Friday, September 30, 2022


How successfully organizations can handle “VUCA” digital new normal depends on how fast and capable they can lead their business forward by reaching the next level of understanding, innovation, and leadership.

Human society as an integral component of the natural world is dynamic, diverse, and keeps evolving and progressing. If the knowledge-scarce industrial age means a steep pyramid or silo mentality; then the information-abundant digital era implies a fluid knowledge cycle and transcendent up-levels. 

Either individually or professionally, we need to keep learning, growing, innovating, to build the next level of professional or leadership competency in solving more complex problems, and reaching the next level of societal advancement with the very characteristics of innovativeness, agility, autonomy, synchronization, resilience.

It’s critical for organizations to manage a balanced innovation portfolio, to reach the high level of innovation excellence: Innovation happens frictionlessly in an open environment, There are incremental innovation, radical innovation, and breakthrough innovation, different levels of innovation need to be managed appropriately. Innovation is not serendipity, but a process that can be managed in a structural way, as well as a holistic system that needs to be fine-tuned to reach the high level of fluency. In fact, the business and economic environment play an important role in catalyzing innovation for reaping the business benefits and delighting customers.

There are both tangible and intangible elements that need to be knitted into the unique innovation competency of the organization. Incremental innovation usually starts with a small objective/aim to achieve; generally brings short term value additions or competitive advantage. It is often predictable. Breakthrough Innovation is more disruptive and will change your organization in many fields. That usually implies high risk and high return. You need new technology, new processes, new customers, new knowledge, maybe a new business model. All that makes them very risky, but you will get very great opportunities for great products/solutions that change your organization, your industry, or even the world significantly. So incremental innovation is evolutionary. Breakthrough Innovation is more revolutionary.

It’s important to move from “doing Agile” to being agile in running a high mature organization
: Agility is the ability to adapt to a changing environment, as well as create momentum to change. Can agile be understood and applied professionally at both tactical and strategic level? What is an appropriate role for top management to play in an agile journey? Technically, from a development perspective, agile is a software development methodology and practice to deliver customized products or services; from a leadership perspective, philosophically, agile is a mindset, along with a set of principles to focus on “ Interaction, Improvement, Iteration.” 

The senior leaders need to consider multiple levels and multiple timeframes for improving organizational agility: Do you understand what the organizations are trying to accomplish? How will Agile support the organization's strategic goals? Does it address current tactical needs of the organization, as well as the capacity you're trying to build, and differentiated business capability you need to compete for the long run? There are some good ways for senior managers to address the existing organizational pain points via “Agile lenses”; apply agile philosophy, principles to create the synergy of teams, cultivate the business habit of inquiring, interacting, and proactively changing, not overly controlling or manipulating, to ensure business effectiveness- moving in the right direction at the premium speed.

In order to build a learning organization, “adaptive learning” must be joined by “generative learning,” learning that enhances our 'capacity to create’: 
With “VUCA” reality, Both individuals or organizations need to keep learning and building the next level of competency. Organizational learning is enabling employees to constantly learn so that the organization does not only 'earn enough from today,' but “thrive in the future.” It, therefore, means to ensure that the organization knows the tasks and knowledge required to 'sustain' itself; not only to survive only, but more importantly, to thrive for the long run.

Learning, growing is the journey, it involves the levels of perception, levels of perspective; levels of understanding; the level of decision effectiveness and the level of problem-solving competency. Due to a shortened knowledge cycle, with the mix of outdated information and knowledge abundance, absorbing knowledge and adaptive learning is simply not enough. Today’s business leaders and professionals need to unlearn, and relearning, create fresh knowledge and spur fresh ideas all the time. Organizations are socio-technical so organizational learning models should be socio-technical in nature. Building a learning organization is not and should not be an ultimate goal, the real goal is to build a people centricity business and produce high performance results consistently.

Organizations all face fierce competitions and continuous disruptions; how successfully they can handle “VUCA” digital new normal depends on how fast and capable they can lead their business forward by reaching the next level of understanding, innovation, and leadership. It’s crucial to keep learning agile, envision the future of the world, define the role you would like to play and how to accomplish it, at which scope, the level of responsibilities you've progressed to take, with the goal to unleash collective human potential and build an advanced, harmonized, innovative global human society.


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