Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Principles to Shape Systematic Foresight

 It’s critical to leverage Systems Thinking to understand the business as a nonlinear adaptive system that keeps evolving, broadens their outlook, and envisions the bigger picture. 

The dynamic business environment is full of uncertainty, velocity, complexity, ambiguity, fierce competition, and continuous disruptions. 

Forward-thinking leaders can follow system principles, shift their business perception from a linear system to an adaptive “purposeful” system with hyper-connected and interdependent nature, understand business behavior from technical or mechanical to socio-technical, in order to make a smooth digital paradigm shift.

Take a broad range of perspectives-see the trees without missing the forest: The digital landscape has many dimensions technically, philosophically, psychologically, and sociologically. You have to look into an unknown future and attempt to define the landscape with its risks and opportunities, and take a broad range of perspectives on how to run a successful business. It's imperative to earn how to shape an objective view of the business without the cognitive distortion that results from systemic ignorance or neglect of the cognitive layer of the whole.

Today’s digital business environment is dynamic, complex, and uncertain. There are always different complexities at a different time or dimensions. By following systems principles, business executives are sensitive to emergent trends and keep balanced views, not via stillness, but through the state of the flow and information dynamic. They have high abilities to understand and handle changes from different angles, encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration, and enable change continuum. Make a shift from seeing a system as a set of interconnected components to seeing a system as a set of interwoven threads.

Explore a large scale of change in a spirit of open-mindedness, learning, and respect: The rate of change has accelerated, digital leaders equipped with open, intelligent, and growth mindset, play an important role in both envisioning and participating in a long-term business transformation and organizational development. Systems principles advocate inclusiveness; and inclusiveness enforces learning, communication, and collaboration. The real power of emerging digital platforms and collaboration tools comes from the innate appeal of interacting socially and intellectual stimulation that people derive from sharing what they know, expressing opinions, brainstorming new ideas, co-solving problems, and learning from each other enthusiastically.

Business leaders today should become great digital landscape designers in sharing their systematic foresight, learning how to strike the right balance between managing complex issues today and forecasting the trends and uncertain issues of tomorrow, and co-creating the future foresightfully. System Thinking is about understanding the interconnectivity between parts and the whole. Business leaders need to focus on harnessing cross-functional collaboration through iterative communications, robust processes, and efficient technological tools, to accelerate business performance.

Include those who have influence as they possess the means to shape the future through their actions:
People are the center of running digital organizations. How you engage people will directly impact on how their remuneration and performance management systems reinforce the organizational strategy. Systems understanding is multidimensional, business management should take the top-down or bottom-up; inside-out or outside-in approach to manage people-centric changes, engage people with recognition and intellectual challenges, shape future together via their actions, and explore ample opportunities in new and innovative ways,

Business leaders and professionals with systematic foresight have a future orientation that makes them more prone to overcome barriers and handle adversities, possess the structural mind with knowledge, skills, abilities, and behaviors necessary to move your business in the direction it needs to go. By following systems principles, they demonstrate effective communication skills, collaborative problem-solving capability, learning agility, and team-working to overcome common challenges.

Explore the past for general insights, don't over-categorize and try not to fixate on single narratives:
The idea of moving fast and becoming highly flexible and responsible requires companies applying systems principles, emerging new technologies, and leveraging increasingly diverse information to create business insight and move up the learning curve. When jumping into the digital future of “VUCA” new normal –Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity, by focusing forward, we are able to more accurately judge the coming curves and obstacles in the path of business transformation via constructive feedback and "lesson learned" via past experiences.

As modern-day storytellers, business leaders with systems understanding, will not try to fixate on single narratives, have opportunities to advance digital transformation agendas, concepts, and ideas, and keep clarifying relevant concepts via continuous learning, reasoning, and innovating. it’s important to transform invaluable information and knowledge assets into precious insight to improve overall business decision effectiveness and focus on steering the business in the right direction.

Try to understand the drivers shaping the underlying business structures and dynamics: There are the trends with an interdisciplinary convergence of diverse sciences and humanities essential to the evolution toward a circular economy. Currently, social, economic, technological, and environmental sustainability issues may be a prelude to paradigm shifts supported by System Principles. Apply hard and soft science wherever possible, to diagnose problems, look at the whole picture, with the interaction and relationships holistically, and involve the sequential alignment of a series of steps in already identified strategic approaches.

At a high level, Systems Thinking is an awareness of an entire system, and how changes to any part of that system impact the other parts of the system and the whole. Effective senior management leaders are able to comprehend the complexity and the systemic issues they face, understand the business and the data and make a bridge between them, shape the underlying business structures & structures, form solutions that take advantage of the data. And equally important, by making other people understand this understanding to make frictionless changes.

Treat system-based data analytics or algorithms as akin to 'Climate' not 'Weather' - Indicative not predictive: To become more future-oriented and discover the path to where you need to go and be persuasive to lead others in the right direction. It’s important to apply a system perspective to do data investigation, create algorithms to form a procedure or formula for solving problems or any attempt at understanding the business context, and capturing business foresight. You need to keep in mind that underlying these algorithms are models, models with their own assumptions, strengths, and weaknesses, so the results could be approximate or loose it may be, indicative, not predictive.

Digital organizations are nonlinear systems and interwoven subsystems in which there may be crucial touchpoints and numerous elements in achieving the desired impact that can sometimes be the result of a very small initiative or decision, this is the magic of nonlinear systems reasoning. If you pick the right thing to alter, you can sometimes achieve enormous outcomes at little or no expenditure of effort on your part. By understanding the nonlinearity of the business, systematic foresight can be unconstrained by your current situation and need not be granular in detail.

Revisit, test, and always broaden involvement: Business management needs to pay attention to creating shared and admirable goals, and then, develop an inclusive and innovative team to compete and collaborate as they deem fit. An organization can have all the recognition, celebrations, and such it wants, but unless the relationship is a trustworthy one via revisiting, testing, and involving, all those activities will be of limited value in enhancing employee engagement and unlocking performance.

The least effective culture at fostering a digital workplace is traditional command and control environments. The most effective digital workplace is in which sharing and collaboration are the norms, understand, and recognize that everyone plays a “piece of the pie,” Business leaders have to keep developing their best and next practices, maintain and fix any imbalance in key business elements such as people, process, and technology, update structures, methodologies, and cultures, inspire teamwork and collaboration which are the route towards building a people-centric organization.

Digital leaders and professionals must be comfortable with “VUCA” reality, it’s critical to leverage Systems Thinking to understand the business as a nonlinear adaptive system which keeps evolving, broadens their outlook, and envisions the bigger picture. As systems thinking provides a framework, when used properly, can enhance collaboration to a great extent and push it to a higher level and drive business transformation smoothly.



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