Alexander the Great & Digital Transformation

Every single initiative in the Digital Transformation journey is based on the Executive leadership teams strategy and every day employees do a brilliant job implementing the strategy because they believe in our brand and the mission our company has set out to fulfill. So what happens to the end result when we don’t give them the tools to ensure the desired level of Quality in the Digital Transformation Journey?

Digital Transformation is often approached heuristically. To ensure safe landing, a holistic approach is to be preferred. In the old days we used to deal with discrete elements of a complicated world. What is ahead of us is mastering a swirl of events that is created through dependencies and relationships involving “Big data” and “the internet of things”.

Understanding complex versus complicated can be explained by the roots of the Latin words, plic is “fold” and plex is “weave”. When we fold and cram more into a crowded space this is complicated. When we weave, we use of connections to introduce mutual dependencies – this is complex.

A flat tire on a meat truck is inconvenient but will not have significant impact. A glitch in a national air traffic control system will cause chaos in the transportation system for days.

Flat tire versus Air traffic control

The flat tire on may be complicated, but the air traffic control system is complex. In a complex world it is not enough to understand discrete events such as the milk trucks flat tire. There are so many discrete items, events and situations that it is foolish to pursue their mastery as the way to “make sense” out of what occurs.

Knowing that Scandinavian Airlines owns 200 airplanes will not tell you where each of them flies and why, neither would a route structure or passenger loads or any other piece of information. If you are to master the complex challenges offered by today’s Digital business world.

Gordian Knot

When confronted with the legendary knot of tangled rope tied by King Gordius, Alexander the Great knew what to do. Faced with the challenge, he accepted with out hesitation, the complexity of the knot did not phase him. He drew his sword and cut the Gordian knot with a single, dramatic stroke, thereby ensuring that he would rule all of Asia. Many before him had tried and failed, thinking that the know was complicated and needed to be untied. Alexander saw that a simple action would move though the complexity. Untying your own Gordian Digital knots requires nothing more than common sense.

Mastering Quality in the Digital Transformation with “Big data” and “the internet of things” requires nothing different than common sense and the willingness to own it, starting at the very top of the organisation.