Friday, October 18, 2019

Three Subsystems of Digital Organization

To understand the digital business as a complex and adaptive system requires systems understanding and searching for meaningful relationships both within the subsystems and between them.

Every system is a subsystem of a larger system and simultaneously it is always built up by subsystems. To understand the digital business as a complex and adaptive system requires systems understanding and searching for meaningful relationships both within the subsystems and between them; monitoring and observing links to ensure that the company as a whole is superior to the sum of pieces. Here are three subsystems of digital organization.

Information/knowledge management system: Information system is a business-centric system that deals with information management by processing, refining and delivering information and knowledge to ensure that information can flow frictionlessly to the right people for allowing them to make the right decisions in a timely manner. Information system is a system with interdependent processes, technologies, and a set of interdisciplinary practices, incorporate both ends and means, continuously open to new information from dynamic business environment and are able to circulate information within the system seamlessly and adapt to change promptly.

 Sometimes when the system is broken, outdated or have severe defects, it decreases productivity, effectiveness, and efficiency either individually or collectively. The effectiveness of information system depends on humans to define what kind of information that is relevant and how to refine it to maximize its business value, as well as keep tuning it to improve its maturity. A high mature information system streamlines not only information flow, but also mind flow, and transform modern business from static to dynamic, from efficient to agile, and from functioning to delight.

Innovation as a system: Innovation is neither an isolated process nor just the latest technology, but a structural system capable of delivering organization-wide capabilities. At the core of innovation management is a customized business simulation which lets participants experience comprehensive business problems and opportunities associated with creating and implementing ideas. Innovation management system include many critical business elements such as framework, people, process, culture, tools, etc, to manage “systematic innovation” and develop business-wide innovation competencies.

Innovation is not serendipity, the highly innovative companies usually have a powerful innovation navigation system which involves tapping the business ecosystem for a collective perspective and integrating critical business elements into innovation capability and capacity. Innovation ecosystem should fully cover a wide enough directions so that companies can operate within ecosystems for delivering tailored solutions to customers continually.

Meritocracy as a system: Developing high mature digital fit workforce won’t happen overnight, it takes planning, adapting, and innovating to enable true meritocracy that is a system in which people are chosen and moved ahead on the basis of their talent or achievement. Every system is a construct of the mind. Employees believe that the organization operates on a real meritocracy basis and everyone has an opportunity to think independently, work hard, strengthen their own strength and unleash their potential. 

In the siloed industrial age, people are treated as resources and cost, and most works are operational in nature. With emergent technologies, digital organization with blurred functional, geographical, or even industrial territories can break down silo thinking, foster integrity, trust, and transparency. Meritocracy shouldn’t be just a slogan or buzzword, it needs to be a system with all necessary structures and elements such as leadership, process, culture, training, etc, to truly shape a high mature digital workforce. In an ideal digital working environment with democratic meritocracy, self-motivated leaders, teams, and employees have a passion for challenging themselves, advancing their thinking ability, making things happen, catalyzing changes, building on organizational knowledge, discovering innovative ways to do things, and getting recognized by their great achievement.

The focal point of digital management is based on the future trend, based on the varying situations, based on the interconnectivity of subsystems; and based on what the system requires for its long-term sustenance. By leveraging system understanding of digital organization system and subsystem, the business management can become more effective to monitor the overall health of the organization and enforce the cross-functional relationship and collaboration.


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