Friday, November 2, 2018

Three "Unlocking" Efforts to Boost Digital Synergy

It is important to understand that digital business development is multifaceted and it takes the “unlocking” effort to boost energy and enable organizations' thriving.

The digital organization is a complex ecosystem with the blurring line between functions, organizations, and geographic locations. The combination of ever more rapid technology evolution, exponential information growth, and the multi-generational workforce will have more influence over businesses and society. Digitalization is the broader and longer journey with many learning curves and hidden pitfalls. Here are three “unlocking” efforts to help organizations boost business synergy and accelerate digital transformation.

Unlock digital mindset to embrace “VUCA” new normal: If in the considerably static industrial age, linear thinking & analysis dominate the classic management discipline, and then with the exponential growth of information and frequent disruptions in the digital era, digital leaders and professionals must unlock their digital mindset by making deep observations, nonlinear connections and empathetic understanding, etc. The matter of fact is that cognitive gaps will cause blind spots for either defining the real problem or solving it, and they further enlarge decision making and the problem-solving gaps. Nowadays, with increasing speed of changes, fast-growing information, and abundance of knowledge, the content in that little thinking box can easily get stale and out of touch. The important things to do for unlocking digital mindset is the willingness and ability to seek out new knowledge, address our ignorance and the assumptions we make to minimize them, make a discernment based on multidimensional understanding. There is no doubt we are moving from a static and linear business world to a dynamic and hyper-connected digital era, the digital convenience brought by advanced technologies directly impacts how we think, live, work, and do things. From applying linear logical thinking to practicing Systems Thinking is evolutionary at the cognitive level, to ensure people understand the interrelationship between parts and the whole, be aware of how changes to any part of that system impact the other parts of the system and the whole. It’s also important to apply holistic thinking for understanding the interdependent digital business ecosystem with “VUCA” characteristics and deal with emergent issues wisely to run a highly responsive digital organization.

Unlock creativity and innovation opportunities with experimenting and trend forecasting: Digitalization lifts the business and the world to the next level of innovation era. Innovation is the mechanism through which you grow and evolve something to something better or something new. Running a future-driven digital organization is an adventure to experiment innovation and explore the concept of a business model by addressing some core questions such as: Who are your target customers? What need is met for the customer? What offers will you provide to address that need? What is your business strength and how well can you leverage the emerging technology and trends? Which role will your business play in providing the offering? Etc. With the emerging digital technology trends and abundant information, the new business model can be discovered if organizations can ride the learning curve and explore the art of possibility. Innovation often has a lot to do with external circumstances, such as the macroeconomic environment or technology trend. But just because innovation is greatly influenced by external circumstances doesn't mean the innovation system of the organization is or should be unstructured. Without innovative leadership, creativity is sporadic rather than integrated into the thinking and activities of the organization. Unlocking innovation actually means how to manage innovation as a systematic process to improve its success rate. To start the next cycle of digital innovation management, businesses just have to learn from experimenting, amplify the best practices, cultivate innovative climate, and improve the overall innovation management effectiveness.

Unlock performance and potential for lifting the business to the next level of the growth cycle: Re-imaging the future of business is exciting, but unlocking performance for business today and unleashing the potential for the future of business takes both bold leadership and strategic planning. Investigating the different path for unleashing business potential needs to take a systematic approach and develop it into a more solid form. Performance is mostly a mix of past and present, and potential relates to the innate and developed capability. The business needs to unlock both by discovering its strength and building its differentiated competency based on the well-balanced digital capability portfolio. The emergent digital technologies are lightweight and powerful to help businesses explore new possibilities and build the competency to perform in the future so that the organization does not only 'earn enough from today,' but 'thrive in the future,' because that’s what really matters from the longer term perspective. It is important to streamline performance management scenario by simplifying systems, processes, objectives, share ownership, and follow with collective team’s or organization’s achievements that each one of individuals cannot achieve on their own. A robust performance management system needs to be designed with end users in mind, output driven, create synergy and optimize overall organizational maturity.

It is important to understand that digital business development is multifaceted and it takes the “unlocking” effort to boost energy and enable organizations thriving. There is no magic formula, businesses that find themselves setting new and radically different trajectories are facing daunting tasks of navigating largely uncharted territories, diving into the digital new normal, and strike the right balance for making the paradigm shift.


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