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.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Three Questions to Assess a Person’s Advancement

People are always the most invaluable asset in businesses. “Hiring the right person for the right position at the right time,” is the mantra of many forward-thinking organizations. The advancement of an organization depends on how advanced its people are. But how can you assess people’s advancement? Is it only based on the advanced degree they got? Or they hold an advanced title? Or they can play the latest gadgets? What are the right questions to lead thought-provoking understanding about the advancement?

Are you a forward-thinking, upwards, and open-minded?  The advancement starts with mindset. We are what we think. Today we are inextricably linked, in real time and in ways far more imminent than most realize. It is really difficult to become aware of things you are not aware of. Usually forward-thinking people do not restrict themselves to the conventional wisdom, they have foresight with a proactive understanding of cause and effect, not reactive seeing. It is a clear choice among future scenarios that advocates future trends. To predict is to control; to co-create is to influence what you would like to bring into being. Scenarios of possible futures create stories, this is where you want to be. The advanced thinkers are often more open-minded to new concepts and ideas. They are able to and not afraid to leverage contrarian views to shape a holistic picture. It means they feel passion about what is going to happen, the opportunities, and proactively embrace it, they have little resistance to change, often with an agile mentality to learning, growing, changing, and maturing. The advanced mindset is the force to drive the world moving forward.

Do you have advanced knowledge and how fast can you climb the knowledge-insight-wisdom pyramid? Due to the accelerated digital speed and continuous disruption, today’s digital workforce has to learn, de-learn and re-learn all the time, The advanced knowledge is not just about you can capture the latest buzzword or play the recent digital gadget, it’s about how fast you could climb the knowledge-insight-wisdom pyramid. The ultimate aim of knowledge is wisdom. The higher you climb, the more advanced you would be. We become wise when we are humble enough to be aware of and admit what we don't know and share what we know. Learning agility is the willingness and ability to learn, de-learn and relearn, and then apply those lessons to succeed in new situations. People who are learning agile continuously seek new challenges, solicit direct feedback, self-reflect, and get jobs done resourcefully.

Do you have advanced capabilities and unique competency? The business and world become more complex and ambiguous. Therefore, the linear skills are often not sufficient to adapt to the non-linear digital dynamic. The advanced capabilities are integral, synthesizing, and recombinant.  The integrity and suitability of the competency are tested through traits such as critical thinking, creative thinking, attitude, passion, entrepreneurship, leadership, maturity, and wisdom. etc. The advanced capabilities also include problem-solving ability that the talented people who have well-blended hard and soft skills  and master on solving complex business problems, or know how to simplify and optimize solutions; as well as innovation capability - people who can think and communicate creatively and find alternative solutions to old problems or a new way to delight customers.A digital knowledge worker is someone for whom knowledge is the main input for work, as opposed to another worker who obviously uses his/her brain, but depends more on expertise in using a particular tool or set of tools. It is the ability to transform which exists to which is new, that differentiates the digital knowledge worker from industrial knowledge workers. After all, we all find new ways to make our work "easier," more rewarding, better for ourselves or our customers/clients and for our society.

Therefore, the advancement of a person starts from inside-out: the open and forward-looking mind is the very driver to learn, grow and change; the advanced knowledge is an important element in building advanced capabilities. Knowledge workforces change each day, they grow, learn, develop. Even business as a whole does. This is organic change, it is unconscious. The collective advancement of people decides how far the organization can move forward and how fast the society can make the progress.

To Celebrate the Lunar Year of the Monkey: Leadership Lessons from the Animal Kingdom

People often analogize human society to the animal kingdom, indeed, it’s vivid: In the old ancient time, perhaps dinosaurs or  dragons controlled the world; in the primitive rainforest or chaotic hidden mountains, roaring lions or crunching tigers are in charge based on their muscle power; fox & wolf manipulate the surroundings due to their  trickery deception. But, in a benign and friendly animal kingdom, often, the monkey is emerged as the leader to harmonize and enlighten their world from the darkness, because of their intelligence and ingenuity. In the human society, we are also moving from the “command-control” style of leadership dominated in the agricultural and industrial society to more innovative and intelligent styles of digital leadership in the digital age. So what can we learn from the spirit of the monkey at the Lunar New Year of Monkey?

Intelligence: Monkeys are very similar to humans in their social organizations and matching human intelligence. Monkey are intelligent creatures who have a strong capacity to understanding and participation. Monkeys are a quick learner, their minds are as quick and agile as their body, they seem to have such fitness to display high intelligence.  It can lead into a  deep study of the origins of species and the examination of ancient wisdom. The old adage applied to Monkey’s “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”  is considered the good principle  to live right on earth with a noble life. Monkeys see both dark and light, weighing all factors, and understand things from different angles.  

Ingenuity: The monkey totem is creative, energetic,  ingenuity, and imaginative. Monkeys are most actively during the day, they have nature curiosity, they can move around in all directions with great vision and flexibility, thus, they can see things from different angles; and they have good ability to know where they are and where they are going. So they have ingenuity and creativity to change the environment, The ingenuity provides them to capture a new insight, a new idea, a new angle, so they show the wit and smartness that other animals can not compete with, and they have creativity to solve the odd problems

Dexterity: Monkey is fast, adroit, they turn, twist, jump, hang, leap effortlessly, not only are they physically dexterous, monkeys often demonstrate keen insight and agile mentality. Monkey is a cheerful animal who always bring the fast pace and fascinating motivation. they can put everything in flux, adapt to changes with wit and humor. They have both physical and mental fitness to enjoy nature, enlighten nature and influence nature.

Regardless of our current position within our social structure, the monkey symbolism reminds us of cheerfulness, ingenuity, resourcefulness, flexibility, sense of humor, energy, untamed nature, and ability to change. Wish all of us have a prosperous year of the monkey!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

CIO’s Digital Agenda XXXVIIII: Building a High-Mature Digital Organization

High mature digital organizations have high level digital capabilities, and high-innovative business environment.

Digital makes a profound impact on businesses across industrial sectors, from specific functions to the business as a whole; the purpose of such radical digitalization is to make a significant difference in the overall levels of customer centricity and achieve high performing business result. But how to build a high-mature digital organization which has the multitude of digital capability to achieve long-term business prosperity than their less digitally mature competitors? Or to put simply, how to build a "Digital Master" philosophically, strategically, and methodologically?


Building a High-Mature Digital Organization

  • How to Build a High-Mature Organization: An organization or company may be in business for many years, but has not matured its management practices or lack of well-defined sets of business principles. Most of the organizations stick to the lower level of maturity mode (reactive, inside-out, and operational driven), how can they move up the maturity level to become truly proactive and outside-in, more culture intelligent and people-centric?


  • Digital Master Chapter IX: Digital Maturity: High mature digital organizations have the high level digital capability not only to build digital innovations but also to drive enterprise-wide transformation. They have to stretch out in every business dimension for driving the full-fledged digital transformation, and they benefit from their actions.
  • Digital IT Maturity: Digital means customer-centric business. Digital IT should add more strategic advantages, not just a support function, and IT strategy is an integral component of business strategy, as more often than not, technology is the driver for business innovation. The trend of IT consumerization indeed provides unprecedented opportunities for IT to get more touch base with end customers, to empower employees as well. IT acts more as an ‘orchestrator,’ to conduct an information-mature, customer-centric digital organizations, IT maturity directly makes an impact on the organizational maturity. Here are five aspects of digital IT maturity.


  • Five Aspects of Wisdom in the Workplace  People spend significant time in the workplace. However, statistically, more than two-thirds of employees don’t feel engaged, what’re the negative feeling employees have, but they might never tell their managers? How to build a high engaging, high innovative and high productive working environment? How would you describe the wisdom in the workplace?


  • Three Characteristics of Digital Organizations.  Digital organizations are hyper-connected and interdependent, they need to be agile and innovative in order to adapt to the “VUCA” digital new normals. With the fast pace of changes and emerging digital technologies such as “SMAC,” companies large or small are also brainstorming and experimenting the next generation of organizational structure design, to improve employees’ engagement, productivity, as well as creativity across the enterprise ecosystem. So what are the important characteristics of digital organizations in from organizational design and business innovation perspective?

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 1.3 million page views with 2500+ 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 the 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.

Three Aspects of Managing Digital Business Continuum

Digital is the continuum with speed, always “on,” and highly connected.

The effects of an increasingly digitalized world are now reaching into every corner of businesses and every aspect of organizations. Business agility is imperative to meet the demands of rapidly evolving digital consumer behaviors and dynamic business ecosystem. Therefore, digital leaders need to more proactively rethink the art and science of business management, from learning to doing, from design  to delivery, from talent management to customer satisfaction; here are three aspects of managing such a digital continuum.


Continuous learning and training: Though information is only clicks away, knowledge can now be outdated shortly. Hence continuous learning and training become more important in the digital era. Education, either formal or informal, is the means to the end, not the end itself. Informal learning at the corporate level starts to be more accessible to employees. The forms of informal learning take place in some of the most progressive organizations that support talent development. Shift the focus from formal learning and look more to placing structure around the informal learning. It doesn’t mean the formal learning programs are not worth pursuing, just that the greater value-add training is probably in other areas and can be taken with flexibility. Informal learning is on the rise with the increase of social collaboration tools. The emergence of social platforms provides the new way to learn, share and collaborate via direct applications at the corporate level. Continuous learning needs to become a lifestyle, not only a job requirement, And a quality education, regardless of styles, should open, not close one’s mind, helps receivers to inspire thinking, recognize opportunities, update knowledges, and build capabilities and skills.


Continuous Performance Management: Today’s digital employees are multi-generational, multi-cultural, and multi-devicing, they leverage the latest digital tools to work anytime and anywhere. Today’s employees also value different things compared to previous generations of workers. Therefore, talent management as a business critical process needs to be agile in adapt to the accelerated change facing in organizations. The traditional performance management based on more static processes and an annual review is no longer efficient enough to improve employee engagement and mapping staff performance with more dynamic strategy-execution continuum. How about real-time appraisals that take place consistently and can be tracked accordingly. The continuous performance management method is to track in monthly basis the performance against the company results. This will not only have a performance and goal review but also guarantee the alignment with corporate goals.  Each objective has milestones that the progress can be tracked by either the employee or manager and recorded in the talent system. Objectives are then rated when they are due in the year. Each objective could even be weighted to assist with an overall year-end rating. The very goal of continuous performance management is to make strategy management more tangible, and trackable for achieving the expectation.


Agile project management with continuous delivery: The philosophy behind Agile is to make continuous improvement to satisfy customers' need. Application development projects need to bring up the most business value, the de facto best practices of managing IT project portfolio need to include such as, only manage business project, not for technology's sake, prioritize the portfolio, and manage full application life cycle in a continuous delivery mode: from App Dev to potential application retirement, with the right methodology, talent and metrics, to catch up with the speed of business change without sacrificing the quality. Agile allows for refinement and evolution of requirements definition over time. Agile development techniques focus on solving the problems that arise because customers’ needs evolve over time. Agile methods exposing the customer to early functionality is a key reason why agile works. It is often the early look at the software that lets customers realize what they want and what is being built is on track or not. The precept that developers should strive to deliver working software early and frequently is so powerful in avoiding cost overruns and delays.

The multidimensional digital transformation provides impressive advantages in terms of the speed of delivering the solutions. Digital transformation is not a one-time project or a stand-alone initiative, it is a continuous journey to adapt to the new world of businesses: Fast, always “on,” highly connected and ultra-competitive.

Friday, February 5, 2016

CIO’s Digital Agenda XXXVIII: Running IT as a Business Value Creator


IT value is multi-faceted, and IT value is in the eye of the beholder.

In most cases, the IT department isn't producing anything that is saleable to external end customers and, therefore, many in the organization will view IT as something that seems to ceaselessly suck up money with the little-perceived return. First and foremost a CIO needs to show that IT isn't just a cost center but is a deliverer of multidimensional business value, what’re the effective approaches to doing so, though?

Running IT as a Business Value Creator

  • How to Transform IT from a Cost Center into a Value Creator: IT can become known as a revenue rainmaker by associating its efforts directly with sources of income. You are able to spot the opportunities to increase revenues. Looking for solutions which will directly benefit the external end customer will improve the competitive advantage and in-turn brings in increased revenue. Business people with revenue-enhancement projects often don't request IT projects to support them because they don't know what IT can do. You have to find these projects and then talk with the business managers responsible for them about what could be done.


  • Three “V’s in Running a Digital IT: Digital transformation starts with mind shift, business value has to be driven, indicated and understood at all levels of the organization. This is accomplished through establishing strong interdependent relationships, the shared vision and wisdom, the frictionless business culture, the re-framed processes to bridge silo, and the optimal sets of business capabilities to delight customers. IT value is multi-faceted and it’s interesting to see how IT value is in the eye of the beholder.


  • How can CIOs contribute to revenue generation: With the constant change in the capability of information and technology to serve the business, the CIO's role in an enterprise is evolving accordingly. CIO has to foresee, anticipate business needs for information and then prepare and gear up the information systems to not only make readily available pertinent information to top business decision makers but also preempt the need and present the business value.


  • Three Aspects for IT to Be a Revenue Generator  It almost turns to be mainstream thought that IT needs to be business’s growth engine and revenue generator, but how? What strategies are CIOs using to posture IT as a revenue generating organization in organizations whose primary focus is not IT?


  • CIO Debate: How can you Deliver IT Value without Budget? There’s an interesting brainstorming earlier in the CIO forum: “You just got tapped on the shoulder by the boss to spearhead a company-wide deployment of workforce/budget management solutions to every employee. There are no money and limited skills in IT. What do you do”? It spurs provocative discussions of the best scenario on how to handle such circumstances and deliver the best value if possible? Though the detailed solution may depend on the size and structure of the enterprise, try to find the pain point for the request and definitely it won’t hurt to take some logic steps.

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 1.3 million page views with 2500+ 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 the 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.

How do you Define Quality Data

The beauty of data is not for its own sake, but to capture the customer’s insight or the business’s foresight from it.

Corporate IT is the steward of the business information system. And information System (IS) is "a system" that deals with Information Management: collecting, storing, and processing data and delivering information, knowledge, and digital products. Too many businesses are data rich but information poor. Or they spend so much time and energy collecting data for that "just in case" scenario. Information Management quality means quality data, quality management, and quality measurement. What are further perspectives about Data Quality?


By “quality data” – it means clean, organized, actionable data from which to extract relevant information and insight: Data quality does not end with managing the incorrect entry of information, but the logic of data has to be taken into account too. You can walk through all the various dimensions of data quality such as accuracy, consistency, clarity, etc, but business context is indeed a very important perspective. Data can be accurate, consistent, timely, but data can also be shared among many different business groups, it can be transformed, aggregated, derived for various business needs, each with possibly their own views on what the expected definition and quality of the data should be.


Data Quality doesn’t mean perfect data but means “good enough” data: Data cleaning and data management has a deep business purpose to turning data into information, the business side of making sense of the raw data, adding value and augmenting business systems. This is where the organizations that understand this true nature will really begin to see huge value gains. In short, Data Quality doesn't mean you pursue the perfect data, but the good enough data being transformed into useful information, business insight, and human wisdom.


Cleansing the data is often the most difficult and time-consuming part of data science: "Data" is scattered and needs cleansing and improvement. Data cleansing, transformation, and sorting are vital in the data world because it helps to put things in perspective for business to read between the lines with accuracy and clarity of information that is needed for making effective decisions. This can be a major challenge at times depending on the size of the data. Everybody talks about the tools, but nobody asked about the data cleaning/formatting/calculations processes you want to perform. What kind of data cleaning/formatting/calculations do you want to perform? The issue of data quality is much more complex than just algorithms for cleaning up data. One has to consider how error/uncertainty is going to propagate through your analysis models and how the output is fit for making decisions under the specific context of your application.

Quality data is like the Holy Grail, businesses all want to achieve it; but not sure if it’s very doable. Businesses operate in the real world, and the real world is muddy and chaotic. Organizations need tools that deal with muddy and chaotic data, not a focus on making the data adapt to somewhat weaker tools. All data, from wherever it comes, is legitimate and reflective of the systems that provide it. As such, the quality data reveals deep and essential truths about not only the business domain it covers but also about the systems that capture it. it, You will not be able to understand the performance of your company or measure it without good quality data. The beauty of data is not for its own sake, but to capture the customer’s insight or the business’s foresight from it.

Three Big “Where”s in Change Management

Change is just the vehicle to elevate you toward the ultimate destinations.

Change comes in two forms; good change (improvement) or bad change (deterioration). The good change can drive business growth and collective progress; the bad change will deteriorate the business development, lead to negative perspectives or backward direction. And the purpose of Change Management is to enable and accelerate good change, discourage and eliminate bad changes. Change has to be orchestrated at all levels. Besides exploring WHY, WHAT, WHEN, WHO questions about changes, here is the last “W” -Where shall you change?


WHERE - Change the game is mindset: People are always the weakest link in any change or transformation effort. Change behaviors often only fix the symptom via manual control, but change mindset can be more innate to make business/digital transformation happen naturally. Hence, the digital mindset assessment is necessary to understand different thinking patterns and styles of employees or candidate, are they mostly systems thinker or intuitive thinker; more analytical or synthetic; more out of box thinker (critical & creative) to break the old rules, or more compliant to follow the orders; think more linear or nonlinear, holistic or mechanical way, etc. Technical competence, development potential, and culture adaptation are powerful together and add an element that is especially important in today's business environment and prepares for the continuous digital dynamic. Digital makes a huge impact on talent management, the emergence of social platforms provides the new way to learn, share and collaborate via direct applications at the corporate level. Change occurs at the level of the individual and it is only when the majority of people are on the journey equipped with the “changeable mind,” that the real results start to emerge. It is commonly noted that most of the 'top-down' driven programs are unsuccessful as they fail to enthuse functional stakeholders.


Change needs to be embedded into the mechanism of multiple management disciplines: such as innovation management/project management/talent management etc. Change is the vehicle, not the purpose of doing a project. Change in and of itself is never the reason. Each project will no doubt have an element, process, procedure, associate motivation, win/win requirement, etc., that will require alteration (change), but that does not require the project manager to have change as a primary goal. The true business goals are always related to business growth, customer satisfaction or cost optimization, and then measure twice cut once, know how to measure, monitor and communicate the results of various projects across the enterprise so that all teams can contribute to the continuous improvement.


Where to change -Process optimization and organizational structure tuning are also the right place to experiment changes for the sake of business agility: Productivity increase comes from effective processes or technology, through new functionality can increase efficiency by certain percentage, but the higher percentage of productivity increase would come from bringing effectiveness & efficiency in the areas of processes changes (reengineering, eliminating waste, architecting new processes, etc.). Organizational structure tuning will also become more practical because digital technologies provide the new way to do things, extra channels to communicate, and alternative ways to get the work done: The option to build business physically or run virtually; the option to serve customer via traditional counter or digital channels; the option to work in the large building or the remote office. Always keep in mind of the clear business goals regardless where shall you change and how to change it.


Change is inevitable, and there are a lot of places you can make changes. But it’s also important to keep the delicate balance of flow and stability; where to change and how to change. Change can not be just another thing that needs to be accomplished. It has to be woven into action, process and communication of the organization and radical changes need to have mind shift. Navigating through these 5W+1H” questions does help to clarify change purpose and innovate Change Management scenario.   

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Weekly Insight of the “Future of CIO” 2/5/2016 The Art & Science of Digital Management

Digital is to connect, innovate, and transcend business and society.

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 1.3 million page views with 2500+ 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 a collection of digital leadership, IT Management, and Talent Management presentations.


The Presentation Sum UP: The Art and Science of Digital Management

13 Digital IT Styles Slides, Blog, Video: Many IT organizations are accelerating from the industrial speed to digital speed, make a significant shift from monolithic technology driven to lightweight information focus; from IT-business alignment to IT-business engagement, integration, and optimization. It also needs to reinvent and sharpen its image from a back office support center to a front yard of digital innovation with the variety of digital IT styles.
  • CIO’s 12 Digital Profiles Slides, Blog, Video:  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"!


  • Talent Management Brief: See Through Talent from Different Angles Slides, Blog, Video: People are always the most invaluable asset in businesses. “Hiring the right person for the right position at the right time,” is the mantra of many forward-thinking organizations. The question is how would you define the right people? How do you define wrong, average, mediocre, good, great or extraordinary person? Or put simply, for what should they be right? Traditional Performance Management focusing on measuring what an employee does (mainly being told to do) in a quantitative way is not sufficient to identify high performance or high potential, should we see through talent from different angles?
  • Future of CIO” 2500 Blog Posting Sum Up Slides, Blog, Video: In the industrial age, CIOs are the second class executive who often does not have a seat at the big table to make strategy, and who spends most of time and resource on “keeping the light on.” However, digital means the increasing speed of changes, data abundance, and hyperconnectivity, technology is often the very disrupter of innovation, and information is the lifeblood of organizations, many forward-thinking organizations empower their CIOs to be the frontrunner, digital transformer, recognize CIOs as communication hub and change agent due to the unique position they hold to oversight business processes, and interweave business capabilities.


  • Digital Master One-Year Anniversary Sum Up Slides, Video, Blogs: The purpose of “Digital Master” is to envision the multidimensional impact that digital philosophy, technology, and methodology will have on the future of business and human society. It is the guide book to debunk the enterprise digital maturity, a bridge book to connect the industrial age and digital era, a playbook to craft digital mindsets, and a framebook to orchestrate digital symphony and to practice digital innovations.
  • 2016 Digital Mind Crafting Slideshare, Blog Sum Up, Video: We have moved into the deep, deep digital age when information is abundant and where creativity becomes a baseline competency. The pace of change is so rapid that no one can rest on a static mindset, past accomplishments, or the wishful thought that everything is perfect the way it is. Indeed, the mindset is far more important than talent. Talent can always be developed by those with an open and right mindset.
Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating the new ideas; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes the time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify diverse voices and deepen digital footprints, and it's the way to harness your innovative spirit.

Three Big WHOs in Change Management


Creating positive change is a joint effort, a joint responsibility!

People are the center of any Change Management, and people are also the weakest link in any change effort as well. Therefore, change agents are critical, as they have been an invaluable source of knowledge, business visions, insight, and support etc. But more specifically, who are proactive change players, and why are they so critical in business transformation?


Change/transformational Leader: He or she is the responsible top executive of the organization, where change has to be implemented. Change the game is a mindset, such transformational leaders can provide the direction as vision, mission, strategy, as well as leadership skills like decision-making, delegation, and monitoring. This role affects most through congruent behaviors, continuous endorsement of the change and regular communication to keep the momentum. Keep in mind good managers make tough decisions. If the end state is desirable it is highly probable tough decisions will need to be made. Change leader is a key role that should always be part of the team. It represents the political willingness to go for the change. In almost every case, if this role was not functioning, change failed or was at least delayed in a very costly way. The right leaders know what they want, give clear directions, bring cohesive process, and stand by their word and motivate. One of change pitfalls is that even the people who are advocating change are resistant to change, and sometimes leaders do not set a good example to be change players. It is common for people to propose changes that impact others while exempting themselves. This type of approach is guaranteed to be resisted.


Change Champions/agents: Besides change leaders, empowering the change agents at the different level of an organization is critical to real change. Sponsorship & empowerment goes hand in hand with any change initiative. Whoever the sponsor is, it has to be okay for the change agents to fail, but fail forward and learn from failures, so the empowered change agents can take bold steps to drive the changes, from incremental improvement to leapfrogging digital transformation. What a Change Agent most often does is harness the skills, talent, drive, passion and enthusiasm for the whole organization and direct that to a unifying and shared goal. The Change Agent needs to build meaningful relation until you begin to look inside self to value the strength you never knew you had. There will be bumps and roadblocks along the way, mainly they are those anti-digital mindsets, such as silo thinking (refuse to have cross-functional collaboration); polar thinking (we are right, they are wrong); non-critical thinking (reflexive, not reflective), stereotypical ('looks' like leader, not think as a leader), small thinking (locally right, globally wrong) or simply those 'resistance to change' mind. So the real skill of a Change Agent is the ability to play any role and know which to play, and when. At the same time, a Change Agent cannot achieve effective transformation without motivation.


Change Players/Change Network: Change is complex and multi-faceted these days, it is more than change agent alone that are essential for transformation. There are perhaps a number of people usually internal to the business appointed by an organization to work with an external/internal Change Manager and act as the "voice of the business," and be the conduit into the business to help with communication, process, and organizational changes. Further, creating positive change is a joint effort, a joint responsibility, that goes beyond the inspirational change leaders and the relentless change agents. It needs to involve your entire team at all levels.


Effective Change Management comes from having the right culture, not a one-time change, but exhibiting positive thinking and proper behaviors at all times, to commit to the values and expectations you have for the organization. The change will not happen quickly, but can and should, and will happen over time, regardless of what you do or don't do. You don't just lead change, you live with it. Every team player becomes a change agent, then change is sustained.



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Running IT with High Digital “IQ”

It has become more obvious that data and information stored and processed in the IT boxes is the real source of business innovation.

Organizations across industrial sectors are on the journey of digital transformation. Digital IQ is a measure of how well companies understand the value of technology and weaves it into the fabric of their organizations. Therefore, the assessment of the digital maturity of an organization include: Can your company rely on an IT system that is a commodity (standardized usage of technologies), or is the IT system the core of your business? The approach depends on the company business and the role that IT plays in defining its positioning in the market. Here are three “I” aspects in fine tuning digital IQ of IT and overall business:


Digital Innovation: Innovation is to "make meaningful connections." Innovation can be delivered in many different ways. Organizations define what innovation means to them and how they choose or need to deliver, such as business model innovation, culture innovation, structure innovation, products/service/ process innovation. etc. Digital IT is running like an innovation engine to weave process, technology to an overall framework for idea creation and innovation management which will help to sustain progress and minimize the risk of idea flops. But can you identify these innovation pitfalls? Innovation fails because people start the innovation process without proper sized, prioritized platforms based on consumer needs. They may begin ideation in a host of ways that are founded on new technology, ethnographies, a cross-functional ideation, etc., without truly knowing if they are fishing (ideating) where the fish are. Innovation fails because there are too many disconnects that occur between the birth of a vision/concept and the process of turning it into a reality; lack of information actually gathered for the innovative ideas that come up and make them a reality. So can IT help to connect innovation dots more seamlessly? IT should not just run the business today, but help “grows the business” for tomorrow. IT is not just a set of tools to improve efficiency, but a business solution providers moving from functioning to delight. IT can introduce a 'measure' for assessing the potential for any improvement opportunity, feature enhancement, or initiative to offer a competitive advantage.


Digital Intelligence: IT is shifting from a technology custodian to an information steward to manage the full data-performance life cycle includes data --> analysis --> decisions --> performance effectively. Analytics is means to the end, not the end. Many information-savvy organizations have invested in tools and created analytic teams to make informed, real-time decisions. Historical data is always relevant and has potential value, but the analysis of the data has no value unless someone decides to act on it. However, in reality, there is not enough focus on decisions. Monetization of analytics efforts is very essential. The insights obtained by data mining needs to be converted into an actionable plan and outcome validated in terms of financial figures.To deliver value from analytics, organizations must turn information into knowledge, insight, wisdom, and enabling making the right decisions at the right time. That is one of the most important responsibilities for digital IT to fulfill. Many CIOs apply analytics to understand what has happened (the "descriptive" view, or the "rear-view" mirror), and to learn from it, then understanding what can happen (the "predictive" view). Some CIOs have even gone a step further and looked at how it should be (the "prescriptive" view), and aligned appropriate technology solutions to support and enable business goals and objectives

Digital Investment: Only CIOs put "Chief Investment Officer" hat on, he/she can scrutinize IT effort via the business lens. IT must invest in and leverage appropriate technologies and solutions to generate valuable insights to help their businesses open up new channels of revenue and monetization within the enterprise, their ecosystem, and the industry. The CIO and IT function must be contributing to the future business strategy by leveraging technology as a means to an end, not the end itself. The three keys to presenting IT value are financial returns, return timeline, and risk. Just like any other investment. If you can present IT' project portfolio in a manner similar to an investment portfolio, it makes instant conceptual sense to board and C-level folks. Once you start prattling on about TCO and IT-centric metrics you've lost your audience. If you can show the objective of the investment and the three elements above, you can present IT as a value generator rather than a cost center. It should be preceded by lots of work that shows IT project (and the IT Strategic Plan) links to the business plan. Convincing shareholders about IT values by showing them projected benefits to meet the strategy, and IT is perceived by business as a growth catalyzer.


IT is, and will continue to be, a critical department. It has become more obvious that data and information stored and processed in the IT boxes is the real source of business innovation. IT is like the digital brain of the organization, its effectiveness and agility will directly boost the business digital IQ, optimize organizational capabilities and improve business competency.









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