Thursday, August 3, 2017

Three Fitting Characteristics to Make the Business Stand out as a Digital Master

Winning the digital dynamic means engaging innovative thinking, enforce cross-functional collaboration, build the unique business competency, and take a structural approach.

With rapid changes and exponential growth of information, companies large or small are brainstorming the digital ways to think and experiment the better way to solve either old business issues or emergent problems, delight customers, improve employees’ engagement, increase productivity, and inspire creativity across the enterprise ecosystem. Organizations have to stretch out in every business dimension for driving the full-fledged digital transformation. So, what are fitting characteristics to make the business stand out as a digital leader and reach the high level of business maturity?


Unique competency: To keep running and building the business advantage, organizations need to have two sets of competency. The necessary competency to run the business as others do and reap some quick wins, also the differentiated business competency to stand out as the industry leader with the strong business brand. Methodologically, companies are leveraging the latest digital technologies to open up the digital way to think and do things with people centricity. It means to break down silo thinking and enforce cross-functional communication and collaboration, capture business foresight via the abundance of business information to predict the business trends, and involve new ways of bringing together diverse thoughts and resources to create novel ideas, figure out the best tailored solution to meet the business's requirement, and offer feature insight and added value based on the digital ecosystem understanding. The competitive necessity keeps the lights on and focuses on meeting the customer expectation and delivers what the business asks for; while competitive uniqueness allows the business to dream bigger, maximize its full potential and achieve the art of possible. And leading businesses today are shifting from experimenting digital to going digital, it is important to take the logical steps and a structural approach for managing a typical capability life cycle which spans need, requirements, acquisition, in-service, obsolescence, and disposal. To keep digital fit, it is important to build a cohesive set of business competencies, commit to transforming themselves to a high-performance digital business powerhouse.


Digital responsiveness: Digital means the increasing speed of change and continuous disruptions. How successful organizations can handle digital disruption depends on how fast and capable they can adapt to the ever-changing environment. Today’s digital dynamic enables companies to leverage their various environments, or ecosystems, to chase growth opportunities and accelerate business performance. That means the organization can manage its information and knowledge excellently, so the business is able to ride the learning curve with speed and adapt to changes intelligently. The hyper-connecting nature of digital offers particularly fertile ground for developing cross-industry ecosystems and business growth opportunities, in part because the ways of doing business and meeting customer expectations both tend to be more flexible than the siloed industrial age, there are always alternative ways to deliver products or services, delight customers and solve problems, so companies need new ecosystem partners to pursue them, the point is to speed up. The digital organizations are more dynamic, if you look at a business as a collection of subsystems, the degree of business responsiveness depends on how those subsystems interact with each other, and those interactions can be structural, technical, informational, or human. The less friction for the changes and the more seamless business interactions enable the business to flow and accelerate its performance and growth, and ultimately transcend into digital masters. 


Innovation fluency: Innovation fluency means that organizations today have the better ability for connecting dots across functional, industrial, geographical, or generational boundaries. The more dots you connect, the better opportunities you could spark the innovative ideas, and improve digital fluency. A leading digital organization with innovation fluency can handle innovation streams for different goals and different time frames and manage a balanced portfolio including both radical innovation and incremental innovation, hard innovation and soft innovation. The organization with digital fluency means that the business can speak the digital language fluently, follow digital principles with discipline, develop the next digital practices, and share lessons learned to avoid other people's mistakes. To improve the digital innovation fluency, the key to success in an organization is to have the right people in place to manage the process, leveraging diverse experience, insight, and judgment to rigorously make the needed decisions, cultivate the culture of innovation, and improve innovation fluency.


Digital disruptions are inevitable, and digital transformation is unstoppable. Keeping digital fit means that organizations shouldn’t just respond to changes in a reactive way. Winning the digital dynamic means engaging innovative thinking, enforce cross-functional collaboration, build the unique business competency, and take the proactive and systematic approach to lead change and stand out as the digital master.

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