Organizational Planning and Management in the Digital Age

How should you adapt your organizational planning for the digital age?

After all, digital technology is drastically changing the global business environment.

From the internet to AI, businesses have to evolve, adapt, and change the way they operate.

Let’s look at a few ways your organization can improve its planning and management in today’s fast-paced, digital world.

Organizational Planning, Strategy, and Management for the Digital Age

Effective business management is a survival skill in the digital revolution.

Because tomorrow’s environment will be different from today’s, the right planning can literally mean the difference between success and failure.

When planning, try to envision the world in a few years’ time – it will certainly look different from today’s world.

For that reason, develop an organizational plan that includes some of the following traits:

Adaptability

In a volatile marketplace, adaptability is one of the most important traits an organization can possess.

This means:

  • Your organization should be able to react quickly to external circumstances
  • People, processes, and systems should be fluid and flexible
  • Focus on results over processes

We have already seen dramatic economic changes on a global scale.

But even bigger changes are yet to come.

The organizations that are most adaptable will be most likely to succeed.

Continual Evolution

Continual improvement is a principle that every organization should embrace.

This means that organizations should constantly be improving:

  • Their organizational culture
  • Business processes and procedures
  • Their relationships with business partners and vendors
  • Tools and technology

Continual change is a defining characteristic of today’s marketplace – so businesses should be evolving with it.

Readiness for Change

Before any change management project, change managers should assess change readiness.

That is:

  • How open the organization’s leaders are to change
  • How willing and open employees are to organizational change
  • How flexible and adaptable the organization itself is

Change readiness can be measured on a scale.

At the lower end of the scale, organizational changes become more difficult and costly.

At the higher end of the scale, organizations are more flexible and change comes easier.

Human-Centricity

Technology is clearly driving the digital revolution.

While this trend presents many opportunities, it also worries many workers.

There is a possibility that businesses can center their revenue models, products, and workplaces around technology.

On the surface, this may seem more efficient and profitable.

However, there are a few reasons why businesses should stay focused on the human experience:

  • For instance, customers still prefer human contact over automated customer service
  • Automation is a real concern for many workers – and the most talented, driven workers will go to companies that support their career development
  • Technology can actually improve customer experiences through personalization, further improving the relationship between brands and consumers

In short, developing organization plans that are human-centered will be more profitable and successful.

Digitally-Powered

There is no denying the overwhelming force behind digital technology.

Unless your organizational planning is digitally-powered, it will not survive the coming years.

Digital transformation is a must, which means:

  • Adopting digital technology and using that technology to its fullest extent
  • Improving business process efficiency through the use of technology
  • Maintaining employee productivity through employee training
  • Ensuring your organization has a modern IT infrastructure
  • Building digital literacy into your culture

The future is digital, so plan for a digital future.

A Future Vision

Plan for tomorrow’s world, not today’s.

Decades ago, technology changed at a relatively slow pace. But today things are different.

In a few years, AI, blockchain, automation, and other technologies will have an even greater presence than they do today.

Also, the workforce and the workplace will continue to evolve.

Consider how the following trends will impact your organizational planning:

A five-year plan should be based on a vision of the world in five or ten years – not the way the world looks today.

Innovation

Plan to be creative, innovative, and strategic.

An innovative organizational plan will:

  • Help an organization out-think and out-maneuver its competitors
  • Design new and creative products or services
  • Gain an edge in their marketplace

Innovation isn’t restricted to technology companies, though.

Any business can apply new technology in creative ways, using those innovations to their advantage.

Lean Thinking

Lean is a business approach that aims to reduce waste, increase product time-to-market, and improve product relevancy.

There are three essential stages in this model:

  • Build a new product or service
  • Measure the results of that product version
  • Learn from those results

This loop is repeated, incrementally improving products with each iteration.

Software, for instance, can be rolled out and released gradually. During each release cycle, businesses can learn from user feedback and make incremental improvements.

An approach such as this can dramatically decrease the lag between user feedback and new product iterations.

Chris is the Lead Author & Editor of Change Blog. Chris established the Change blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Change Management.