Saturday, August 24, 2019

Five Pillars of Organizational Maturity

At the heart of digital, it is people and how to build a customer-centric organization. 

Today’s business world is dynamic, volatile, uncertain, and hyper-competitive. Every business is different, they are at a varying stage of its business life cycle and different level of organizational maturity. Many companies may be in business for many years but has not matured its management disciplines. But surviving and thriving in today’s business dynamic requires structural flexibility, cross-functional collaboration, inter-relational process to reduce business fricitions and deal with conflicts or disruptions that arise, to shape a people-centric organization from functioning to delight. Here are five pillars of organizational maturity. 

Leadership maturity: Many say the spirit of the organization comes from the top. Due to the speed of changes and abundance of information, leadership in itself is a constant learning process that requires leaders to have open and growth mindset, humble attitude, gain a great understanding of people and group dynamics, share insight and build experience. Due to the complexity and ever-changing business dynamic, sound judgment is a hardcore leadership competency which often does not come from “gut feeling,” but based on growth mindset, updated information, solid knowledge, and contextual understanding. High mature leadership is one of the strong pillars to build a high mature digital organization. More specifically, the maturity of digital leadership depends on a number of factors such as the purpose to lead, leadership intelligence, emotional intelligence, confidence but not arrogance, the mix of knowledge and experience, the quality of information they receive and their collective leadership ability to accelerate business performance and improve organizational maturity.

Innovation competency: Innovation is the most wanted changes, innovation competency is one of the solid pillars to build high mature digital organization and the key differentiator between the digital leader and the follower. Innovation can happen anywhere across the organization and its ecosystem. To develop the organizational level innovation competency, it’s important to build a powerful innovation navigation system that involves tapping the organization's ecosystem for capturing opportunities to innovate, develop tailored innovation principles, methodologies, practices, and manage a balanced portfolio of innovations across the matrix of different types of innovation (process, product/service, business model, etc) and different degrees of innovation (incremental, substantial, breakthrough) A leading digital organization with innovation competency can handle innovation streams for different goals and different time frames, create new value, even become a game changer, position a strong business brand, and reach the next level of organizational maturity.

Operational excellence: Achieving operational excellence is fundamental to build a high mature business. It’s challenging because business management needs to ensure they have enough resources and necessary skills to implement the business strategy; the risks and assumptions are understood and manageable. It’s also important to keep trimming wastes and redundancy, set priority to bring transparency and keep optimizing business structures and processes. “Keeping it Simple” should always be one of the guiding principles and management cultures for running digital organization to achieve operational excellence. It requires some kind of re-tuning corporate processes and re-combining the business capabilities into differentiated business competencies. When the business operation is refined to the point that they are nimble, can adapt to changing business demands in a timely fashion, the organization reaches the inflection point to achieve high-level business maturity.

Information Technology Synchronization: Information is one of the most invaluable assets besides people in modern businesses and technology is the driving force of digital transformation. The power of information is to empower the business with real-time insight across the organization in ways never possible before. Inconsistent or broken business processes result in significant information inconsistencies and business deceleration. Thus, IT is one of the strong pillars for building a high mature digital organizations. The real-time information can bring business insight and foresight, enable organizations to see the future clearly; the emerging digital technologies significantly improve business productivity, efficiency, employee engagement, and customer satisfaction. Information Technology synchronization is the prerequisite to run a real-time, high-mature digital organization. The insight-driven digital powerhouse can create the business synchronization of all functions running at the multiple levels of the organization seamlessly. It provides the quality of information for effective decision-making and high business responsiveness and adaptability.

Workforce proficiency: Organizations are complex adaptive living systems, which are comprised, in part, of people. People-centricity is one of the most important digital characteristics. Workforce proficiency is a strong pillar of building a high mature digital organization. In an ideal digital workplace, talented people are encouraged to learn, grow, and prosper by continually learning, innovating, evolving and adopting. Whenever people feel respected and needed in an organization, they are highly engaged in their work, encouraged to participate in creative activities, motivated to change, and contribute to achieving strategic business goals, It’s also important to bridge the gap between knowledge and insight, to ensure digital leaders and professionals can make information-based decisions and reach the state of knowledge proficiency collectively. Psychology, sociology, technology, anthropology, and philosophy, etc interdisciplinarity must be applied for improving talent management effectiveness and maturity.

At the heart of digital, it is people and how to build a customer-centric organization. Organizations today need to build dynamic business competencies and develop solid pillars to shape a high mature business which is sophisticated for complex problem-solving, adaptive to rapid change, innovative to create unique business value, flexible to provide alternative solutions, energetic to perpetuate business improvement, and resilient to fail over and fail forward.

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