Monday, June 10, 2019

Leverage Systems Thinking to Understand and Enforce Digital Characteristics

The Systems Thinking master can integrate Systems Thinking so thoroughly that they see themselves as being already integrally in flow within the rest of the dynamics of the general system.

The hyperconnectivity nature of digital organization breaks down the functional, geographical, or even organizational border. The businesses today become much more nonlinear, interconnected, and interdependent than ever. Systems Thinking has been emerged as a type of digital thinking to deal with unprecedented complexity and uncertainty, understand and enforce digital characteristics. In essence, Systems Thinking is nothing more than the good combination of analytic and synthetic thinking, understand the interrelationship between parts and the whole and see the trees without missing the forest.

Interdisciplinarity: The digital dynamic is full of uncertainty, velocity, complexity, ambiguity, fierce competitions, and continuous disruptions. Applying interdisciplinary digital management to gain an understanding of nonlinearity and dynamic business ecosystem could be at the tipping point for the digital paradigm shift. The linear business system perception needs to be replaced by the adaptive digital system viewpoint; the interdisciplinary business insight deepens the holistic business understanding and helps to dig into the root causes of problems. The companies today move so fast, marketing, finance, technology, talent, and leadership are all intertwined. It is hardly possible to work out a strategy without utilizing your knowledge and experience in competitive assessment. Systems Thinkers sees the essential interconnected and interdependent components of a viable business strategy and helps to co-create the desirable consequences through interdisciplinary analysis and synthesis. The business management, especially at the senior management level needs to gain the contextual understanding of the interconnectivity of both visible and invisible business success factors, apply interdisciplinary approaches to planning, enforce inter-organizational linkage, and take step-wise actions to improve digital management maturity. It is also critical to apply System Thinking to gain an in-depth knowledge of the interdependence of the problems, and follow systems principles for solving them in a structural way under volatile, uncertain and ambiguous circumstances.

Inclusiveness: Fundamentally, running a business is iterative decision-making and problem-solving continuum. It’s critical to avoid the trap of the misjudgment by thinking systematically and profoundly. Learn how to shape an objective view without the cognitive distortion that results from systemic ignorance or neglect of the cognitive layer of the whole. From the business culture perspective, Systems Thinking advocates inclusiveness; and inclusiveness enforces Systems Thinking. Inclusiveness is the linchpin of digital innovation which can be created by bringing together diverse groups of people whose mindsets, experiences, preferences, skills, and capabilities that are complementary to one another. Orient people and make them aware of the inclusiveness of their organization or team, help them understand the value of harnessing the cognitive difference and learn how to embrace the diverse viewpoints and shape an objective view. Don't judge anything until you can engage with the knowledge flow, then look more closely at the mechanisms that are creating the knowledge flow. You have to really dig beneath the superficial layer, get to the heart of the matter; unfold systemic relationships, tell stories to others, solicit their feedback, to avoid falling into linear thought traps or only listening to one side of the story. The business leaders must work with the right mindset to create an inclusive organization with every dip in the business lifecycle and build a highly innovative digital organization.

Versatility: Today’s digital business environment is dynamic, complex and uncertain. There are always some business players starting with different resources and competitive position. And there are always different complexities at a different time/dimensions. Going digital is not a single dimensional technological expansion, but a transformational leadership journey with multifaceted management discipline. Either individually or collectively, you need to be versatile and talented for adapting to changes, be informative to act, be flexible to take alternative paths, be nimble to adapt, be intelligent to decide and be innovative to generate fresh ideas in order to survive and thrive in today’s digital dynamic. The versatile digital leaders need to shift the old thinking (leads to a burden of support for operations) to the digital thinking whereas the true potential is in liberating new products, services, and business models. It is important that you leverage systems thinking to understand your work environment, understand what is required to be done, develop a set of core competencies, have the right resources; including the digital fit mindset, and channel your energy into doing things which can make the difference and accelerate digital transformation.

The digital organization is a living system. The Systems Thinking master can integrate Systems Thinking so thoroughly that they see themselves as being already integrally in flow within the rest of the dynamics of the general system. Digital organizations can be operated as high-performance and high mature business catalyzed by interconnectivity, diversification, versatility, and intelligence.


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