Image by: Glayan, ©2015 Getty Images

Well, another year has passed. For some, it was too quick, and for others, not soon enough. As we prepare for 2016, it is a good time to start, or increase, our way of thinking multidimensionally. This brings to mind the story of Scrooge and how the spirits of the past, present and potential future played a role in the character’s way of thinking and actions taken as a result.

This is the time to reflect on the past and present. What lessons were learned from the past and those experiences along the way. What changes took place? How were they managed? Was the approach used positive, or are there opportunities to improve going forward? In the present, what challenges does your organization face? How can you apply past experience to what you are doing now? For the future, what gaps are there in your ability to perform at or above expected levels? What technology changes are coming in 2016, and how could they be applied, or should they, in meeting your strategic goals?

"Multidimensional thinking means taking a step back and taking a holistic view of your organization."

Multidimensional thinking means taking a step back and taking a holistic view of your organization. It means looking at organizational processes, various content types and elements like mobile access and social media. It means identifying underlying problems in order to get at the root cause rather than addressing the symptoms of a problem. Multidimensional thinking for 2016 should focus on the evolutionary potential of your organization for the future and how enterprise content management (ECM) can support that futuristic ideal.

In my view
It is time to look at your organization using a multidimensional, multifaceted perspective. Look at your business processes and identify where and how paper-based information is used. Look at how and when information enters and exits a business process. Identify areas of opportunity to eliminate paper from those processes; look at how to move the capture of information closest to the first touchpoint; and eliminate redundant steps in the process.

Look at the future with a mindset that a major portion of business can—and should—be done digitally. Embrace the use of mobile devices to provide access and portability, enabling you to digitally "mark up" documents and share the marked-up versions for correction. We use digital signatures in our daily, personal lives yet are reluctant in business. Why? Use of digital signatures allows us to eliminate paper from the process and interact with mobile workers and customers more than ever before.

As you prepare for 2016, take a few moments to reflect on the past, present and future and think in a multidimensional way that shows you the bigger picture and helps you find ways to move forward with a new perspective. Try to think of your organization as a whole rather than compartmentalized. It is not as simple as I might make it sound, but once you unlock your mind to this way of thinking, it is amazing what transformations will take place.

I wish all of you the very best this holiday season and great progress in 2016.

Bob Larrivee is vice president of market intelligence at at AIIM and an internationally recognized subject matter expert and thought leader with over 30 years of experience in the fields of information and process management. He is an avid techie with a focus on process improvement and the application of advanced technologies to enhance and automate business operations. Follow him on Twitter @BobLarrivee.

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