Monday, February 24, 2020

The Monthly Systems Wisdom Summary: Apply Systems Wisdom to Digital Organizational Design Feb. 2020

Systems Thinking is the ability to think the "whole," and understand the interconnectivity of its parts as well.

Systems Thinking is about understanding interrelationships between parts and the whole. It helps digital leaders and professionals discover the interconnectivity and interdependence of the digital business ecosystem, help them get behind the "surface" validity and give them deeper insight into the nuances of why and how, and ensure that the digital business as an organic system growing and evolving with its environment in harmony.

Apply Systems Wisdom to Digital Organizational Design 

Design a Digital Organization from Multiple System Perspectives Running a digital organization is to connect the old and new, mix the solid and fluid to enforce digital confluence, foster innovation, and achieve people-centricity. Organizations generally consist of varying intersecting and interacting systems. But the strictly mechanical business architecture framework perhaps do not know how to address the business and people system dynamic. How to leverage flexibility as a guiding principle to design a highly responsive, self-adaptive and high-performance digital organization from multiple systems perspectives?

Leverage Systems Thinking to Understand and Enforce Digital Characteristics The hyperconnectivity nature of digital organization breaks down the functional, geographical, or even organizational border. The businesses today become much more nonlinear, interconnected, and interdependent than ever. Systems Thinking has emerged as a type of digital thinking to deal with unprecedented complexity and uncertainty, understand and enforce digital characteristics. In essence, Systems Thinking is nothing more than a good combination of analytic and synthetic thinking, understanding the interrelationship between parts and the whole and seeing the trees without missing the forest.

Three Critical Underpinning for Running a Digital Organization: Organizations today are hyperconnected with their business ecosystem because today, the geographical, functional, business or even industrial borders are blurring. Digitalization is not just about the single-dimensional technology upgrading, it has to expand to almost every dimension of the business. At the high maturity level, companies need to embed digital into the very fabric of the business and explore digital transformation in a structural way.

Is Hierarchy Good or Bad for Systems? As complexity is pushing the boundaries of the thinking and traditional systems, what we do know is "those larger and more complicated systems" do not have the requisite agility to adapt to more complex and adaptive environments. The more nonlinear, interconnected, and interdependent the environment, where uncertainty and emergence become more prevalent, hence accelerated rates of change, the less likely ordered hierarchical systems are to be the answer due to the rigidity. Hence, we need to adapt to the Systems Thinking and reimagine the digital organizational structure. Systems Thinking is the ability to think the "whole," and understand the interconnectivity of its parts as well.

How to Leverage Systems Thinking in Designing a Digital Organizational Structure Digital shift is inevitable, the digital revolution is reshaping the way we live our lives and the way we work. It’s forcing a fundamental digital transformation of business and our society. How to design organizations to maintain viability and deliver tactical actions for strategic effect, given weak, noisy, or evolving feedback signals due to systemic adaptive complexity in its environment? What would be the balanced design principles to enable successful emergent behavior and function of the organization in order that its structure is emergent as a self-organizing, self-redesigning team of teams? Or to put simply, how to design a digital organizational structure with the well-aligned resources, processes, and rules?

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