A recent McKinsey article, Leading with Inner Agility, caught my attention. The article focuses on how organizations are dealing with the rising tide of disruption all around them:
“We live in an age of accelerating disruption. Every company is facing up to the profound changes wrought by digitization. Industry boundaries have become permeable. Data, algorithms, and artificial intelligence are changing the nature of forecasting, decision making, and the workplace itself. All this is happening at once, and established companies are responding by rethinking their business models, redesigning their organizations, adopting novel agile-management practices, and embracing design thinking.”
It wasn’t the description of the problem that interested me, though. There are many, many articles focused on this question of digital disruption and the challenge it represents to traditional businesses. What caught my eye was their description of the mindset that most organizations take in addressing it:
“The problem isn’t the problem; our relationship to the problem is the problem. In other words, we have many of the skills needed to handle what’s being thrown at us. But when faced with continual complexity at unprecedented pace, our survival instincts kick in. In a mental panic to regain control, we fight, flee, or freeze: we act before thinking (“we’ve got to make some kind of decision, now!”). We analyze an issue to the point of paralysis, or we abdicate responsibility by ignoring the problem or shunting it off to a committee or task force. We need inner agility, but our brain instinctively seeks stasis.”
In other words, many organizations can’t see the forest for the trees; they miss the obvious.
McKinsey recommends that organizations consider five core building blocks as part of their Digital Transformation strategy:
- Pause to move faster.
- Embrace your ignorance.
- Radically reframe the questions.
- Set direction, not destination.
- Test your solutions – and yourself.
At the heart of all of these building blocks is business agility.
When it comes to digital transformation, one of the obvious points that many organizations miss is this: No matter how hard you try, you can’t transform an organization that still relies on manual processes.
Organizations must establish a new pace for innovation by transforming into digital-first businesses. That means going paperless. Automating common processes. Embracing the mobile workforce and the cloud. And turning compliance requirements into business advantage.
Information assets are the lifeblood of a modern digital business. Content and process management technologies are key to maximizing the value and security of these critical business assets.
In order to embrace the future, organizations must embrace their inner agility. Content management has often been thought of as something that would be “nice” to have. Those days are over. Automating the management of information and documents is the key to unlocking your inner agility and the productivity of your employees.