Saturday, November 10, 2018

Three Practices to Drive Digital Transformation

Companies need to have a very clear vision and understanding of why they exist and the value they bring to customers and the very reason for digital transformation.

Digitalization implies the full-scale changes in the way the business is conducted and expand business transformation to multiple directions. There is no one size fits all formula to pursue it. Understanding that digital business development is multifaceted. It has to permeate into business vision, strategy, functions, communication, processes, and culture. etc. It is the transformation that is reshaping our thinking and recasting the way we view ourselves, the systems of which we are the part of the environments in which we live, and the way we think, work and solve problems. Here are three practices to adapt to the new normal of the business world, make change proactively and drive digitalization effortlessly.

Pause to reflect: Either at the individual or organizational level, to create a positive change tomorrow, you need to start today understanding self. Not knowing yourselves as best as you can, how can you do any change and aim for a large scale of digital transformation? To put simply, self-awareness helps you build on your strengths and improve on your weaknesses. It provides clarity, versatility, gives you directional opportunities for growth. Either for digital leaders or professionals today, when problems arise, it’s usually best to pause and reflect before reacting. When pausing, you are giving your brain time to move beyond the initial emotional reaction and apply some analytical thinking and deep contemplation of the issue, walk through the situation comprehensively, understand the people working with you as well as the people receiving the "solution," understand expectations from each group involved, understand motivation drivers, understand how everyone is integrated into the solution. Thus, all important factors are well aligned to shape a premium business solution. From a people management perspective, encourage people to reflect, focus on who they are, and help people become who they want to be by pursuing purpose, discovery, autonomy, and mastery, Set aside time daily, weekly or monthly and truly take a step back to reflect. Better understand yourself and how knowing who you are and your own style of influence affect how you respond and interact with not only your team but also your surroundings.

Loose to innovate: Today’s organization is the mixed bag of old and new, order and chaos. Organizations, like individuals, need to be in flow to communicate fluently and change frictionlessly. Command & control management style, overly rigid hierarchy, static or negative culture, silo processes, and systems, and unchanging people become the very obstacle to stop the digital flow and stifle innovation. From an innovation management perspective, you have to give up some control, focus on coaching, persuasion, and making a tradeoff. Traditional hierarchical lines will phase out, digital organizations have a loose structure, leverage institutional platforms across the digital ecosystem for evolving customers, business partners, and building long-term relationships to foster innovation. The hybrid structure implemented through a virtual team setting well mixing with the physical structure allows the right mentality and innovative culture to bloom. The digital ecosystem expands when the digital business territories blur and the business communities broaden their scope and consume all sorts of resources. Digital businesses need to renew themselves periodically to cope with changes effectively and have a fluid structure that responds to emerging events promptly and innovate relentlessly.

Leverage to scale: Digitalization has to move forward from experimenting to exploring to expanding. To scale up, organizations must leverage systems thinking for strategic planning to broaden their ecosystems and revenue streams which turn to be more responsive and flexible. Leveraging system understanding for tuning digital organization is about understanding the interconnectivity between the things, being able to identify the early signs of a dysfunctional system, such as the limitations of the systems to adapt or outdated processes or functions, etc. What is powerful about Systems Thinking is that it’s concerned with wholes changes of the scope, thereby engendering new action systems as part of the process of creating understanding. To scale up and amplify the digital effect, you have to transform the company’s underlying functions and integrate all important business elements such as people, process, technology, and culture into cohesive business competency. Converting from the mechanistic paradigm to the systems paradigm requires starting with a new system oriented beliefs and thought processes. Systems Thinking is the tool to bring balance and flexibility across the spectrum of local and specific to global and holistic. Look for providing business solutions which will directly benefit the external end customers and improve business competency. The challenge for digital business management is to understand where and how you can improve to scale for getting the biggest effect on either improving business performance or unleashing its potential.

Digitalization turns to be the very fabric of high performing business. First, companies need to have a very clear vision and understanding of why they exist and the value they bring to customers and the very reason for digital transformation. Digital maturity matters, organizations need to develop their own best and next practices, tailor their own circumstances for leading changes and driving digitalization.


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