmonized vision of digital management philosophy, capabilities, structure, and maturity in running a digital organization. There are multiple management disciplines need to be managed effectively, such as innovation and standardization; transformation and transaction; simplicity and complexity, etc. Striking the right balance is important in regards to make a strategic decision that delivers the real sustainable competitive advantage of the organization. It is also important to understand that dynamic business development is multifaceted; first, gain the necessary knowledge to understand and manage a holistic digital ecosystem; secondly, understand how the people factor affects the business system, and then manage the complex system and the people of the system. From the digital innovation perspective, breaking the outdated rules is important to encourage change and inspire innovation. On the other hand, innovation needs an effective framework to stay focus. The right tension between innovation and standardization is healthy because organizations need to scale up innovation effort and improve innovation success rate. From the business management perspective, simplicity and complexity are duel forces of running a high-performance digital business. Either individually or collectively, all intelligent beings are complex at the certain level, the point is how to eliminate unnecessary complexity or complication, but enforce desired complexity, to make things elegant, fine-tune the organizational structure to become more flexible and nimble.

Leverage the hybrid organizational structure and process management: Business System always has a certain structure, if you look at business in a different way and think in terms of systems rather than processes, systems must have some sort of structured way of working processes in order to survive. Digital organizations are like the living system which has a dynamic nature and hybrid structure, with significant growth potential. Either within the system or between the systems, there are certain levels of structure exist, otherwise, the interactions between systems become chaotic and the system will start to break down. Traditional organizational management often causes bureaucracy which is criticized for its inflexibility, inefficiency, silo, stagnation, unresponsiveness, or lack of innovation. Creative and knowledge workers demand broader flexibility to be creative and to problem-solving. The digital computing technology enables the seamless collaboration by mixing both virtual platform and physical interactions, encourage broader conversations and interactions within its business ecosystem. A hybrid organizational structure and process management can bring greater awareness of the intricacies and the systemic value of organizational systems, processes, people dynamics, technology, resource allocation, and economies of scale, etc. Digital organizations encourage autonomy and continuous improvement, the process segments may have to be defined less in terms of steps and more in terms of deliverable objectives, deliverables, and iterations. The clarity in roles, ownership of deliverables and accountability are all necessary at all times to enforce self-management and run a high-performance digital business.

Develop the hybrid digital solutions and practices: Running a hybrid digital organization requires the balance of “old experiences” and “new ways to do things,” with the “learning and doing” iterative continuum. As the pervasiveness of an organization’s digitization journey increases, companies today must take the hybrid digital management practices to harness cross-functional communication and collaboration, increase business flexibility, and take all necessary actions without procrastination to improve digital responsiveness relentlessly. The classic management based on reductionistic disciplines sometimes enforce silo thinking, hierarchy, and bureaucracy. Building an evolving digital organization is to advocate the concept of “business as a whole is superior to the sum of pieces.” It’s important for digital leaders and managers today for learning to think the systemic wholeness, develop the hybrid digital solutions and practices for renewing knowledge and rejuvenating something new into the classic business management. For example, creating 360-degree view is the practice that has the necessary abilities (context-relevant requisite variety) to engage with the extended flow of change in the digital world, shape it and influence its 'trajectory' at the moment. Keep in mind, the practices that are “best” today are almost always not “best” in the future, it is important to continue developing the next practices and keep business in innovation mode for managing change effortlessly.

The rate of change has accelerated, indicating that business leaders must learn how to strike a balance between managing the top prioritized business problems today and predicting the uncertain issues of tomorrow. It is critical to apply hybrid management disciplines which can break through the industrial constraints and limitations, strike the right balance of old and new, and in pursuit of possibilities rather than impossibilities, to drive changes and accelerate digital transformation.


Post a Comment