Friday, July 12, 2019

Three Transitions to Run a High Mature, Self-Autonomous Organization

High level of autonomy is the symbol of digital maturity.

Unpredictability, uncertainty, and the probability of surprising emergent properties bring both unprecedented opportunities and risks to organizations across industrial sectors today. There is no doubt that the business leaders today face a huge survival pressure to make some necessary transition from running a mechanical business spinning around to operate a high mature, self-autonomous digital organizations which can self-discover, self-adaptive, self-organize and self-renew.

From reactive to proactive: Many traditional organizations still run in the reactive mode, lag behind the change curve. But driving change is not a passive activity, organizations need to set the priority right, look forward and proactively position the business in the right place to take full advantage of opportunities, optimize organizational processes, recharge business energy and proactively solve emerging business problems at either strategic or operational level. Keep in mind though, being proactive can sometimes means turning into "changing for change’s sake.” Also, the proactive attitude in trying new things shall not get confused with spontaneity or do things without a plan. With overwhelming growth of information, any important decision needs to be made in a deliberate, informed manner. What enables a self-adaptive organism is an information-driven process feeding and sustaining it. The business leaders need to make effective decisions in a timely manner, be optimistically cautious, proactively lead change by taking calculated risks in gaining business competitive advantage. Today’s digital workforce has to continue learning and keep updating their skills and build their professional competency to proactively adapt to changes, really intrinsically motivated and courageous enough to achieve strategic business goals with accelerated speed.

From ad-hoc to systematic: Traditional management is based on the overly rigid business processes and organizational hierarchy which cause bureaucratic management redundancy and runs in silo. Silos introduce lots of delays, ad hoc, waste, queues, and bottlenecks. Therefore, to run a high mature digital organization, Systems Thinking is important for the management to look at each function in the enterprise as a system, understand the interconnectivity between parts and the whole, and then,  find a unified means of looking at the essence. It also helps the management understand the variety of business relationship, optimize management processes to reduce tensions, friction, and conflict that arise; enforce the interrelational communication and cross-functional collaboration. Digital management processes are dynamic, robust and anti-fragile to keep businesses flow and ensure the system as a whole is more than the sum of its parts. It involves the multidimensional analysis and multistage processes. By practicing systems thinking, The high mature digital organization can bring a greater awareness of intricacies, and systematic understanding of people dynamics, resource alignment, and technological impact.

From command-control to self-management: Many traditional organizations are still managed with restricted top down, command and control style of management which assumes things can always be controlled and people need to be pushed over for getting things done. However, with an unprecedented level of high velocity and uncertainty, organizations need to cultivate a climate that is conducive to growth rather than using catch-phrases that make things look good, but causing disconnectivity and incoherence within the organization. To bring order into the world of complexity means truly pushing harder and pulling resource together and make the business information-savvy and digital ready. The digital leader’s role is to empower their people to reach their full potential by building a work atmosphere to encourage creativity, autonomy, and mastery. You know the team will deliver the best outcome and give them the freedom to do it on their way. The high degree of the team’s or the organizational self-management capability reflects its maturity to be disciplined to do the work well in a dynamic and highly innovative environment. Typically accountability, passion for work, and attention to significant details with an eye on the big picture are common desired outcomes.

High level of autonomy is the symbol of digital maturity by streamlining the digital flow from top-down to bottom-up; from branding on the surface to tuning the processes underneath, and from controlling to enabling to empowering. There are many transitions on the way in order to run a high mature and autonomous organization for improving the organizational efficiency, effectiveness, performance, responsiveness, flexibility, and maturity.


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