Monday, December 21, 2020

Innovation & Internalization

Envision, communication, implementation, integration, and internalization are indispensable when you are on the ride of digital trajectory. 

The digital era upon us is full of uncertainty, velocity, complexity, and ambiguity. Compared to traditional companies like the mechanical system which keeps spinning, the digital organization is a living thing which needs to keep evolving and strike the delicate balance of growth and stability. Interdisciplinary science can be applied to digital management by integrating multidisciplinary methodologies, enabling business leaders and professionals to frame bigger thinking boxes and understand varying digital characteristics, in order to manage a high performance business by taking the multi-faceted approach, technically, scientifically and culturally. 

Interdependence: Due to high velocity and information exponentiality, organizations become complex if things do interact, particularly in the case of "non-linear" interaction and interdependent relationships. Digital platforms enabled by emerging technologies, efficient apps, and tools, help to flatter business hierarchies, lubricate processes, break down silos, allow people across the business ecosystem to share knowledge for co-solving problems. On one side, structured cross-border interdependencies can be enabled with formal organizational elements such as standardized business processes and management systems and centralized functions; on the other side, loosely structured cross-border interdependencies require a much greater dose of informal organizational elements such as information flow, shared corporate values and culture, common business language, multidimensional knowledge and skills, regular face-to-face meetings of cross-border people, and so on.

The digital era upon us is about innovation and people centricity. Thus, organizations today need to take an integral information and knowledge management approach, encouraging knowledge exchange cross-functionally. In practice, part of taking knowledge seriously as a corporate asset involves assigning responsibility for knowledge within the organization, maintaining and improving knowledge flow and ensuring knowledge coherence, and gaining the necessary knowledge to understand and manage holistic digital ecosystems. In a frictionless but interdependent digital workplace, dynamic business leaders, teams, and employees have a clarified vision to think with the long-term perspective, have a passion for generating fresh ideas, sharing interdisciplinary knowledge, have techniques to enforce cross functional communication and collaboration, and have unique competencies to drive a smooth digital transformation. Ideally, the collaboratively interdependent organizations can reach the higher state of business maturity because limited hierarchy works best in a creative environment where the free flow of ideas and their prompt implementation is a key element of business success.

Interconnectivity: Hyperconnectivity brings both the abundance of opportunities and unprecedented risks. Traditional hierarchical lines will phase out and the digital organization is like the ‘switch’ in the network lattice of the ecosystem. A hyperconnected organization can approach the flow zone when the positions in its hierarchy have clear and accountable tasks. In order to function, an enterprise has to be linked to the many and varied ‘touch points’ between itself and the marketplace environment of which it is a part. Thus, organizational leaders need to take a holistic look at the variety of business relationships and interconnectivity, and leverage the system perspective to see things from the broader lens, emphasize communication, participation, relationships, collaboration and unlock business performance and potential continually.

Modern digital organizations are not just the sum of functional pieces, but an integral whole. The hyperconnectivity of the digital world requires people to become connectwise, they can discern the trends from fads, seek business goals before taking business initiatives, enforce collaboration and communities over competitions. At the organizational scope, it's important to digitally connect key resources/assets in their vicinity/context to the resource-rich innovation hubs/clusters across the business ecosystem. From the ecosystem perspective, a collective of business partners will emerge working collaboratively to achieve organizational goals and co-create ideas collaboratively. It draws together mutually supportive companies from multiple industries that collectively seek to create differentiated ideas and capture value they could not reach alone.

Internalization: The most difficult topic during transformation is managing uncertainty especially when you change many things such as processes, cultures, systems, conceptual models, being people-centric, getting buy-in and building trust. In essence, business transformation involves internalization of the defined values, culture, and conceptual model, the newly established behaviors will be in harmony with the internalized values. The “magic digital transformation formula” could perhaps be refined through a combination of talent, resources, processes, and technologies to perform a set of activities and achieve the high-performance business result.

Besides integrating tangible, it’s important to fine-tune “invisible” business elements for striking the right balance, take a further step and involve internalization of the “out-of-the-box” thinking and the digital conceptual model. In management practice, understand your work environment, understand what is required to be done, have the right resources and talent, and channel your energy into doing things that can make the difference and accelerate digital transformation. Also, keep things transparent and visible across interdisciplinary management, have intellectual to connect the minds and touch the hearts, build trust, gain commitment and engagement, rather than just be compliant with work tasks, enable effective communication, increase visibility, build trust, enforce collaboration, manage change smoothly and integrate the loosely coupled functions into coherent business competency.

Envision, communication, implementation, integration, and internalization are indispensable when you are on the ride of digital trajectory. The real digital transformation taking place today isn’t the replacement of the one by the other, but harmonizing the hybrid nature of digitalization and making the good combinations that create wholly new sources of value and achieve high-level digital maturity.


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