Saturday, July 17, 2021


To run a business as a highly functional and adaptive living system, it’s important to strike the right balance of segmentation and unification, to ensure that the business as a whole builds cohesive capabilities and runs at a premium speed.

Digital boundaries are not static, but dynamic, we all bring different perspectives and our boundaries could change based on open dialogues, learning agility, and flexible approach to problem-solving. To deal with unprecedented complexity and uncertainty, business management needs to understand why and how confounding problems persist in complex business systems, how to unify the varying viewpoints, variety of information, and diverse cultures to gain a holistic understanding of business systems, and what can be done to alleviate core problems, or proactively solve them effectively.

Information unification: Velocity, variety, and variability, value are all very characteristics of data assets of the organization today. Information system needs to have the capacity to process different formats of information, define which kind of information that is relevant, refine it into the business foresight or customer insight to reach business goals. In business reality though, there is silo spreading in the different layers of the organization; and the overly rigid hierarchy creates bottlenecks which prevent information flow, perpetuates bureaucracy and causes stagnation. It’s important to find useful unifications of information structures that are system oriented. This would increase common understanding and communication in the enterprise.

As the digital world becomes hyperconnected, interdependent, and dynamic, all forward-looking companies across the vertical sectors are being forced to become information management businesses. The extrinsic value of information is to broaden varying perspectives ecologically, sociologically, or technologically, etc, so data experts can unify them into business insight to achieve its business value. Technically, the information can be penetrated into different layers of the organization, and it’s being processed and accessible to all group members across functional borders and leads to faster decision making and easier idea access from people anywhere in the organization to realize tangible business results.

Process unification: People, process, technology are the hard building blocks for modern enterprise; processes underpin business capability which enables change and strategy management. So the process unification is about how to refresh these core business processes to make sure the changes are not only predicted but also fully prepared. Today organizations make a shift from inside-out operation-driven to outside-in people centric, process management is an important perspective to consolidate, modernize, integrate, optimize, and unify for improving business effectiveness and efficiency.

With emerging lightweight technologies and tools, the process management needs to ponder: How to define more global universal business cases? How to revitalize the regulation change, GRC enforcement into processes? How to optimize the process design with advanced analytics capabilities to implement intelligent processes? How to craft dynamic processes or social processes and improve process intelligence? The next generation of process management will naturally integrate enterprise collaboration tools into the software suite, not only implement automation but also enhance learning as a process, enable knowledge sharing, and unify processes to fit the purpose of business systems. Encourage the customers (either internal users or end customers) to co-design the products, service, and communities, to share the thought and provide feedback, to enhance customer responsiveness and satisfactions.

Culture unification: There are both visible and invisible success factors to drive business change or innovation. Gone are the days where organizations can dictate the parameters of the working relationship via top-down command and control style. Culture becomes a core factor to improve business’s long term competency. In many well-established companies, every division or silo has subcultures, all those cultures co-exist, and it’s no surprise there are conflicts or some out of control tensions & confrontations that need to be handled wisely. What can be unifying is looking at each function in the enterprise as a system and then finding a unified means of looking at the essence. Management has become an art out of necessity to address the current business relationship between the employee and organization, to unify via effective communication and governance approach.

To deal with today’s complex problems and overcome challenges, individual work and group work cannot be done without horizontal unification. Cross-functional collaboration is the new normal to strike the right balance of centralization and decentralization. There must be enough central control to achieve coordination toward the large-system goals, and enough autonomy to keep all subsystems flourishing. To be a highly functional and adaptive organizational system, the hierarchy must balance the welfare, freedom, and responsibilities to unificy and orchestrate the organizational interrelationship between people and process, streamline information and idea flow, enforce business communications, and foster innovation for achieving high-performance results.

To run a business as a highly functional and adaptive living system which is able to re-configure its own structure and change its own behavior pattern, it’s important to strike the right balance of segmentation and unification, to ensure that the business as a whole builds cohesive capabilities and runs at a premium speed.


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