Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Gaining Insightful Understanding of Digital Characteristics

In today's global economy, that will need a new model of leadership in which openness, innovation, flexibility, transparency, science, and connectivity become necessary features.

The digital organization is a complex ecosystem with the blurring line between functions, organizations, and geographic locations. The forward-looking view of the organization is to determine what the future needs to look like, what the digitalization must look like, and how digital leaders can navigate digital new normal and thrive in the exponential digital era. How insightful digital leaders understand the digital characteristics and how skillful digital leaders swim in the rough sea of information will decide their leadership effectiveness and maturity.

Uncertainty and unpredictability: Digitalization means rapid change, with an unprecedented level of uncertainty, unrepeatability, and unpredictability. Uncertainty is essentially a lack or void in the current knowledge base. We cannot predict anything beforehand but can imagine with many experiences involved in current or in the past. There's nothing to be done about uncontrollable situation although a good plan can identify the external factors, and the good process can enable a company to work around the externals. Thus, leadership plays an important role in dealing with uncertainty. If you can plan beyond the first point of uncertainty in a project, if you cannot see past that point, but admit to this helps to reduce the risk of uncertainty. It’s also important for the leadership team to mitigate the impact of uncertainty or risk by enabling a team to encounter uncertainty and deal with them strategically and systematically. The approach to deal with uncertainty and unpredictability also include planning in a short time and take incremental effort, allowing the acquisition of new information along the way. In the past, many business leaders believed their organizations’ long-term goals could wait until they had dealt with the current crisis. In the current business environment, this is no longer the case. Business leaders couldn’t predict the future with a certain degree of accuracy, but the rate of change has accelerated, indicating that business leaders must learn how to strike a balance between managing complex issues today and predicting the uncertain issues of tomorrow.

Interdisciplinarity & nonlinearity: The hyperconnectivity nature of digital breaks down the functional, geographical, or even organizational border, businesses today become much more nonlinear, interconnected and interdependent than ever. Human society gets more and more complex, the very natural attempt of humans to take the very powerful techniques of mathematics, such as techniques of linear mathematics or logic and apply it to the world very quickly come up against insurmountable difficulties for managing today's dynamic digital business. Applying interdisciplinary management to gain an understanding of nonlinearity as the very characteristic of the digital organization and business ecosystem could be at the tipping point for the digital paradigm shift. It means that the radical shift from a silo and linear classic management style to holistic and nonlinear management discipline. There are two important things that will be important in interdisciplinary management. First, it is gaining the knowledge necessary to understand and manage holistic digital ecosystems. Secondly, it is to understand how the people factor affects the business system, and then managing the complex system and the people of the complex system. The digital organization as a whole has to function more holistically and coherently in order to achieve high-performance business results.

Ambiguity and risk: Imagine the complexity that comes in due to the characteristics such as, less structure, fewer rules and regulations, diversification, ambiguity, unpredictability, lack of linearity and increased flux. Ambiguity is the dissonance between ideas, and it’s the haziness of reality, the potential for misreads, the mixed meanings of conditions, or cause-and-effect confusion. Ambiguity can be understood as being similar to business ‘risk,’ a term used to describe a circumstance in which an investment is made, but the outcome is uncertain. The value of managing ambiguity and risk could be in better management decisions, improved operations, greater resilience, improved reputation, as well as increased confidence in management, etc. So programs carried out in the field should be able to achieve highly tangible benefit. Leadership, strategic planning, and process play a role in reducing risk and dealing with ambiguity. It also requires cross-functional collaboration and interdisciplinary knowledge sharing to overcome the challenge.

Everything is interconnected and the business ecosystem becomes more interdependent and dynamic than ever. The exponential growth of information and the increasing pace of changes also create characteristics such as uncertainty, volatility, complexity, unpredictability, and ambiguity. In today's global economy, that will need a new model of leadership in which openness, innovation, flexibility, transparency, science, and connectivity become necessary features. To thrive in the exponential digital era, digital leaders must see possibilities before others, and they can also tackle great challenges with grand consequences over long time spans.


Post a Comment