Sunday, March 28, 2021

Irrelevant, Inconsistent, Incoherent

A viable digital organization can deliver impressive business outcomes and improve its performance by taking continuous digital practices to keep things relevant, consistent, coherent, improve manageability and develop business competencies.

It is a continuously changing world with hyper-connected and interdependent “VUCA” new normal. No organizations across vertical sectors can afford to stick to its old ways of problem-solving. If the organization understands itself in relation to its context, it should be able to determine whether it requires designing and changing organizational structure to become viable. To accelerate business maturity, a highly complex and dynamic organizational system needs to be elaborated in the design-led management effort.

 In reality though, most organizations today still get stuck at the low level of business maturity due to irrelevant information, inconsistent communications/actions, as well as incoherent processes/capabilities. They cannot move fast enough in the digital era, becoming irrelevant due to outdated management disciplines, overly rigid processes, or enlarged skill gaps.

Irrelevant information: Business operates in the real world, and the real world is muddy and chaotic, with exponential growth of information and increasing pace of change. Information permeates everywhere in the business and the data environment is often fraught with inconsistency. Different information is required at different points in the decision and operational delivery chain. You will not be able to make effective decisions or understand the performance of your company or measure it without good quality data or information. If information is irrelevant - unavailable, inaccurate, lost, stolen, or compromised, it will hinder the achievement of business goals and even mislead the business in the wrong direction. To dig into the root cause, incoherent or broken business processes result in significant information inconsistencies or irrelevance which causes decision ineffectiveness.

Information is one of the most invaluable assets of the company, but you should always keep in mind, information only has a value when it has been used effectively. By “quality data,” it means clean, organized, or actionable data from which to extract relevant information and insight. Information is scattered and needs to be collected, processed and refined into business insight. Data cleansing, transformation, and sorting are vital in the data world and Data Management lifecycle is the overall business process of aligning the use of information through information accuracy and assurance management. Information is the gold when it has been used to make an informed management decision to develop the right product, enter a new market, explore a new channel or having the information to be able to conduct day to day operations which have an output value, etc. Incoherent, redundant, or broken business processes result in significant information inconsistencies. Information synchronization is the process of establishing consistency among data as well as the continuous harmonization of the data over time.

Inconsistent communications/actions: There are both “hard” communication barriers such as out of date procedure or practices, inefficient processes, and “soft” communication pitfalls such as internal politics, bureaucracy, silo, poor or inconsistent communication down or across the organization, etc. Words alone are only crude tools of communication and terribly inefficient at conveying the feeling of a message. Their interpretation is quite varied from person to person and when overused or not complemented with actions, words quickly become rhetoric or noise.

To strengthen communication like, it should categorize what kind of communication bottlenecks existing and which communication gaps should be closed. The management needs to clarify: How would you describe the prevailing business mood? What are the needed changes in communication, behavior, process, accessibility, or engagement approach? Do you inspire open conversations about the work environment? Leaders are real when they can openly admit when change is needed. Actions are incredibly clear and very consistently interpreted and send messages far more efficiently and effectively than any amount of words.

Incoherent processes/capabilities: In many organizations with lower-level of maturity, the business is the sum of pieces, such as silo functions, incoherent processes, overly rigid hierarchy, fractal structure, or bureaucratic management style, not running as a premium whole. Traditional organizational management with siloed processes often causes bureaucracy which is criticized for its inflexibility, inefficiency, silo, stagnation, unresponsiveness, or lack of innovation. Incoherent management processes further cause culture friction and decelerate performance. Inconsistent process management is often caused by lack of policies and governance procedures that define processes, and lack of talented people to streamline and optimize processes.

Progressive leaders should, in fact, take the lead in introducing process management into the company and integrate processes across organization. The goal of process management or procedure optimization is to eliminate unnecessary complications, improve operations to reduce the burden on the company. The simplified, end to end processes enable speed of execution and enable the organization to act in a coherent manner. To improve the organizational maturity, what can be unifying is looking at each function in the enterprise as a subsystem and then finding a unified means of looking at the essence. When productivity is low and change is stifled, further analytics is needed for an understanding of the cause whether it is due to the change curve, inefficient processes or procedures. It’s important for business leaders and professionals to think about the systemic wholeness and take a logical management approach, keep renewing their knowledge, and develop differentiated business competencies to shape an ambidextrous digital organization.

The business will become more successful when the corresponding learning curve has reduced uncertainty to the point where the information can be synchronized, organizational interdependence can be structured, and the strategic synergy can be created. Digital organizations today should be a complex but flexible ecological system starting to appreciate business attributes such as readiness, autonomy, open communication, people centricity, and multifaceted partnerships. Trying to fix the wrong cause of a problem will waste time and resources, increase anxiety, and cause chaos. A viable digital organization can deliver impressive business outcomes and improve its performance by taking continuous digital practices to keep things relevant, consistent, coherent, improve manageability and develop business competencies.


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