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, January 20, 2018

From Problem-Solving Conundrum to Solution-Driven Digital Continuum

We are experiencing the major societal paradigm shift from the industrial machine age to the post-industrial information/ knowledge /insight/ digital age. These changes and transformations are reshaping our thinking and recasting the way we view ourselves, the systems of which we are the part, and the way how we live, think and work. Running a business is fundamentally a problem-solving continuum. With lightweight digital technologies and well-educated digital workforce, can organizations today move from problem-solving conundrum to a solution-driven digital continuum?

From unstructured problem-solving to systematic problem-solving: Compared to a couple of decades ago, today’s digital business ecosystem has become more complex and dynamic, interdependent and hyperconnected. it does make a smaller world, but also make businesses and the world super complex and full of uncertainty and ambiguity. Problem-solving turns to be more complex. It is important to apply System Thinking to gain the in-depth knowledge of the interdependence of things, understand the problem, and follow systems principles for solving problems in a structural way under complex, uncertain and ambiguous circumstances. In order to solve both strategic and technical problems facing in businesses and overcome the common challenges, the interdependent thinking should be practiced. It is about how you apply system thinking to view the thing as an interconnected and interdependent whole; and how to follow systems principles for solving problems under the complex, uncertain and ambiguous circumstance.

From seeking best practices to follow to developing tailored solutions: In the considerably static industrial age, perhaps businesses can follow industry best practices for solving some of their problems. However, with increasing pace of changes, the practices that are "best" today are almost always not "best" in the future since practices, as well as technologies and markets, are constantly morphing under pressure from the waves of creative destruction that keep business in innovation mode. If the best practice you want to adopt is to be implemented in the same context, it could work. If the context is different, it is worth understanding how that difference could impact so-called best practice. These practices might be different across organizations, across departments, divisions, and affiliates within an organization and can change over time. In fact, they should change and evolve over time. Improvement in practice can be achieved through many different means- self-reflection, sharing of experiences, or comparison with a framework. The best practice is more about setting principles and standards, rather than specific “how” to solve problems. Best practices should get their claim from being the method that takes the least amount of time and resources to deliver a tailored solution. Never think there is a short list of solutions you can pick from. With a greater understanding of the problems, the trick is to increase the influence and be part of the solutions.


From pursuing the perfect solution which perhaps does not exist to making continuous adjustment and improvement:
Problem-solving is a multi-stepped process that includes both problem resolution and solution implementation. All stages must be handled with attention and proficiency to ensure success. The intention is not about finding the perfect solution but making progressive problem resolution. There's a word of difference between the noun 'perfect' with the implication of a 'perfect' entity and the verb ' perfecting.' The problem with perfectionists is that they don't have room for experimenting and looking behind or beyond the borders. It’s limiting innovation because they are too involved making every detail perfect. This often means taking holistic thinking and customized approaches that may apply differently to each problem, and it involves people, process, and technology. Thus, the journey of problem-solving is not to pursue a perfect solution, but keep exploring the better way to solve the problem and make continuous improvement.

Digital management is responsible for designing, enabling, and mastering collaborative, innovative and intelligent problem-solving based on cross-siloed or cross-divisional collaboration and run a frictionless, immersive, and relentless digital business.

The New Book “12 CIO Personas” Quote Collection IV

The book “12 CIO Personas: The Digital CIO’s Situational Leadership Practices” is the extensive brainstorming and logical content expansion of my book “CIO Master: Unleash the Digital Potential of IT,” to reimagine and reinvent CIO leadership via practicing multitudes of digital influence.
69 CIOs need to be IT evangelists, learn to sell and speak business, but it’s a two-way street.

70 It is strategic imperative to re-invent IT reputation from an isolated support function to a business growth catalyzer via communication, collaboration, and innovation.

71 Having healthy debating enforces critical thinking principles - increased perspective, less prejudgment, and looking at things from different angles.

72 CIOs need to leverage different conversations tyles to construct the collaborative vision and deliver high performance IT result.

73 The great communication is not to create more gaps but to bridge differences and encourage creativity.

74 Intrapreneur leaders present solid leadership attributes such as “full open communication,” “creativity,” “confidence,” “resourcefulness,” “decisiveness,” “ownership,” “digital readiness,” “self-adaptation,” and “resilience.”

75 The payoff of IT digital transformation is not just for the quick win, but to build the long-term business competency.

76 The creation of corporate entrepreneurship is to cultivate the culture of innovation and build business competencies.

77 Innovation is an important business capability to catalyze the business’s long-term prosperity.

78 Practicing entrepreneurship in IT starts with the outlier leadership and builds an innovative culture - the collective attitude to experiment better ways to do things.

79 It’s not enough for IT to only focus on the bottom line “keep the lights on,” it has to contribute more to business growth.

80 Running IT as a business is about focusing on innovation, growth, and tangible performance result.

81 IT leaders have to practice transformational leadership, situational leadership, and innovative leadership all the way in order to lead digital transformation seamlessly.

82 Assessing organizational personality, managing company performance and maximizing business potential are all important digital management scenarios to build the high-mature digital organization.

83 Performance metrics are number in context, results related to the strategic goals of the business.

84 Hard business assets keep the organization lights on, and soft assets of the organization enable the business to unlock its potential.

85 Take multi-phased approaches to building a more transparent IT for achieving people-centricity.

86 Applying the right procedures and policies to asset management allows IT to create a realistic budget with few surprises, and keep best practices to adapt to “continuous changes.”

87 Outside-in IT performance perspectives and outcome-based measurement practices are important to improve IT maturity and focus on the performance of the entire organization.

88 CIOs have to reimagine IT on how to unleash the full potential of running a digital organization via management innovation with some necessary “DE” effort.

89 Measure the CIO’s success on value creation, and you’ll get the kind of performance you need out of IT.

Three Barriers To Innovation and Digitization

Digital paradigm means holism, hyper-connectivity, integration, interdependence, and innovation. Digital transformation is the journey for solving problems caused by "Conflict," "Out of Balance," “Lack of Logic,” or “Too much complexity.” Therefore, it is critical to break through the industrial constraints and limitations, overcome barriers to change and digitalization, and improve the overall business responsiveness and maturity.



Nearsightedness: Digital is full of uncertainty, velocity, complexity, and ambiguity, but those shouldn’t become the excuse for the business neglecting long-range planning. In fact, the organizational management short-sightedness and running the business in a transactional mode cause digital ineffectiveness for the long run. The digitalization is a long-term journey; to move up the organizational maturity level, businesses need to shift from transactional mode to transformational mode. In practice, too often, transformational change is acted on the basis of improving one part of an organization at the expense of other parts of the organization, the main reason is that up to this point in time, most leaders have been silo managers and don't really have the business skills or personality traits to lead change and transformation. Digitalization takes a holistic approach and them longer-term perspective, if the management neglect long-range planning and keep silo thinking, change effort is doomed to fail. From top-down, an organizational structure perspective, people at the different level of the company should be on the same page of change and innovation. Often, the middle management with “transactional mentality only” is the bottleneck of the business effectiveness and the very reason of change inertia.

Bureaucracy: One of the biggest obstacles to stifle digital flow and innovation is bureaucracy which is criticized by its inflexibility, inefficiency, silo, stagnation, unresponsiveness, or lack of creativity, etc. Generally speaking, bureaucracy is a system based on a hierarchy of authority and division of workforce functioning in a routine manner. Although organizational bureaucracy inherited from the traditional management discipline brings a certain level of business efficiency. In today's volatile economy, nothing impedes progress more than protective silos which are simply a form of bureaucratic management hierarchy designed to preserve the status quo. With hyperconnectivity and increasing speed of changes, it becomes the barrier to change and innovation. It generates negative energy which stops organizations from moving forward. Bureaucracy is often caused by “command and control” leadership style, overly rigid structure and business processes. Digital management requires a different kind of 'control,' for example, the control on desired outcomes, keep the end in mind, not overly control the process of “HOW.” They do not focus on hierarchy but on ideas, information, creativity, flexibility, openness, and curiosity. An organization can approach the flow zone when the positions in its hierarchy have clear, accountable tasks, ideas are shared and managed effectively, and processes are streamlined to improve organizational performance seamlessly.

Disengagement:
Statistically, more than two-thirds of employees do not engage in the work they do. What’re the root causes that employees are not engaged fully and not spend so much time chasing and trying to treat the symptoms? This requires that you start with a complete and accurate diagnosis of the organization's current state, identify any barriers to excellence that may exist, and then develop strategies for lowering or removing those barriers to improving productivity and employee satisfaction. The digital organizations should be a complex, but flexible social system starting to appreciate business attributes such as readiness, ownership, creativity, integration, open communication, customized structuring, and multifaceted partnerships. It is important to build a culture of learning, encourage people to get out of the comfort zone and overcome complacency. Organizations and individuals that are complacent do not look for new opportunities or hazards. Leaders often miss the big picture and become complacent. Thus, complacency can lead to mediocrity which further causes digital stagnation. Digital leaders and professionals must keep learning and explore the better way of running the business, make learning-doing as an iterative continuum.

There is no “one size fits all” approach to managing change and innovation. There are numerous barriers and pitfalls on the way. Every business evolves digital transformation with different speed. Digital is worth its weight when all parts of the choir sing their respective parts in harmony to achieve a higher purpose and make a unique impact, to accelerate change and innovation, and improve business performance and maturity.




Friday, January 19, 2018

The Monthly Insight of “Digital Balance”: Interdependence as the Digital Characteristic Jan, 2018

We are experiencing the dynamics of the most significant business transformation since the industrial revolution. The majority of us will work in an organization that is somewhere between old and new; at both industrial speed and digital speed; It is more critical than ever to maintain the right level of digital balance. In fact, striking the right digital balance is a never-ending business life cycle.


 Interdependence as the Digital Characteristic

The “Interdependence” Characteristic of Digital Organizations Digital makes a significant impact on almost every aspect of the business from people, process, to technology, both horizontally and vertically. It does make a smaller world, but also makes businesses and the world super complex and full of uncertainty and ambiguity. Due to the latest digital technologies such as social and mobile, the business and world are always on and have become hyper-connected and interdependent. What’s further understanding of interdependence as one of the significant characteristics in the emergent digital era?

Three Digital Characteristics to Accelerate Change Digital makes a significant impact on almost every aspect of the business from people, process to technology, both horizontally and vertically. The digital transformation is now spreading rapidly to enable organizations of all shapes and sizes to reinvent themselves. The purpose of such radical digitalization is to make a significant difference in improving organizational efficiency, effectiveness, responsiveness, and maturity. There are three needs in an organizational setting which are embedded in the format of digital “characteristics,” to accelerate business transformation.

Digital Master Tuning #57: The Digital Dimensions of Organizational Structure: Digital means change, choice, speed, and customer-centricity. One of the key business competencies is agility, which is the capability to adapt to the changes; and the ability to manage complexity more effectively than competitors provides a competitive advantage. From an organizational structure perspective, how can you fine tune the digital dimensions of your organizational development?

The Interdependent Thinking: What’s your System Thinking of the World One of the significant characteristics of emerging digital era is interdependence, due to the latest digital technologies such as social and mobile, the business and world have become hyper-connected and interdependent, it does make a smaller world, but also makes businesses and the world super complex and full of uncertainty and ambiguity. Hence, in order to solve both strategic and technical problems facing in business and overcome the challenges facing mankind, the interdependent thinking shall be practiced, it is about how you apply system thinking to viewing the world and an interconnected and interdependent whole; and how to follow systems principles for solving problems under complex, uncertain and ambiguous circumstances?

CIOs as "Chief Insight Officer": The Modern CIOs’ Digital Mantra - Go Deeper to Lead Forward?
Organizations large or small are stepping into the deep, deep digital new normal with the overwhelming growth of information, continuous technological disruptions, as well as the VUCA” digital characteristics. The pace of changes in IT would force more CIOs to shift into transformation-oriented digital leadership roles because IT plays a significant role in driving the digital transformation of the company. Contemporary CIOs need to have multiple personas, explore the breadth and depth of the role and go deeper in order to lead forward.


The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2+million page views with about #4300+ blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. blog posting. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom, to inspire critical thinking and spur healthy debates. 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.

“Corpetition” as the digital Characteristic

Competition to catalyze digital innovation is great. Competition to further the world of pursuing superego is unhealthy. 

Competition is part of the natural dynamics of life. In nature, competition is for evolution; in business, competition is for surviving and thriving. In the silo industrial age, the competition is about commanding and controlling to keep the status quo; and now we are stepping into a deeper and also far more advanced digital era steadily, the goal of healthy competition in the human society is to encourage innovation and accelerate the speed of progression



Differentiate positive competitions from negative competitions:
 Competition has different connotations and meanings under different situations or context. Competition is part of the natural dynamics of life. 'Competition' in biology means the cutthroat struggle for life's essentials. It is part of the genetic bias of every living thing in nature as a survival-seeking mindset. There are ample examples of competitive behaviors in the animal world. That is the basis for their survival and thriving lives. However, humans are intelligent beings, and digital is the age of abundance and choices. If we really are as intelligent as we claim to be, we can build principles and disciplines to discern the positive motivation or negative energy behind the competition. Competition, in and of itself, is not inherently bad. The goals of competition can be bad and the competitive arena can produce a myriad of unwise mentality and negative externalities. Thus, encourage the healthy competition for harnessing innovation, but discourage unhealthy competition via unprofessional way.

Competency at all levels: Healthy competition is important for either change or innovation. But too often transformational change is acted on the basis of improving one part of an organization at the expense of other parts of the organization, it will stifle innovation and decelerate the speed of digitalization. Workplace competition is not always positive, sometimes politics or unprofessionalism suffocates the business' changeability or diminishes the brightness of their true talent. If the majority of organizations at the industrial age are manipulated by silo thinking and hierarchical styles, which often cause unhealthy internal competitions for limited resources, organizations lose their collaborative advantage as the whole. Competency at all levels of the organization can create unhealthy rivalries that result in productivity decrease and employee discouragement. One of the key determinants of whether an organization can move to the digital new normal is the digital maturity of its people. If the digital organization is a living body, every individual is like an active cell to keep growing and flowing, it is important to run away from the shadow of unhealthy competitions, and thrive on healthy competitions.

"Corpetition”: At the business level, silo creates barriers that surface between departments within an organization, So, it easily creates the gaps and often leads unhealthy internal competitions for the limited resources, causing people who are supposed to be on the same team to work against each other. Many organizations today are running in between - the mix of old and new; the different departments or divisions within an organization evolve changes with different speed. Corpetition (cooperation + competition) is perhaps the right approach for running a highly energetic and highly collaborative digital business. To encourage positive competitions and discourage negative competitions, the digital rule of thumb is that how to leverage energy in the more meaningful way; not just for beating down the competitors, but for living with purpose, strengthen the strength, unleash talent potential, and run a successful business.


Ultimately, competition or cooperation can be used for a greater purpose/cause to elevate individuals as well as the entire society. Or they can be abused or misused to cause severe issues, unnecessary pains, and significant problems. Competition to catalyze digital innovation is great. Competition to further the world of pursuing superego is unhealthy. With today’s digital hyperconnectivity and interdependence, it is time to step into the new hybrid era of corpetition (cooperation + competition) and reach the next level of digital harmony.

IT-Business Strategic Partnership: Can they Share Glories and Blames all Together

In a high mature organization, business and IT have to work together to achieve their common goals, share the fame and the blame together, and build the long-lasting trustful partnership.


Organizations rely more and more on technology and they become so data-driven and information-intensive, IT needs will only expand. On the other side, some say that the gap between IT and business is actually enlarged because different parts of the company evolve digital with varying speed. From the management perspective, how do you get all stakeholders (IT and non-IT) to encourage the notion that IT and business need to work together to be successful? How do you get non-IT stakeholders to focus on collaboration, transparency, and respect to bridge the divide? Further, If IT and business are strategic partners: Can they share the fame and blame altogether, to build the trustful relationship, and achieve higher than the expected business result?

Business executives should change the stereotypical perception of IT as the cost center; and IT leaders should also start changing the mentality of “IT as the controller of the business:
Traditional IT organizations are running inside the box that other departments cannot see it through clearly, and often being perceived as a cost center and back-office support function only. With increasing pace of changes, IT plays a crucial role in building the backbone of digital business with hyperconnectivity and high-responsiveness, organizations should empower IT to lead changes. Language influences perceptions. IT will be welcomed to the executive table if executives hear the language they understand, the language which is the most beneficial to the top line business result and the company's future. By doing this, IT can change from being perceived as a cost-based transaction department, to a strategic partner of the business. In fact, IT becomes so critically, many times, it is a determining success factor for your long-term business strategy to achieve fast growth and long-term sustainability. To change the business perception of IT, IT needs to change its own mentality as a business controller, continue to brainstorm with business leaders about strategic concerns, such as: What are the biggest concerns facing the business today and future? it's important to really listen to top leaders during discussions about strategy development, their top priorities, key business processes, and systems that are well developed and not well developed; what are frictions existing between IT and business; what’re the business’s expectation of IT. From IT leadership perspective, CIOs need to get used to “out of the box” thinking and IT staffs are encouraged to think out of the box and discover the better way to do things. Because nowadays IT plays an important role in interpreting business issues into a technology solution and developing IT-enabled business capabilities.

Not only should IT understand the business, but also non-IT organizations need to understand IT via both formal and informal communication: In many companies, the battles between IT and business are still on, focus on finger-pointing rather than problem-solving. To build a trustful relationship, the CIO has to work with the senior executives to understand the company, the business drivers, long-term objectives, and strategy,  and then ensure that he/she is providing input to support these. They must be able to share the fame and blame altogether, work collectively as a team to co-solve business problems via empathetic communication and coherent collaboration. As “lost in translation” is the key issue to separate IT from the business, it is worth the effort to take better communication approaches. There is a need for formal communications paths for gaining approval, but before that happens, there must be a level of rapport or trust between executives that can only be built through informal communications. A combination of IT briefings and informal conversation helps bring interpersonal communication more effectively. The informal paths are critical in making sure that the formal communications aren't misinterpreted. CIOs must learn to speak the business language and business executives must also have the curiosity to gain an understanding of IT, and both parties should become creative and critical in enforcing business and IT communication and collaboration with harmony.

Business needs to be the advocate of IT-driven change or innovation, and IT needs to become the strategic advisor of the digital business: IT sustenance and business innovation are on every CIO's roadmap because the emergent digital technologies and exponential growth of information bring new opportunities for the business growth. CIOs must not preoccupy themselves with operational platforms and process improvements only, the business needs to be the advocate and sponsor of IT-driven change or innovation. IT is business, innovative IT can only happen if IT is regarded as a partner and given the role in catalyzing innovation and driving the business. However, in many organizations with the lower level of business maturity, business and IT work as the silo, fighting for the limited resources or competing for the never-enough budget. To break down old school silos of thoughts, CIOs must have a higher level of influence on businesses changes and innovation. The key rests in getting both IT and non-IT stakeholders to understand what is taking place, what it means to their organization, what the roles must be, and how best to proceed. IT leaders are involved in setting the business strategy and goals of the company, as a strategic business advisor. IT and business have to work closely and provide both business and technical insight into how they bring success to the company as a whole instead of being a support center. IT does not run the show and should not hold up the business and business does not own the goals and own the solution. They need to share the fame and the blame together, to build the long-lasting trustful partnership.

In a high mature organization, business and IT have to work together to achieve their common goals. There are gains and pains on the journey of digitalization. IT management has to become an integral part of business management, running IT as a business advantage and doing more with innovation.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Weekly Insight of the “Future of CIO” 1/18/2018

Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking, brainstorming, innovating and sharing.
The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2 million page views with 4300+ 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 about digital leadership, IT Management, and Talent Management.


CIOs as “Chief Improvement Officer”: How to Apply Maslow’s Hierarchy to IT management Abraham Harold Maslow was an American psychologist, who stated that people are motivated to achieve certain needs and that some needs take precedence over others. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a motivational theory in psychology comprising different tiers of human needs, at the bottom is the basic "surviving" needs to the middle tier for" belonging" to the top tier of "self-actualization." In fact, it is an invaluable theory not only for understanding and managing people with empathy but also for providing the insight to the multitude of modern management discipline. Nowadays, organizations rely more and more on technologies, IT organizations have more and more to offer, it also has a lot of obstacles to overcome for achieving the high level of business maturity. So, CIOs as “Chief Improvement Officer”: How to apply Maslow’s hierarchy in IT management

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

The New Book “12 CIO Personas” Chapter 11 Introduction: The CIO as “Chief Integration Officer” Traditional IT organizations are often seen as one of the weakest links in the company. To close the gaps and enforce the business-IT relationship, the CIO as the “Chief Integration Officer” needs to know how to play a bridge between what businesses understand and what technology understands. The highly effective corporations need to embed the power of information in its fiber to ensure IT is an integral part the business to build the differentiated business competency. And IT can truly become the digital integrator, accelerator, innovator and trusted business partner.

“Simplexity” as the Characteristic of Digital Maturity Modern businesses become over-complex every day, they also become part of the dynamic and complex digital ecosystem. If we accept the business and the world are complex, somewhat unpredictable or not completely predictable, we have to accept uncertainty. Because uncertainty comes with complexity. Simplicity vs. complexity is not only an age-old dilemma but also the opposite ends of the same spectrum. Complexity can either stimulate or stifle innovation. In fact, “Simplexity” is a portmanteau word to reflect the digital reality and how to strike the right balance to achieve the next level of digital maturity.


The Monthly “IT Innovation” Book Tuning: The Innovation Core in Digital Masters Jan. 2018 Within abundant information and emergent digital technologies, IT is a key component of holistic business mindset to re-imagine “what is possible” - unleashing business potentials and improving business efficiency, effectiveness, agility, and maturity. The art of possible to reinvent IT for the digital age is to deliver the value of information in helping businesses grow, delight customers and doing more with innovation.

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.

The New Book “12 CIO Personas” Quote Collection III


This book “12 CIO Personas: The Digital CIO’s Situational Leadership Practices” is the extensive brainstorming and logical content expansion of my book “CIO Master: Unleash the Digital Potential of IT,” to reimagine and reinvent CIO leadership via practicing multitudes of digital influence.

46 CIOs are fluent in both business language and IT terminology to sure the seamless cross-functional communication without “lost in translation.”

47 The top leaders such as CIOs have to be fluent in both business and IT dialogues, and switch them back and forth without “lost in translation.”

48 The CIO needs to be an enterprise polyglot, to master both business language and IT terminology, and beyond.

49 IT leaders need to build the leadership capability, not only communicate, but connect, inspire, and motivate.

50 Communication, collaboration, and creativity are the keys to run IT as a better business partner.

51 The CIO as “Chief Interpretation Officer” is the new digital leadership perspective of harnessing communication and people-centricity for accelerating digital transformation.

52 A bridge-like CIO has the mind to think via the multidimensional lens; has the gut to innovate fearlessly; has the strategy to lead wisely and has the skill to move progressively.

53 Great CIOs are great storytellers, envision and communicate a full-fledged, people-centric digital transformation.

54 Only by putting all fresh views out there to provoke “diversity of thought,” can IT possibly enact or act as a catalyst for change.

55 The quality check of IT management is to ensure IT is the enabler and even a game-changer of the digital transformation.

56 The quality of your life is given via the quality of thinking you have done.

57 The most important thing is that you need to define the quality as leadership and quality as management.

58 The most important thing is that you need to define quality as management and quality as leadership.

59 IT management quality check-up is important for improving IT and the entire business performance and maturity.

60 Quality management ensures that an organization, product, or service is consistent, effective, and meet customers’ expectation.

61 Software quality begins with the quality of the requirements.

62 There is quality data, but there’s no “perfect” data in “Big Data” world.

63 Take a hard look at IT from a different angle is critical to ensure IT management is steering in the right decision.

64 Modern CIOs as “Chief Interaction Officers,” can master how to well manage different dimensions of relationship to improve leadership effectiveness.

65 CIOs need to communicate effectively via tailoring different audiences.

66 CIOs should be at the table helping the board and executive colleagues maximize ROI and competitive advantage.

67 Modern CIOs are “Chief Interaction Officer,” to envision, communicate, connect, and innovate.

68 CIOs need to be IT evangelists, learn to sell and speak business, but it's a two-way street.

The Monthly “Digitizing Boardroom” Book Tuning: The Digital Board’s Next Practices Jan. 2018

The corporate board as one of the top leadership pillars plays a crucial role in overseeing strategies, leading changes and digitalization. 

Modern corporate boards play significant roles in guiding businesses toward 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 a set of Digital Board best and next practices for building a strategic board and getting digital ready.

               

The Digital Board’s Next Practices



Three “C” Practices in Digital Boardroom Digital transformation represents a break from the past, having a high level of impact and complexity. It takes visionary leadership to drive changes and steer the corporate ship navigating through uncharted water and blurred territories in the right direction. The importance of the corporate board’s responsibility for overseeing strategy, monitoring performance and setting business tone has become much clear in today’s business dynamic with velocity and uncertainty. The BoDs need to become the mastermind behind digital transformation and change agent to advocate digitalization. Here are three “C” practices in the digital boardroom.

Breaking Three Bottlenecks to Digitize Boardrooms The corporate board plays a significant role in overseeing business strategy, setting principles and policies, monitoring performance to get digital ready. They are the advocate for changes and the mastermind behind digitalization. To lead effectively, they are able to break the bottleneck of digitalization and bridge the gap of opportunity between where they are and want to become, cascading the changes from the boardroom to the front line of the company in order to accelerate performance and get digital ready.

What’re the Next Practices of Board Succession Plan Generally speaking, Boards have a couple of main functions such as strategy oversight, governance practices, providing advice to executives, and resource provision, etc. The spirit comes from the top, the board also plays the significant role in setting culture tones and encouraging innovation. At today's business dynamic with digitalization and globalization trend, what’s the elephant in the Boardroom, and how to bring the new blood to digitize the Board? What're the logical steps, the next and best digital practices of Board succession plan?

Three Views to Keep Board Directors Evolving in Exponential Digital Age The corporate board as one of the top leadership pillars plays a crucial role in overseeing strategies, leading changes and digitalization. Adopting a different paradigm is like changing the glasses and new possibilities continue to emerge. Those who look through the lens of the previous industrial era see their own reality very differently from those who leverage the lens that the new era has crafted. Thus, the board directors need to learn and master the multitude of digital views of the business and understand the exponential digital age profoundly.

A Strategic Board One of the most important responsibilities of Board is to oversee the business strategy; however, it doesn’t mean Board itself is being strategic enough. In some cases, Board members time is stretched thin so they do not allocate enough time to understand key issues and in many cases board members are not motivated; others wonder why many Boards aren't active enough to catch the derailment of strategies. More specifically, how to build a strategic board to reach the high level of digital leadership maturity?

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2 million page views with 4300+ 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 Promises and Perils of IT Performance Management

IT leaders need to be fully aware of the promises and perils of performance mangement, play the number game wisely.

"Continual improvement" is the IT mantra in the digital era; there is never "enough" to optimize operations and improve business efficiency. To reinvent IT reputation from a cost center to a business value creator, it is important to shift IT performance from inside out - IT lenses with the metrics only IT care about to outside-in customer lens; start with the noble business purposes of IT, and then, select the right set of metrics for measuring the right things and measure them right. Digital leaders need to understand the promises and perils of IT performance management in order to improve the organizational performance and maturity.

CIOs need to keep a measure and periodicity at which the measure is reviewed against setting targets and business goals: An effective CIO’s job is to improve operations to reduce the burden on the company while trying to stay current with ever-changing technologies and business dynamic. Typically, CIOs would need to remain on top of various parameters such as costs, production issues -especially business-critical applications, risks, technologies, customers, long-term business transformation, etc, that includes reducing costs, improving system efficiency, streamlining processes and providing continually expanding services or business solutions. Thus, it is important to select the right set of measures and leverage metrics that substantiate the ROI. The promise of IT performance management needs to be able to map to the business objectives and strategic business goals, and track the progress of IT portfolio management to ensure on-time and on-value delivery. Selecting the right key performance measurement is a crucial step in IT measurement because the processes include to answering why you are choosing that, how you will use them and whether you have enough resources to manage measurement data, can you present them persuasively; how they've been able to impact the top and bottom-line and facilitate growth and competitiveness, etc? To keep improving IT management maturity, IT metrics have to evolve from being a cost center to become a revenue generator. The right metrics can be helpful to track progress in business mprovement initiatives. IT should continue to review upon the ROI of existing IT investment, whether depreciated life cycle is completed or not; or whether new technologies/products mature enough in the business market to adopt.

Another promise of IT measurement and performance management is to help stakeholders understand what is going on: It is important to practice strategic thinking - keeping the end in mind for managing IT performance. Identify the purpose of the information and the stakeholders who will be interested in the measurement. Then, ensure IT raises the bar on a continual basis to ensure the stakeholders getting a real picture of how well IT management, such as business optimization efforts, are bearing desired results. Ask whether the metrics can reveal anything meaningful for the identified purpose and varying stakeholders. Contextually, the measurement method is to persuade management the progress of strategy execution. Companies are highly dependent on IT executives who make the proposal to change or replace the technology based on the need for the business. Continually accelerating changes in IT consumption and production require faster responses and better performance metrics. IT metrics have to evolve from being a cost center to becoming a revenue generator. The only way to do this is to show a clear link to top executives between IT efficiency and productivity/ top-line revenues. Focuses on corporate performance and the management practices should be based on a sound and understandable vision and company strategy. This is an important step to building IT reputation as a strategic business partner and growth engine.

The peril of IT performance management is about how to avoid vanity metrics: Don't collect metrics for the sake of collecting metrics, or measure things from IT lens only, or based on convenience, look only at cost, schedule or quantitative numbers only. Metrics are not just numbers, they should tell the stories. Give those responsible for collecting the metrics a reason for doing so. Ensure management buy-in for the metrics collection process, and really focus on key metrics that correlate to better business outcomes. The peril of IT performance management such as, the wrong metrics selection or ineffective measurement practices perhaps mislead or cause management conflicts in what value is as it does not address the portion of value without telling the full story. Without appropriate measurements, it is hard to tell whether attempted improvements make the situation better or worse objectively. The well-selected set of metrics are those used to inform the business of multidimensional IT performance and value. It is important to set the criteria for metrics selections and performance practice development to achieve qualitative business objectives: Measuring IT performance for improving revenue (enable the business to gain market share, enter new markets, etc). Measuring how well you are delivering to your customers is relatively easy but developing a true measure of how well you understand the customers is the hard part. IT value can also be measured by optimization and consumption of IT assets in support of the business solutions.

IT leaders need to be fully aware of the promises and perils of performance mangement, play the number game wisely, to present IT value proposition on how to increase revenue, reduce cost, improve service/solutions, manage risks, accelerate business performance and realize digital potential seamlessly.


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Monthly “CIO Master” Book Tuning: The Contemporary Digital CIO’s Profile & Practices Jan., 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’ contemporary digital leadership profile.

      


The Contemporary Digital CIO’s Profile & Practices


The New Book "12 CIO Personas" Introduction: The Digital CIO’s Profiles, Personas, and Personalities? Compared to other CxO positions, the CIO role is considerably new with about three decades of history. But the contemporary CIO is one of the most sophisticated leadership roles in modern businesses. Due to disruptive nature of technologies and exponential growth of information, IT leadership role also has to be continually reimagined, refined, refreshed and reenergized. The CIO is no longer just a glorified geek, but a business savvy strategist and a transformational digital leader. Great CIOs have multiple personas, varying personalities, and impressive leadership profiles.

Three Digital Traits to Become a Sophisticated Modern CIO Due to the disruptive nature of technology and fast-growing information, and in a world where practically every aspect of nearly every business, as mundane and detached from IT either sales or accounting, is wholly dependent on IT to a high degree, the CIO role is perhaps one of the most sophisticated executive positions in modern businesses because they have to wear multiple personas to practice situational leadership, and keep reinventing IT to adapting to changes all the time. For the modern CIO, that simply means being a proper "C-level" leader to amplify leadership influence and a tactical manager to keep IT running flawlessly at the prevailing level of sophistication. Here are three digital traits to become a sophisticated modern CIO.

The Digital-Driven CIO’s Three Focuses? The digital world is so technology-driven and information-intensive, information & technology needs will only expand, and most likely expand hyperbolically. To effectively respond to the business dynamics, digital companies must begin thinking about ways with strategic planning to broaden their ecosystems while becoming more innovative, nimble, and intelligent. Here are three focuses of digital-driven CIOs.

Three Clarity to Excel CIO Digital Leadership Effectiveness The disruption of IT will continue. IT matters not only because it’s pervasive, more about it continues to advance, and it’s the nature of the "constructive disruption.” Embracing digital is inevitable as that is now part of the reality. IT needs to become the game changer for the business. Thus, the CIO role also continues to be shaken up, refined, reinvented and reenergized. CIOs have to both walk the talk and talk the walk, master learning, change, and innovation. Here are three clarities to excel the CIO digital leadership effectiveness.

The “Digital Master” Book Series- IT Leadership Core Three digital CIO and IT leadership books in “Digital Master” series through some light on how to rejuvenate IT leadership and reinvent IT to get digital ready. The business paradigm is shifting from the industrial age to a new digital era. Digital organizations are hyperconnected and interdependent, and they have to continue to adapt to the digital new normal with “VUCA” characteristics -Velocity, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity. IT plays a pivotal role in digital transformation with many expectations from business partners, and IT has many challenges to overcome for achieving the high level of digital maturity.

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 2.2 million page views with about #4300 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.


The New Book “12 CIO Personas” Quote Collection II

This book “12 CIO Personas: The Digital CIO’s Situational Leadership Practices” is the extensive brainstorming and logical content expansion of my book “CIO Master: Unleash the Digital Potential of IT,” to reimagine and reinvent CIO leadership via practicing multitudes of digital influence.


29 “Continual Improvement” is the IT mantra in the digital era.

30 Digital transformation is an arduous journey with the long jump and it takes time and a real commitment to getter the higher level of digital maturity.

31 Making continuous improvement is the way how IT can improve itself, the business, the interrelation between IT and the business, to get digital ready.

32 CIOs are going to prepare for continuous digital disruptions, build changes as an ongoing business capability, and create some capacity to make changes.

33 The planning fallacy is common inside and outside of the business at both strategic and operational management level.

34 Running IT as the digital energizer is about accelerating business performance, unleashing business potential, and nurturing collective creativity.

35 Organization changes should be built into strong management practices.

36 Performance metrics are numbers in context, results related to the strategic goals of the business.

37 The goal to run a nonstop and real-time digital IT organization is to create business synergy and achieve digital synchronization of the entire organization.

38 A high-mature organization always looks for opportunities across the business to increase the usage of emergent digital technologies accordingly and charter the digital paradigm shift seamlessly.

39 The digital CIO needs to be the proactive, visible, and influential top business leaders.

40 IT continues to grow in importance to organizations, both operationally and as a competitive advantage.

41 CIOs need to lead the department with the balanced mindsets, activities, and speed so that every level of the organization has great working relationships with IT teams.

42 IT leadership needs to shift from “surviving to striving to thriving” mode; IT also needs to shift from “controlling to change to innovate.”


43 To Survive the fierce competition and thrive with the long-term business advantage involve more real-time planning, adjustment, and speed.

44 It is the time to better understand the digital evolution with zigzag patterns and harness its power to make a leap of human progress.

45 The digital CIO role is like the spinal cord for the organization.

Five Stages of Digital evolutionary ecosystem

Don’t rest until you’ve done everything you can do to make your organization as resilient, inventive, inspiring, and accountable as it can be.

Digital is the new paradigm shift to deeply connect the business with the natural ecosystem. The digital business ecosystem is dynamic, nonlinear, expansive, and complex. Digital makes the business flatter and the world smaller because of its very characteristics of hyper-connectivity and interdependence. Digital management also needs to shift from linear and reductionistic to nonlinear and interdisciplinary for dealing with the new “VUCA” digital reality. Therefore, digital leaders today must frame the bigger thinking boxes and approach problems via multidimensional lens, technically, scientifically, holistically, and culturally. They need to understand the five stages of the digital evolutional ecosystem in order to lead innovatively and progressively.

Exploring: Digital disruptions are inevitable, and digital transformation is unstoppable. 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. The goal of change or digitalization is either for innovation or improvement, to riding above the learning curve via pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, strategic planning, process, actions. Many organizations are at the stage of experimenting and exploring the new opportunities to grow business and better ways to do things. The emergence of potential opportunities for exploiting digitization is likely to follow a nonlinear pattern as the pervasiveness of an organization's digitization journey increases. The business pioneers cross the industrial sectors are blessed with intuition and risk-taking attitude, they can practice out-of-the-box thinking, introduce new business concepts, develop cross-functional platforms, systems, and procedures for efficient use of natural and human resources. Intuition is the key to business innovation. Ultimately, these companies would grow into digital leaders who can set the trend for changes and lead digital paradigm shift. In systems terms, transformational change often comes from outside and the good businesses will always be seeking and embracing the influences beyond their own company which is just the digital switch of the entire business ecosystem. They are experimenting, exploring, learning the lessons, and developing the best and next practices for reaching the next level of digital adaptability.

Expansion: Digital is about hyperconnectivity and interdependence. The digital ecosystem is dynamic, hyperconnected and expansive, it expands when the components broaden their community scopes and consume all sorts of resources, and the digital business territories blur. The most successful organizations have a very clear vision and understanding of why they exist and the value they bring to customers and the very reason for digitalization. However, for many, the ecosystems have evolved without much attention or planning. To effectively respond to the digital dynamics, companies must begin thinking about ways with strategic planning to broaden their ecosystems and revenue streams while becoming more responsive and scalable. The highly scalable digital organizations can expand and amplify its influence with the ability to co-create and amplify innovation in a digital ecosystem -treats customers, channel partners, suppliers, and industry ecosystem participants as active agents who have permission to combine the modular capabilities exposed in a platform to create new experiences and expand its impact.

Corpetition: Competition has different connotations and meanings under different situations or context. In biology, competition is part of the natural dynamics of life. It means the cutthroat struggle for the life's essentials. It is part of the genetic bias of every living thing in nature as a survival-seeking mindset. However, when the world moves up to the more advanced digital era, many digital professionals also reach up to the high level of Maslow’s pyramid of need, from surviving to thriving to self-actualization. Collectively, it is also the time to step into the new hybrid era of corpetition (cooperation + competition).With today’s digital hyperconnectivity and interdependence, say, organizations are competitors to take the market shares in the same geographical territories, but the partners to co-solve some common challenges in the industry. Over time things change, we humans are developing, growing, competition and choice are part of that process. The goals of competition can be bad and the competitive arena can produce a myriad of negative externalities, but competition can also lead to enhanced quality of life through innovation and progress. The real issue is the motivation or purpose behind the competition. Competition, in and of itself, is not inherently bad. Competition between ideas and values drives social progress.

Renewal: Today’s technology enables companies to leverage their various environments, or ecosystems, to chase innovation and accelerate performance. Digital is the new age paradigm associated with deep ecology - the digital organization is more like the living things with self-adaptable and self-renewal capability. Digital organizations are like the living systems that can self-renew in striving to become high-performance businesses. The digital transformation is now spreading rapidly to enable organizations of all shapes and sizes to reinvent themselves. To understand the business or the world as a complex adaptive system requires an understanding of how the things have come together, being 'built.' Either at the individual or the organizational level, to self-renew and create a positive change tomorrow, you need to start today understanding self. Not knowing yourselves as best as you can, how can you do any change and aim for a positive change? And how can you continue innovating for the community to thrive? There are no shortcuts to getting to that state, it takes holistic understanding, fluid structure, and a real commitment to getting there. Digital organizations need to emphasize participation, relationships, communication, and realize that organizations will need to renew themselves periodically to cope effectively with change and have a fluid structure that responds effectively and makes an impact on the hyperconnected digital ecosystem.



Maturity: To reach the high level of digital maturity, an organization of today or the future needs to be organized in such a way that it is a part of the modern world. In other words, it cannot be organized using the outdated or mechanistic paradigm that resulted in bureaucracies. Digital organizations are all about information savvy, adaptation, people-centricity, high-performance, and speed. High mature digital business can provide a more intensive and creative working environment enabling the organization to get all the right people with the right capability in the right position to solve the right problems from right angles all at once, and ultimately achieve high-performance business results and maximize the full digital potential. It can create the synergy for desirable emergent property under the high-mature digital ecosystem via participation, relationships, and communication. Don’t rest until you’ve done everything you can do to make your organization as resilient, inventive, inspiring, and accountable as it can be.

An organization of today or the future needs to be organized in such a way that it is a part of the modern world. A business ecosystem is just like the natural ecosystem, first, needs to be understood, then, needs to be well planned, and also needs to be thoughtfully renewed as well to move up its maturity from one stage to the other stage with the four seasons of changes and the steadfast speed.