Saturday, June 8, 2019

The Strategic Self-Renewal of Digital Organization

 Organizations need to learn how to self-adapt and self-renew, keep improving how the enterprise works and interacts with its ecosystem, with the customer at the center of its focus, and innovation as its major theme.

Digital is the new paradigm shift to deep connect the business nature of the dynamic ecosystem. The digital organization is more like a living thing which needs to keep growing and evolving. Going digital takes the strategic approach, multifaceted management disciplines, and structural procedure to drill down the critical success factors and develop differentiated business competency. Here are three perspectives of business self-renewal to make the leap of digital maturity.

Create strategic narratives: Successful strategy management is to organize a total immersion communication and dialogue program for senior and middle-level management group to get buy-in, and each department has a role to play in strategy implementation. More specifically, strategic communication includes the conversations about strategies with goal-driven conversations, laser focusing on problem-solving and keeping the end in mind. It could start with big “why,” to clarify the problems need to be fixed or the very reason for changes. Too often, discussions are held at the senior level, but do not spread to the wider audience at the different level of the organization, or get lost in translation. It might lead teams not understanding a strategy thoroughly or not buying into it. The strategic dialogs need to be concise enough to convey the key message and creative enough to connect the heterogeneous audience. Give teams a sense of ownership, invite them to challenge strategy, welcome open debates, welcome good ideas to improve the strategy. The highly effective business leaders and strategists are business multi-linguists who can overcome those communication obstacles, master diverse business dialects, create strategic narratives, and convey the right message to tailor different business audience for achieving communication effectiveness.

Keep the strategic focus: Nowadays there are so many things going on, with so many distractions or disruptions, the business has limited resources and they can’t chase all emerging opportunities or capture everything looks shining. Therefore, the toughest part of the strategy is the trade-offs, resources are scarce and limited at the best of times. Companies have to be very selective and prepared to lose some to gain more. The more you can front load and truly define the current state, the easier the digital journey moves ahead. With constant changes and unprecedented uncertainty, the challenge is to prioritize what you know about and keep an eye open for signs of things you don't know about. How to set the right priority depends on which of the business areas are most in need of improvement in the organization in question. For example, better, faster, cheaper, can you have them all? Operational excellence, product innovation or customer intimacy, which tradeoff shall you make to build differentiated business competency and develop a unique brand? Often, a company cannot pursue leadership on all three simultaneously because of trade-offs in the allocation of top talent. The point is that businesses today have to make the strategic choices all the time of where and when and how they innovate, whether they do that ground up by shedding ineffectual upstarts or acquire like trees drawing sustenance from the environment in its best form.

Deal with a strategic paradox: The business and the world become even more paradoxical. The paradox is the result of two opposing truths existing side by side, which can be both right. The paradox of Strategy Management is that there is on one side pressure to strategy to be holistic and comprehensive; on the other side, there are requirements to strategy to be simple and concise. To balance such a paradox, it is resulting in the necessity to use many reference models and accelerators. It also leads to splitting of digital strategy into multiple layers with different level of information granularity in which upper layers are holistic and lower layers are comprehensive - covering all attributes needed but for selected concepts only. Dealing with strategic paradox is about how to strike the right balance of pushing and pulling, quick win and long term perspective. Traditional strategy management is often the top-down and single dimensional push; however, digital strategy is an iterative strategy-implementation continuum. The outside-in and bottom-up feedback and inclusiveness become crucial for handling the paradox of digital strategy management, prioritizing strategic goals, enforcing the effectiveness of strategy-making and implementation continuum, and enforcing strategy management effectiveness.

Digital transformation is an intense or even a stressful journey. It’s more like a sweeping approach to alter many things underneath the surface of the business, such as value, process, structure, technology, culture or behavior, etc, in order to reach the next stage of business maturity. In practice, digital leaders sometimes have to play oddball games and leverage paraconsistent logic to deal with contradictions and navigate through changes. Organizations need to learn how to self-adapt and self-renew, keep improving how the enterprise works and interacts with its ecosystem, with the customer at the center of its focus, and innovation as its major theme.


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