Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Three Digital Balance Practices for Leading to the Future

Balance, growth, and harmony are not fixed, they are flowing.

The digital era upon us means fast-paced changes, continuous disruptions, overwhelming information, and shortened knowledge life cycle. Organizations of the future are increasingly exhibiting digital characteristics in various shades, extensiveness, and intensity. Leading evolutionary changes and driving business growth is the never-ended journey which takes planning, methodologies, and practices. It’s important to understand that digital management is multifaceted and holistic. Balance, growth, and harmony are not fixed, they are flowing. Here are three digital balance practices for leading to the future.

Leverage insiders’ “know-how” knowledge with outliers’ fresh viewpoints to make sound judgments: Being digital is the state of dynamism, continuum, and interaction. The digital organization is a dynamic ecological system with business attributes such as hyperconnectivity, interdependence, and nonlinearity. Running a business is fundamentally an iterative change and problem-solving continuum. Digital leaders should motivate people to be well prepared, understand the learning curve, develop problem-solving competency, and truly make change happening or solve real problems effectively. To spot the real issue, diagnose the root cause, and make the sound judgment. It’s important to understand the interconnectivity between parts and the whole, leverage insiders’ “know-how” knowledge with outliers’ fresh perspective, integrate diverse viewpoints into holistic perspectives without enlarging cognitive gaps and causing too many side effects. To solve problems creatively, it’s critical to listen, comprehend and understand the people and the business they are part of, before embarking on any new way of thinking. Great ideas happen outside of the usual restraints. The outlier’s awareness brings fresh knowledge, neutralized views, and food for thoughts. In fact, many things outside of the box yesterday has become the new normal today.

Strike the right balance of breaking down outdated rules to foster innovation and develop the digital rules and processes to implement and scale up: In a fundamental view, innovation is a process and every process needs to be managed. The paradox is that all creative activities are “out-of-the-box,” to a certain degree. Setting rules and goals for creativity goes against the very nature of creativity and thus, inventiveness and innovation. Consequently, too rigid rules, will stifle creativity and thus innovation. However, being "unruly" incurs risk. you need to set the updated principles for managing the innovation and mitigating risks. Therefore, it’s important to strike the right balance of breaking down outdated concepts or rules and set digital principles and processes to frame innovation effort and improve its success rate. Unlike many other types of business initiatives, the process of planned innovation shouldn’t be too rigid, the chaos to some extent is necessary for sparking fresh ideas. It’s also important to keep optimizing innovation processes by breaking down those structural or management obstacles. Flexibility is important to make proper adjustments for improving innovation performance. An organization that has a lightweight process which allows ideas flow, get protected, channeled and nurtured will succeed more often than an organization that does not have such a process. Balance and harmony are not fixed, they are flowing.

Improve today’s performance for a quick win and unlock the business potential for building long term advantage: Either at the individual or business level, performance is mostly a mix of past and present; and potential relates to the innate capability which can be developed and catalyze the future performance. To not only survive today but also thrive for the long term, organizations need to keep one eye on today’s performance and the other eye on the future performance of the business. Many organizations have troubles of leading to the future smoothly because they spend too much time on evaluating past performance, without putting enough effort on how to accelerate future performance or maximize business potential. Sometimes they focus on improving the processes or implementation of performance management or evaluation but fail to look into the system holistically or think long term to shape the future. To put simply, performance keeps the light on smoothly, but potential perhaps leaps your organization to the next growth cycle. The potential is an investment, improving revenue and catalyzing business growth. Forward-thinking businesses should manage both balancing cycle and growth cycle smoothly by exploring the new possibility and building business competencies to perform in the future so that the organization does not only 'earn enough from today,' but 'thrive in the future.’'

Balance, growth, and harmony are not fixed, they are flowing. The ultimate goal of running a successful business is to achieve the high-performance result and accelerate high-level business maturity. The business needs to discover its unique strength and build its differentiated competencies, to make sure that the business executive team first understands their business inside-out and outside-in, and take these digital balance practices for leading to the future effortlessly.


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