Wednesday, August 9, 2017

What are the RIGHT Way to Drive Digital Transformation

Setting the right policies, identifying the right people and doing the right things in the right way are all important management disciplines to improve the overall business maturity.

All forward-looking organizations are on the journey of digital transformation. Digitalization implies the full-scale changes in the way the business is conducted and expand business transformation to the multiple directions. There is no one size fits all formula to pursue it. Each organization just has to "walk the talk," and explore their own way, start creating their own strategy and build their own differentiated business competency and “integrated whole,” to get digital ready. Still, there are some general or even the "old school" principles organizations should follow and a set of next digital practices the business can develop. Here are three aspects to drive digital transformation in the RIGHT way.   


Make the good policies to ensure the RIGHT things are easy to do, and bad things are hard to do: The digital principles and policies are like the compass to guide through the business for moving in the right direction. Principles are statements of values. Things that define why people make a decision one way or another and the core decision values guide the expected attitude and behavior of individuals within an organization. Often, people do what you inspect, not what you expect. When the organization lacks a set of cohesive principles to guide through, people are running in the dark, fumbling around to make decisions blindly, or walk around the problems helplessly. It causes small thinking, conflicts, and poor behaviors. The principles as a compass will guide all levels of the organization to operate cohesively and provide a guideline of harmonizing decision-making across a distributed organization. The definition of the principle describes "what" the principle means in the language understood by all stakeholders. The motivation describes "why" the principle is important for leading changes and encourage positive behaviors. There are some organizations out there that have a plethora of policies and many of them are nothing more than that, just a policy. But the good principles or policies should be communicated frequently, and followed uncompromisingly, to ensure the RIGHT things are easy to do, and bad things are hard to do.


Make the intelligent judgment to ensure the RIGHT people in the RIGHT position to solve the RIGHT problems: It is much easier to say than doing, because it involves the multiple intelligent assessment processes to evaluate people and problems. For example, how can you evaluate the RIGHT people with the RIGHT mindset, capabilities, skills, how shall you assess evaluators as well -their cognitive understanding level- can they make sound judgment both about the people and problems? How do you define the RIGHT problem, the complexity level of problems, and how can you solve them in better ways? Band-aids/quick fixes never cure a virus. The cure comes from within the organization- the collective attitude and capability. It’s important to identify the skill gaps and define the technical/functional competencies required to achieve business goals. Find the right people through what they think and how they act, and integrate talent management, culture management, change management, and performance management into a holistic people management approach. From an innovation perspective, digital leaders always should ask themselves whether the workplace is healthy enough to attract the best and brightest, and how to unleash the collective human potential for achieving the high-performing business result for the long term.


Make sure the business is doing the RIGHT things first - pursuing effectiveness, and then, doing them in the RIGHT way - achieve efficiency: Effectiveness is doing the right thing by following the principles and leading in the right directions. And efficiency is doing things right with minimum inputs and resources (do it right the first time). At some point in the enterprise business evolution and digital transformation, business effectiveness and efficiency are also correlated specifically when the organization reaches its capacity. At this point trying to improve effectiveness brings down efficiency and vice versa. Often, the pitfall is that business managers jump into ‘how,” before digging into ‘why”; or put too much effort on the operational side, without challenging “we always do things like that’ mentality. The next level of the business management maturity should be on the effectiveness of improving effectiveness, which could implicitly involve efficiency of improving effectiveness, and ultimately strike the digital balance for the enterprise to thrive, rather than just surviving.

Many organizations are on the journey of digital transformation which represents the next stage of business maturity. Setting the right policies, identifying the right people and doing the right things in the right way are all important management disciplines to improve the overall business effectiveness, efficiency, operational excellence. agility, innovation, intelligence, resilience, and people-centricity.


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