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Digitalization as Change Project, but what to change?

Jürgen Kanz
Published by in Thinking · 6 December 2018
Tags: DigitalizationChangeThinkingProcessesProject
Every day we get new information about buzzwords like Digitalization, Industry 4.0, Internet of Things (IoT), Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Robots and so forth. What we can expect are changing environments in all areas of life. Today it is not possible to clear define the impact of the new technologies to all individuals, enterprises, social groups up to nations. We can be sure there will be tremendous changes and as intelligent creatures we should adapt ourselves as early as possible.

The question is of course how to do it? Recently I have found an interesting article about the “10 Principles for Winning the Game of Digital Disruption [1]”. The described path seems to me a good starting point to change existing mental models.

In the article, you can find more information about each step. Are these steps sufficient to go for a change? I do not think so.

I suggest to combine these ten principles with the Thinking Processes developed by Eli Goldratt. Why?

The logical thinking processes provides a framework to give answers to the three major questions:
  1. What to change?
  2. What to change to?
  3. How to cause the change?

Because one needs to clarify first his / her goal in the upcoming environment, I propose to follow the modified Thinking Process as suggested by William Dettmer [2].

The key element here is the Goal Tree. The Goal Tree is a thinking and visualization tool with the Goal on top, the critical success factors below needed to achieve the goal and a range of necessary conditions for each critical success factor. The French expert Chris Hohmann provides a lot of useful material about the Goal Tree on his blog [2]. Please be aware, the Goal Tree is crucial here, but it is just the first element to make a successful change happen. In case you want to get a better understanding about the logical thinking processes, please read my related blog post [3].

For those of my readers who did not watch my video “TOC Thinking and Management Trends”, this might be the right moment to watch it and to get a deeper understanding of TOC Thinking in general [4].

Beside the needed changes in mental models, paradigms, rules, etc. there is of course the need to invest in digitalization by entrepreneurs. As Eli Schragenheim and me haven written in our post [5], independent from all technology euphoria, managers should prove whether an element of the new technologies does really bring an added value.

[2] “What is a Goal Tree?”, Chris Hohmann,

[3] " A Book Review: The Logical Thinking Process - An Executive Summary", Jürgen Kanz,,-but-what-to-change-

[4] “TOC Thinking and Management Trends”, Jürgen Kanz,

[5] "The big slogan and the potential real value of Industry 4.0", Eli Schragenheim & Jürgen Kanz,

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