Wednesday, April 17, 2019

How to Avoid these “Mismanagement” Pitfalls

To avoid various mismanagement pitfalls, high mature digital organizations today need to be sophisticated enough to act intelligently and nimble enough to adapt to changes promptly.

The digital business dynamic is full of uncertainty, velocity, complexity, ambiguity, fierce competitions, and continuous disruptions. Digital organizations keep evolving with the increasing speed of change, the exponential growth of information and the rapid integration of business across the globe. Traditional management approaches based on command and control style and overly rigid hierarchy have some critical defects for leading organizations up to the next level of business maturity. Practicing digital management is about taking a holistic view and applying interdisciplinary management approach to planning and executing business strategy. How to avoid the following mismanagement pitfalls and make the digital paradigm shift smoothly?

Mis-communication-Misinterpretation -Mistrust: In many organizations, especially large well-established companies, miscommunication, misinterpretation or misunderstanding is prevailing and leads to conflict and malfunction. The digital business system is complex and communication is complex as well. We dialogue when we communicate. Large organizations often have different dialects, every function or division has its own focus and language. Each type of dialogue has its proper use. People have a different knowledge base and cognitive understanding to articulate things, communication also has different content, context, and style as well. Thus, communication is complicated because there are differences in goals and contexts, and these contexts can shift. Communication gaps are often caused by cognitive difference, internal politics, ambiguous process, mistrust culture or other management bottlenecks, etc. In fact, “lost in translation” is the common pitfalls of miscommunication. Without having common business understanding, misinterpretation and miscommunication further cause mistrust, dysfunctional business management, and decelerates the organizational speed. To bridge the communication gap, it’s important for management to diagnose the root cause of miscommunication by asking: Is it caused by hard barriers such as outdated processes or procedures, or soft barriers such as negative culture or poor communication skills. It’s important to leverage the updated technological tools, establish effective communication platforms, have the right people with the right expertise and communication skills to spread the right message across the organization for building trust and accelerating business speed.

Misinformation-Misjudgment: Information does not live alone but permeates into everywhere in the businesses. There are some important bits and bytes of information needed to forecast a new market, an emerging technology trend, or business growth opportunities. Information becomes one of the most invaluable business assets, but it could also turn to be one of the biggest pitfalls for business management if it is not handled properly or interpreted accurately. When you intend to understand, interpret and judge something, you need to form a critical opinion of it based on facts, discerned data, common understanding, and clarified notions. This is particularly critical for top business leaders and management. Information precision directly impacts decision effectiveness and strategy management success rate. If information is unavailable, inaccurate, lost, stolen, or compromised, it will hinder the achievement of business goals and even misled the business in the wrong direction. Therefore, information management effectiveness directly impacts the maturity level of the entire business. Information Management lifecycle is the overall business process of aligning the use of information through information precision and assurance management to solve the issues and fully support the business goals either at the strategic or operational level. To avoid misinformation pitfall, it’s critical to understand and manage complexity, know how to prioritize based on the business needs, communicate extensively, focus on information adoption to ensure right people getting the right information to make right decisions for solving right problems at the right time.


Misunderstanding-Mistrust-Mismanagement: Conflict is normal in many organizations. Some top executives micromanage their employees, while many employees also mistrust their managers. There are frictions between management and staff; people and people, employees and customers, etc. For example, people all have their stereotypes. The mind can play tricks on you based on unconscious bias, conventional wisdom, or past experience. To avoid misjudgment or misunderstanding, it’s important to dig through the root cause by asking yourselves why you make those mistakes, why there is the difference, and how to realign or reorient thinking to make a sound judgment. People mistrust what they don’t understand. In today’s digital world, logic is often nonlinear and multidimensional. If you still leverage linear thinking to understand the nonlinear digital dynamic, mismanagement is inevitable. True best of breed organizations should come up with actionable insights and recommended actions for management to look at and then, make the informed decisions. A good leader relies on the skills and intelligence of the staff they lead so that they can focus on the bigger picture, develop a strong strategy and apply holistic digital management discipline to build the competitive advantage for their businesses. Anything else could be considered mistrust or micromanagement and/or limit staff empowerment and growth.

To avoid various mismanagement pitfalls, high mature digital organizations today need to be sophisticated enough to act intelligently and nimble enough to adapt to changes promptly. The organization has different functions, structures, layers, and systems. It is important to involve not only putting different pieces together but also blend them in such a way that the emergent whole is somehow more than the sum of its parts.

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