Thursday, November 8, 2018

Running Digital Organization by Following Dynamism, Holism, and Taoism as Principles

The high mature digital organizations are highly conscious about what’s happening in their environment, take a holistic understanding of relationships between parts and the whole.

With hyperconnectivity and interdependence as the digital characteristics, digital leaders today need to determine what the future needs to look like, what the digitalization must look like, and how they can navigate through digital new normal and thrive in the exponential digital era. The high mature digital organization should be complex enough to act intelligently and nimble enough to adapt to changes promptly. Digital management is responsible for designing, enabling, and enforcing a collaborative, innovative, intelligent, inspiring and inclusive workforce and running a high-performance digital organization by following dynamism, holism, and Taoism as principles.

Dynamism: Dynamism consists in being able to break away from being static, and becoming proactive to changes. The digital organization as a complex adaptive system is nothing more than a “switch” in the network lattice of the digital ecosystem. Unlike the closed mechanic system, it spontaneously self-organizes, generates patterns, structures, business activities, and above all, create novelty over time. Moreover, these changes do not happen in isolation from each other in a predictable way, they usually happen unpredictably or unrepetitively. Either for individuals or the businesses, if you stick and restrict, you cannot be dynamic. Dynamic digital organizations have to be solid enough to keep the business running but fluid enough to enable information and ideas flowing within the expanded digital ecosystem at the accelerating speed. The high mature digital organizations that can strike the delicate balance of solid and fluid have a flexible structure, with self-adaptation, openness, and resilience. Running a successful dynamic digital organization means that you have to be open to changes, be informative to act; be flexible to take an alternative path, be innovative to thrive, be elastic to scale and be resilient to recover.

Holism: The word "holism" refers to something that transcends an adding or combination of thinking ways, to understand things as the whole, with interconnected parts and interdependent relationships. Digitalization is full of uncertainty, velocity, complexity, and ambiguity, organizations today are at the crossroads where the segregation or silo of business units are at a need to reach across the aisles and respectively work with each other, break down silos to work cross boxes instead within the box. Running a business is fundamentally a problem-solving continuum. Behind every problem is a relationship dynamic out of alignment, the digital ecosystem is complex and volatile, it's important to leverage holistic and systems thinking to understand the variety of business relationship and manage business systematically. In order to succeed in today’s fast-changing business world, harnessing the power of ecosystems is critical. The digital paradigm has many dimensions, you have to gain an interdisciplinary understanding of the business via different lenses. It’s easy to get lost without holistic thinking. It is important to involve not only putting all pieces together but also blending them in such a way that the emergent whole is somehow more than the sum of its parts. You can't expect an individual to fully develop such broad-based concepts, it takes the team effort, and more importantly, team coordination.

Taoism: "The softest things in the world overcome the hardest things in the world” - Lao Tzu. The Taoism conveys a sense of harmony and nature rules. It’s important to focus on business and human nature to run a people-centric digital organization. Besides the hardcore competency and mental toughness, digital leaders need to have a sense of soft touch for leading by influence, not by brute force. They should shift their management style from “command and control” to persuasiveness and advising. It is also important to foster an environment where feedback and communication are based on reality and not simply what senior management wants to hear. Respect your audience's cognitive diversity, and try to send the message which appeals to them. From a business management perspective, simplicity should become the rule of communication and innovation." There are always constraints, so simplicity implies to build as little as possible. Taoism focuses on nature and authenticity. “To see things in the seed, that is genius.” - Lao Tzu Either individually or collectively at the business level, because none of us are stagnant, we need to continually discover “who we are,” and “who” we want to be or which images our companies should build based on the business strength. With ever-changing business dynamic, digital leaders need to follow Taoism principle, run digital business as the living thing; observe, perceive, and pay more attention to the myriad of internal, external, national or global forces that define and influence the way we do businesses these days in order to unleash the business potential and shape a clear vision and a sustainable future of the business.

The high mature digital organizations are highly conscious about what’s happening in their environment, take a holistic understanding of relationships between parts and the whole, follow Taoism principle to understand human and business nature, craft the ability to adapt to change timely, grasp opportunities and prevent risks effectively. Making continuous adaptability is necessary in an ever-changing world, in order to run a future-driven dynamic digital organization.


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