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, September 17, 2018

The Monthly “Digital Hybridity” Book Tuning: The Multitude of Digital Hybridity Sep. 2018

Digital makes a significant impact on every aspect of the business from people, process to technology, both horizontally and vertically. The digitalization flattens the organizational hierarchy and blurs the functional, organizational and geographical borders in the business ecosystem. It is like the gigantic puzzle with many misplaced pieces, you have to put them all in the right places to discover the real meaning and unleash its full potential. You cannot make a true digital paradigm shift without an in-depth understanding of the digital interconnectivity and embracing the multitude of digital hybridity.


The Multitude of Digital Hybridity


Standardization vs. Innovation
Modern organizations have many hidden paradoxes, for example, customer satisfaction or employee satisfaction, which one comes first? Analytics or intuition, how to make a better decision? Here is another interesting dot connection debate: Standardization vs. Innovation, which one is more important?

The New Book “Digital Hybridity” Conclusion: The Multitude of Digital Hybridity? The digitalization flattens the organizational hierarchy and blurs the functional, organizational and geographical borders in the business ecosystem. It is like the gigantic puzzle with many misplaced pieces, you have to put them all in the right places to discover the real meaning and unleash its full potential. You cannot make a true digital paradigm shift without an in-depth understanding of the digital interconnectivity and embracing the multitude of digital hybridity.

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

Digital Holism?
Digital disruptions are inevitable, and digital transformation is unstoppable. Organizations shouldn’t just respond to them in a reactive way. To stay competitive, companies must go beyond experimenting with digital, take a holistic approach, commit to transforming themselves into a fully digital business powerhouse.

The Hybrid Digital Management Disciplines?
The digital paradigm has many dimensions, it is like to solve 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.

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2.5 million page views with about #5000th blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The “Digital Master” book series includes 25 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. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating the new ideas; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify diverse voices and deepen digital footprints, and it's the way to harness your innovative spirit.

Digital IT as The Engineering Discipline with Both Artistic and Scientific Touch

Running the digital IT organization is the engineering discipline as the practical application of principles and practices constrained by the laws of the science domain. It is about how to apply scientific logic and engineering discipline to break big business problems down into deliverable chunks for presenting value to the business at regular intervals by taking a structural approach. In fact, engineering is both art and science. If there is a magic formula, could it be: Engineering = System + Operation + Methodology + Design + Creativity + Science + Process ?

System: If you look at a company as a collection of subsystems with integrated business elements. Information System (IS) is a business-centric system that deals with information management for collecting, storing, processing and delivering information, knowledge, and digital products/services. IT systems are not just glorified computer programs, it is actually the backbone of the business and provides invaluable information for either decision-making or problem-solving. Information systems are business oriented, integrate hardware, software and many other pieces of IT components to help business users accomplishing business objectives. IT is a system which has an emergent property of individual human beings making sense of experiences in time and place.

Operation: The CIO must be concerned as to whether the IT system will function as expected, keeping the fundamental right, but also achieving operational excellence through eliminating waste, consolidation, and optimization. IT plays a crucial role in optimizing business operation management capacity with a keen eye to grasp growth opportunities, manage risks, and improve operational efficiency. When IT operation is refined to the point that it can adapt to changing business demands in a timely fashion, and it can be adjusted to meet the business priority, and be effective with little down curve, IT is on the right track to achieve high-level operational competency.

Methodology: Running high performance IT takes both strategy and methodology. Digital IT leaders need to be well prepared to constantly realign technology against the enterprise’s business needs and apply the tailored methodology to solve emerging problems. They have to orient the IT organization for realignment, and therefore, they should communicate vision with credibility and passion, motivate business stakeholders and IT team to collaborate effectively to achieve business success. With scientific methodologies, top IT performers make an excellent work breakdown structure that results in an accurate cost, time, and resource estimation. There is a digital methodology, called user-centric IT, it’s about running IT management from outside-in customers’ view to digitizing the touch point of customers and improving customer satisfaction.

Design: There are two sides of IT: Often the complexity of IT is behind the scene, but the user interface needs to be intuitive and easy to use. The strategic objective of design thinking is to understand what your customers need and to help the business orient itself towards those needs in pursuit of its objectives. The user interface is not just about wireframes and visual designs. You are thinking about brand, positioning, and rigorous user understanding. To leverage design thinking, you also need to understand the company’s long-term goals, business identity or brand, and the industry realities such as competition or marketing position, etc. The good design supports the business strategy for building a people-centric company.

Creativity: IT shouldn’t just provide the cool gadgets and expect the new ideas will start flowing in automatically. Besides design thinking, creativity should become the daily practices of running digital IT organization, from idea generation to figure out alternative solutions. Forward-looking IT organizations are transforming from a commodity service provider to an innovation hub of the business. Creativity without a direction or purpose is building technology for the technology’s sake. It is critical that creativity is focused not on the technology, but on how it can be used to advance the business objectives. Digital IT leaders must realize that stifling the creative side of IT will set back business, and if they aren’t able to think creatively in IT, they would be floundering as much as those falling mighty.

Science: IT engineering practices and disciplines require scientific approaches and structural problem-solving capabilities. Science = "What" & "How." What defines science from chance is the ability to repeat a process with the same resultant solution every time, through the application of known facts. Talking about science, it claims to be based on both inductive and deductive reasoning. It’s the ability to produce solutions in a problem domain repeatedly. With engineering as science, different people specify requirements/design you get the same results, and different people read the resulting specifications, you get the same explanation. Running IT as a scientific discipline is to ensure its service reliability, performance, and maintainability, etc.

Process: Processes underpin business competency. Strong business processes have a better chance to deliver a better result. The reality in most organizations though is the process which is forcibly jammed within an existing organizational design. Thus, process management effectiveness and efficiency achieved through standardization and optimization directly impact strategy management success and business performance. The process, structure, behavior, and self-interest of individuals and groups - all these factors interact in a dynamic. With hyperconnectivity and interdependence nature of digital businesses and the very characteristics of nonlinearity, adaptability, unrepeatability, unpredictability, and denial of control, business process management also needs to become more dynamic and people-centric.

IT is an engineering discipline, as always, but adding more enriched digital context for the paradigm shift. Do not think engineering is only about science or hard data or process; there are artistic touches and the full spectrum of creativity in it. Digital organizations and systems have to practice engineering disciplines, foster creativity and take systematical approaches to manage an insightful IT organization in driving business changes and transformation.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

The Monthly “100 Creativity Ingredients” Book Tuning: The Organizational Creativity. Sep. 2018


All humans are born with raw creativity ability. Creativity has many dimensions, with multi-faceted truth and myth, manifold knowledge and multidimensional insight. Creativity is wings of our mind and the tempo of our heartbeat. Creativity is a constructive disruption, not so bad addiction, and a sensational phenomenon. The purpose of “100 Creativity Ingredients - Everyone’s Playbook to Unlock Creativity “is to classify, scrutinize, articulate, and share insight about one hundred special creativity ingredients, to paint the picture with them, to add colors on them, to embed the music into them, and to make the story via them, in order to unleash our collective creativity potential.    

                     The Organizational Creativity


How to Inject Creativity in Digital Transformation? It takes strategy, discipline, and daily practices to flex your “creativity muscle.” Digital disruptions are inevitable, and digital transformation is unstoppable. Organizations shouldn’t just respond to them in a reactive way. They have to be proactive, informative and innovative. To make the journey more fun and engaging, it needs to inject the right dose of creativity.

Three Signals of Creative Workforce? Organizations need to support the process of improvisation and develop a creative workforce to compete for the future. Creativity is a long-term endeavor. The organizations of the future are increasingly exhibiting digital characteristics in various shades and intensity. One of the aspects of running a digital organization is how to build a creative working environment where individuals or groups can generate creative ideas regularly and frequently,...

Three Perspectives of IT Creativity? With the overwhelming growth of information and often technology-led digital disruptions, Information & Technology becomes the most time-intense piece for solving innovation puzzles. Innovation happens at the intersection of business and IT, you have to manage it strategically and systematically in order to achieve the consistent business result. IT is no longer just the mechanical or monolithic hardware pieces to keep the business spinning or the mechanism for realizing a vision described by other C-level executives; it’s the innovation engine to run a digital organization. Here are three perspectives of IT creativity.


Three Principles for Building a Creative Digital Workplace Creativity is an inherent ability that cannot be taught, only developed. Digital is the age of people, and digital work environment needs to embrace the abundance of information and the culture of innovation, put people at the center of business, and to both engage employees and delight customers. How can digital leaders set principles to encourage creativity, build creative digital workplaces and open the new chapter of digital innovations?

The Popular Creativity Quotes of “Digital Master” Series III 2018 Digital Master” is the series of guidebooks (25+ books) is to perceive the multifaceted impact digital is making to the business and our society, help forward-thinking organizations navigate through the digital journey in a systematic way, and avoid “rogue digital.” Here is the set of popular quotes about change and change management. 100 Creativity Ingredients: Everyone’s Playbook to Unlock Creativity by Pearl Zhu “Creativity needs encouragement...

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2.5 million page views with about #5000th blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The “Digital Master” book series includes 25 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. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating the new ideas; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify diverse voices and deepen digital footprints, and it's the way to harness your innovative spirit.

Running a Nimbler IT Organization

To run a nimbler IT organization, CIOs should share their technological vision with the business and tilt IT in the digital mode. 

With fast-paced changes and continuous disruptions, with the trend is that the advances of digital technologies provide an abundance of opportunities, the biggest challenge to business success is information and technology, and the biggest challenge for IT success is to understand the business and customers’ expectation. It’s the time for IT to break through the out-of-date perception as the cost center, CIOs need to seize the opportunity to run a nimbler IT organization for leading changes and carrying out its business for getting digital ready.



Keep IT nimbler with continuous IT investment: To adapt to the increasing speed of changes, organizations have to become nimbler about updating technology and managing information effectively, in order to respond to change promptly and meet the customers’ need timely. More and more businesses expect the consumerization style responsiveness from IT, the digital dynamic is where the digital disruption threatens to tear down legacy systems. The overly rigid process is an outcome of applying rigid process approaches where they don't belong, and IT systems errors will cause the revenue leakage and damage the business's reputation. It takes a strong CIO to convince management for maintaining that nimble state. From an investment perspective, advanced technologies are really good and more helpful to keep IT nimbler and drive the business demands. IT efficiency and effectiveness is an ever-evolving state and sometimes it takes larger and not incremental investments to reach desired positions. Unfortunately, many executives see that once IT reaches that state of "can do it," they want to start to milk the process but stop the IT investment. Running a highly responsive IT needs to get support from front desks to boardrooms, IT needs to get the top leadership sponsorship and understanding and continuing investing and evolving for improving business competency. When the corporate organization invests in information technology resources, it entrusts the IT organization with the stewardship of that considerable investment and the responsibility of providing effective management and operation of that investment.

Digital IT needs to become nimbler for change, to improve business responsiveness: If you look at a company as a collection of subsystems with integrated business elements, the degree of business responsiveness depends on how those subsystems interact with each other, and those interactions can be structural, technical, informational, or human. Running a high-responsive IT organization should have the adaptability to meet the business’s expectation and possess the flexibility to tailor varying business circumstances by taking different approaches. The reality is that organizations that do not respond to external environmental changes will become irrelevant, as nimber and adaptable companies take their market shares and customers. Therefore, IT organizations need to have strategic responsiveness to process business information almost real-time, communicate and collaborate with business counterparts timely. CIOs are in the right position to set good policies to ensure information and technology accessibility, responsiveness, and reliability. In practice, you cannot run a nimbler digital business without "de-complexitizing," or "de-bureaucracy," it’s the journey for IT to keep consolidation, modernization, integration, and innovation for improving its nimbleness and performance, also help to improve the overall business responsiveness and results.

Digital IT needs to be an integral part of the business planning and budget processes to be a nimble business partner: In many traditional organizations, IT was still run as an isolated function or a support desk only. IT has been treated as the backroom and business comes to them only when they need them. However, organizations today face unprecedented uncertainty due to the increasing speed of changes and overwhelming growth of information. Forward-thinking companies across the industry sectors empower IT and treat IT as their trustful partner and often engage them in situations of even no real technologies need in a short time. The best business solutions emerge that leverage IT to the most. IT is not just the business of IT, but of the entire company. Hence, companies must build adaptability to rewire itself when necessary to fit the circumstances. From IT management perspective, digital IT needs to be an integral part of the strategic business planning and budget processes, in order to become the nimbler business partner. With fierce business competitions and emerging on-demand service models, more and more of the budget is being allocated to the departmental heads and that they are being given or demanding the option to spend this money at their own discretion. Thus, IT is facing pressure to prove that they are the most effective route and also the growth engine of the business. The CIO should have a clear understanding of the revenue drivers and business models. They need to keep discovering ways to move up the stack and provide innovation value of the business, not just “keeping the lights on” as a cost center.

To run a nimbler IT organization, CIOs should share their technological vision with the business and tilt IT in the digital mode, laser focus on improving its responsiveness and flexibility. IT should ride above of the change curve ahead of the other parts of the company, build differentiated business competency, nurture a culture of learning and innovation, and fine-tune organizational structures and processes to get digital ready.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Monthly Foresight: Trend-Setting And Digitalization Sep. 2018

Digital organizations are the living systems which keep growing and maturing.

The effects of an increasingly digitalized world are now reaching into every corner of businesses and every aspect of organizations. Digital is the age of creativity and innovation, creativity is the most wanted trait for digital leaders and professionals today, and innovation is the light every organization is pursuing. Which themes shall you set to advocate digital transformation? How to lead to the digital future effortlessly?

                     Trend-Setting And Digitalization


The Emerging Trends as Digital Shaper: In the world where change is significantly speeding up, organizations large or small are jumping into the digital future of “VUCA” new normal –volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. Business leaders couldn’t predict the future with a certain degree of accuracy. The business strategy can no longer stay static, and the business goals can no longer be well framed in advance. The emergent trends can shape the behavior of future enterprises and some have been happening already. How can digital leaders predict those trends, proactively influence changes and gain the long-term business advantages?

How to Build an Organization of Future The future is already here, the digital era upon us is the age of customer-centricity; the age of empathy, the age of collaboration; the age of co-creating and the age of people, but either strategically or tactically, how to build such an organization of future?

Vision is Not Mirage?
The business world today is dynamic, complex, always on and interdependent, with a high degree of unpredictability. Thus, visionary digital leaders are in demand. A vision re-conceptualizes the future, connects the previously unconnected dream. Vision is not a mirage, vision is to zoom into the future as if it were closer; vision sparks the imagination and opens the mind to new concepts and ideas. It is a clear choice among future scenarios that advocates future trends and promotes certain behaviors. Vision is not a mirage, vision is a future state of being.

Running a Future-Driven Digital Organization Running a future-driven organization starts with the growth mindset and following with progressive activities. Digital organizations are the living systems which keep growing and maturing. Organization of the Future is an organization designed openly for anyone with ideas on how human organizations ought to be contrived in the face of the “VUCA” digital new normal, hyperconnectivity and fierce competition. Reimaging the future of business...

Three Digital Trends of Talent Management It is important to leveraging digital talent management pipeline and take an integral approach. It is such turbulent and exciting times, on one side, the abundance of information and the advances of technology make the world hyper-connected and knowledge only a few clicks away; on the other side, every opportunity is also embedded with risks, the knowledge life cycle is significantly shortened, the bar is raised for both leaders and digital professionals...

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2.5 million page views with about #5000th blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The “Digital Master book series includes 25 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. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating the new ideas; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify diverse voices and deepen digital footprints, and it's the way to harness your innovative spirit.

Improving Innovation Quality and Strengthening Innovation Discipline

The best point of view is to see innovation as a system, capable of taking a stepwise approach to scaling up and delivering organization-wide capability. 

Innovation is about reinventing the business direction and purpose at any time. Innovation is a managed process to transform novel ideas to achieve business value. Innovation is the core activity of human evolution to changing the environment for reaching high performance and improving business profit, for the saving of resources, for the satisfaction of customers, etc. Innovation is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. However, innovation overall has a very low success rate, how to improve innovation quality and strength innovation discipline?

Quality ideas: Most organizations have too many ideas. But more is not always better. “High-quality ideas over many ideas” is the principle for idea management. Getting quality ideas is not easy though. Good ideas nearly never emerge spontaneously. They need to seed and mature. Set the criteria to evaluate and prioritize ideas accordingly. Generally speaking, less than 5% of the ideas submitted will be implemented. This could leave more than 95% of people frustrated. The original germ of a creative idea is often, if not always arrived at through the interaction of ideas from different domains of thoughts and experiences. Describing a good idea in a short template is very difficult for most people. Good ideas and expertise are correlated. Most good ideas emerge from interactions, not single individuals. It’s important to develop the idea portals for creating the healthy idea emulation if combined with other tools, open up these ideas for collaboration, bring valuable inputs to help the development of the idea. Enable the management to communicate their thoughts and guide the people for participating in generating quality ideas. Innovation thrives in diversity. Innovation happens at the intersection of people and technology. Thus, innovation managers need to check by asking: Can your company learn some innovative ideas cross the functional, cross-geographical, and cross-industrial border? Can you identify important technology trends or the next wave of the business change or innovation? Can you spot key players who are involved in the idea development? Can you classify the components or operations of ideas, and what parameter the innovative ideas might have? With the high-quality idea management, businesses can have a significant opportunity to develop them into well-planned business initiatives and ultimately achieve the fruitful business results.

Quality innovation processes: If idea creation is more art than science, and then idea implementation is more science than art. Innovation is a managed process. Lots of ideas mean you will fail if you do not have a screening process to systematically evaluate them. High-quality innovation processes and the step-wise innovation scenario will make innovation more science than art, improve return on investment importantly. The main barriers to innovation are silos, rigidity, inflexibility, static process, or bureaucracy, etc. Innovation managers need to evaluate their company’s innovation processes by asking tough questions such as: How will it effectively use the power of stimulus to create meaningfully unique ideas? How will it increase speed in the innovation process? How will it effectively leverage diversity to create meaningfully unique ideas? How will it help to engage employees and reduce fear in the organization? How will it decrease risks in the innovation process? The nature of how the implementation of the idea has to follow a logical path with well-considered tools/platforms for innovation, in the given culture, operating environment, and governance, could strengthen the innovation effort and improve innovation quality. With continuous process improvements, you can reduce costs and increase innovation success rate. But keep in mind, quality process means the right level of guidance and discipline, but overly rigid processes or too ‘pushy’ goals will create new bottlenecks and stifle innovation.


Quality people and teams: Quality ideas are often created by quality people who are self-motivated to think, learn, innovate or invent. High-quality leaders or employees have a winning mixture composed of character, and creative intelligence, they can think and work independently, develop their creativity, and have excellent problem-solving skills. Creative people have “thought candor” which offers a different way of thinking about a situation or problem that fills the blind spots and moves the innovation conversation forward. From a team building perspective, you need to have both idea creators and implementers who can rise above the status quo. Select people who love the clash of ideas, love listening, love being wrong, and love learning. Cultivate the culture of inclusiveness which focuses on cognitive differences, abilities, skills, and the wealth of ideas. Either individually or as the team, learn how to do the 'basics' well, such as listening, asking questions, giving and receiving feedback, as well as dealing with conflict or even constructively advocating a point of view or building trusted relationships. Developing a highly innovative team is both the art and science.

Innovation is a means, not an end. If you don't know where you want to go, you are unlikely to get there. It's important to set a clear goal, continue strengthening innovation discipline and improving innovation quality. Although there’s no magic formula for innovation success, the best point of view is to see innovation as a system, capable of taking a stepwise approach to scaling up and delivering organization-wide capability. People, structure, and process are all quality factors to improve the success rate of innovation and achieve the high-performance business result.

Friday, September 14, 2018

The Monthly “Dot Connections” The Digital Management Dot Connection Sep. 2018

A well-run business has a healthy business portfolio of “running, growth, and transformation,” focus on both short-term gain and long-term win
The effects of an increasingly digitalized world are now reaching into every corner of businesses and every aspect of organizations. Organization of the Future is an organization designed openly for anyone with ideas on how human organizations ought to be contrived in the face of the strategic imperatives of the digital era. The work is not the place you go, but a live organization and an experiment lab you can connect the future dots.

      

              The Digital Management Dot Connection


Transaction vs. Transformation A well-run business has a healthy business portfolio of “running, growth, and transformation,” focus on both short-term gain and long-term win, to manage a seamless business transaction and transformation continuum. Here are three perspectives to connect dots between transaction vs. transformation.

Leverage Paraconsistent Logic to Steer Digital Transformation? Digital transformation is more like a journey than a destination, it is no surprise that there are many confusions and frustrations on the way. There must have well thought-out planning and well-defined digital principles to deal with unprecedented uncertainty and increasing the pace of changes. In practice, digital leaders sometimes have to play oddball games and leverage paraconsistent logic to deal with contradictions and navigate through digital transformation. "The driving thought of paraconsistency is that there are situations in which information, scientific, or philosophical principles (and so on) are inconsistent, but in which people want to draw conclusions in a sensible fashion." (Encyclopedia).

The “Push & Pull” Forces of Digital Transformation Digital is fluid, digital is also complex. It becomes complex if things do interact, particularly in the case of "nonlinear" interaction, interdependent relationships, and hyper-connected business association. You can't separate things properly, and often you cannot predict the actual effect of interaction straightforwardly. Therefore, running a high-performance digital business is no longer a single dimensional effort to applying the cool technologies or focus on short-term profitability only, but a multidimensional pursuit to embed digital into core business processes and build differentiated business capability. It is about how to leverage the “push & pull” business forces to adapt to changes and orchestrate a full-fledged digital transformation.

Closing the Gap of Traditional Management vs. Holistic Digital Management At the industrial age, the majority of organizations have been operated with classic management discipline, which is based on a tacit assumption that organizations can be compared to machines as a mechanical system. Traditional management is inside out process oriented and efficiency driven. Consequently, silo functions and divide-and-conquer methodologies are promoted both in organizational design as well as task responsibility or accountability distribution. Nowadays, businesses are steadily moving into the digital era with characteristics of hyper-connectivity and interdependence, how to close the gaps between classic management and digital management in order to enforce cross-functional collaboration and improve business effectiveness and maturity?

Digital Master Tuning: Listening vs. Telling -How to Strike the right Balance along the Spectrum of Listening and Telling? Today’s organizations are hyperconnected and over-complex, the traditional “command-control” management style is no longer effective enough to build a collaborative working environment to embrace cross-functional communication and outside-in customers’ feedback and perspective. So businesses today have to do some self-assessment: Do you have a listening & learning organization, or keeps running as a telling only organization? And how to strike the right balance along the spectrum of listening and telling?

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2.5 million page views with about #5000th blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The “Digital Master” book series includes 25 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. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating the new ideas; it’s not just about "WHAT" to say, but about "WHY" to say, and "HOW" to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify diverse voices and deepen digital footprints, and it's the way to harness your innovative spirit.

The Interoperability, Changeability, and Visibility of Digital IT

The digital CIO's real challenge is how you can move the ‘needle’ forward, and really mind the gap to accelerate change and the organization’s digital transformation.

IT is always striving to improve its value to the business when it is part of the organizational strategy and business toolkit; not when it simply supports the things the business would do otherwise. Their constant exposure to information and the fact that they are usually the most "connected" part of all management group makes IT a lightning rod for new ideas and innovation. Digital CIOs are uniquely qualified to envision the digital trend and oversee business innovation. The challenge for them is how to discover an outlet within their organization to channel that lightning once it strikes and continue improving IT interoperability, changeability, and overall visibility to get digital ready.

Interoperability: To achieve IT management excellence, IT operation and project portfolio should be managed holistically; information, technology, and other IT assets need to be centralized, re-allocated, updated, or replaced if needed to optimize “people and process.” IT management is not just the business of IT, but the business of the entire company. Thus, IT needs to focus on harnessing cross-functional collaboration through iterative communication, robust processes, and management innovation. IT is also like the digital nerve system of their business, focus on connecting their companies to markets, help them understand their clients' evolving needs, and enabling their organizations to grow the business. From the problem-solving perspective, when you find problems, delve into the root causes. If the shortage of collaboration is a root cause of a real problem that the team can understand and can agree and then, you have a good reason for improving collaboration in that respect. From IT management perspective, one of the primary impediments to collaboration is a dissonance between upper and middle management and a similar dissonance between middle management and the frontline workers. Therefore, there are the needs to develop an effective IT management framework so that the CIOs can run the IT organization by bridging the gaps between IT operations and development; between upper and middling management. IT is the only entity in the organization supposed to understand business entirely, capture the oversight of organizational processes horizontally and pay attention to the processes and inter-connectivity under the surface. In the hyperconnected digital organizations, the business leverages digital technologies and tools in enforcing holistic thinking, cross-functional collaboration, and dynamic processes and case management. Therefore, CIOs must be transformational leaders who not only manage the IT group but also work to integrate and lead the integration (not merely alignment) of IT to business processes and the strategic value proposition.

Changeability: Fundamentally, running a business is a change and problem-solving continuum. IT is not only the super glue but also the integrator to weave all important change elements effortlessly and make change sustainable. Contemporary CIOs should be capable of evolving leadership skills to not only match pace with the changes in technology and the pace at which the organization can effectively manage these changes but also proactively drive changes in business transformation. However, the transition from a maintenance mindset to a changing mindset is a stretch for some IT leaders, but it's crucial to run IT as a change agent. Change is an ongoing business capability and Change Management needs to be a mechanism embedded in the multitude of IT management. The changes delivered could be incremental through training, transitional through improving a process, or transformational if it is fundamentally shifting the entire business model of an organization. While IT must change in many ways, so must the business when it comes to accountability for technologies they want to introduce. Thus, the CIO should sit on the executive board as the “digital transformer” because it is critical that the CIO with IT department effectively enables and facilitates the business strategy and objectives, and ultimately orchestrates the digital transformation.

Visibility: When IT becomes only the mechanism for realizing a vision described by other C-level executives, it becomes a commodity. To reinvent IT as the trustful business partner, IT should shift from an invisible back-office function to the business enabler and an innovation hub. IT is not just technical, but rather business-driven, IT visibility depends on how clearly IT leaders can convey the message about the value IT brought to the business. The highly visible IT can elevate its maturity from “controlling to change to innovate, and ”from "survive to strive to thrive." A highly visible IT organization can deliver the innovative business capabilities to capture first-mover advantages. Keeping IT management transparent helps to improve IT visibility and maturity. The visibility of IT asset consumption and the capability to allocate the cost of those assets based on that consumption results in an accurate measurement of IT contribution to Cost of Sale (COS) that is both traceable and visible. Achieving visibility of costs as a key IT strategic initiative today provides a pathway into technology optimization and justification of IT value contribution to the business. CIOs can share their technological vision, provide the visible innovative leadership and support that is required as traditional hierarchies are challenged and dismantled, to foster a culture of innovation, advocate change and brand IT as the strategic business partner.

During the digital transformation, it is the time for IT to rock. CIOs as IT leaders need to be able to recognize the struggles of the company by understanding the business beyond IT, also inform the business of IT change and educate business partners about IT value proposition, for improving IT visibility and overall IT management maturity. The digital CIO's real challenge is how you can move the ‘needle’ forward, and really mind the gap to accelerate change and the organization’s digital transformation.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

The Weekly Insight of the “Future of CIO” 9/13/2018

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


The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2.5 million page views with 5000+ blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The Digital Masterbook series includes 25 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.

How to Develop the Digital Innovation Scenario With the overwhelming growth of information and continuous changes and disruptions, organizations just have to get used to the new normal and learn how to deal with them proactively. To stay competitive, innovation becomes the light every organization is chasing to overcome the challenges. However, innovation is overused and misused by many, obsessively filling all presentations. Sometimes innovation has even become a buzzword to the point that those who truly understand it cannot get the real message out through the "hype" and truly implement innovative changes. To develop innovation as the differentiated competency, companies must go beyond experimenting innovation and commit to taking a systematic scenario to explore innovation in its digital ecosystem for achieving high-value business results.

Broader, Deeper, and Bolder - How to Run a Highly Impactful Digital IT Organization? Information is the lifeblood of the modern business and technology is the disruptive force behind the digital transformation. Nowadays IT has a lot of things to leverage. Forward-looking businesses empower their IT organizations to lead changes and catalyze innovation. IT and business need to develop a true partnership and work to pursue the desired outcomes. To be the strategic business partner and make the high business impact, contemporary IT organization should become broader, deeper, and bolder in order to drive change and lead the digital paradigm shift seamlessly.

Digitizing Boardroom: Three Perspectives of Innovation Oversight and Governance Every organization is different, every innovation initiative is also unique, there’s no one size fitting all innovation practice, that makes innovation still be serendipitous for many organizations. Therefore, innovation governance is an important perspective to improve the innovation management success rate. Innovation needs a level of guidance, it has to deliver business objectives, it needs the right kind of governance to thrive. Innovation governance is to advocate, steer, and sustain innovation with the following perspectives.

The Monthly “Digital Fit” Book Tuning: In Pursuit of the Alternative Structures and Solutions Sep. 2018 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?

How to Leverage System Understanding to Managing Change and Tunning Digital Organization Everything is all connected. There is flexibility, abstraction, and pliability in the concept of a system and system of systems. Businesses are systems. The digital organization is a complex ecosystem with the blurring line between functions, organizations, and geographic locations. To understand the digital business or the world as a complex adaptive system requires an understanding of how the things have come together, being 'built,” as well as how to leverage the system understanding for fine-tuning the business to get digital ready.

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

The “Continuous Improvement” as the Digital Principle to Achieve High Quality

Improvement cannot happen without change, and change should not happen without improvement. 

Change is inevitable, it will come by itself. The digital era means the increasing pace of change, the leapfrogging progress, and the collective societal advancement. Not every change is an improvement, but every improvement is definitely a change. For change to be embraced by stakeholders, they ultimately need to understand why it is an improvement and what it will improve for them. “Continuous Improvement” is the digital mantra and principle to achieve high quality.

Continuous improvement goes hand-in-hand with one of the digital principles": To learn constantly so we continually improve": Learning is the only way to adapt to changes. In a positive working environment, people focus on the learning opportunities offered by assignment, rather than on the status quo that goes with them. Continual improvement is not equal to slow when properly managed. Digital leaders delegate the work to employees for the sole purpose of helping them sharpen their skills and not just passing their work to get rid of it. Leaders encourage their employees to provide solutions to common problems by placing them on task force teams for specific projects. Another continuous improvement opportunity could be to offer job rotation programs where employees could have the chance to learn from their internal clients and colleagues about what they do. It’s about providing learning and development opportunities that contribute to high employee engagement if the program is structured correctly.

The culture of continuous improvement means to continue to discover that "there is always a better way”: When the wind of change blows, some build walls; some build windmills. Developing a culture of continuous improvement encourages the staff to get out of the comfort zone, figure out alternative ways to do things, enforce communication and foster innovation. Improvement is the reward for being willing to change. Improvement can only be there if people accept change, and make the most out of it. To make the collective improvement, having the senior people in operations and technical services incorporate the inputs or outlooks into in-house training programs so that the business knowledge is shared with others who can then try them out and hopefully improve them. This is one way of developing a continuous cycle of improvements and learning.

An improvement is a form of change, change can also be leapfrogged into business transformation: The magnitude of improvement and the impact it has on the organization, short term, long term, effectiveness, and profitability all depend on the vision and the competence of management leadership. There are multiple phases of improvement: Expect resistance; small improvements take best; constant ongoing small improvements; measure improvement; and reward improvements. Create a map for getting from the current mess to the desired condition. Determine constraints, decide what should be done, assign responsibility, and estimate completion. Create the opportunity for small but meaningful gains. Break the plan into meaningful chunks so people are willing to take risks and can readily measure progress. Measure and monitor both system and workgroup effectiveness to make sure improvements are performing as intended. Assuming an organization believes that metrics can lead to continuous improvement, it won’t be just a matter of explicitly communicating the intention behind metrics, but a matter of coaching and leadership to guide the team to understand the purpose of doing that and engaging on that.

Improvement cannot happen without change, and change should not happen without improvement. “Continuous Improvement” is the digital principle to achieve high quality. Change with improvement in mind is a proactive approach that allows for planning and support considerations to be made and, therefore, is much more likely to turn into a smooth and successful collaborative business transformation.

Apply Different Approaches to Broaden the “Innovation Scope”

The high-performing digital organizations today already embrace innovation at the heart of everything they do and would run it throughout the overall business management.

Innovation is an experimenting, exploration, production, adoption, assimilation, and exploitation of value-added novelty in business, economic and social spheres. Innovation is the business’s unique capability to gain a competitive advantage in the face of fierce competitions and business dynamic today. There are many ways to differentiate and, therefore, there are many ways to pursue innovation. Here are three perspectives of broadening the “innovation scope” of the digital organization.

The need-based innovation: People-centricity is an important characteristic of the digital era. Thus, people and consumers' experience are at the center of everything you do. The “need” based innovation focuses on meeting important customer needs, ensure that the results of an innovative approach will have a positive impact on clients, partners, end users, and the marketplace. Value enhancement for the user is important to evaluate innovation. It’s about knowing that this enhancement might be a matter of perception, and increasing value might be reached by alternative ways. In practice, the need-based innovation relies more heavily on customer observation, they develop new products and services based on superior end-user understanding. The goal is to seek out both articulated and unarticulated customer needs and then to try to get their new products to market first. Methodologically, the need-based innovation depends more on customer focus group and “idea workout” sessions, leverage the mechanisms that can provide deep insights into the end-users of the products, make a point of engaging customers directly to generate new ideas. To pollinate creative ideas, the need-based innovation management applies the internal network at the higher rate for involving innovation champions, cross-functional staffing, user communities for collecting feedback, co-generating fresh ideas, and converting ideas to implementable business initiatives. The need-based innovation approach offers the greatest potential for superior business performance in the long term.

The principle-based innovation: The definition of innovation is simple - to gain benefit by doing something different. Innovation follows fundamental principles or basic rules, which are adapted depending on the company's situation and ambition. Generally speaking, innovation management needs to establish the clear and shared business goals and set the good principles to follow. The principle to foster creativity is to enforce integrity, trust, and transparency; encourage curiosity and allow autonomy, let people choose how and on what they work. Make people feel more comfortable with chaos, uncertainty, and ambiguity. That means the principle-based innovation is not about setting the restrict rules for stifling creativity; it’s about framing the innovation management effort in order to stay focus and improve the success rate of innovation. It’s about how the management can strike the right balance between increasing productivity and encouraging creativity; between setting the standard and letting “out-of-the-box” thinking flow. Innovation is the most wanted change. You cannot do innovation management successfully without grounding in change management or following a set of change management principles and having the top management sponsorship or people-buy-in; from divergence to convergence; in the final phase of innovation management, where the idea is evaluated, applied, adapted, and optimized, Change Management is essential so that individuals and organizations can benefit from the value of innovation.

The system-based (scientific) innovation: Creativity is novel and artistic; but at the organizational level, innovation is more science than art. What defines science from chance is the ability to repeat a process with the same resultant solution every time. The science is "the ability to produce solutions in a problem domain repeatedly." The core principle of the system-based innovation is the scientific method, leverage the design of experiment type approaches where a portfolio of options are pursued and knowing there will be pruning as new facts emerge. While organizations can innovate without clear systems of innovation, the ability to achieve sustained innovation results probably does require at least some degree of a 'hard-wired' innovation system with multidisciplinary knowledge such as the economy, psychology, sociology, and law, not speaking about disciplines that are related to technologies implemented by the particular innovation. Theoretical treatment of the discipline may give rise to a science. The bulk of data, methods, and approaches involved as well as the complexity of processes encountered speaks in favor of the scientific approach. Priority, process, and resource framework can be a tool for managing innovation effectively. Make innovation processes as visible and company-wide as possible; organizations can also reach the high level of the business maturity by relying less on silo functions, more on cross-functional collaboration and continuous improvement.

The high-performing digital organizations today already embrace innovation at the heart of everything they do and would run it throughout the overall business strategy. At the enterprise level, innovation management should continue to leverage different approaches for broadening the “innovation scope” and focus on building a healthy innovation portfolio to establish differentiated business competency.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

The Monthly Insight of “Digital Quality”: Enforcing Accountability to Deliver Quality Sep. 2018

Organizational excellence is achieved via delivering qualified products or services and continuously improving business performance. Quality is defined by a number of factors such as efficiency, effectiveness, flexibility, innovation, or maturity, as a degree of quality is in everything people do and experience.

          


 Enforcing Accountability to Deliver Quality

Digital Reinforcement Management Practices Many organizations are on the journey of digital transformation which represents the next stage of business maturity and will improve how the enterprise works and interacts with its digital ecosystem, with people at the center of its focus. However, every business evolves digital with varying speed. There are stresses in business leadership because organizations must respond to continuous digital disruptions and the increasing pace of changes proactively. Businesses need to become more adaptive, innovative and resilient. Here are three digital reinforcement management practices they should take in order to get digital ready psychologically, technologically, sociologically.

How to Build a Culture of Accountability? Accountability is “the obligation of an individual or organization to account for its activities, accept responsibility for them, and to disclose the results in a transparent manner.” (business dictionary.com). To step further, accountability is not only to accept the responsibility for what you DO - the actions or behaviors, but also what you SAY - the knowledge sharing or feedback giving, in order to build a culture of accountability.

How to Enforce Performance Accountability? Digital transformation is all about shaping highly performing and highly innovative organizations (Digital Master) to improve efficiency & effectiveness; agility and maturity. In detail, how do you drive workforce performance, whilst generating accountability for that performance?

Bridging the Gaps of Accountability: Digital transformation is all about shaping highly performing and highly innovative organizations. Lack of accountability is often one of the biggest obstacles to getting things done, or cause change inertia. Because people don’t feel “safe,” or run away from accountability because they had a personal experience or they have observed others being treated poorly or unfairly when being held accountable for results. So, how to bridge the accountability gaps and improve the business manageability to encourage responsible communication, decision-making, and action, with the intention to build on morale and real productivity? In detail, how do you drive workforce performance, whilst bridging gaps, and generating accountability for that performance?

Running High-Performance Digital Organizations with High Accountability? The digital transformation is now spreading rapidly to enable organizations of all shapes and sizes to reinvent themselves. It blurs the geographical, functional, organizational, and even industrial borders nowadays. Traditional hierarchical lines will phase out and a collective of business partners will emerge working collaboratively to set digital strategy and achieve organizational goals collaboratively. Digital organizations inspire learning and encourage autonomy. It is important to run a high-performance business with shared accountability or collective accountability that involves shared ownership, empathetic communication, and continuous improvement.

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2.5 million page views with about #5000+ blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. blog posting. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom, to inspire critical thinking and spur healthy debates. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating the new ideas; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify diverse voices and deepen digital footprints, and it's the way to harness your innovative spirit.

Digitizing Boardroom: Three Perspectives of Innovation Oversight and Governance

 Innovation governance is to advocate, steer, and sustain innovation.

Every organization is different, every innovation initiative is also unique, there’s no one size fitting all innovation practice, that makes innovation still be serendipitous for many organizations. Therefore, innovation governance is an important perspective to improve the innovation management success rate. Innovation needs a level of guidance, it has to deliver business objectives, it needs the right kind of governance to thrive. Innovation governance is to advocate, steer, and sustain innovation with the following perspectives.

Innovation clarity: Innovation involves new ways of bringing together ideas and resources to create something novel and then transform those novel ideas to achieve the business value. Innovation is doing something better than it currently is. The broader the scope, scale, and impact of the change, the more one leans towards calling such change an innovation. Hence, it requires a sound and competent understanding of what is currently being done, and how to do things better. Innovation leaders should clarify business value by asking: What are the vision and mission of innovation management? What is your strategic advantage? Is your company an innovation leader or the follower? Are you pursuing the market that competes on prices, quality, innovation, services, or other factors? Can you build core business competencies including innovation capability early enough to catch the wave before its crest breaks? Do you have an authentic culture to encourage learning and creativity? Is the organizational structure and management flexible enough to enable innovation? How ambitiously are you for practicing innovation? Innovation cannot be separated from a specific business purpose and in a broad context. The leverage point is to frame innovation and keep focused, but not adding too much complexity.

Innovation variety: The essence of innovation is made of trying new combinations of known things or the variety of thoughts. Digital innovation has a broader spectrum and comes in many flavors, and there are many opportunities in an enterprise to do so, such as breakthrough innovation, evolutionary innovation, incremental innovation, systematic innovation, customer-centric innovation, open innovation, design-driven innovation, or management (leadership, culture, communication) innovation, etc. Therefore, innovation governance should focus on the oversight of a balanced innovation portfolio with well-mixed radical innovation and incremental innovation continuum by taking a set of innovation practices. It is important to set rules for safeguarding the status quo, but not stifling innovation. It’s also important to set the principles for building the heterogeneous group and let people view an idea from different perspectives. With good innovation governance practices, the organization can have the healthy innovation appetite and attitude and take a systematic approach to build a balanced innovation portfolio.


Innovation velocity: Innovation is the most wanted change. The speed of change is expedited, so does the speed of innovation. Companies compete on innovation. Thus, innovation velocity can directly decide the business competency. The innovation velocity depends on the company's position in the marketplace and how fast they can adapt to changes and deliver innovation results regardless of how long they have been in business. With explosive information, the shortened business life cycle, limited resources, and fierce competitions, innovation governance should include how to monitor the pulse of innovation including idea generation, prioritization and risk management. It is a common knowledge, that innovation management requires the highest risk-taking at a strategic value chain, including organization, investments, and assets. De-risk the introduction of innovations into the market, protect existing operations and brands and establish clear proofs-of-concept before making investments to launch and scale.

Innovation is a management process and business competency. It requires much more time, energy, passion, courage, experimentation, retreat, and reflection to get clear and focused on the innovative idea, business model, process or solution, and to then enact, embody and execute in a disciplined way. A good governance standard provides a common corporate "language" as well as work instructions. In other words, proper standards, appropriate business and use cases, etc. Innovation governance also needs to set the framework for innovation management, clarify innovation purpose, oversee innovation variety and velocity, steer and sustain innovation to manage risks and maximize its business values.

Broader, Deeper, and Bolder - How to Run a Highly Impactful Digital IT Organization

IT needs to proactively work as an integral part of the business to capitalize on the opportunity and tackling challenges for leading the digital transformation confidently.

Information is the lifeblood of the modern business and technology is the disruptive force behind the digital transformation. Nowadays IT has a lot of things to leverage. Forward-looking businesses empower their IT organizations to lead changes and catalyze innovation. IT and business need to develop a true partnership and work to pursue the desired outcomes. To be the strategic business partner and make the high business impact, contemporary IT organization should become broader, deeper, and bolder in order to drive change and lead the digital paradigm shift seamlessly.

Broader: IT management is not just the business of the IT department, it’s the responsibility of the entire company. Often, overly narrowed IT management is one of the big pitfalls to improve IT management maturity. IT needs to build all different management capabilities and play a different role for the situation at hand. The breadth of IT management should include people (skills and capability), process (workflow, process effectiveness, and efficiency), capability portfolio, organizational structure design, and technology update. IT is not a function that can be handled only in the IT department or by IT managers only, what should be focused on is how to integrate IT into business decisions and processes. IT needs to get full support from the top management in order to break down silos and take the holistic management approach. Otherwise, they do not have authority and mechanism to collect sufficient information needed to provide the invaluable business insight. To go broader, IT leaders need to manage multi-layer business relationships, such as the business peer/shareholder relationship, customer relationship, and vendor relationship, etc. They should also harness multi-channel communications by tailoring different audiences and build up the long-term business partnership. From IT leadership and management perspective, it’s not sufficient for CIOs to act as the tactical IT managers only, they need to be the business strategists and change agents. It’s great to see more IT managers breaking out of IT vacuum, advocating digitalization and marketing IT at all level of the organization help to demonstrate IT value and engage those who can help to achieve common business goals.

Deeper: Information is permeating into every corner of the business, and digital technology makes a profound impact on the organizational design and business management. In fact, IT is in a unique position to look at the business at a profound level - the business information and processes management cycle. IT should get a deeper understanding of issues facing business today, identify opportunities for growth and spot pitfalls for preventing risks. Digitalization is never just about the pretty interface or a few fancy gadgets. Digital CIOs play the sophisticated leadership role, they need to think deeper, initiate profound communication with businesses, and take a systematic approach for managing one of the most invaluable business assets - information, as well as one of the most intelligent groups of talented people - IT professionals effectively. IT needs to permeating into the business functions and ecosystem, and invite customers and partners to provide feedback. IT and business should enforce profound communication and build the strategic partnership. Without the profound partnership, many organizations are not foresightful to empower their IT leaders or lack of in-depth understanding of IT capability, technology complexity or innovative potential. It all requires profound leadership and cohesive management practices.

Bolder: Digital IT needs to reinvent its reputation from a controller to a business enabler, change agent and innovation engine. The highly innovative IT organizations depend more heavily on its technological knowledge and IT-enabled capabilities to develop and commercialize innovation. Running bolder IT means that IT leaders and staff are equipped with the advanced mindset who can think a few steps further than their business peers, and work with business counterparts collaboratively in a value-oriented manner to drive changes instead of reacting to changes; inspire creativity and advance the business to reach the pinnacle of the next business growth cycle. Practicing the bold IT leadership means that CIOs need to think strategically and creatively about the IT value proposition, work closely with the business, and share the technological vision. If IT leaders can innovate across the business, regardless of which function you are involved in, and then, you can surely change the shape of what you deliver, not just how it’s delivered. IT is like the whole brain of the business; digital IT leaders shouldn’t classify creativity and logic in two completely different disciplines, they are interconnected and multidisciplinary. Innovation is the sustainable and scalable way that can be learned and practiced. The best point of view is to see innovation as a system, capable of delivering organization-wide capabilities.

Go broader, deeper, and bolder. IT is at an inflection point to lead the organizational level digital transformation. IT needs to proactively work as an integral part of the business to capitalize on the opportunity and tackling challenges for leading the digital transformation confidently.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The Monthly “Problem-Solving Master” Book Tuning: Insightful Problem-Solving Sep. 2018

Either for individuals or businesses, problem-solving is one of the most crucial skills to keep things moving forward and achieve the well-planned goals.

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

                   Insightful Problem-Solving


Insightful Problem-Solving Either for individuals or businesses, problem-solving is one of the most crucial skills to keep things moving forward and achieve the well-planned goals. The matter of fact is that the more complex the situation is, the more different approaches and role gaming is needed to reach for insightful understanding and effective problem-solving. In today’s digital dynamic environment with “VUCA” new normal, how to spot insightful problem-solvers and advocate a solution-driven culture for accelerating collective progress?

Leverage Systems Thinking in Problem-Solving The world has become so dynamic with the exponential growth of information, it is full of opportunities and problems. Many problems do exist because they are either ill-defined or the concept cannot be adequately captured contextually. Further, there’s the problem that the same word means different things to different people because they carry different emotional baggage or have the cognitive difference. So, what’re the logical scenarios for problems diagnosing and solving? And how to leverage Systems Thinking in problem-solving?

Tailor Solutions to the Real Problem? People have to deal with large or small problems on the daily basis. Especially at today’s “VUCA” digital dynamic, problems have become over-complex and interdependent. Can you diagnose the real problem? Does every problem have solutions? What is the best way to handle a problem? How can you tailor the best solution to the real problem?

Is Uncertainty Problem or Opportunity? Of the four phases of the OODA loop (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act), the first phase seems to get the least attention. The first thing in problem-solving via Systems Thinking is that one should observe the problem neutrally. On-observation, how critical is it, and what’re the disciplines, stages, tools or frameworks to help you OBSERVE insight-fully? If you have decision platforms; tactics and checklists for acts; model systems for orientation. What if any of them are the support tools you use in observation, and what practices have you found useful in developing that skill?

How to OBSERVE Insightfully and Systematically? People are the most invaluable asset in business, at the age of digital, it is, even more, true than ever. Talent employees are treated as human capital needs to be well invested to unleash the boundless potential, not just human resources counted as a cost. HR shall also transform itself from an administration function and gatekeeper to change agent, capital investor, and innovator in order to build a creative digital working environment and catalyze the organizational level of digital transformation. However, how do you, as leaders, involve all people in creative thinking and actions? And how can you help improve the harvest of the creative seeds?

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2 million page views with about 5000+ 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.