Sunday, October 11, 2020

Lubricate Multi-Layer Business Value Chains to Accelerate Organizational Performance

Running a digital business is a dynamic change management continuum. Traditional hierarchical lines will phase out and a collective of business partners will emerge working collaboratively. 

The digital organizations are not the "closed system," but a dynamic open system which is complex, interrelated, and interconnected. It is transformational to “step outside” of the business system for having different perspectives to gain an in-depth understanding of emerging business property, break down silos and be intentional about growth and balance, lubricate multi-layer business value chains to accelerate organizational performance and maturity. 

Chain of thoughts: People are talented, but also complex, they are the most invaluable, but perhaps the weakest link in organizations. At Individual level, human beings are reasonable with the chains of thoughts which drive their attitude and behaviors. At the organizational scope, collective thoughts and attitude define the business culture and brand. There’s time to break down the old chains of outdated thoughts, and there’s time to strengthen new established chains of digital mindsets. For example, the fixed or rigid mindset, the overly controlling mindset, the mindset of defensive and resisting or rejecting anything that affects cozy familiarity, the mindset of the 'blame game,' fear of consequences,’ ‘inflexible,’etc, are sorts of old thinking that simply cannot move fast enough in the sea of changes and fierce competitions. Thus, change agents and experts are needed to challenge convention and break down peoples' natural resistance to change or to new ideas; in fact, breaking down those old thought chains can free people and the organization as a whole from the past and leap them toward the next level of business growth and innovation cycle.

The digital era upon us is about innovation. The original germ of a creative idea is often, if not always arrived at through the interaction of ideas from different domains of thought and experience. Establish multitude of digital mindsets such as growth mindset (thinking change as the opportunity), problem-solving mindset (fixing the root cause of problems), creative mindset (discovering alternative ways to do thing), strategic mindset (think long-term), or “beginner’s mindset (show the humility to learn and catch up) etc. As a matter of fact, the challenge to run a high speed business is to create emotional states and psychological perspectives for people to become more open to new ideas and perspectives, have courage to think more expansively, lubricate and strengthen the digital thought chains to spark innovation and fuel sustainable business growth.

Chain of behavior: One characteristic of nonlinear digital business systems is that small changes can have large impacts. A small error, inconsistency, or change can significantly degrade its performance. The best way is to go inwards to see how your own actions might be contributing to the overall problem as they are. Thus, it’s important to build a “behavioral value chain” between the inputs - intermediate steps - outcomes. Or unpack the employee inputs - product quality - customer satisfaction chain to determine what constitutes each of the parts and the strength, and direction of the various links in the chain.

The digital transformation is an evolutionary journey with many accumulated steps and perhaps a few leapfrogs. It often needs to fine tune underlying business values and re-invent culture. A few drops of oil on a sprocket will eventually lubricate the whole chain. Organizational behavior is the example of the shift in thinking to adapt. An increasing business management focus needs to be on soft skills, intangible capital, knowledge management, leadership rather than management. Understanding the “chains of behavior“ well helps the leaders and managers demonstrate sound judgment, objective attitude, improve their competency to lead confidently

Chain of organizational hierarchy: In a world that has been transformed by technology, many old and powerful hierarchies became ‘commoditized. ’Modern organizations are the mixed bag of old and new, the physical organizational structure, relationships, and virtual platforms and connections wrap around each other to ensure clear responsibility and seamless alignment. However, in many traditional organizations, there is a poor fit between the new business and the old system. Dysfunction, silo, too much complication, etc, are often caused by overly rigid organizational structures. To improve adaptability, organizations today cannot be organized using the outdated or mechanistic paradigm that resulted in bureaucracies. They have to unshackle the old organizational hierarchical chain, apply systems principles to introduce different concepts of hierarchy in which the free flow of ideas and their prompt implementation is a key element of business success in the long term.

Technically, the business processes should be optimized to empower and engage people and not the other way around, tighten coordination and collaboration with business partners and engage the workforce to accelerate changes. In an ideal digital workplace, the organizational structure needs to be solid enough to keep people or things in order; but fluid enough to keep information and ideas flow. Thus, delayering becomes a lens through which it is possible to examine and fix many other issues including bureaucracy. The right mixed structure is the one that allows the right mentality and culture to bloom. The business has to keep strengthening and optimizing its structure and management pyramid to achieve the state of digital equilibrium.

Running a digital business is a dynamic change management continuum. Traditional hierarchical lines will phase out and a collective of business partners will emerge working collaboratively. Forward-thinking digital organizations today need to constantly adapt to the ever-changing environment, make some necessary breakdowns and strengthen their multilateral business value chains accordingly, to set and achieve organizational goals with harmony.


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