Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Digital Playbook vs. Cookbook: What’s your Hand Book to Make a Leap of Digital Transformation

Digital transformation takes a holistic management discipline which is fundamentally an iterative cycle to design, build, scale, and optimize business competency.

The purpose of going digital is to make a significant difference in achieving high performance and unlocking the full potential of the business. It is a long journey full of uncertainty, velocity, complexity, and ambiguity. Generally speaking, transformation leaders have two jobs - to play their functional management role well and to be accountable for leading the cross-functional initiatives that drive business transformation. Digital playbook vs. cookbook: what’s your hand book to make a seamless digital transformation?

The digital playbook envisions the future and highlights the transformative changes; the cookbook instructs transactional activities: To navigate through the large scale digital transformation, it’s important for companies to craft their own version of digital playbook to focus on doing more with innovation and manage radical changes in a structural way. The playbook usually articulates the digital strategy and perhaps introduces a framework approach with a set of digital principles, methodologies and a holistic management discipline. "Being transformational" means redesigning existing transactions to something new with a strategy that serves the organization well. A supplementary cookbook provides detailed instructions of new types of transactions to improve productivity.

A digital playbook inspires changes and provides a nonlinear perspective of business interconnectivity, interrelationship, interaction, and innovation, as well as how to develop the differentiated business competencies to focus on the high horizon and elevate the business up to the next level of maturity; while a business cookbook offers linear step-by-step manual to follow for tuning the enterprise machine and ensuring it keeps spinning and improves business efficiency.

The digital playbook sets the updated principles and makes good policies with clarity; the business cookbook articulates operating rules and procedures comprehensively: The transformative leaders have to set fair principles, or if necessary, rewrite the rules for guiding radical changes, generating and implementing novel ideas. Thus, they should craft their own playbook with well-defined digital rules to guide through the journey of going digital. The digital rules are not some out-of-date cliche, complex theories, or overly rigid processes, they are strategic guidelines and policies to shape digital mindsets behind actions, encourage autonomy and innovation. At the operational level, the business cook book or manual helps to describe standard operating procedures to take transactional activities for improving workforce productivity. Either led by the guidelines from the playbook or following the procedure on the cookbook, it’s about people being willing to be held accountable, following the good rules for their own benefit, making the workplace more productive and safer to improve bottom line, and developing an innovative and inspiring workforce to expand their horizon.

The digital playbook suggests the well-designed next practices to experiment with; while the business cookbook describes and shares the industry best practice: Technologies and markets are constantly morphing under pressure from the waves of creative destruction, the practices that are "best" today are almost always not "best" in the future. One size doesn't fit all. and for each forward-thinking company attempting to deal with the large scale of changes, there is a different path to follow and they should develop their own set of tailored next practices by leveraging effective tools or methodologies and apply them wisely with the expertise to really add value or build competencies. Besides setting principles to follow, a well-crafted digital playbook helps to identify patterns, shares lessons learned, suggests a set of next practices to experiment with, scale up, develop unique competencies, and amplify change effect. As far as for improving business efficiency, the business cookbook perhaps list some standardized industrial practices to follow. The real challenge is to understand where and how you can and should improve to get the biggest effect, strike the right balance of innovation and standardization, and drive a smooth business transformation with accelerated speed.

Digital transformation takes a holistic management discipline which is fundamentally an iterative cycle to design, build, scale, and optimize business competency and achieve the desired business results under specified performance standards and conditions. Develop your own version of handbooks, apply them accordingly to manage a seamless digital transformation and elevate the business up to the next level of business maturity.


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