Friday, March 26, 2021

"From-To" Digital Paradigm Shift

Digital transformation is a journey. There should always, at every turn, be a taste of better days, of continual improvement of retrospective action planning, incremental goal achieving, creative idea brainstorming, and effective change management. 

Complexity, velocity, ambiguity, etc, are the business new normal, leading business forward is extremely challenging because there are many distractions or disruptions on the way and there are so many things going on with a mixed bag of opportunities and risks. Therefore, top business leaders need to envision the future of the business, continue doing consolidation, integration, optimization, keep the business synchronized to ensure that every part of the organization operates in harmony to make a seamless digital paradigm shift.

From autocratic to autonomous organization: In the traditional business environment with an overly rigid hierarchy and silo mentality, many organizations are autocratic with “command & control” management style and top down one way communication only. Thus, they are perhaps fragile, get stuck with change inertia. To speed up and drive transformative change, it is critical to get democratization right, it will need to be thought through and "architected" from push power (autocratic) to pull power (democratic), and encourage autonomy. In practice, it evolves from capital centered structures to knowledge-centered structures, dissolution of rigid organizational hierarchies into self-managed relatively autonomous units that use local knowledge to address the unique market dynamism, and develop self management teams to unlock performance.

Alignment on key things is critical for autonomy at scale. The team should be as autonomous as possible, and the stakeholders should be aligned as well. People and cultures are inherently complex and intentional organizational structure design in this area will have a positive benefit for any organization. The autonomy of the enterprise is the one which provides the greatest effectiveness and efficiency, and depends, in large measure, on the nature and purpose of the enterprise. There is a symbiotic relationship between various teams across organizations which leads to realization of higher goals. It is also helpful to visualize concepts and relationships in relation to each other, this way of looking helps to appreciate that autonomy and alignment are not rivals but two faces of the same coin, where there is alignment, then autonomous actions ought to be possible while still aligning with an organization’s vision.

From complication to simplexity:
Many traditional organizations are complicated and redundant, slow to change. Either at individual or business level, we should follow the “simplicity” principle to handle over-complex digital reality with “VUCA” characteristics -Velocity, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity. There are hierarchical complexity, environmental complexity, information complexity, collaboration complexity, governance complexity, design complexity, productive complexity, value/cost/risk ratio complexity, etc. The art of digital management is not to complicate things, but to eliminate unnecessary complication, but encourage desired complexity.

The emergent digital characteristics include hyper-connectivity, hyper-diversity, hyper-dynamism. “Simplexity” is the pertinent portmanteau word mixing with two words "Simplicity," and "Complexity," which well-describes the digital new normal philosophically.“Less is more” needs to become the digital principle for tuning modern enterprise structure and design, to optimize complexity, improve business adaptability, responsiveness, flexibility, speed, and equilibrium. It’s a process of de-bureaucracy that simplifies and optimizes the business for reaching the next level of maturity.

From process driven to people centricity: People-centricity is a transcendent digital trait and the core of corporate strategy in today’s digital organizations. To make a smooth transition from running a mechanical process-driven organization to building an organic people centric business, the organizational managers need to accept that sustainable business success requires happy employees and satisfied customers, and that satisfied staff is more likely to satisfy customers. Organizations should focus on building people-centric business by leveraging the latest technologies to enforce cross-functional communication and collaboration. How you engage people will directly impact how their remuneration and performance management systems reinforce the organizational strategy.

An enterprise is never going to be architected and designed like the mechanical system. You have to look at the problem domain holistically and design a sociological organization and proactively plan the total enterprise ecosystem to either make a profit for shareholders or generate prosperity of constituencies. Running a business is an iterative problem solving continuum. People-centric problem-solving means that you have to involve customers and different stakeholders, listen to their feedback, involve them in both idea generation and process implementation, take different propositions and approaches to a problem or a new interpretation.

Digital transformation is a journey. There should always, at every turn, be a taste of better days, of continual improvement of retrospective action planning, incremental goal achieving, creative idea brainstorming, and effective change management. A high performance organization is a company that can align all critical elements of change seamlessly, quickly and safely assess all of the consequences of a possible change and devise effective plans to provide a combination approach to go digital confidently.


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