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, August 24, 2019

The Monthly “12 CIO Personas” Book Turning: CIO as “Chief Improvement Officer” - How to Improve IT Maturity Aug. 2019

The digital CIOs have to wear different colors of hats and master multiple leadership personas and management roles effortlessly.

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. The important thing is that CIOs as the top leadership role must have a strong mindset, a unique personality, and a clear idea of what needs to be done, yet creative enough to not hold the company back from growth. Regardless of which personality they have, digital CIOs need to be both transformational and situational, innovative and tactical, business savvy and technology insightful, communication-effective and operation-efficient. Here is a set of blogs to brainstorm CIOs as “Chief Improvement Officer.”

CIOs as “Chief Improvement Officer” - How to Improve
IT Maturity

CIO as Chief Improvement Officer The “I” in the CIO title is full of imagination; the "Chief Improvement Officer" is a right fit for the modern CIO role. CIOs need to have unique business insight, technological vision to understand the business not only from the inside-out viewpoint but through outside-in customer’s lens. With that knowledge, CIOs can drive innovation to improve the hard business process and soft organizational culture by implementing the technical solution and improve IT and overall business agility and maturity.

Make Radical Shift to Improve IT Organizational Maturity Information Technology is permeating into every corner of the organization and continues to grow in importance to the company across the vertical sectors. The increasing speed of change forces IT leaders to get really creative on how they architect and implement change, make broader, deeper, and bolder impact, and ensure that IT is strategically positioned to be ahead of where the business is moving next, in order to drive change and lead the digital paradigm shift seamlessly.

Five “Missing-Links” to Stop IT from Reaching Next Level of Maturity Nowadays, information and technology become the creative disrupter to business growth and industry evolution. IT is no longer just an enabler of the business strategy, but becomes an integral part of the strategy. However, in many companies across industrial sectors, IT is still perceived as an isolated support function and reactive service provider. How to identify and strengthen those missing links in order to run a high mature digital IT organization?

Setting High Standard to Run High Mature Digital IT Organization Organizations across the industrial sectors are relying more on information technology, IT organization has more to overcome. It’s simply not sufficient to run IT as a support function only. IT can provide the business ability to explore new business models by knitting all important components seamlessly or delight customers by providing them with digital options. IT organizations can bring up business benefit by mixing diverse business elements to create great products, services, or processes which generate differentiated value for the long-term growth of the business. It’s time to set a high standard to run high mature digital IT organization.

Five Characteristics of IT Maturity Compared to the considerably static industrial age, the digital environment is complex, uncertain, unpredictable and unrepetitive. Organizations rely more and more on technology, and IT needs will only expand. Thus, the CIO’s ability to build fundamental business competency is now greater than ever. How well an IT organization can adapt to the dynamic environment directly affects the future of the business. IT maturity is proportional to overall business maturity. IT touches both hard business processes and soft human behavior. Here are five characteristics of IT maturity.

Modern organizations have their own sophistication with silo functions, the sea of information, and the pool of talent. The CIO is an inherently cross-functional role, to bridge the business and IT; the data and insight, the business’s today and tomorrow. The digital CIOs have to wear different personas and master multiple leadership and management roles effortlessly. They need to lead at the strategic level for conducting a complex digital orchestra; they should be handy managers to plumbing information and keep it flow smoothly; they also have to be like the diligent gardeners, to build a unique IT landscape via tuning technology, removing waste, nurturing culture, and empowering people.

The Best “Attitude” Quotes of “Digital Master” Aug. 2019

Digital attitudes are about curiosity and humility. Being experimental and persistent.

"Digital Master is a series of guidebooks (28 + 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, provides advice on how to run a digital organization to unleash its full potential and improve agility, maturity, and provide insight about Change Management. It also instructs the digital workforce on how to shape a game-changing digital mindset and build the right set of digital capabilities to compete for the future. Here is a set of “Attitude” quotes in “Digital Master."


1 Attitude is the compilation and quality of thought transposed to the brain of its personality and mindset, which is moving through human existence.

2 Attitude manifests itself through one's behavior. It can be changed for sure only if one is willing to accept and give 100 percent to changing oneself.

3 Attitude is a vibration...a frequency our human personality carries within it that it exudes around and then affects the world outside through the frequency of this vibration.

4 Attitude is a way of thinking and a way of looking at the problem. Attitude manifests itself through one's behavior.

5 The differentiator between a digital leader/professional and a laggard is not about the title and authority, more about the digital mindsets and attitude: the intellectual curiosity, risk tolerance, persistence, creativity, learning agility, humility. Etc.

6 We all try to 'close' the system, so to say, to reduce its complexity. But the adaptive attitude is to manage its complexity via agility enhancement.

7 Digital attitudes are about curiosity and humility. Being experimental and persistent.

8 Professional competency is built through both attitude and aptitude. Competency is related to the performance and the outcome.

9 With overwhelming information and abundance of knowledge, one of the true tests of a professional is to know when you don't know, cultivate healthy digital attitudes to practice a profession and improve professional quality.

Five Pillars of Organizational Maturity

At the heart of digital, it is people and how to build a customer-centric organization. 

Today’s business world is dynamic, volatile, uncertain, and hyper-competitive. Every business is different, they are at a varying stage of its business life cycle and different level of organizational maturity. Many companies may be in business for many years but has not matured its management disciplines. But surviving and thriving in today’s business dynamic requires structural flexibility, cross-functional collaboration, inter-relational process to reduce business fricitions and deal with conflicts or disruptions that arise, to shape a people-centric organization from functioning to delight. Here are five pillars of organizational maturity. 

Leadership maturity: Many say the spirit of the organization comes from the top. Due to the speed of changes and abundance of information, leadership in itself is a constant learning process that requires leaders to have open and growth mindset, humble attitude, gain a great understanding of people and group dynamics, share insight and build experience. Due to the complexity and ever-changing business dynamic, sound judgment is a hardcore leadership competency which often does not come from “gut feeling,” but based on growth mindset, updated information, solid knowledge, and contextual understanding. High mature leadership is one of the strong pillars to build a high mature digital organization. More specifically, the maturity of digital leadership depends on a number of factors such as the purpose to lead, leadership intelligence, emotional intelligence, confidence but not arrogance, the mix of knowledge and experience, the quality of information they receive and their collective leadership ability to accelerate business performance and improve organizational maturity.

Innovation competency: Innovation is the most wanted changes, innovation competency is one of the solid pillars to build high mature digital organization and the key differentiator between the digital leader and the follower. Innovation can happen anywhere across the organization and its ecosystem. To develop the organizational level innovation competency, it’s important to build a powerful innovation navigation system that involves tapping the organization's ecosystem for capturing opportunities to innovate, develop tailored innovation principles, methodologies, practices, and manage a balanced portfolio of innovations across the matrix of different types of innovation (process, product/service, business model, etc) and different degrees of innovation (incremental, substantial, breakthrough) A leading digital organization with innovation competency can handle innovation streams for different goals and different time frames, create new value, even become a game changer, position a strong business brand, and reach the next level of organizational maturity.

Operational excellence: Achieving operational excellence is fundamental to build a high mature business. It’s challenging because business management needs to ensure they have enough resources and necessary skills to implement the business strategy; the risks and assumptions are understood and manageable. It’s also important to keep trimming wastes and redundancy, set priority to bring transparency and keep optimizing business structures and processes. “Keeping it Simple” should always be one of the guiding principles and management cultures for running digital organization to achieve operational excellence. It requires some kind of re-tuning corporate processes and re-combining the business capabilities into differentiated business competencies. When the business operation is refined to the point that they are nimble, can adapt to changing business demands in a timely fashion, the organization reaches the inflection point to achieve high-level business maturity.

Information Technology Synchronization: Information is one of the most invaluable assets besides people in modern businesses and technology is the driving force of digital transformation. The power of information is to empower the business with real-time insight across the organization in ways never possible before. Inconsistent or broken business processes result in significant information inconsistencies and business deceleration. Thus, IT is one of the strong pillars for building a high mature digital organizations. The real-time information can bring business insight and foresight, enable organizations to see the future clearly; the emerging digital technologies significantly improve business productivity, efficiency, employee engagement, and customer satisfaction. Information Technology synchronization is the prerequisite to run a real-time, high-mature digital organization. The insight-driven digital powerhouse can create the business synchronization of all functions running at the multiple levels of the organization seamlessly. It provides the quality of information for effective decision-making and high business responsiveness and adaptability.

Workforce proficiency: Organizations are complex adaptive living systems, which are comprised, in part, of people. People-centricity is one of the most important digital characteristics. Workforce proficiency is a strong pillar of building a high mature digital organization. In an ideal digital workplace, talented people are encouraged to learn, grow, and prosper by continually learning, innovating, evolving and adopting. Whenever people feel respected and needed in an organization, they are highly engaged in their work, encouraged to participate in creative activities, motivated to change, and contribute to achieving strategic business goals, It’s also important to bridge the gap between knowledge and insight, to ensure digital leaders and professionals can make information-based decisions and reach the state of knowledge proficiency collectively. Psychology, sociology, technology, anthropology, and philosophy, etc interdisciplinarity must be applied for improving talent management effectiveness and maturity.

At the heart of digital, it is people and how to build a customer-centric organization. Organizations today need to build dynamic business competencies and develop solid pillars to shape a high mature business which is sophisticated for complex problem-solving, adaptive to rapid change, innovative to create unique business value, flexible to provide alternative solutions, energetic to perpetuate business improvement, and resilient to fail over and fail forward.

Friday, August 23, 2019

The Monthly “Digital Hybridity” Book Tuning: The Hybrid Models of Going Digital Aug. 2019

Digital management is a hybrid and holistic discipline with mixed management styles for managing everything that is necessary to get people to adopt new ways of working.

 
TDigital Hybridity: How to Strike the Right Balance for Digital Paradigm Shift” is to shed some light on how to strike the right balance of stability and changes; being transactional to keep spinning and being transformational to leap forward for making a seamless digital paradigm shift. Digital organizations should apply the hybrid management approach, focus on building a diverse, networked, and extended modern working environment in which the powerful digital platforms and computing technologies enable seamless conversations, delayer overly rigid organizational hierarchy, inspire idea sharing and brainstorming, and engage employees and partners to achieve the high-performance result.
he purpose of the book “


The Hybrid Models of Going Digital


The Five Dimensional Hybrid Models for Going Digital The digital paradigm has many dimensions. Digital organizations today have the hybrid reality with both physical buildings and virtual platform, the old way and the new way of doing things. It implies the “always on” and hyper-connected business nature, exhibiting digital characteristics in various shades, extensiveness, and intensity. Therefore, digital management needs to adopt a hybrid model and take the holistic discipline with mixed management styles for managing everything that is necessary to get digital ready.

Improve Digital Maturity by Pursuing “Hybrid Truth” Digital organizations are all about information savvy, adaptation, innovation, people-centricity, high-performance, and speed. They are expanding both horizontally and vertically. The high mature digital organizations are highly conscious about what’s happening in their environment, take a holistic understanding of relationships between parts and the whole, strike the right balance and leverage the pairs of business factors for pursuing the “hybrid truth,” to improve the overall organizational digital maturity.

The Hybrid Digital Management Disciplines The digital paradigm has many dimensions, it is like solving a jigsaw puzzle with thousands of pieces, easy to get lost when trying to capture the big picture. Digital transformation is the journey for solving problems caused by "conflict," "out of balance," and “lack of logic.” It has to expand into every dimension of the organization with a structural approach. Thus, digital management is a hybrid and holistic discipline with mixed management styles for managing everything that is necessary to get people to adopt new ways of working such as cross-functional communication and collaboration, organizational structure design, change management, talent development, digital business readiness, and stakeholder management, etc.

Digital Workforce Hybridity
As our digitized world becomes hyper-connected, over-complex and interdependent, digital system themes with all the aggregates-spanning business challenges, paradoxes and opportunities bring organizations further towards the challenges of constructing and enacting "hybrid realities" across individuals, teams, looser groups, organizations, network-enterprises, and holistic digital ecosystems. The digital paradigm that is emerging is the sociological organization which is alive, holistic, vibrant, energetic, responsive, fluid, innovative and resilient with hybridity of knowledge, processes, workforce, and competencies.

Three Aspects of Running a Hybrid IT and Digital Organization We live in the world with both “old” and “new,” embracing digital is inevitable as that is now part of the reality. In order to lead change and drive digital transformation, IT should combine the old way to do things, and the new way to explore, the next practices and the best practices, take the balance of traditional hierarchy and flatter structure; keep the lights on,” and “doing more with innovation.” Either from management, technology or talent perspective, Is HYBRIDITY the right way to move forward with the right speed?

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 3 million page views with about #5900+ 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 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.

The Best “Silo” Quotes of “Digital Master” Aug. 2019

The solution to breaking down silos is to apply bigger thinking -to implement an effective cross-silo strategy, better integral process, and collaborative communication.

"Digital Masteris a series of guidebooks (28 + 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, provides advice on how to run a digital organization to unleash its full potential and improve agility, maturity, and provide insight about Change Management. It also instructs the digital workforce on how to shape a game-changing digital mindset and build the right set of digital capabilities to compete for the future. Here is a set of “Silo” quotes inDigital Master.


1 Silo thinking builds the wall in people’s minds and sets barriers in the human's hearts.

2 At their heart, silos are not a structural issue, they are the result of poor thinking; or lack of holistic thinking, systems thinking, and strategic thinking.

3 Silo mentality is fundamentally about keeping the mind static and keeping the people separate rather than keeping work separate.

4 It is critical to break down silo mentality and apply a holistic management discipline which can break through the industrial constraints and limitations in pursuit of possibilities rather than impossibilities.

5 With silo mentality, organizations lose their collaborative advantage as they are being over managed and under led.

6 Silos happen when the "Why?" in business is not properly communicated from the senior level management down through business units.

7 Silo sets the barriers to real problem-solving because people are not comfortable to go across the territories for digging into the root causes, they just get stuck at “we always do things like that” mentality.

8 Many think silo happens when the business operates from a fear standpoint - fear of rejection, fear of invisibility, fear that other peoples' accomplishments will somehow diminish your own, etc. Silos are based on a culture of self-protection and judgment

9 The solution to breaking down silos is to apply bigger thinking -to implement an effective cross-silo strategy, better integral process, and collaborative communication.

Setting High Standard to Run High Mature Digital IT Organization

IT needs to continuously try to improve, develop, and change everything in a prioritized order as long as it creates a more long-term business advantage. 

Organizations across the industrial sectors are relying more on information technology, IT organization has more to overcome. It’s simply not sufficient to run IT as a support function only. IT can provide the business ability to explore new business models by knitting all important components seamlessly or delight customers by providing them digital options. IT organizations can bring up business benefit by mixing diverse business elements to create great products, services, or processes which generate differentiated value for the long-term growth of the business. It’s time to set a high standard to run high mature digital IT organization.


It’s the breadth of vision: Nowadays, technology is often the disruptive force behind digital transformation and information can be refined into business foresight and customer insight. It’s the breadth of vision differentiates a great CIO from an average CIO. Reimagining the future of digital business is exciting. IT can become the driving force for business growth. It takes visionary leadership to create a blue ocean for providing a competitive advantage. To lead effectively and become value-added, IT leaders should learn the business, set high standard, grasp opportunities to participate varying digital dialogs and get their voice heard, and implement strategic goals to achieve high-performance results. IT needs to permeating into the business functions and ecosystem, and invite customers and partners to provide feedback for improving their products or services. An aggressive IT organization can explore new ways to create business value aggressively by leveraging emerging trends and applying lightweight digital technologies. Strategic CIOs are proactive, energetic, engaged, decisive, seek to engage others, and have IT and business collaborate as equal partners so that strategies, people, processes, technologies, etc, work in harmony to accelerate performance.

It’s about catalyzing innovation: Traditional IT organizations act as the controller to avoid risk. But risk is part of innovation. Innovation is the only path to create long term business advantage. It is important to make sure that the management is forward-thinkingl enough for “doing more with innovation. IT leaders understand that technology-led innovation is not only for figuring out a better way to run the business today but also building business competency for the long run. They should set a high standard and take the step-wise approach to leading changes, catalyzing innovation, and driving digital transformation. The science of innovation is to manage innovation lifecycle and executes it in a systematic manner that provides sustained competitive advantage. IT leaders should apply the outside-in business lens to innovate at the organizational level and across the entire business ecosystem. IT plays a significant role in adding all critical pieces which are needed for accelerating validation of facts about business ideas, definition, benefits and shortcomings, applications, and competing technologies. IT can also help to fine-tune light-weight processes which allow creativity flow, channeled and nurtured so that innovation will succeed more often than those organizations do not have such processes and capacities.

It’s for continuously delivering high performance business results: Setting high standard is also about following the progress principle to keep improving IT performance and maturity. Or put simply, make continuous improvement more than discover an elegant solution. IT maturity is not based on how many years IT organizations have been around and keep running to support the business; but about how well IT can provide innovative solutions to reach higher-than-expected business results and delight customers.  IT-driven digital transformation is the journey of continuous delivery and improvement. Great IT leaders have to be prepared to constantly realign technology against the enterprise's business needs and measure things really matter to the business's success in the long run. The high mature digital CIOs are not only passionate digital visionaries but also cool-headed business executives who can play the number game wisely by managing budgets, setting measurement and achieving high performance business results consistently. The business benefit can be measurable in dollars, employee engagement, customer satisfaction, quality, etc.

Driving business growth and leading evolutionary change are the never-ending journey. IT needs to continuously try to improve, develop, and change everything in a prioritized order as long as it creates a more long-term business advantage. The forward-thinking organizations have to set high standards, empower IT to take charge and take a structural approach in building organizational level changeability for thriving in the “VUCA” digital new normal and bringing up substantial business benefits.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

The Weekly Insight of the “Future of CIO” 8/22/2019

Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking, brainstorming, innovating and sharing.

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 3 million page views with 5900+ blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The “Digital Master” book series includes 28 books to share insight from the multidimensional digital lens and perceive the multi-faceted impact the digital era upon us is making to the businesses and society. 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.


Cultivate a Dynamic Digital Innovation Ecosystem Everything is interconnected and the business ecosystem becomes so interdependent and dynamic. Innovation also becomes so complex and has a lot to do with external environment while people tend to focus on internal circumstances. Innovation nowadays is critical for the company’s survival and thriving. Thus, organizations need to awaken the ecosystem consciousness, start thinking about ways to innovate, influence, and cultivate a dynamic innovation ecosystem,

The Monthly “Digital Boardroom” Book Tuning: Constructive Criticism in Boardroom Aug. 2019 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 are the multiple perspectives of shaping a strategic boardroom.

Cultivate a Culture of Innovation Although everyone talks about innovation and many companies intellectually understand innovation, they don’t really know how to build innovation into their culture. In many cases, companies of all sizes, especially large corporations have become too dependent on satisfying corporate regulation or protocols, and get sucked in innovation management. In essence, innovation rejuvenation is truly about how to cultivate a culture of innovation and manage a balanced innovation portfolio.

Fine-Tune Organizational Changeability to Get Digital Ready
Compared to the business world decades ago, the speed of change is increasing, and digital ecosystem has become so complex and dynamic, to put simply, change itself changes. Change Management also turns out to be a holistic and multifaceted business discipline. Organizations across vertical sectors realize that one of their greatest strengths will be their change capability. Successful businesses are the ones that have learned how to strike the delicate balance and implement change time after time and build it as a solid ongoing business competency.

The Monthly “Digital Gaps” Book Tuning: Identify and Fill Multitude of Skill/Talent Gaps Aug. 2019 "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 identify and strengthen the weakest link and take a step-wise approach to make a leap of digital transformation.

Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking about 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.

The Best “Scorecard” Quotes of “Digital Master” Aug. 2019

The scorecard allows you to focus on. Without scorecards, it will become like searching for a needle in the haystack.

"Digital Master” is a series of guidebooks (28 + 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, provides advice on how to run a digital organization to unleash its full potential and improve agility, maturity, and provide insight about Change Management. It also instructs the digital workforce on how to shape a game-changing digital mindset and build the right set of digital capabilities to compete for the future. Here is a set of “Scorecard” quotes in “Digital Master."


1 A scorecard assesses the progress of the set goals and provides the business management a wider perspective on its strategic decisions about digital transformation by considering the impact on finances, customers, internal processes and employee satisfaction.

2 The goals of applying scoreboard are to translate the vision and strategic planning into operational goals; communicate strategy and link it to individual performance.

3 With a balanced scorecard, management can become more confident and accurately judge the coming curves and obstacles on the path.

4 Scorecards translate your strategy into concrete terms and help you track its implementation.

5 Scorecards make the meaning of success tangible for the organizations; one of the strengths in the scorecard is that they enable practical use of the success factors and performance management concepts.

6 The scorecard allows you to focus on. Without scorecards, it will become like searching for a needle in the haystack.

7 When considering a scorecard, the main part of the challenge lies in building an adapted structure, in line with business objectives. Make sure that the management of your scorecard does not become an industry in itself.

8 A balanced scorecard is very useful for facilitating discussions and ensuring decision makers understand the various trade-offs and make the overall strategic balance, business dependencies, and constraints between components, individuals, and overall risk exposure.

9 A well-balanced scorecard measures key strategic measures along with the things that drive those measures. The well designed balanced scorecard with well-selected metrics can harness information-based communication and lead to continuous improvement.

Discover What is at the Heart of the Problem

Discovering the heart of problems starts at the mindset level and takes both strategy and methodologies. 


We live in the world with all sorts of problems, even though we understand all different forms of thinking, the problems facing the planet don't seem to be reducing. Many problems exist because they are either ill-defined or the concept cannot be adequately captured contextually. Trying to fix the wrong cause of a problem will waste time and resources, increase anxiety and even cause chaos. Therefore, the deeper you understand the problem, the easier you could frame the problem, and the better chance you could solve it effectively. But more specifically, how to discover what is the heart of the problem?

Wrap the mindset around the problem: With “VUCA” new normal, problem-solving thought-processes and practices will not be simple for many vexing problems. The more complex the situation is, the more different approaches and role gaming is needed to reach for in-depth understanding. A logical problem-diagnose scenario that crosses all industries is to keep peeling back the layers to discover the root cause. Thus, it’s critical to leverage different thought processes for thinking about the specific issue and common challenges from different angles, and solving problems analytically and systematically. The problem-solving thought processes involve many forms of thinking such as temporal, inductive, deductive, analytical, system, abstract, historical, mathematical, and other forms of logic. Getting input from a broad range of personalities and cognitive difference between people on the particular matter. Collectively, people should bring different perspectives and the boundaries might have changed based on open conversations and continuous debate and brainstorming. You don’t need to always agree with each other, but it’s always critical to gain empathy, capture insight and come up with a fresh perspective on getting to the heart of issues before putting effort to solve it smoothly.

Leverage Systems Thinking to understand the “scope” of the problem: System Thinking is about seeing the inter-connectivity of parts and the whole. It helps to see a complex issue as a larger system with interactive pieces and “conflict” goals; understand the interdependent pieces, provide insight into the emergent properties, gain an accurate understanding of the overall situation and hence, it helps to better defining the real problem structurally. The more complex the situation is, the more important to leverage systems thinking, critical thinking and many other multidimensional thought processes to see underneath the symptoms, dig into root causes of the problem and see around corners without ignoring some pieces of important information. Systems Think helps to focus on relationships between things rather than characteristics of things, understand the outcomes of various relationships/actions in order to solve the problem thoroughly with less side effect. More specifically, leveraging Systems Thinking for problem-solving is about unfolding systemic relationships, telling stories to others, and soliciting their feedback. Systems Thinking practitioners can see the inter-connectivity between the different problems as well as the different part of the problems, diagnose the root cause of either old or emerging problems and solve them effectively.

Explore different ways of understanding and doing things: To discover the heart of issues and solve it effectively, digital leaders and professional should change their “we always do things like that mentality" by exploring different ways of understanding and doing things. Think both in macro and micro way, critically and creatively, assume that every problem has multiple solutions, always explore different choices, ask open questions to themselves and others to explore new possibilities. Until the underlying problem is addressed, the symptom or result will continue to return. Thus, people are encouraged to think differently, challenge old assumptions, update their knowledge, pull the necessary resources to experiment with different ways to handle problems, drive improvement, figure out better solutions and make them stick. 

Running a business is an iterative problem-solving continuum: Framing the right problems, assessing the right people with the right mindset and capability, and solving the problem effectively are all critical steps for developing problem-solving competency and improving business performance. There is no panacea for fixing all sorts of business problems. Discovering the heart of problems starts at the mindset level and takes both strategy and methodologies. Problem-solving masters are those individuals or businesses who are equipped with the digital mindset, accumulate sufficient information and knowledge, leverage the powerful digital technologies, avoid pitfalls and roadblocks along the way, build the differentiated business competency, and develop their own set of problem-solving principles, methodologies and practices.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The Monthly “Digital Boardroom” Book Tuning: Constructive Criticism in Boardroom Aug. 2019

Criticism shows portrayal of ideas, concerns, directions, and attitudes.

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 are the multiple perspectives of shaping a strategic boardroom.


                 Constructive Criticism in Boardroom 



Constructive Criticism in the Boardroom The corporate board plays a crucial role in overseeing business strategy and driving business transformation. Criticism shows portrayal of ideas, concerns, directions, and attitudes. Asking good questions to management or the board members themselves is not the “wasting time” activity, it can help to clarify the vision and bring new insight about how to steer the company in the right direction.

Communication Competency of BoDs Communication is the key to improve leadership effectiveness and improve business fluidity. Either at the boardroom or the different layers of the business hierarchy, effective communication is like the thread to connect all important business gems, for building the trustful relationship, enforcing collaboration, and improving digital readiness and manageability.

A “Skeptical Board” to Advocate Innovation The Corporate Board plays a critical role in business strategy oversight, monitoring execution, advising digital transformation, and setting tones for talent management. The boards are also transforming from compliance-driven to performance oriented to get digital ready. In practice, the board's role is to pull management out of the trees to see the forest; to understand the business landscape and how it will address it; to continue questioning on important issues where the management's answers do not make sense, and to show the constructive skepticism for brainstorming changes and advocating innovation.

How to Close the Feedback Gaps Nobody is perfect, we should always self-aware, strengthen our strengths and improve our weaknesses. We need always to welcome the constructive feedback which helps improve our professional growth and personal maturity. However, how can you discern which feedback is constructive, and how can you bridge the feedback gaps in order to shape the growth mindset and achieve professional advancement effortlessly?

How to Bridge Insight Gaps in the Boardroom Leadership is about envisioning and leading the business towards its future. Top leadership roles such as board directors are supposed to be the guiding force in the enterprise. In practice, the digital era is volatile, complex, uncertain and ambiguous. Many say that the multitude of gaps (thinking, knowledge, innovation, strategy execution, etc.) are enlarged because different industries, organizations, functions, and individuals evolve with varying speed. To lift up the board leadership maturity, minding the insight gap is challenging, but a critical step for improving leadership effectiveness. Leadership is an influence, influence comes from progressive mindsets, profound insight, and step-wise actions. Insight is an understanding of cause and effect based on the identification of relationships and behaviors within a model, context, or scenario.

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 3 million page views with 5900+ 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 Best “Business Model” Quotes of “Digital Master” Aug. 2019

 The mindset, vision, competency, capability, culture, and marketing opportunity are all great starting points for business model innovation.

"Digital Master” is a series of guidebooks (28 + 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, provides advice on how to run a digital organization to unleash its full potential and improve agility, maturity, and provide insight about Change Management. It also instructs the digital workforce on how to shape a game-changing digital mindset and build the right set of digital capabilities to compete for the future. Here is a set of “Business Model” quotes in “Digital Master."

1 The business Model describes the rationale of how an organization creates, delivers, and captures the multidimensional value.

2 A business model is an entire frame of elements that describe the intents and constraints of a business or organization.

3 Tuning business model is all about foreseeing and applying the emerging trends, that’s where you win the competitive advantage.

4 The mindset, vision, competency, capability, culture, and marketing opportunity are all great starting points for business model innovation.

5 A business model should not only be used for describing, analyzing, and predicting the evolution of a business system, but also provide a framework for managing its performance throughout the business growth life cycle.

6 Business models should be simple, intuitive, but it doesn’t mean it should be too abstract to come up with a step-wised approach.

7 Business models can be holistically evolved through feedback and probes, subjectively and objective evolved, refined, changed, measured, and then repeated.

8 The business model is not static, but a living thing, to enable organizations renewing themselves for generating new revenue stream and business value.

9 A strong business model is difficult to copy and it is differentiated in the marketplace. But there are also numerous barriers or pitfalls to make it work and sustain its value.

Five “Missing-Links” to Stop IT from Reaching Next Level of Maturity

To identify and strengthen these missing links, business management needs to gain the contextual understanding of the business hyper-connectivity and interdependence.

Nowadays, information and technology become the creative disrupter to business growth and industry evolution. IT is no longer just an enabler of the business strategy, but becomes an integral part of the strategy. However, in many companies across industrial sectors, IT is still perceived as an isolated support function and reactive service provider. How to identify and strengthen those missing links in order to run a high mature digital IT organization?



Misinformation: IT takes charge of one of the most valuable business assets - information. Information does not live alone but permeates into everywhere in the businesses. Thus, the value of information is not isolated. Misinformation can cause business fail at any moment. If information is unavailable, inaccurate, lost, stolen, or compromised, it will hinder the achievement of business goals, disappoint customers, and even misled the business in the wrong direction. Information is critical, not every piece of information is created equal though. In a business scope, there are some of the important bits and bytes of information needed when evaluating a new market or any emerging business growth opportunity. Information Management is the structural process of aligning the usage of information through the multidisciplinary management discipline. Thus, to strengthen information management link, IT should first work to identify how information is associated with the tangible value of businesses; products and resources. It’s also critical to ensure information quality, accessibility, reliability, and refine information to fully support the business goals and objectives collaboratively.

Miscommunication: The gap between IT and business is reality, and often miscommunication is the root cause. Communication is complicated because there are differences in goals and contexts. There are different business dialects, communication styles, and these contexts can shift frequently. The business system is complex and the organization is multifaceted. Without the contextual understanding of people, process, technology, or system, the blind spots are inevitable and cause miscommunication across functional or geographical borders. Miscommunication enlarges business gaps and decelerates the organizational speed. Communication is the key to improve leadership effectiveness and reinvent IT reputation as a trustworthy business partner. CIOs can lift their role as the strategic business leader and skillful communicator via their unique perspective and insightful abstract. They can communicate effectively with all levels of the organization by interpreting both business and IT issues back and forth accurately without “lost in translation.” The great communicators can communicate objectively with strong logic, clarity, and understanding. Communication is not just the soft discipline, it’s both an art and science.

Misinterpretation: A well-established organization has different dialects, every organizational functions or division has its own focus and dialect. Misinterpretation is perhaps caused by pre-conceptual judgment, random assumptions, or simply lack of deeper understanding. Without using common business language or enforcing mutual understanding, misinterpretation will further cause dysfunctional business management. In fact, the “lost in translation” is the common pitfalls of strategy management. In the digital working environment, context intelligence is about understanding the whole meaning of functional dialects and business cultures or subcultures via connection, discernment, penetration, and perception, etc. Business leaders today need to know how to read between the lines and understand the inter-connectivity between parts and the whole without getting lost in interpretation. They can overcome those communication obstacles, master different business dialects and convey the right message in the right format to tailor different audiences for strengthening business relationship links and improving leadership effectiveness.

Mistrust: Mistrust is often caused by miscommunication, lack of transparency, or micromanagement. Mistrust further causes damages of business relationship and enlarges gaps of involving parties. The deeper the trust, the more valuable the relationship would be. Without a trustful business relationship, every decision becomes an argument and change get stuck. IT leaders have to be able to demonstrate in very tangible ways that IT understands business and builds trustful business-IT relationship via in-depth observation, communication, and empathetic understanding, etc. Transparency is critical to develop a trusting relationship between the business and IT. To keep IT and business on the same page, IT leaders have to reach out horizontally to their business peers. IT, marketing, finance, HR, etc. IT leaders can manage multi-layer relationships such as business peer/shareholder relationship, customer relationship, vendor relationship., etc. Trust = Communication +Transparency + Delegation + Reciprocity + Verification.

Misjudgment: Nothing is certain with the rapid digital flow, business executives, including CIOs have to make assumptions or “forecast” all the time. You have to make them, but you will never have complete information, Forecast precision will help the company prepare the journey for either capturing the rising business opportunities timely or preventing potential risks effortlessly. From decision management perspective, many leaders make poor judgment, due to the lack of comprehensive knowledge, lack of critical thinking, independent thinking, and Systems Thinking abilities, cognitive bias, or preconceived notions. Ego leads to misjudgment as well. Do not fall into linear thought traps, you need to listen, accept, and act on the blind spot. When you intend to understand, interpret and judge something, you need to form a critical opinion of it based on facts, discerned data, common understanding, and clarified notions to ensure the pieces of the puzzle can be integrated into a clear picture.

To identify and strengthen these missing links, business management, especially at the senior management level, needs to gain the contextual understanding of the inter-connectivity of both visible and invisible business success factors, apply interdisciplinary approaches to planning, managing, collaborating, enforce inter-organizational linkage, and take step-wise actions to improve digital management maturity.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The Monthly “Digital Fit” Book Tuning: The Multifaceted Fit of Digital Business Aug. 2019

 Digital organization is a self-adaptive and self-renewing system which is able to reconfigure its own structure and change its own behavior during the execution of its adaptation to environmental changes. 

Digital makes a significant impact on every aspect of the business from people, process to technology, both horizontally and vertically. Digital becomes the very fabric of high performing business, being outside-in and customer-centric is the new mantra for forward-looking and high mature digital organizations today. But what are digital organizational traits, how to define digital fit and take a structural approach for digitalization?

 

                  

              

 The Multifaceted Fit of Digital Business 


Build Ambidextrous Digital Organization Digital makes a profound impact from the specific function to the business as a whole and the entire digital ecosystem. Building an evolving digital organization is to ensure that the business is complex enough to act intelligently and nimble enough for adapting to changes promptly. It’s important for business leaders and professionals to think the systemic wholeness, renew knowledge, and develop the differentiated business competencies to shape an ambidextrous digital organization.

Running Digital Organizations with Differentiated Business Competency The characteristics of digital business are dynamic, volatile, uncertain, and hypercompetitive. Digitalization implies the full-scale changes in the way business is conducted, so that simply adopting a new digital technology isn’t insufficient. You have to continuously scale up and dig underneath, optimize organizational processes and develop business capabilities, transform the underlying organizational structures and functions to ensure the business as a whole presenting the differentiated business competency and running with digital speed.

Three Aspects of Digital Multiplicity The digital transformation is now spreading rapidly to enable organizations of all shapes and sizes to reinvent themselves. Consider the digital organization as the self-organized but interlaced environments, there are many emergent digital characteristics. Digital organization is a self-adaptive and self-renewing system which is able to reconfigure its own structure and change its own behavior during the execution of its adaptation to environmental changes. There are multidimensional management discipline, multi-layer business relationships, and multigenerational and multicultural workforces in making digital business both dynamic and complex. Here are thee aspects of digital multiplicity.

Three Aspects of Building a Digital Savvy Organization Digital reality is a flexible blend of the physical and virtual world. Many organizations are moving from doing digital by experimenting with some emerging technologies to going digital by expanding to all dimensions of the business transformation. Organizations have to keep evolving, improving, collaborating, and innovating for becoming digital savvy and reaching the next level of organizational maturity.

Three Fitting Characteristics to Make the Business Stand out as a Digital Master With rapid changes and exponential growth of information, companies large or small are brainstorming the digital ways to think and experiment the better way to solve either old business issues or emergent problems, delight customers, improve employees’ engagement, increase productivity, and inspire creativity across the enterprise ecosystem. Organizations have to stretch out in every business dimension for driving the full-fledged digital transformation. So, what are fitting characteristics to make the business stand out as a digital leader and reach a high level of business maturity?

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 3 million page views with about #5900+ 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 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.

The Best “Fit & Misfit” Quotes of “Digital Master” Aug. 2019

 The world has too many stereotypes, we need more rebels or pioneers who are considered misfits.

"Digital Master is a series of guidebooks (28 + 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, provides advice on how to run a digital organization to unleash its full potential and improve agility, maturity, and provide insight about Change Management. It also instructs the digital workforce on how to shape a game-changing digital mindset and build the right set of digital capabilities to compete for the future. Here is a set of “Fit & Misfit” quotes in “Digital Master."


1 Fit or misfit is contextual. People should remember that each one of us is an individual, each is a misfit in some way or the other.

2 One has to remember that as each one of us is an INDIVIDUAL, each is a misfit in some way or the other. So being called misfit is really not alone, and perhaps a compliment.

3 “Fit” doesn't mean that everyone needs to have the same thought process, the same personalities, the same preferences, or the same experiences. Appreciating “misfit” and harnessing the different experiences, perspectives and ideas of people have enormous potential.

4 It takes time to learn to feel confident to be different, to be unique or misfit, to celebrate and be proud of who we are.

5 Entrepreneurs, Scientists, Artists, Musicians, Teachers, etc..all can be considered misfits...And more critically, such 'misfit' characteristic decides whether you are an authentic leader or a follower.

6 The world has too many stereotypes, we need more rebels or pioneers who are considered misfits.

7 Either you are a round pit cannot fit for a square hole or the running river cannot keep still, misfit can be a real fit when time flows.

8 From the management perspective, “fitting” doesn’t take the cookie cutting approach, the organizational fit means to embrace “misfit,” encourages critical thinking, welcomes constructive skepticism, and unlocks collective creativity.

9 The organizational fit is the good balance of the fitting attitude and “misfit” thinking. Ultimately, organizational fit means how to balance the fit (growth mindset, learning agility, good attitude, and accepted behavior) and misfit (independent thinking and creativity)

Ideaphoria: How to Build a Highly Innovative Organization with Constant Creativity Flow

 It is important to create conditions so that the ideas can flow and creative potential can manifest.

Companies have always had the flow of information, flow of ideas, a flow sufficient for the needs of the company at that time. The point is that, with increasing pace of change, what has happened is that the flow from "before" is perhaps no longer sufficient to address the business challenges of today and future. Ideas are crucial to business innovation, and innovation is critical to the business’s survival and thriving. To build a highly innovative organization, it’s important to make sure that your company has a steady flow of fresh ideas floating in the innovation pipeline and create synergy for innovation management.

Provoke breakthrough thinking: Creativity is the high level of thinking because it evolves many different thought processes such as dots connection, imagination, intuition, or pattern discovery, etc. It often happens at the intersection of conscious and subconscious thinking. Breakthrough progress often starts at the mindset level, and breakthrough ideas are shaped by breaking down conventional thinking box, broadening thoughts and connecting wider cross-disciplinary dots for coming up with novel ideas to create breakthrough solutions. It takes courage to step out of conventional thinking box and practice creativity. In a business enterprise context, the mantra of "there are no bad ideas" is often used as a catalyst to encourage a flow of ideas. Often, ideas are built on other ideas and that idea combination is a powerful technique, then having a big amount of ideas is a good thing as long as you then try and get the best attributes of the ones you like and combine them into solid ideas which can be implemented and come up with breakthrough innovations.

Harness spontaneity of group interaction: Innovation happens at the intersection of people and organization. Individually, the interaction between what is within us (the self), and how we project to the outside world is the bridge to trigger our creativity. Collectively, to achieve the digital breakthrough, it’s important to build an innovative workforce which continues to depoliticize working culture, dismantle bureaucracy, and harness group interaction for sparking creativity. Breakthrough innovation are often driven by creative people not only far-sighted but also well-determined to make their ideas succeed by challenging the rules of the game, connecting interdisciplinary dots, harnessing heterogeneous group interactions, or accelerating knowledge transfers. With powerful digital technologies and collaboration tools, organizations today can set up the innovation platform for empowering people to contribute and keeping the idea flow by breaking down silos or bottlenecks to enforce cross-boundary communication and collaboration.

Spot innovators: To develop a highly innovative organization and keep the fountain of creativity flow, it’s important to hire, retain, and recognize innovators who can help organizations catalyze the culture of creativity and create an optimal environment for innovation. Innovators present creatively disruptive traits, disrupt old ways, and inspire better ways to do things. Spot innovators based on how they think, their intellectual curiosity, and their ability to connect the dots. Innovators are often visionaries and pathfinders who can come with a foresight to envision a need that others overlook or ignore and a willingness to forge ahead to satisfy their vision. The unique traits of innovators include such as: open-mindedness, cognitive intelligence, learning plasticity, intellectual engagement, pattern discovery, ambiguity tolerance, high adaptability, or emotional intelligence for risk taking, etc. They can help their organization generate and share fresh ideas, explore new opportunities and achieve the impossible.

In an ideal digital workforce, empowerment is the mantra for developing the digital ready workforce and shaping a culture of innovation. It is important to create conditions so that the ideas can flow and creative potential can manifest. Ideologically, the highly effective and dynamic digital organizations have a multitude of positive characteristics such as the startup’s business culture, the institute’s learning attitude and agility, with the abundance of knowledge and expertise. Only in an open trusting space, creativity can be nurtured and innovation can be catalyzed effortlessly.