Digital Transformation is the new question

Imagine a new model of thinking that spans management practice, community empowerment and the conceptof an authentic voice, that facilitates the optimisation of clear and creative thinking through a coherent methodology and practice framework. With traditional organisational structures having to recognise the challenge of globalisation, and the need to innovate to sustain themselves or die; digital transformation has increasingly become the priority focus as most sectors are at the mercy of technological disruption via new software development such as the latest significant advances in Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Machine Learning, 3D Printing. If you are one of those companies not looking at digital transformation, this means that your enterprise is behind the curve and at risk.

Societal and management challenges are leaving organisations impotent as we the people as individuals or in communities, organisations are being forced adapt to environment of change where the modalities of new technologies are steadily being introduced. Most organisations are not managing this change effectively; and have a default inertia, which is not being faced head on. Let’s take for example rise of use of apps on smartphones. Most people have smartphones are beginning to use apps on them.

On social media apps (such the popular social media channels, facebook, twitter, youtube) accounts can be created specific to your organisation, for your stakeholders, including staff and customers, and can be utilised as communication tool, enabling you to engage your internal and external audiences in real time, if only to increase efficiencies of time, and customer service accessibility. Facebook now even allows you to go live within its platform, with a recording maintained on your news feed. This is the type of digital disruption that is changing how people are spending their time, consuming information and now communicating.

Many organisations are failing to use these platforms where, most of the people they employ, and provide services to have accounts and could be engaged with. Why is this? Maybe its because organisations and many communities are closed systems rather than ones that are open and transparent. Maybe its a reflection of society? No one in power wants to be open to criticism or held accountable. Why let people who’ve had a bad experience at the hands of the organisation, the power to have a go publicly? Well that cat is out of the bag already! If you’re not used to being open and transparent for your organisational culture to sustain itself, that has to be the direction of travel.

Across the spectrum of for profit, and non-profit enterprise, terms like value creation, innovation, shared value, and corporate social responsibility are the new language of reconciling, ethical thinking in our economic and social reality. But another challenge in the corporate understanding of this new world, is the underlying conflict of individual and corporate self interest, that comes with any type of economic power, versus the greater good, of the societal project where we all work towards economic justice within a democratic framework of governance. What that greater good is, is often distorted by a framing of capitalist and socialist rhetoric which mostly paralyses any clear thinking on the methodology required to address inequality, and the imbalance of the privilege that exists between class, race, gender, disability.

In this age, those that have the courage to consistently question our operational and organisational cultures, become more efficient at unmasking how the dynamics of subliminal power relations works and manifests in most community and organisation structures. Digital disruption is striking at the core of these power relations, making the world more transparent with the flow of knowledge being more accessible in an instant. Only the very best organisational cultures harness diversity of thought and action, actively seeking to unearth and encourage different ways of approaching problems. The best organisations are becoming more aggressive in their approach to digital transformation. Those who are not there yet, in my analysis that are limiting their organisational systems, not allowing an authentic voice to flourish.

An organisational culture that cannot hear or speak with an authentic voice, limits the possibility of managers, team leaders and executives to be innovative, creative and meet the challenges we face. Now that society is embedded in the internet age, organisations whose information cannot accessed immediately online, already creates suspicion about what’s going on. All business models have an implicit obligation to be working towards a continuous improvement of service delivery, customer engagement, and now that facebook, youtube, twitter, google whose business models have by default delivered the channels for the creative, innovate authentic voices which most of us are using.

What organisations now need is a future gazing, enabling environment for leaders within organisations to a develop a new frame of reference to leverage their teams knowledge skills and experience to be more creative and demand innovative solutions in this digital paradigm. These solution teams need to have an understanding of how their sector, themselves, their customers and society is adapting to new technologies. What do your customers and stakeholders expect of you? If you haven’t got some people on this one, it could be a matter of time before there is a new development that disrupts your organisations mission? Think Air B’nB’, Netflix, Uber, Deliveroo. Has your organisation created its own think tank or innovation group?  

What your new model of thinking will look like will be combined with people who have covered foundational material on the new knowledges of digital transformation case studies (See The Definition of Digital Transformation) that can demonstrate transformational value and stimulate new thinking thus impact the management space where people are operating. Lets take TED talks, if you haven’t discovered this platform where individuals share their practice on how they are contributing to improving the world we live in, bringing a focus on what they and their communities are doing that’s making a change and enlisting support for their ideas. If you need some inspiration listen to a TED talk. You have a choice of thousands of subjects. You can download the app.

One of the beauties of whoever came up with TED talks is that they provided a framework for how to get around the challenge of abstract thinking; if ideas are not presented pitch perfect, in ignorance they can be seen as a luxury or a waste of time to the number crunchers.  Creative thinking outside the creative industries is usually at odds with brokers of the subtle dynamics of organisations that submit to bureaucratic traits that defer to an antiquated defaulted hierarchy of power. This is the status quo around concept of being creative in most organisational culture’s and community ecosystems, which often means creative thinking does not go very far because we are all scared focusing keeping our jobs safe. TED talks have evolved as a counter intuitive example of giving a platform to innovative practice that utilised another digital platform social media that many ordinary people are using to share knowledge as a push back against the old order of things.

It is this elements like this of the knowledge sharing economy that has disrupted news content and reduced the old media to the second division of where the numbers of people consuming news are decreasing. By delivering content digitally many business models are aspiring to leverage new audiences in different sectors and then seeking to monetising them. This is the archetypal digital start up model. All the old news media outlets are working vigorously to establish themselves online and get their share.

Have you or your organisation got a plan to engage your audience digitally.  Are you at the aggressive cutting edge of the digital zeitgeist. Is your organisation leveraging social media? creating a app? operating using the cloud? looking at innovating by creating a digital platform for your customers? If not, why not?