Sunday, November 4, 2018

Build Digital Multiplier to Improve Business Fluidity

Forward-looking organizations experiment with different management approaches, business structure design, and problem-solving disciplines to build digital multiplier and improve business fluidity. 

When jumping into the “VUCA” digital new normal –volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity, organizations that do not respond to external environmental changes timely will quickly outcompete as more nimble and adaptable companies catch up the digital trend and run at a faster speed. Organizations need to be in flow for communicating fluently and operating smoothly. Business leaders should envision where the future will be for the business in order to adapt to changes timely. It’s important to identify core business competencies, break down silos or overly rigid hierarchy, and build digital multipliers to improve business fluidity.

Create multiple pathways for communication flow: Digital platforms enabled by emerging technologies, efficient apps, and tools, break down functional silos, business hierarchy, and geographical border, allow people across the business ecosystem to share knowledge and work collaboratively for solving problems, overcoming common challenges, and emphasizing on communication, participation, relationship building. The ultimate goal of fine-tuning organizational structure and running a fluid digital organization is to get the mass collaboration and create business synergy through less hierarchy, cross-functional communication, and highly integrated processes designed for running a hyperconnected and interdependent business. Digital adaptation is faster if made with the full involvement of people by breaking down communication barriers such as outdated processes, procedures, practices, or soft elements such as culture, politics or bureaucracy, leveraging feedback mechanisms, and creating multiple pathways for enforcing communication effectiveness and impact. The strategic communication initiated by top digital leaders are not the top-down one-way street, it should embrace creativity, context, cascade, tailor varying business audience, in order to close understanding gaps and achieve digital synchronization. Great communicators are working to spread their messages throughout the organization in a diverse set of activities with mixed communication styles and contextual intelligence, to keep communication flow with clarity and verification. Communication effectiveness is the prerequisite condition to improve digital flow and improve organizational maturity.

Build an information hub to keep information flow and infuse organizations with abundant information: Information brings about business ideas; business ideas generate lots of information. Information does not live alone but permeates to everywhere in the businesses. Thus, the value of information is not isolated. In fact, in this information-abundant digital age, there isn't really much of an enterprise without the massive oceans of information that flow through the enterprise at any given split second. The highly effective digital organization has a higher level of responsiveness because information can flow to the right people to allow them making the right decisions at the right time to bring better results and improve business fluidity. Information comes from the analysis of that data, technology allows for capture, manipulation, and presentation of information. In reality, many organizations still feel overwhelmed by the exponential growth of information. Potential information value all depends on how information will be used in the future and this is often exceptionally uncertain. More attention needs to be placed on the conditions that allow information to flow and generate value rather than try to manage or control information. Therefore, it’s important to build an information hub for keeping information flow; first, identify how information is associated with the valued tangibles of your business, your products, and resources; and then, explore new business opportunities and prevent risks by refined information and captured insight. In this regard, Information & Technology become the digital multiplier to improve business fluidity.

Develop innovation clusters to expedite idea flow and sharing: The digital workforce today is hyper-connected and diverse in many ways, share a natural affinity for new perspectives, fresh ideas, and collective insight. The digital era upon us is the age of innovation. Ideas are seeds of creativity that can change a certain situation and future. There is more flow of creative ideas, the more is happening, the innovation pie gets bigger. From an idea management perspective, innovation managers need to ask themselves and others: Do your team or organization share ideas smoothly? Do you understand each other? Do you even pay attention to ideas from others? Do you find the time to listen to others? Can you outline your ideas in a way that others can follow? Etc. Digital hyper-connectivity can foster innovation through broader scope collaboration and create synergy for achieving innovation success. However, streamlining idea flow is not an easy task. It’s important to connect key assets and resources in their context and vicinity digitally to the resource-rich innovation clusters across the hyperconnected business ecosystem to enable idea flow and create synergy for idea management. These innovation clusters are the digital multiplier to improve business fluidity. From innovation management perspective, it’s important to accelerate idea validation and streamline innovation process to keep ideas flow and develop a prioritization process to select ideas which can have a better opportunity to implement and maximize business value.

Forward-looking organizations experiment with different management approaches, business structure design, problem-solving disciplines to enforce business communication, alignment, enablement, collaboration, and harmony. An organization can approach such a flow zone when it builds digital multipliers to improve business fluidity; people are ready for moving to a fluid structure, and digital leaders are eager to set stages to drive the frictionless, immersive, and relentless digital transformation.


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