Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Shaping Digital Business by Looking Back, Current, and Future

It’s important to shape a holistic view by ‘looking forward,” “looking around,” “looking behind,” and “looking beyond,” in order to run a digital business at the steadfast speed.

As changes are expedited for both individual and business, neither business nor life is linear these days. The life cycle of business today grows shorter and shorter because of continuous digital disruptions and fierce competitions. It takes truly strategic thinking and foresight to run a high-performance digital business by learning the lessons from the past, achieving operational excellence today, making long term planning and building differentiated competency for the future.

Trendsetting for making the future brighter: Nowadays, with the increasing pace of changes and unprecedented uncertainty and complexity, driving business forward is extremely difficult. The wrong direction will no doubt lead to the wrong destination. You have to look into an unknown future and attempt to define the business landscape with its risks and opportunities. Thus, digital leaders today must have a clear vision which begins with the end in mind, to navigate their organization in the right direction. The emergent trends can shape the behavior of future enterprises and some have been happening already. In a business scope, there are important bits and bytes of information needed when predicting business trends, evaluating a new market or technology, as well as smelling the business growth opportunities or potential risks. It’s important to look for something hidden, which is not always obvious, in order to make better assumptions or business forecasting. The leading organizations can look into the future clearly, proactively planning, evolving, and co-creating in the dynamic digital ecosystem. Those future-driven leaders have better sense to capture business trends, gain the business insight to understand things holistically; respect diversified viewpoints, move energy to a higher level by offering a clear vision of what is possible and trendsetting for making the future brighter.

Focusing on current critical happening: With rapid changes and frequent disruptions, there are so many things organizations need to spin well simultaneously these days. It's really tied to place and time. The most difficult topic during the digital transformation is about managing uncertainty especially when you change many things such as systems, processes, capacities, culture, and organization as the whole at the same time. Thus, it is really important to set the right priority to solve the problems making the most impact on the business strategy, as well as focus on current critical happening. One of the biggest pitfalls could be that the business management gets distracted by emerging issues or irrelevant noises or details without focusing on things really matter. It will cause digital ineffectiveness and lack of differentiated business competency for the long term. The distractions are then spread through the organization and people at the different level of the organization no longer know where the priorities are. So, organizations get stuck at the daily “busyness,” only focus on the transactional side of the business, keep the wheel spinning without going anywhere. The best way to find a balance between working on the business while doing the business, as well as between managing complex issues today and predicting the uncertain issues of tomorrow, is to optimize the business process and create a rhythm of meetings that establish clarity around the top priorities of the company.

Learning important lessons from what you’ve done in the past: As the saying’s going: History repeats itself. Some things from the past are circular and keep coming back in. We cannot predict anything beforehand but can imagine with many experiences involved in current or in the past. On the roadmap for developing the capability to successfully and perhaps continuously deliver transformational changes or innovations, there are a number of incremental opportunities based on the lesson learned from the past. Lesson learned is what you learned from what you did in given business circumstances, and that could be what you did right or what you did wrong. Business can take advantage through re-introducing the past in a new way and build the bridge to effectively connect lesson-learned from the past to the future performance and potential. What makes leaders successful is what they do after they fail at something. What gives them the chance to do something else. The point is always to learn from the failure and fail forward. A balanced approach for holistic digital management is that failures need to be analyzed, and “lesson learned,” should be applied in the future wisely.

Organizations rise and fall, not on the quantum of plans and resources, but on the capabilities to manage, lead, yet most important to execute. Thinking outside the current constraints and comfort zones requires a different vision and the courage to pursue it. It’s important to shape a holistic view by ‘looking forward,” “looking around,” “looking behind,” and “looking beyond.” The digital transformation is a long journey that requires laser focusing on the strategic goals you are pursuing now, building differentiated competencies to lead forward, applying “lessoned learned” to the future actions, and fueling with the passion to run a high-performance digital organization.


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