Welcome to our blog, the digital brainyard to fine tune "Digital Master," innovate leadership, and reimagine the future of IT.

The magic “I” of CIO sparks many imaginations: Chief information officer, chief infrastructure officer , Chief Integration Officer, chief International officer, Chief Inspiration Officer, Chief Innovation Officer, Chief Influence Office etc. The future of CIO is entrepreneur driven, situation oriented, value-added,she or he will take many paradoxical roles: both as business strategist and technology visionary,talent master and effective communicator,savvy business enabler and relentless cost cutter, and transform the business into "Digital Master"!

The future of CIO is digital strategist, global thought leader, and talent master: leading IT to enlighten the customers; enable business success via influence.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

The Monthly “Problem-Solving Master” Book Tuning: Who Are Your Problem-Solving Masters May 2018


The purpose of “Problem-Solving Master - Frame Problems Systematically and Solve Problems Creatively“ is to throw some light on how to understand, frame, and solve today’s multilayer, interdependent, and over-complex business problems effortlessly. Digital leaders and professionals should self-aware of their role in problems, show professional maturity, and develop a good reputation as the problem-solver.

              

Who Are Your Problem-Solving Masters


The New Book “Problem-Solving Master” Chapter 1 Introduction Problem-Solving Masters Fundamentally, every job is to deal with problems big or small both from a long-term perspective and even on the daily basis. Sometimes, even you intend to solve problems but perhaps cause more serious problems later on. So, observe the problem-solving scenarios and ask yourself how you discover the part you played in the problem, and how to build a good reputation on problem-solving.

How to Build a Good Reputation for Problem Solving Fundamentally, every job is to deal with problems big or small both from the long-term perspective or on the daily basis. We all develop reputations - for being problem creators, problem definers or problem solvers. Sometimes, even you intend to solve problems but perhaps causes more serious problems later on. So it's important to observe the problem-solving scenarios and ask yourself the sets of questions such as, how do you discover the part you played in the problem/challenge? Which thought processes shall you leverage to diagnose problems and solve them? What is the best way to handle a problem that seems to have no solution?" How to build a good reputation on problem-solving? And how to leverage Systems Thinking in problem-solving?

Running IT as an Innovative Problem Solver and a Relentless Change Agent IT is at an inflection point to speed up digital transformation, modern IT organizations need to be the explorer for stepping into the deep, deep digital normality with the abundance of information and the sea of changes. Forward-looking CIOs express a need to free up their staff from commodity activities to spend more time on strategic or innovative business initiatives. For IT to break the old cycle, and transform from the ‘weakest link," to the superglue of the business, it has to provide business stakeholders technological insight into how they bring success to the company as a whole instead of being a commodity overcoming the cost center reputation. Digital IT leaders today should practice paradoxical thinking to strike the right balance, drive changes, and solve business problems effectively.

Three Questions to Assess Employees “Problem-Solving” Capability? People are always the most invaluable asset in organizations because the collective capabilities underpin business strategy execution and amplify business influence. But how can organizations “value” their employees, and more specifically, evaluate each individual’s capability, especially the “problem-solving’ ability more effectively and objectively? Here are three questions to assess employees problem-solving capability.

Digital CIOs as Problem-Solvers? Modern CIOs have many personas, fundamentally digital CIOs are problem-solvers who need to take business problems large or small, find good solutions for them, increase value propositions, simplify operations and be the better business partners with the rest of the organizations.

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2.5 million page views with about 4600+ blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify your voice, deepen your digital footprints, and match your way for human progression.

The Popular Quotes of “Digital Master” Book Series IV

Digital Master” is the series of guidebooks (23+ books) to perceive the multi-faceted impact digital is making to the businesses and society, help forward-thinking organizations navigate through the journey in a systematic way, and avoid “rogue digital.” It perceives the emergent trends of digital leadership, advises on how to run a digital IT organization to unleash its full potential and improve agility, maturity, and provide the insight about Change Management. It also instructs digital workforce on how to shape game-changing digital mindset and build the right set of digital capabilities to compete for the future.

48 Digital hyper-connectivity can foster innovation through collaboration.

49 Thy hybrid nature of innovation is a combination of something old with something new, with the mixed portfolio of incremental innovation and radical innovation.

50 Data-driven talent management will challenge the organization to be more fact-based, objective, and cost-effective.

51 Digital IQ is a measure of how well companies understand the value of technology weave it into the fabric of their organization.

52 Digital “EQ” has three dimensions: Emotional Intelligence, Execution Excellence, and Employee Engagement.

53 Every risk has opportunities in it, and every opportunity has risks in it.

54 An nnovation ecosystem is a systematic innovation methodological environment or a sort of innovation philosophy.

55 A game-changing digital workforce needs to cultivate a growth mindset.

56 People don’t resist change, they resist being changed.

57 Happiness seems like such an elusive thing to quantify. Maybe it’s just one of those things that we know when we see it.

58 Digital learning is multidimensional, dynamic, interactive, and integrated.

59 Employee engagement takes mind, heart, and hands unification.

Digital Master refers to those high-performing, highly innovative and high-mature (less than 15%) digital organizations; they have both clear digital vision and well-crafted digital strategy; they are courageous to be in the vanguard of digital transformation with a quantum lead. But they also proactively develop more advanced and unique digital capabilities step-by-step and build a digital premium into their very foundation of business, such as digital thinking, culture, agility, intelligence, and structure, and they achieve high performing results through strong digital governance discipline and reach its zenith as the digital world continues to expand and diversify. At the individual level, Digital Masters are those cross-generational digital professionals who are equipped with the advanced digital minds and build a unique set of digital capabilities, climb to the top of Maslow’s Pyramid 2.0.

Three Refinement to Shape High-Mature Digital Organization

Change is multifaceted with increasing speed and velocity. Digitalization is the radical change, Change Management is all about balancing the main elements impacting change such as people, strategies, processes/procedures and IT. Change Management has to maintain and fix any imbalance in those elements by refining key business elements and practicing digital disciplines.



Organizational structure refinement: Compared to the traditional organization as the mechanical system to keep spinning, digital organizations today are more like the organic living system which keeps growing. Digital blurs the functional, organizational, and even industrial borders nowadays. Organization structure and its impact on efficiency could play either positive or negative impact. The challenge for any business is to explore successful structures that help to empower people, enforce iterative communication, and harness cross-functional collaboration to accelerate business performance and unleash the full digital potential of the organization. Traditional hierarchical lines will phase out and a collective of business partners will emerge working collaboratively to set strategy and achieve organizational goals. Digital means flow - mind flow, information flow, and idea flow; thus, the goal of digital organizational structure tuning is to strike the delicate balance between solid and flow; it needs to keep the business fluid enough to interact with expanded digital ecosystem seamlessly to improve responsiveness, changeability, and speed; it also needs to be solid enough to “keep things in order,” to achieve business efficiency and operational excellence.

Digital process refinement: Strong business processes have better chance to deliver a better result. Processes underpin business capability, and capabilities underpin strategy execution. The bottom line is how well the organizational processes can enforce communication effectiveness, information fluidity, customer centricity, etc, to ensure the business as a whole is superior to the sum of pieces. There is a logical flow of business processes that evolve business capability requirements into enterprise competency, business model, implementation plan, tasks, knowledge, and performance review, to reach the high level of employee loyalty, financial health, and shareholder delight. Refresh the core business processes to make sure the changes are not only predicted but also fully prepared. It is also important that many companies approaching the subject, have the objectivity and humility to realize that their system or processes are out of date. Digital process refinement focuses on people centricity and adaptability, to ensure businesses are built to changes, and ensure people can have the right information and tools to get their job well done. The successful process refinement often goes hand-in-hand with organizational structure management, it helps establish early buy-in and support through analysis of how the business initiatives impact the people in the organization in order to refine people-centric process management.

Digital culture refinement: Digital is the age of people, people have to be ready for moving to a more fluid structure and dynamic digital ecosystem. The certain experiences or skills are good in times of static industry age, but they are not so valuable in times of drastic change. Therefore, building a culture of learning and creating accountability in the ever-expanding workplace is a multi-layered and multi-dimensional issue in today’s environment. Refining the digital culture is crucial because when having the conversations about culture, keep in mind that it is the policies, procedures, rewards, and retributions that drive and groom advanced mind, good behavior and it is the employee behavior that expresses "culture." Successful culture change helps people become who they are. The skills that made you successful in the past may not necessarily make you succeed in the new world if you do not continue to learn and build the next level of capability. The good leaders focus on solutions, not on blame. They also encourage employees to do the same, focus on building the culture of authenticity, accountability, and problem-solving, reward authenticity and excellence, not mediocre or unprofessional behaviors.

The digital paradigm shift is the multidimensional expansion. The process, technology, culture, capability tuning. etc, are all tactics to get the organization there for adapting to the complexity and pace of changes. The democratic processes will overtake hierarchical control, and that culture will become a more fundamental organizational asset. But it all starts with the realization that "we can't stay the same." It takes a logical scenario to manage change lifecycle, refine core business elements, and shape high mature digital organizations step-wisely.

Friday, May 18, 2018

The Monthly “100 Digital Rules” Book Tuning: A Set of “Dos & Don’t” Digital Practices May 2018

A well-defined set of digital rules is to set the frame of relevance and guide through changes and digital transformation.

The purpose of “100 Digital Rules: Setting Guidelines to Explore Digital New Normal “ is to establish digital principles and update business policies that can be applied holistically and guide the digital transformation systematically. Digital rules are based on a set of fundamental beliefs behind the methodologies and they help to shape mindsets behind behaviors. Digital rules encourage mindfulness, authenticity, creativity, inclusiveness, and discourage static thinking, silo, and bureaucracy, help to accelerate collective human progress.

A Set of “Dos & Don’t” Digital Practices


Three “Do Not” in Digital Innovation? Innovation involves new ways of bringing together ideas and resources to create something novel and then transform those novel ideas to achieve the business value. It's obvious that innovation is being pursued now more than ever, and in fact, we see much more innovation in more and more areas of the business landscapes. Digital innovation has an expanded scope and innovation is benefiting the widest audience of the digital ecosystem. Still, there is the high percentage of failure rate for innovation management, and innovation success rate is not always proportional to how much money you pour in. Innovation is more science than art in the digital era though.

Three “Do Not” to Overcome Unconscious Bias
No one is absolutely objective. We all have biases; some with more; some with less; some of that we are aware of and some of that we are not. Have you ever mislabelled, or over-analyzed others; have you always kept bi-polar thinking to judge “good or bad”? Have you always listen to what being told or taught without the second thought? Have you paid too much attention to trivial or insignificant details, but lost the holistic picture? Etc. With the rapid growth of information and fast-paced changes, it’s important to challenge conventional wisdom and eliminate pre-conceptual assumptions or unconscious bias which is often caused by misperception or mislabeling. Perception is based on one’s thought processes which are influenced by one’s thinking style, cognitive understanding, and knowledge level, therefore, it is subjective. Understand the filters that influence one’s unconscious biases is critical to the choice or the judgment you make. Because when the assumption is wrong, the conclusion will also go wrong.

Three “DO”s and “DON’T” in IT Digital Transformation? Digitalization is about the rapid changes and continuous business flow, The purpose of such radical digitalization is to make a significant difference in the overall levels of customer delight and achieve high performing business result and build a people-centric organization. IT has to not only transform itself but become a changing organization to drive business transformation. Here are three “DOs and “Don’ts” in IT digital transformation.

“Leadership Master” Book Tuning: Three “Dos & Don’t” in Leadership Classification The function of leaders is to LEAD- set direction, drive changes, make influences, foster motivation, guide the problem-solving. Leadership is not just about the title only, that all of us, to the degree, we take responsibility for our own sphere of influence, no matter what formal title we might hold or not, have the opportunity to lead at the different level and exercise leadership influence continually. Here are three “Do & Don’t”s principles in leadership classification?

Three “DO NOT” in IT Innovation In the rapidly evolving digital businesses and economic systems, the creation of new innovations is very complex but critical for firms' survival and thriving. Information is the lifeblood of the modern business and technology is the disruptive force behind the digital transformation. Contemporary IT organization should be run as the innovation engine of the company, it is the thorny journey because there are many roadblocks and hidden pitfalls on the way. Here are three “DO NOT” in IT innovation.

The blog is a dynamic book flowing with your thought; growing through your dedication; sharing your knowledge; conveying your wisdom, and making influence through touching the hearts and connecting the minds across the globe. The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2.5 million page views with about #4600 blog posting. Among 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating the new ideas; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes the time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify diverse voices and deepen digital footprints, and it's the way to harness your innovative spirit.

What ‘re Crucial Elements to Run Paramount Digital IT

Information is growing exponentially and change is inevitable, IT makes the influence on almost every aspect of business nowadays. CIOs have to deal with constant ambiguity, increasing complexity, rapid change, and unprecedented uncertainty. Many IT organizations are at an inflection point to lead organizational level changes. So, what are crucial elements to run “paramount” digital IT organization?

Insight is paramount: Many IT organizations still get stuck at the lower level of maturity because they are too busy on fixing the symptoms, or taking care of immediate problems, without spending enough effort on digging into the root cause of intricacies or thinking of the long-term strategy. To run a high performance and high mature digital IT, Insight is paramount. Trying to fix symptoms, not the real problem, will perhaps cause more issues later on. CIOs need to become far, far more business focused and business literate. CIOs are in the unique position to manage the most invaluable business asset - information, as well as oversee the underlying functions and processes of the business, that is a great advantage to capture business insight. Insight is paramount because how you figure out a solution to any problem depends on your perspective on that problem. Every problem has numerous angles to take into consideration. it boils down to how you view the problem from different outlooks; from above (executives’ strategic view) or from below (frontline’s tactical view); from inside-out (operation lens) or from outside-in (customer lens). In addition, Information Technology is the linchpin to glue the digital organization which is a working switch of the expanding digital ecosystem. When looking at business/organizations, the most powerful aspect of these processes involves tapping the organization's ecosystem (people-centricity) for the collective perspectives/insights of those who make and know intimately their parts of the system. With business insight, IT applying its business sense can help businesses analyze information unearth unknown benefit, as it is often difficult for non-technical people to understand the incredibly broad scope of solutions that technology can provide to business problems, so IT leaders can work closely with business partners from a long-term perspective.

Innovation is paramount: Many IT organizations are at the crossroad, to either become the strategic business partner or turn to be irrelevant. Thus, innovation is paramount. The opportunity for the CIO to add a lot of value in the C-Suite is helping C-Level leaders understand the possibilities of how new technologies or abundant information can enhance the creation or improvement of products/services/solutions. IT cannot be seen as an innovation engine unless IT management clearly understands what their organization does for a living and how IT can build business competency. To run an innovative IT organization, the more difficult challenge is not just launching successful teams, but maintaining their motivation and focus. CIOs who are only putting stress on "having the knowledge" not on "building the new knowledge" or “connecting unusual dots,” to spark innovation might be in danger just to preserve the organization and thus create huge constraints for the possible innovation. In the ever-changing digital dynamic, innovation is paramount, worth persistent effort and wise investment. IT needs to build a culture of innovation, and talented IT professionals should be empowered to use the creative side of their thinking for discovering new ways of doing things that allow for innovation to happen.

Multidimensional digitalization is paramount:
Digitalization is not a single dimensional technological expansion, but a multifaceted management discipline. IT leaders need to shift the old thinking (leads to a burden of support for operations) to the digital thinking whereas the true potential is in liberating new products, services, and business models. The challenge is how to accelerate business performance and maximize the full potential of the digital business. IT management has to work both in IT and on IT, the true value is created at the intersection of many disciplines. Digital IT has to be configured in a way to understand the business profoundly and set the architecture to deliver the tailored business and market need proactively. With the exponential growth of information and emerging digital technologies as the force behind continuous disruption, forward-looking organizations across industrial sectors are on the way for managing digital paradigm shift. IT applications and its dynamics are totally different from previous age, beside automation, information availability, IT applications blended with current digital trends can deliver significant benefit to the business, such as business optimization, adaptability, real-time customer experience, innovative products/services. Digitalization becomes the very fabric of high performing business, it is paramount because leading digital businesses take the structured approach to expanding digital to all important dimensions with a set of well-defined digital principles, the strong business disciplines and a series of digital practices. Digital IT acts as an ‘orchestrator,’ to conduct an ongoing, information-mature, customer-centric digital organizations.

Organizations rely more and more on technology and the IT department has more and more to overcome. IT management is multifaceted; being outside-in and customer-centric is the mantra to run paramount digital IT organization. IT leaders should be good at the perception of technology trend, business solution or alternative talent development practices to ensure they have all important business elements mixed into differentiated business competency.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Weekly Insight of the “Future of CIO” 5/18/2018

Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking, brainstorming, innovating and sharing.
The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2.5 million page views with 4600+ blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom. Here is the weekly insight of digital leadership, IT Management, and Talent Management.



Is IT Viewed as an Inhibitor or the Driver of Change We live in a technological world and every day more and more technology affects the way we live and work. Great opportunity, danger, and disruption are around every corner. However, many IT organizations are still perceived by business as a support function, slow to change. Forward-looking CIOs need to ask themselves: Is IT viewed as an inhibitor or the driver of change? What’re the best and next practices to reinvent IT for getting digital ready?

The Monthly “Digital Boardroom: 100 Q&As” Book Tuning: The Digital Board’s Performance Inquiries May 2018 Modern corporate boards play significant roles in guiding businesses in the right direction and achieve expected business results. Due to the “VUCA” characteristics -Complexity, Uncertainty, Ambiguity, and Velocity of the Digital Era, the directorship in any organization must have the agility to adapt to changes and build abilities to advise, inspire and motivate a group of people toward accomplishing shared visions and goals. Here is the monthly “Digital Boardroom” summary of the digital board’s performance inquiries.

Three “Do Not” to Overcome Unconscious Bias No one is absolutely objective. We all have biases; some with more; some with less; some of that we are aware of and some of that we are not. Have you ever mislabelled, or over-analyzed others; have you always kept bi-polar thinking to judge “good or bad”? Have you always listen to what being told or taught without the second thought? Have you paid too much attention to trivial or insignificant details, but lost the holistic picture? Etc. With the rapid growth of information and fast-paced changes, it’s important to challenge conventional wisdom and eliminate pre-conceptual assumptions or unconscious bias which is often caused by misperception or mislabeling. Perception is based on one’s thought processes which are influenced by one’s thinking style, cognitive understanding, and knowledge level, therefore, it is subjective. Understand the filters that influence one’s unconscious biases is critical to the choice or the judgment you make. Because when the assumption is wrong, the conclusion will also go wrong. Here are three “Do Not” practices to overcome unconscious bias.

Running a Future-Driven Digital Organization Digital organizations are the living systems which keep growing and maturing. Organization of the Future is an organization designed openly for anyone with ideas on how human organizations ought to be contrived in the face of the “VUCA” digital new normal, hyperconnectivity and fierce competition. Reimaging the future of business is exciting, but investigating the different path for unlocking business performance and potential needs to take a systematic approach and develop it into a more solid form. Digital leaders must realize that you cannot wait until there is an immediate pressing task, continuous adaptability is necessary in an ever-changing world, in order to run a future-driven digital organization.

The Monthly “12 CIO Personas” Book Tuning: CIOs as “Chief Inspection Officer” May 2018 Compare to the other executive positions, the CIO role continues to be shaken up, refined, reinvented and reenergized. The magic “I” of the CIO title sparks many imaginations and modern CIOs need to wear different hats and play multiple roles. Here are a set of blogs to brainstorm digital CIOs as “Chief Inspection Officers.”

Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating the new ideas; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes the time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify diverse voices and deepen digital footprints, and it's the way to harness your innovative spirit.

Three Aspects of the Board Refreshment

The new breed of BoDs has the advantage of bringing up the fresh viewpoints, reframing the existing or emerging problems, and rejuvenating leadership styles.

The digital paradigm is an emerging ecosystem of principles, policies, and practices that set limits or boundaries, also provide the guidance for problem-solving or creating something new under the digital rules. The high-performance board makes the disproportional impact on running a high-performance business through their invaluable oversight of the strategy and relentlessly inspiring changes and innovation. To improve directorship effectiveness, there are quite a lot of things digital boards need to shape up, and there are so many issues the boards have to deal with. Here are three aspects of the board refreshment.


The outlier’s viewpoint: The beauty of the digital landscape is the fresh insight of business. Sometimes organizations go stale, from the boardroom to front line, they need the fresh blood, the so-called "shot in the arm" of someone who thinks different, help to open leadership mindset by understanding the other side of the coin or connect unusual dots to spark creativity. The contemporary board plays a crucial role in policy making and driving changes. Therefore, it is so important to envisioning the future or seek out different voices or interdisciplinary insight. The outlier’s viewpoint helps the board to think forward and contemplate deeper because many things outside of box yesterday has become the new reality today, and invisible elements are often the dominant success factors of running the high-performance digital business and making the progressive movement.

The quality and diverse experience: Many board directors are top seasoned executives with decades of experience. Forward-looking boards are looking for quality and diverse experience for improving governance effectiveness. Experience, be it bad or good, has a repository of learnings of "do & don't"; it is about always learning the new things through it - either it’s success or failure. Working with attention to important detail by staying focused at the moment while having a certain awareness of the big picture is the best way to refine the quality experiences. Experience is also personal. People have cognitive differences, even two people experience exactly the same thing, they might have totally different feedback, and tell the completely different story. Thus, building a heterogeneous board with diverse background and experience is important to fill leadership blindspots, bridge insight gaps, and improve decision effectiveness. Boards that are too homogenous are at much higher risk of making poor decisions or not asking the questions that need to be asked for policy enforcement or governance maturity.

The different Leadership style: If leadership substance is about why and what of leadership, then, leadership style is the way how something is said or done, as distinguished from its substance. If leadership substance is always about direction and change, and then, leadership style needs to be adjusted to reflect the paradigm shift. Now, we are slowly but steadily moving to the digital economy with an abundance of knowledge and continuous disruption. Command & control management is soon running out of steam because you can control people’s behaviors, but you can’t manipulate how they think. The problem of C&C is not even 'command and control,’ it's authoritarian behavior and bureaucratic decision-making. Developing a world-class board requires that the corporate boards should lead changes, walk the talk, and refresh their leadership styles to get digital ready. The digital leading styles focus on convincing, inclusiveness, collaboration, flexibility, understanding, innovativeness, outside-in, empathy, global accent, and intrapreneurship.

The more a board represents or mirrors its stakeholders, the better served will be the organization. The new breed of BoDs has the advantage of bringing up the fresh viewpoints, reframing the existing or emerging problems, and rejuvenating leadership styles. It’s all about leadership from the top which sets the digital tones to make the digital paradigm shift seamlessly.

Take Interconnected Approach to Drive Digitalization

Each business must explore its own way to bridge the 'gap of opportunity' between where you are and want to become.

The increasing pace of technological advances and exponential growth of information have clearly impacted the nature and scope of opportunity that the business could ever experience and risks the business exposes to. Business leaders have to understand what it means within their organization, but much more importantly, they have to understand the external changing connected business environment as well as the emerging digital ecosystem and take an interconnected approach to drive digitalization proactively.

Deep digital awareness: 
As we all know the only "Certainty" or a "Constant" now is "CHANGE," with accelerated speed and “VUCA” digital new normal. It means that digital leaders must have a greater awareness of business intricacies and systemic value of organizational systems, architectures, structures, processes, technology, people dynamics, resource allocation, supply-demand side variables, market variables, or economies of scale, etc. Digital awareness also means to understand how change capabilities are underpinned by change processes, people, and technology, as well as how much change capacity is really required for the change effort you are kicking off. It indicates that business leaders must learn how to strike a balance between managing complex issues today and be forecasting the uncertain issues of tomorrow; keep the lights on as well as grow and transform business for building long-term competency. Thus, having learning curve awareness is the prerequisite step before change can take place. Organizations should have a comprehensive digital strategy with the first step to understand the real business problems and gain the full awareness of both opportunities and risks. The tough part is trade-offs: The more you can front load and truly define the current state, the easier the journey moves ahead. Be prepared, be flexible, and be insightful, ride learning curve and build change as a dynamic business capability.

Scaled digital collaboration: Compared to industrial silos, the most effective digital workplace is one where collaboration and sharing are the norms. Digital collaboration needs to focus on harnessing cross-functional collaboration through iterative communication, robust processes, and powerful digital platforms. The real power of emerging digital technology comes from the innate appeal of interacting socially and intellectual stimulation that people derive from sharing what they know, expressing opinions, brainstorming new ideas, and learning what others know and think. Digital platforms and technologies enable social behaviors to take place online, endow these interactions with scale, speed and disruptive economics of digital expansion, provide platforms for content creation, distribution, consuming, co-creation and transformation of personal and group communication to the collective problem-solving scenario. Thus, cross-silo or cross-divisional collaboration is an interconnected approach to catalyze change and build dynamic digital competency. For scaling collaboration, some companies have created institutional platforms that focus on building longer-term relationships and enforcing open innovation. Sustaining long-term collaboration allows participants to develop subject knowledge over time and focus more directly on business objectives and digitally enabled innovation and transformation.

Customer-tailored design: Digital is the era of people and option, or simply put, "personalization." It is the age to connect the dots between science and arts. Because linear logic or reductionistic management practices perhaps work in the considerably static and silo industrial age; but it has the limitation to solving problems in an increasingly volatile, uncertain, and complex digital business world. The emerging design thinking addresses this in the nonlinear way that is more in keeping with the pace of change and technology disruption and provides a counterpoint to the classic management practices. It helps to think of problem-solving as being on a continuum with analytical, traditional business-thinking on one end, and Design Thinking on the other end. Highly effective digital leaders know this and balance their organizations with both. Design thinking is not a process, it is a collection of methodologies. It is an orientation towards life-powered by an ever-evolving collection of methodologies. The "methodologies" being put into the design thinking bucket are somewhat unique and previously outside of the business norm, but have the potential to reframe the problem which in itself is the significant contribution to innovative problem-solving. Rather than focus on one method, as a team with broad expertise across a range of disciplines, there are choices of tools or methods appropriate for the challenge, and customizing tools and methods for the challenge will always yield a more desirable outcome. You don't do certain things in a certain order; you just look at things from a non-business-standard point of view until the form emerges, and engaging in varying conversations, with the goal to solving problems creatively, or seeing things systemically. It provides impressive advantages in terms of the speed of delivering the solutions, as well as ease of understanding and usage by customers.

There is no magic formula to build a high mature digital organization. Each business must explore its own way to bridge the 'gap of opportunity' between where you are and want to become. It is important to take an interconnected approach, build the digital workforce and workplace that change is encouraged, creativity is inspired, and the soft forces to changes are fine-tuned to make the change as the new normal and digital journey enjoyable.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Monthly “Digital Gaps” Book Tuning: Minding the Multitude of Digital Gaps May 2018

Digital is the new paradigm shift to deeply connect the business with the natural ecosystem. 

"Digital Gaps -Bridging Multiple Gaps to Run Cohesive Business” is a guidebook to help digital leaders and professionals today identify, analyze, and mind multiple gaps with the multidisciplinary insight and holistic understanding. Today’s digital organization simply just can’t stand still., bridging the 'gap of opportunity' between where you are and want to become is a welcomed challenge, it is important to bridge leadership gap and take a stepwise approach to make a leap of digital transformation.
                                  
                 
Minding the Multitude of Digital Gaps

Bridging Digital Gaps to Catalyze Business Maturity? Digital is the new paradigm shift to deeply connect the business with the natural ecosystem. At the high maturity level, organizations have to stretch out in every business dimension for driving the full-fledged digital transformation, in order to adapt to the new world of business - fast, always “on,” highly connected and ultra-competitive. On one side, the idea of digital lenses is to "seeing the whole," or helping people reach a shared understanding of the whole. On the other side, digital enlarges the thinking and capability gaps because different organizations, functions, and individuals evolve with varying speed. In reality, many organizations are still operated with the traditional management discipline with the silo mentality. So, how to bridge multiple digital gaps to catalyze overall business maturity?

How to Mind the Gap between the Industrial Age and Digital Age Organizations large or small are on the journey of digital transformation. It is the transformation that is reshaping our thinking and recasting the way we view ourselves, the systems of which we are the part of the environments in which we live, and the way we think and solve problems. There are multitudes of gaps between the industrial age and the digital age, understanding the digital business development is multifaceted, and it is the paradigm shift which needs a well-thought-out planning and takes a multidisciplinary approach.

Closing the Multitude of Digital Gaps?
We are at the age of digital dawn, hyper-connectivity is the most critical digital characteristics. Digitalization implies the full-scale changes in the way business is conducted so that simply adopting a new digital technology may be insufficient. You have to transform the company's underlying functions and organization as a whole with adjusted digital speed. Otherwise, companies may begin a decline from its previous good performance. However, many business managers today still apply old silo management mindsets to new ways of organizing, create the multitude of gaps blocking the way of the radical digital transformation. Being divided by so many gaps across leadership, management, and innovation, etc, organizations lose their collaborative advantage as they are being over managed and under led, remain disconnected, hoard knowledge, decrease effectiveness, and do not have the competence to collaborate in the long term.

Bridging Three Gaps to Make the Business “Digital Ready” Although developing and implementing a digital strategy is at the top list of business executives’ agenda, Being digital ready goes beyond just applying the latest technologies, or playing the latest gadget. There are still many gaps need to be close, and there are also a lot of pitfalls on the way. Therefore, truly forward-thinking organizations are taking a holistic approach to making the business “Digital Ready” via bridging the following three gaps in order to implement digital strategy seamlessly.

Are you Still Running "Business as Usual" or Embracing the Digital "New Normal"? Today's workplace is the hybrid of the physical building and the virtual connectivity, and today's digital workforce is changing significantly with the characteristics of multi-generation, multi-culture and multi-devicing. However, the solution to better managing this shifting talent population hasn't achieved the expected result yet. How to take new management approaches that reflect the global talent pool and the expectations of today's new talent, but with improving the overall standard of management and leadership. Are you still running a business as usual? And shall you embrace such business new normal heartily and mindfully??

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2.5 million page views with about #4700th blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating the new ideas; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify diverse voices and deepen digital footprints, and it's the way to harness your innovative spirit.

















Three Symptoms of Innovation Blue

Innovation at the digital age is coming at seemly a much faster pace, more change, and more potential disruption, with a broader scope, scale, and impact on the business’s surviving and thriving. However, innovation has a very low success rate, pay more attention to innovation blue, examine the causes of failure in innovation, the gaps and pitfalls on the way.




Innovation is just a buzzword, everyone talks about it, but very few people, especially leaders really work on it: In most of the organizations, culture inertia is one of the biggest obstacles to innovation. Innovation is neither a buzzword nor a serendipity. The success of innovation management is never an accident, it is a thought-out planning and seamless execution. Very often, innovation fails because top leadership doesn't understand how to "manage" innovation or treat the decision in the same way as a capital decision. It is important to develop a creative but also disciplined space for encouraging creativity, experimenting and testing new models, products, services, and business approaches. Some businesses sheld innovation teams from the organization’s dominant logic and establish standard operating procedure. The purpose is to create an environment for generating more ideas and pursuing alternative ways to do things; when ideas have been developed or when they are able to be applied to meet the business objective, and then they should be pushed through an efficient execution process or scale innovation effect across the organization. At the core of innovation management is a customized business simulation, which lets participants experience the comprehensive business problems and opportunities associated with creating ideas and executing innovation at the company for developing innovation as a cohesive business competency.

The workplace is just too comfortable to get others thinking differently; or too rigid to encourage different voice: Innovation becomes possible only if people can keep their curiosity to ask WHY, WHY NOT, WhAT IF questions. In fact, innovative solutions often come from the floor and not the ceiling. Impatient with the status quo and believing there is always a better way to do things is a strong signal of having a creative workforce. A leader should create an environment that allows people the opportunity to push boundaries and seek out new frontiers. Hence, the concern is they will not be investing enough to craft a workable future, or searching for new alternatives. The leader views the whole picture and applies creativity in areas not tried. To spark creativity, the digital workforce with heterogeneous team setting include all sorts of thinkers: creative thinker, critical thinker, systems thinker, holistic thinker, etc, to complement each other’s skills, connect wider dots, and harness the culture of innovation.

The risk-allergic minds dominate the workplace and protect the interests of narrow-short-sighted benefit:
Innovation comes with a risk of failure, usually not well tolerated in risk avoidance mind, protecting the interests of short-term benefit. In many organizations, the short term, and immediate pressures are making them look inward to optimize what they know. Companies have to be prepared to lose some to gain more for the longer term. Innovators should always have the greater vision in mind and strive to return sustainable development and growth. Failure should not be an offense and actually, if there are not a few failures, then you are not trying hard enough. The job of innovation management is to help when a failure happens to turn it around as a team. When leaders shift from “risk-avoidance,” to “risk management and risk intelligence” mentality, they can stay focus, weigh risks and rewards, take prudent risks and discover better ways to mitigate risks rather than eliminate it and embrace business growth opportunities proactively.

Digital innovation now expands its horizon and flexes its muscles, goes beyond just creating the new things, and it has enriched context. Identify the symptom of innovation blue as early as possible. Innovation has to become your business routine, corporate culture to renew creative energy and it needs a systematic approach to manage a healthy innovation portfolio.







The Multiple Aspects to Drive Success of Digitizing IT

IT management has to work both in IT and on IT, the true value is created at the intersection of many disciplines. 

Digital businesses become more dynamic and hyperconnected, what technology is expected to do has changed significantly over recent years, although every company has its own circumstances. Overall speaking, IT has become so critical that there’s no function can be run without certain information or technology evolved. IT also has to reinvent itself that it can be perceived as the strategic partner and innovation hub of the business. Here are the multitude of aspects to drive the success of digitalizing IT.

Automation: Many IT departments operate in silos with separate teams delivering separate functional tasks such as backup, monitoring, risk management, server administration, mail administration, etc. The first stage in the journey to automation must be to examine every process and identify how it can be made more efficiently and how it connects to other processes, in order to run more streamlined and profitable operations. To improve productivity, identify and remove inefficiencies and rationalize the manual actions. It has to keep optimizing its process and trimming the cost to keep digital fit. Automation is needed for efficiency to balance the demand and supply. Effective automation should first examine certain functions and understand the connections and define any constraints in the system. Identify any constraining tasks and look to automate these first to reduce the overall delivery cycle for a task. As this process goes along, see what can be automated by using the automation available natively within many of the tools you already have. Developing and delivering tools down to departments and users help those better do their job - the job of more streamlined and profitable operations - is one of the most critical roles for IT.

People-Centricity: Digital is the age of people and operations. Digital IT organization plays a crucial role in either delighting customers or engaging employees, as well as evolving business partners to getting right feedback for making the improvement. It provides the opportunity to think the new way to do things for improving organizational effectiveness and maturity. The part of the digital transformation journey is to prepare people for the new structures and to recognize this is a crucial step. However, for many organizations, people are center of the business, but also the weakest link in organizations. IT is the linchpin to integrate people, process, and technology for building differentiated business competency as well as a productive working environment in which people are empowered with efficient tools and the right information to get the job well done and do more with innovation. A real customer-centric approach permeates into everything about the way the CIO leads in the business. IT needs to champion intuitive and customer-tailored solutions to achieve specified goals with continuous delivery way.

Revenue-Generation: IT needs to reinvent its reputation from a cost center to a profit center. IT needs to be run as the business. CIOs should perform necessary levels of communication across functionally and make an objective evaluation of how IT can directly contribute to the organization’s top line business growth and associate its efforts directly with sources of income. Communication is key. CIOs should encourage IT teams spending time on the business as well as customers’ side for getting to know what they really need; these engagements are leading IT to be much more proactive in proposing ideas for better ways to do things or creating new customer value or revenue. Digital IT organization has to go a step further from IT-business alignment to IT-business integration and IT-customer alignment. IT can help business improve net by eliminating the cost of doing business by various means such as right sourcing & sizing, keeping IT costs flat while at the same time maximizing its output so that when business revenue increasing, IT cost remains the same, which will improve the net value.

Decomplexity: Digital organizations today are overcomplex and interdependent, with hyper-connecting nature and expansive territories. Behind every intuitive user interface or features, there is the certain level of technical complexity in it. However, digital IT is not for complicating things, but about how to fine-tuning business processes or structures to maximizing performance as well as unlocking business potential. In fact, overcoming complication and managing complexity become one of the biggest challenges in businesses today. Every IT initiative is to solve business problems, not a purely technical challenge. Imagine, the future of digital organizations is complex enough to act intelligently and nimble enough to adapt to the change promptly. Further, just like preventing risk is more effective than fixing the problem; avoiding waste is better than eliminating waste. Therefore, it’s important to follow simplicity principle for maximizing outcome.

Competency Building: Digital IT is like the spinal cord for the organization to integrate various functional capabilities into business competencies. There are two sets of business competency: competitive necessity and differentiated competency. IT should contribute to both. CIOs have to define the set of IT competency to tailor the organizational needs and map to the business strategy management. Capabilities are typically expressed in general and high-level terms and typically require a combination of organization, people, processes, resources, and technology to achieve. IT needs to truly understand stakeholders’ expectations and propose a service/solution portfolio that corresponds to both demand and cost drivers with a focus on business priority and build competitive business capability. Horizontally, compare your set of competency with competitors’ to ensure that it is updated and has the long-term advantage of leading the industry forward.

IT is no longer just that isolated function or a support desk. IT management has to work both in IT and on IT, the true value is created at the intersection of many disciplines. IT-driven digital exploration is all about planning, investing, designing, developing, operating, consolidating, integrating, securing, modernizing, optimizing, balancing, and orchestrating, and last but not least, innovating.

Monday, May 14, 2018

The Monthly “Digital Boardroom: 100 Q&As” Book Tuning: The Digital Board’s Performance Inquiries May 2018

Modern corporate boards play significant roles in guiding businesses in the right direction and achieve expected business results. Due to the “VUCA” characteristics -Complexity, Uncertainty, Ambiguity, and Velocity of the Digital Era, the directorship in any organization must have the agility to adapt to changes and build abilities to advise, inspire and motivate a group of people toward accomplishing shared visions and goals. Here is the monthly “Digital Boardroom” summary of the digital board’s performance inquiries.

          

 The Digital Board’s Performance Inquiries


Conformance vs. Performance: What’s Board’s Priority Corporate Board is one of the most important governance bodies to oversee strategy and enforce GRC disciplines. Many directors think that the role of the director is conformance. The underlying question is actually fundamental: What is corporate governance, when is it necessary and how should it work? Conformance vs. Performance, which is more important for the Corporate Board? Is it possible that companies are burdening the boards with so many different tasks that the main task and focus of the board, which is to create long-term profitable companies, will be inundated by all other types of issues?

How to Build a High-Performing Board Corporate Board plays a significant role in overseeing organizational strategy, practicing governance and exemplifying leadership disciplines. However, most of the boards still operate on a traditional approach to recruiting for expertise and executing its function; what’s the paradigm shift in building a high-performing Board, and how to create the synergy, trust, and confidence of BoDs?

What are the Barriers and Pitfalls to Build a High-Performance Board The contemporary corporate board plays a crucial role in overseeing business strategy and monitoring organizational performance? An effective board enables and directs management towards good outcomes, and ensure the business is on the right track to reach well-defined business goals. If the results are lacking then the board effectiveness must be questioned. More specifically, what are great inquiries which can help you deepen the understanding of the barriers and digging through the root cause of ineffectiveness, in order to build a high-performance and digital ready board?

A High Performing Board? Generally speaking, Boards have a couple of main functions such as strategy (input, review, etc), governance (monitoring, risk management), service (providing advice & support to execs), and resource provision (opening their networks etc.). A high performing board would be performing all those roles in a way appropriate to the best interests of the organization. More specifically, what are the key characteristics of high performing boards?

Is Reputation the responsibility of the Board The organizations across the globe face more pressure and ambiguity these days, as media continues to report " reputational ‘surprises’from some prestigious companies, and more organizations work hard to sustain their brand, but how to manage organizational reputation, and is reputation the responsibility of Board?

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2 million page views with 4700+ blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify your voice, deepen your digital footprints, and match your way to human progression.

The "Digital Boardroom: 100 Q&As" Slideshare Presentation









Folksonomy: Tap Innovation Potential

 Knowledge can be shared and creativity can be manifested in a collective environment.

Taxonomy is a scheme for organizing and classifying information, objects, forms, and other items. A folksonomy is a portmanteau word and a classification system determined by everyday people. It's like a taxonomy, only with "folks." When amplifying hyperconnected and interdependent business effect into a modern society, we revitalize our economy into folksonomy, it’s not just the expert economists to craft the economic strategy, it’s people - brainstorming together to reinvent digital business and create the new chapter of the economy through collective creativity and effort.





The collective wisdom and amplified creativity: The latest digital technology and platforms make knowledge sharing and collaboration effortlessly at large scale. The young generation, the natives of the Internet already find the digital economy nature; and the “digital immigrants” in between, know the world without the Internet, but also, catch up with learning the new technology and its implications. Those who acquire the culture of sharing and collaborating will simply outperform those who don't. The new digital technology is disruptive, it re-configures basic relations of production; it disrupts the balance of power. So the skills that made you successful in the past may not necessarily make you succeed in the new world if you do not continue to learn and build the next level of understanding and professional competency. The emerging digital era means flow - information flow, idea flow and it has its own dynamic which is a state of constant flux. It builds up a momentum that draws creative contributions from the participants that they did not previously conceive or understood they were capable of. The collective creativity is not just a sum of creative pieces; but a meaningful achievement for problem-solving, continuous improvement or breakthrough innovation.

Evolving digital ecosystem: Digital enterprise can embrace the business with its dynamic ecosystem seamlessly, the border-less social platform unleashes great potential for business partners, even the competitors at certain circumstances to collaborate and solve challenges facing the industry, and make the influence on the long-term policy and investment or any other social, political and economic concerns. In systems terms, transformational change often comes from outside and the great businesses will always be seeking and embracing the influences beyond their own company which is just the digital switch of the entire business ecosystem. Designing a digital organization, that is a socio-technical system with the order of magnitude more difficult than designing a "data-driven mechanistic system because you have to consider the purpose of the enterprise; the considerations of the purposes of the employees must also be met because the enterprise cannot fulfill its purpose without the employees. A good design guides the total enterprise ecosystem to either generate wealth for shareholders or generate prosperity of constituencies. Those well-designed organizations are experimenting, exploring, learning the lessons, and developing the best and next practices to embrace folksonomy.


Emerging open innovation: The idea behind open innovation is that the problem/challenge/brief is put out for anyone to apply or contribute. Folksonomy can tap innovation potential. Open innovation is more about the process - involving a wider stakeholder group, and everybody can vote and participate, to take advantage of folksonomy. It can involve bringing in ideas from outside -from wider user-community to drive features and understand the value-in-use of a product/service. You trust them and you both intend to learn and build knowledge. It can also involve close-coupled relationships between organizations - with the intent of exploring areas of learning that fit strategically for all parties. The point of open innovation is to increase the odds of finding the next great new idea. It is about ensuring that business has access to the maximum number of potentially good ideas for new innovative products. You will get different types of ideas internally and externally and if you want to profit from both of them, you have to have a good open innovation platform, program and culture ready.

The world is leapfrogging from taxonomy to folksonomy. Although many businesses just start experimenting enterprise platforms and tools, most of the business leaders show enthusiasm and confidence about the potential it can bring up in the future. Knowledge can be shared and creativity can be manifested in a collective environment. While the individual contributions perhaps provide the 'building blocks,' it is the collective consensus on what to do with them that is exciting with significant digital effect to accelerate digital paradigm shift.