Sunday, December 9, 2018

How to Build a Lego-Like Digital Organization

Dynamism consists in being able to break away from being static, and becoming proactive to changes. 

Digital paradigm means hyperconnectivity, interdependence, and integration. With rapid changes and fierce competitions, organizations just have to keep evolving, ride above learning curves and uprising waves. The dynamic digital organizations need to get away from letting things fall apart and start to learn how to develop the lego-like digital organization by creating “integrated wholes,” and get digital ready with the accelerated speed.

Dynamic and collective business planning: The increasing pace of changes means uncertainty, unpredictability, and un-repetitiveness. A business plan provides direction and outlines the preferred course of action. Planning and forecasting become challenging but more critical for driving the business in the right direction. But planning fallacy is a business reality. In order to run a real-time, lego-like digital organization, planning-implementation are no longer linear steps, but an iterative business continuum. The goal of dynamic planning is to keep iterating, evolving, learning, and working on a rhythm of sustained products or services deliveries. Because with today’s business velocity and frequent digital disruptions, if planned in detail as far ahead as the end state, much planning time and effort will be wasted. The point is to figure out the “right level” of planning, make the continual attention to changes in the business and its external ecosystem environment, and understand how this affects the future of the business. Strategic planning is also not always top-down. The key is to engage the whole organization in brainstorming, collecting feedback, and understanding the direction and planning of the digital business, to build the momentum and increase the tempo of business management. From the digital management perspective, practice dynamic planning management through iterative communication, incremental goal implementation, customer-centricity, and make a necessary delegation for developing and implementing plans collaboratively and seamlessly.

Recombined digital business competencies: Business competencies which are sets of differentiated organizational capabilities enable the organization to achieve their strategy and compete in the marketplace. Capabilities are typically expressed in general and high-level terms, and they typically require a combination of people, processes, and technology to achieve. Both threshold capability and distinctive capabilities are abilities that organizations have and are closely related to competencies. It’s also important to have an in-depth understanding of what capabilities are important to develop core competency. It takes time and effort to build sophisticated organizational capabilities and core business competency. Building a lego-like digital organization is about how to craft modular digital capabilities; internal capabilities and processes are broken into modular service components that have standard open interfaces. Loose coupling makes it possible to change the component without affecting the entire system, as long as the structure and interface are kept stable. The dynamic capabilities are defined as the business’s ability to integrate, build, and reconfigure internal and external processes to address rapidly changing environments, build new capability. In today’s business dynamic, digital capabilities are fundamental building blocks in digital transformations with which companies can transform business models, operational processes, and customer experiences to reach high-level business maturity. Companies today should be able to speed up, build dynamic organizational capability or recombine existing capabilities into the new business competency for adapting to the new market dynamic.

Assembling high-innovative teams: Today’s working environment is multigenerational, multicultural, and multi-devicing, or to put simply, hyperdiverse. Building a dynamic digital workforce is to provide a creative working environment with all the necessary resources to improve productivity, creativity, and employee engagement. The friendly digital working environment like the melting pot to inspire creativity, encourage free thinking, as well as experimenting better ways to do things. More often than not, innovation is teamwork, and the different strengths and complementary skills of innovators can help to develop the collective innovation capacity of the business. Digital leaders should learn how to assemble high-innovative teams, with all sorts of talent such as idea creators, innovation translator, stabilizers, navigators, or evaluators, etc. Select for the diversity of thought, background, perspective, and personality. Select people who love the clash of ideas, love learning, love change, and love being wrong. Select for empowerment, select for curiosity and growth mindset, select for confidence & passion, and select for progress. The highly innovative team embraces 5 “I”s; Influence, Imagination, Information, Implementation, and Integration. Mutual trust, innovative leadership, and emotional maturity are all critical in developing an innovative workforce as well as building collective innovation competency and the business capacity for innovation.

The digital organization is a complex and adaptive business system. Dynamism consists in being able to break away from being static, and becoming proactive to changes. Unlike the closed mechanic system, it spontaneously self-organizes, generates patterns, structures, business activities, and above all, creates novelty over time. Building a lego-like digital organization is all about mastering dynamic planning & competency building, reinventing business but not reinventing the wheel, shape highly innovative talent and teams, and accelerate the speed of changes. The digital dynamic ecosystem explicitly seeks to create a creative environment where people can grow, innovate, and businesses focus on dynamic resources allocation, long-term and holistic perspective, scalable performance, and potential maximization.


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