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.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Three Pitfalls in Boardroom

The corporate board needs to continue questioning on important issues, overcome barriers, avoid pitfalls, with the goal of providing right guidance to lead business moving forward steadfastly.

The modern digital board has many responsibilities, also gets a lot of frustration and hits many pitfalls on the digital transformation. Driving the business forward is extremely difficult. This means looking into an unknown future and attempting to define the landscape with its risks and opportunities, to steer the business in the right direction. Here are three pitfalls in digitizing the boardroom.




Blind spots: Corporate boards play a crucial role in strategic oversight and risk monitoring, it is important to identify and fill blindspots in improving governance effectively. The root causes of blind spots are often people’s mentality such as ego or bias, lack of interdisciplinary knowledge or insight. Even majority of board directors are seasoned executives with decades of experience, as senior leaders, they should still feel humble to realize that there are many things they might not know due to fast-growing information and overcomplex business dynamic. They should also learn to ask tough questions to themselves, to business management for dealing with blind spots and bridge the multitude of digital gaps; learn how to be quick to listen and slow to speak. Until that happens, you will continue on the lives in blindness. The ignorance about the importance of cognitive difference and the behavioral dynamics that operate within their board (team) is contributing to the generally poor performance of boards. From the board composition perspective, the non-executive members should be selected for their ability and willingness to constructively challenge management. 

Complacency: Organizations and individuals that are complacent do not look for new opportunities or hazards. Leaders often miss the big picture and become complacent! From the board to the front line, riding ahead of the change curve takes vision, strategy, courage, methodology, principles, and practices. Complacency almost always stems from a sense of success or living in a comfort zone. Avoiding complacency is essential to any business's long-term longevity. Thus, boards need to exemplify leadership discipline for overcoming complacency. Once that barrier is broken, a positive change process can commence. A complacency mind gets used to reacting, not being proactive. In addition, never think you know it all even you are at the top of the organizational pyramid. The positive energy for changes needs to flow down from the top (boardroom). Create an innovative boardroom with “free atmosphere,” so directors are inquisitive to ask great, tough questions for understanding better as well as providing invaluable input.

Distraction: The modern digital board has many responsibilities, also gets a lot of distractions. There are so many things in the board agenda spread to the thin slice of their time. Therefore, it has to laser focus on the most critical things to steer the business in the right decision. The catalyst for the question is what appears to be a chasm between what directors claim as the priority and what actually occurs when boards are in session. A high-performance board needs to set the priority right, it has to laser focus on the most critical things, pulling enough resources and pushing the business model of technology, trustworthiness, innovation, and mastering digital fluency. With the strong focus on strategic issues from the boardroom to management, organizations can achieve the high expectation of strategy management and manage a seamless digital paradigm shift.

The corporate board's role is to pull management out of the trees to see the forest; to understand the business landscape and how it will address it; to continue questioning on important issues, overcome barriers, avoid pitfalls, with the goal of providing right guidance to lead business moving forward steadfastly.

To Celebrate the 4800th Blog Posting: The Thoughts and Quotes of the “Future of CIO” Blog

Blogging is to pursue the digital communication way of envisioning, brainstorming, sharing, and debating. It’s the journey to make the continuous leadership influence and connect the dots for spurring creativity and advocating digital innovation. It’s the time to celebrate the #4800th blog posting of the “Future of CIO."






1 “Self-discipline is nothing but self-consciousness.”


Pearl Zhu, Thinkingaire: 100 Game Changing Digital Mindsets to Compete for the Future

2 “Learning a new language, just like opening a new window, allows you to see the world with intimacy.”

Pearl Zhu, Thinkingaire: 100 Game Changing Digital Mindsets to Compete for the Future


3 “Critical Thinking brings insight into the situation.”

Pearl Zhu, 100 Digital Rules


4 “Fundamentally, leadership is more about the future, but starts at today.”

Pearl Zhu, Leadership Master: Five Digital Trends to Leap Leadership Maturity


5 “Breaking rules is indeed an important part of creativity. Innovation needs a level of guidance.”

Pearl Zhu, Digitizing Boardroom: The Multifaceted Aspects of Digital Ready Boards


6 “Sense and deal with problems in their smallest state, before they grow bigger and become fatal.”

Pearl Zhu, Digitizing Boardroom: The Multifaceted Aspects of Digital Ready Boards


7 “The simplicity and the complexity are just the opposite ends of the same spectrum.”

Pearl Zhu, Digital Gaps: Bridging Multiple Gaps to Run Cohesive Digital Business


8 “Using two-dimensional lenses to perceive the multi-faceted world can limit your ability to observe the world more objectively.”

Pearl Zhu, Thinkingaire: 100 Game Changing Digital Mindsets to Compete for the Future


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


Pearl Zhu, 12 CIO Personas: The Digital CIO's Situational Leadership Practices


10 “Creativity is about thinking beyond conventional wisdom.”

Pearl Zhu, 100 Digital Rules


The digital era has the “VUCA” characteristics: Velocity, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. The effects of an increasingly digitalized world are now reaching into every corner of businesses and every aspect of organizations. We are living in a complex world where inventions, developments, and conflicts are continuously changing and that makes it impossible to have a complete knowledge and understanding of any issue individually. Therefore, today’s contemporary digital leaders and professionals must keep learning, adapting, innovating, and practicing on the daily basis for developing differentiated competency.

The Art and Science of IT Management

 IT captures organizational knowledge to continuously improve performance and harness innovation.

With overwhelming growth of information, dynamic business conditions, and fierce competitions, IT management has become an art out of necessity to address both the business surviving and thriving issues. Through the traditional lens, IT is an engineering discipline; through the digital lens, IT needs to embed art into the science to explore the art of possible. With emerging lightweight digital technologies and overwhelming growth of information, IT management shouldn't just practice transactional activities, it has to discover both the art and science of digital management discipline.

The science of IT management: The science is the ability to produce solutions in a problem domain repeatedly. IT engineering practices and disciplines require scientific approaches and structural problem-solving capabilities. 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. 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. It takes a scientific approach to enhance IT-business relationship, manage IT-business alignment, cross-functional collaboration, IT integration, and optimization, etc. IT alignment with business design, project portfolio management, continuous innovations is typical in-house retained activities. If idea creation is more art than science, and then the nature of how "implementation of the idea has to follow a logical path for the solution," is absolutely more science than art. Behind the scene, IT is complex. IT organizational development and management need to manage the conflict between classic style and digital style of management. It provides a great opportunity for IT to shine based on its scientific discipline.

The art of IT management: The front side of IT facing customer should be intuitive, easy to use, customer-friendly, and hide the complex nature of technology which is running at the back side. To keep IT relevant, IT management needs to pursue the art of possible - make a shift from mechanical IT to innovative IT. It forces IT leaders to be proactive and get really creative on how they architect and implement changes, to ensure IT is strategically positioned to be ahead of where the business is moving next. IT is in the unique position to observe broadly and explore deeply about their business and the related digital ecosystem, and thus, have more opportunities to come out innovative solutions to the existing or emerging business problems, Information potential directly impacts the business’s potential of organizations. Running digital IT needs to work cross boxes instead within the box, for connecting wider dots. IT leadership is key to reimagine IT and reinvent IT as the innovation engine of the business. In addition, IT management development should focus more on “soft stuff,” such as communication or culture, business relationships, in order to build a creative workplace. From IT performance perspective, a pervasive obsession for purely quantitative measurement and numerical success indicators sweep aside much of the softer, more qualitative information that is crucial in understanding the health and well-being of the firm's innovation efforts. The art of possible is achieved by building innovation capabilities because breakthroughs and transformational innovations are not something every business can accomplish, you have to systematically develop and sharpen those abilities which cannot be built overnight.

The art and science of information management are to optimize its usage and achieve its value and maximize its full potential. IT captures organizational knowledge to continuously improve performance and harness innovation. The balance of art and science in IT is how to enforce scientific discipline, but also make continuous efforts on building better products/services and improving IT maturity.

Monday, June 18, 2018

The Monthly “Problem-Solving Master” Book Tuning: The Obstacles to Problem-Solving June 2018

 Human progress is fundamentally achieved through an iterative problem-solving scenario. 

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.

    

                    The Obstacles to Problem-Solving  


Three Pitfalls in Problem-Solving Human progress is fundamentally achieved through an iterative problem-solving scenario. Either individuals or businesses will be more successful when they realize that one of their greatest strengths will be their problem-solving capability. The art of problem-solving is that there are all sorts of problems and there are no one-size-fits-all solutions. The science of problem-solving is that there is the logic behind any problem, the more complex the problem is, the more important to leverage both analysis and synthesis for both breaking down the problems into smaller problems, as well as integrating different pieces of the puzzle to come up with a holistic solution without causing other problems or side effect. Here are three pitfalls in effective problem-solving.

Have You Focused on Fixing the Wrong Cause of a Problem? As human species, we are still facing many problems and challenges. Either for individuals, organizations, or society as a whole, the problem-solving capability is crucial to surviving and thriving. However, many decision-makers fail to fully grasp and accurately perceive what leads to problems and difficulties. Often, events and patterns are observed on the surface, and then the action is taken, but that is too early. After observing events and patterns, there are the underlying structures, the mechanisms, that cause the problem. And people lack critical thinking are usually never question because "it's the way things should be." Problem-solving in the majority of organizations today is woefully inadequate, so what happens when you focus on fixing the wrong cause of problems?

Is there something like an “Illogical” problem? Digital business and society become over complex and extremely uncertain, business problems are also like jigsaw puzzles, sometimes make you feel the lack of clues, at the world with so many flavors of analytics, is there something like an “illogical” problem, if so, how to solve it?

Anti-digital Mindset: The Cause and Effect of Silo Thinking? Silo is perhaps one of the most paradoxical symptoms in running business in the industrial era, on one side, most of the organizations are still operating in the functional base to improve efficiency; on the other side, the digital nature of hyper-connectivity and interdependence makes it inevitable to break down the silo, because more often than not, the silo thinking becomes the root cause of ineffective leadership; the silo team fragment the strategy, stagnate execution, motivate the unhealthy internal competition and cause more problems than benefits. More specifically, what’s the cause and effect of silos and silo thinking?

Three Practices to Overcome Corporate Silo Mentality? We have transitioned from an industrial to knowledge, innovation, and hyperconnectivity economy - with this shift has come to a change in organizational forms away from the traditional rigid hierarchies managed through command and control to more fluid and responsive network forms. Yet many business managers still apply old silo management mindsets to new ways of organizing and this legacy of the old economy limits many 'networked' organizations. Are silos a mere product of organizational design? Or is their nature tied to a deeper level: the humankind's nature? Despite the mountain of evidence pointing the detrimental effects of these silos, they still seem to be quite common in organizations. The question is: why? In today's volatile economy, nothing impedes progress more than protective silos which are simply a form of bureaucratic amorphous mass designed to preserve the status quo. How does one eliminate bureaucracy? What would be some ideas to assist in breaking down silos in an organization where they are present?

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2 million page views with about 4800+ 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.

CIOs’s Big “HOW” Inquiries to Run Innovative IT

Innovation management requires curious attitude to ask deep questions and scientific discipline to weave much deeper whole systems.


With the exponential growth of information and disruptive nature of technology, IT can no longer just “keep the lights on,” IT becomes the business in the business to do more with innovation and lead changes proactively in many forward-thinking organizations. IT leaders need to think strategically and creatively about alternative business solutions and ask themselves tough questions. Here are CIOs’ five “HOW”s to run innovative IT.


How do you handle investigations of new technologies? The highly innovative organizations depend more heavily on its technological knowledge and information refinement to develop and commercialize innovation. Nowadays, often technologies are the disruptive force behind digital innovation. Therefore, IT leaders should share their vision and run IT as a change department of the business. From an investment perspective, advanced technologies are the driving forces for business growth as well as business model innovation. Adapting and realizing the business benefit requires investment wisely, and thus there are risks evolved. When IT leaders have controllers’ mindset with risk avoidance mentality, IT perhaps ends up to live with current technologies and standards rather than investing in the future aggressively. But forward-look IT leaders understand that technology-led innovation is not only for figuring out the better way to run the business today but also building business competency for the long run. It is important to make sure that the management is foresightful enough for “doing more with innovation.” The focus should be on what these technologies can do for the businesses, not on the technology itself.

Do you work with your team to investigate different paths for the potential future? Innovation is about figuring out alternative ways to do things. With many existing or emerging complex business problems, it is critical to define the most compelling and unique approach to addressing those needs, analyze the benefits per cost of that approach, quantify why the chosen approach is better than the competition and other ways. More broadly speaking, forward-thinking businesses need to think long-term and investigate different paths for the potential future. Digital innovation has a very broad spectrum for accelerating rapid change from all dimensions. Do NOT focus on IT innovation in a low-risk territory and incremental enhancements only. Perhaps most of the times, the business needs to take a hybrid approach to strive for applying good practices to manage innovation. The art of innovation is that it involves new ways of bringing together ideas and resources to create something novel. The science of innovation is to manage innovation lifecycle and executes it in a systematic manner that provides sustained competitive advantage. Most, importantly, IT has to walk to talk, be open to diverse opinions and feedback, be humble to listen to customers, be confident to take the path perhaps no one ever takes before, and be resilient to failure forward.

How do you prioritize the need or desire to innovate? Organizations always have some resource limitations. The resource needs to be assigned scientifically, to make sure that your company has a steady flow of fresh ideas floating in your innovation pipeline, and you need a methodological platform that allows you to do that in an efficient way. A disciplined innovation approach with right priority setting focuses on commercially relevant compounds innovation management which are driven by clear strategic goals, risk management, and integral and interdisciplinary process management. Prioritization also forces people to be more creative, creating internal competition among new ideas and to come up with better ideas. It is situation driven, good for certain organizations and for the specific situations and challenges that are faced and that actually requires different priorities as compared to others. IT organization with high-maturity not only adapts to the changes but plays a pivotal role in setting the right priority and driving the digital transformation of their company proactively.

How do you socialize those prioritized needs with the rest of the company executives? The strategic conversation between CIO and other C levels focuses on both top-line business growth and innovation, as well as bottom line business efficiency. Cross-functional communication is crucial to run highly innovative IT organization. Innovation management requires much deeper whole systems and taking emergent, generative, iterative, integrative, and holistic approaches. The senior executive team’s concerns are customer retention, recurring revenues, new customer acquisition, talent development and profitable bottom line growth. Smart CIOs should talk about the strategic use of technology to meet these concerns. Sometimes when one business area has a new product that can be used by another, IT leaders can connect the wider dots to come up with new innovative solutions and scale up innovation effect at the entire organization scope. Communication is key, to build innovation management competency for IT organization, the difficult challenge is not just launching successful teams, but maintaining the motivation and focus of the people.

How can you measure IT innovation performance: Innovating in today’s digital world has become increasingly complex in nature. The measures should be oriented to justify innovation the organization needs. The innovation assessment is through innovation drivers, the elements that enhance an organization's innovation capacity. What value have those new things designed and implemented? You choose KPIs by deciding which are seen as critical to making progress in order to deliver more innovations. Keep in mind, metrics are not just numbers, but need to be well selected to tell the full story; because historically, performance system for most businesses have been financing driven, but financial indicators only cover part of the story. This is particularly critical for managing innovation. For example, the measurement of creativity in the workplace is through the results, the outcomes of creative thoughts and actions. Building culture of innovation means that you need to break the rules, give people time and resource for exploring, it is totally different from measuring innovation.

Innovation is all about figuring out the better way to do things and transform novel ideas to achieve the business value. Innovation is about moving forward. In any business, if you are not moving forward, you are moving backward. There is no standing still. Innovation needs to be the collective habit of the business, you have to live it and breathe it every day, otherwise, you don’t feel accomplished. Innovation management requires curious attitude to ask deep questions and scientific discipline to weave much deeper whole systems and taking emergent, generative, iterative, integrative, and holistic approaches.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

The Monthly “Dot Connections” Understanding Two Flip Sides of the Coin to Get Digital Ready June 2018

Digital is the age of creativity and innovation, and creativity is all about connecting the dots.


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 via connecting dots and spreading the knowledge.

 Understanding Two Flip Sides of the Coin to Get Digital Ready


Simplicity vs. Complexity? Simplicity vs complexity is an age-old dilemma even in English Grammar! The simplicity and the complexity are just opposite ends of the same spectrum. That compounds all "problems." You need complexity to understand and appreciate the simplicity and vice versa. It's all about balance and perception.

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.

Innovation vs. Rules: Innovation is to transform novel ideas and achieve its business value. Innovation is doing something better than it currently is. Hence, it requires a sound and competent understanding of what is currently being done. Innovation is not serendipity, it's a mindset, a process, and the strategic business capability nowadays. From innovation management perspective, should innovators break rules, or does innovation need rules, and how to improve manage innovation effortlessly and improve its success rate?

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.

Efficiency vs. Effectiveness: Effectiveness and Efficiency are two fundamental goals all businesses over the world are pursuing, however, more often, there is a lack of clarity upon their true means and how to achieve them accordingly.

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

Clarify Change and Digitalization through Inquiries

Change is never for its own sake, it's about making the improvement, create synergy in the multitude of its impact across the organization.

Digital organizations today are more organic than mechanical, hyper-connected and always-on, in order to achieve the long-term business vision. They have to adapt to the ever-changing environment and make consistent improvement. It is nevertheless true that the change itself has become unpredictable and evolutionary as it was done even a decade ago. Change Management has a very wide scope and is a relatively new area of expertise. There are incremental changes and radical changes, business management needs to clarify change and digitalization through inquiries, set out goals and work at them in a systematic way.

WHO are top influential change sponsors? Change starts with a "sense of urgency" which can only come from top management. Change leadership and sponsorship is critical to driving strategic changes and adoption. Because great sponsors can overcome organizational friction issues early in the maturity. The visible and active sponsorship is critical to focus on resource assignment, adoption, besides communication and training. It needs to focus on coordination and facilitation, not bullying and forcing. If it is a large scale of organizational-wide change, where you aren’t simply removing one thing and replace it with other, and then, identifying sponsors and influence is key. Effective change leadership is highly influential and methodical, it takes hard work and endurance, for creating and maintaining cross-functional trust, transparency, actions, and results. With strong sponsorship for changes, buy-in will happen more naturally; it means that people should understand why the change is necessary and get them to participate in defining the better processes and then ensuring that they are actively involved in the monitoring of that process to ensure that they have a voice in improving it, should it require some adjustments after being deployed.

WHERE do synergistic attainment of organizational goals and superior returns on investment occur? Organizational change becomes common practice within an organization, it needs to be treated as a strategic function to reach its full advantage. Proper preparation, implementation, automation make change more likely to succeed and sustainable. Change cannot be just another thing that needs to be accomplished. It has to be woven into communication, process, and action of the organization. The change management system needs to be the alerts you put in place that act as tuning force to enable you to view things and harmonize what's going on. Alignment with organizational design, enterprise architecture, and program office functions is ultimately where you need to be to really make a difference. It is easy to see change success where new working practices, systems, and actions plans are concerned. Change is never for its own sake, it's about making the improvement, create synergy in the multitude of its impact across the organization. Irrespective of whatever strategy is selected, all change objectives (business, technical, service, safety, performance) depend entirely on the human objective. It’s never been able to create a large enough context of alignment unless each individual first experiences genuine alignment between their personal aims and the organizational ones.


WHAT is the expectation from change management? Improvement CANNOT happen without change, and change SHOULD NOT happen without improvement. The two go together. An organization can become or be made differently by the addition or alteration of something for the better. In other words, change without good reason and adding value is futile and useless. Improvement is a form of change; it's not about painting the building, changing the logo, letterhead, and typeface, it's about creating a better value proposition and successful operating system/culture that delights customers/clients and makes a step change difference in the way and quality that we do business and reward our stakeholders. The sustained business success depends on good virtues such as professionalism, positives, teamwork, trust, empathy, and loyalty, etc. You might call these shared values or a belief system. An improvement is a form of change, change can also be leapfrogged into business transformation. A change manager needs to assess and evaluate every specific scenario to create change program success. Ultimately, the success of the change program is measured by results that are important values to the organization - and the cultural adoption of these goals is part of that measure.

Compared to the business world 20 years ago, the speed of change is increasing, and digital ecosystem has become more complex and dynamic, Change Management also turns to be more complex, you have to both ponder the big questions about changes. to ensure a successful initiative and capture the full intent of the “change", as well as manage change and lead digitalization effortlessly.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

The Monthly “Digital Boardroom: 100 Q&As” Book Tuning:The Corporate Board as Digital Shaper June 2018

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

         

The Corporate Board as Digital Shaper



The Corporate Board as Digital Shaper The business is complex, the world is complex, and leadership is complex. Leadership can be perceived with both broader scope of the open system and in-depth understanding of its interconnectivity and interdependence. The digital directors and executives today need to understand things and circumstance in a holistic way, deal with opposing views, cultures, constraints, and competitions, in order to steer the business in the right direction and navigate it through the uncharted water to lead digital transformation seamlessly.

Five Senses of Digital Board The corporate board oversees strategy, monitors performance, sets policies, advises management and plays an instrumental role in leading business transformation seamlessly. The digital-savvy board has to gain digital awareness, shape digital mindset, leverage five senses, and exercise creativity muscles in order to improve digital fluency and leadership effectiveness.

The Digital Boardroom Guidance: The Three Legs of the Stool The key dimensions of corporate board’s responsibilities include, but not limited to strategy oversight, policy-making, performance monitoring and executive advising - understanding accountability of business environment - regulatory, shareholder, etc. Highly effective boards can sense emergent opportunities and predict potential risks, prioritize and put significant efforts into governance and risk management, to steer the business ship in the right direction and achieve high-performance business results.


The “Futuristic” Digital Board? When we jump into the digital future of “VUCA” new normal –Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity, the digital leadership today must be able to steer the organization in the right direction. Corporate boards today mostly composed of seasoned business executives are no longer just the controller to ensure business compliance, they should have a clear business vision to predict emerging trends in the business, technology or industry. So, they can guide the executive team in the right direction and play the management advising role effortlessly. To discuss further: What is the profile of the “futuristic” digital boards, what’s the business insight those boards can offer and what are the great benefits they can provide for the business’s long-term prosperity?

The BoDs as the Digital Rule-Maker The purpose of the board of directors is to direct the organization in the right direction. The board directors as senior directorial roles have both privilege and responsibility to “talk the walk,” make the good policies or set digital principles to drive changes and lead digital paradigm shift. The board of directors is the digital rule-maker for getting the business management digital ready.

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

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








Softening the “Hard” to Accelerate Digitalization

Organizations across the industrial sectors are on the journey of digitalization. Being “digital ready” goes beyond just applying the latest digital technology, it is a holistic effort and multifaceted discipline to touch every aspect of the business. There are many tangible and intangible variables to decide the ultimate success of business transformation. The purpose of such radical digitalization is to make a significant difference in improving organizational effectiveness, responsiveness, performance, and maturity. There is the need to “harden the soft or intangible business factors,” as well as the demand to “soften the hard business factors” in order to lead change frictionlessly and make a digital leap effortlessly.

The “hard” technology can create such soft touch, to make people feel better about themselves and build a people-centric digital organization: The powerful and lightweight digital technologies brings unprecedented digital convenience for both businesses and our personal life. The “hard” technology is the means to end, not the end itself; it must create soft touch for either engaging employees or delighting customers. As the saying goes, "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." Digital is the era of people. People’s feelings need to be addressed. To build a creative, productive, and happy workplace, the technology-enabled democratic processes will overtake silo-based, hierarchical control management methodology. Organizations are reshaped to be horizontally expanded into the holistic digital ecosystem. Many companies have never been better positioned to engage in multi-industry collaborations, but leading organizations have broken out of the static industry box, treat customers, partners and other industry ecosystem participants as active agents for brainstorming new ideas, co-solving critical common business problems, and creating new business models, etc. Instead of being rigidly grouped around a specific business, ecosystems draw together mutually supportive companies from multiple industries that collectively seek to create differentiated offerings and capture value they could not reach alone. The hard technologies create soft touch that people feel better about themselves, employees feel more meaningful about their work; customers have the delightful experience, shareholders are satisfied with what the business has achieved. Digital leaders do not just push harder; but emphasize participation, relationship, communication, collaboration, and innovation, and ultimately build a people-centric digital organization.

Business assets are no longer just about physical or hard stuff such as building or devices; it is critical to managing information - the soft business asset extremely well: Organizations have both tangible or physical assets and intangible or soft assets which enable business operating smoothly and build the competitive business advantage. All forward-looking organizations declare they are in information management business. Information becomes one of the most invaluable business assets besides people. Because companies across sectors around the globe transform themselves into the digital powerhouse that is based on information, and the business’s ability to explore soft assets has become far more decisive than their ability to invest in and manage physical assets. Information management competency, especially the ability to capture business insight and make the continuous improvement with consistency is the soft asset by which organizations can differentiate themselves from competitors, in order to reach the next cycle of the business growth and organizational maturity.

Soften the overly rigid organizational structure and processes to streamline business flow:
Digital means flow, information flow, idea flow, and business flow. However, many traditional organizations have the inflexible pyramidal hierarchy and overly rigid organizational structure and processes, which stifle changes. Thus, it’s important to soften the hard processes or structure, the functional borders to ensure digital fluidity. Organizations, like individuals, need to be in flow to be fresh and adapt to change seamlessly. From an organizational structural design perspective, delayering becomes a lens through which it is possible to examine and then fix many other issues. An organization can approach such a flow zone when people are ready for moving to a fluid structure. On the business navigation dimension, digital flow can be streamlined by enforcing cross-functional communication, using common business language for harnessing understanding, taking incentives to encourage idea sharing. Forward-thinking organizations also experiment with different types of organizational structure to harness strategic business alignment, enablement, collaboration, and harmony.

Digital transformation represents the next stage of business maturity, which will improve how the enterprise works and interacts with its ecosystem, with people at the center of its focus. It takes both hard push and soft touch. The outlines of the fully digitalized world have long been sketched, but the shape, size, and color of digitalization keep evolving. The key is not to choose one path over the other, but to tailor your own path, mix the hard and soft, tangible & intangible, practice, practice, and practice more to make a seamless digital paradigm shift.

Friday, June 15, 2018

The Monthly “100 Creativity Ingredients” Book Tuning: The Full Color Spectrum of Creativity June 2018

Developing creativity requires both internal motivation and self-awareness. 

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 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 Full-Color Spectrum of Creativity


The Full-Color Spectrum of Creativity? Creativity has many faces, the creative thinker is unique. Creative personality seems to be more colorful and paradoxical. Analogically, creativity is like a color spectrum, there are commonalities that are relevant to all colors which reflect the spectrum of light. Such metaphor connects the dot back to the nature of creativity.

The Multifaceted Creativity? Creativity is the most needed skill in the 21st century because digital is the era of innovation. Creativity is both innate and a skill. Developing creativity requires both internal motivation and self-awareness. Being original and being yourself is the first step, breaking down the convention thinking box, and practicing out-of-the-box thinking is one of the mental activities to stimulate creativity as well. Here is the further understanding about the multifaceted creativity.

Many Shades of Creativity Human CREATIVITY is perhaps far more advanced than what can be achieved by a machine so far. Our thoughts, emotions, "gut-feel," "intuition," "insight," and many more complex aspects of our consciousness and awareness greatly enhance our learning and thinking creatively.

The Multifaceted Aspects of Creativity Be it an art, a science, a talk, a humor, a different thought.... creativity can be applied in all the field ..if one can develop that skill of thinking differently. There are many shades of creativity.

The Multitude of Creativity Creativity is an innate ability to create novel ideas. Would you consider that creativity is a response to a stimulus and that individuals will manifest different behavioral responses to that stimulus depending on their individual experiences...? What are the personality traits or working environment which decide how creative the individual or team could be?

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

Intuition vs. Sensation

Intuition is more receptive, global, holistic and sensation is more active, focal, serial.

Intuition is the perception of inside images, and sensation is the perception of outside images etc. As Carl Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst well described: Sensation and intuition are perceptive functions, they make us aware of what is happening but do not interpret or evaluate it.

The word intuition comes from Latin verb “intueri” which is usually translated as to look inside or to contemplate: Intuition is thus often conceived as a kind of inner perception sometimes regarded as lucidity or understanding. Often intuition is used to describe 'thoughts and preferences that come to mind quickly and without much reflection or conscious reasoning. Jung's definition of intuition is a reference to intuition as one of the functions of the psyche related to Ego-personality. He distinguished also between passive and active intuition. Intuition is a complex concept and perhaps it is impossible to make a single definition that applies to all kinds of situations in which intuition is involved.

Sensation is a physical feeling or perception resulting from something that happens around: Sensation can evoke vision, feeling, thinking, and emotions. Emotions work for you. Sensation makes us feel alive; sensation helps us evolve, either to have a joy or feel pain. You do have to feel the emotions and live with them through. But as intelligent beings, it is important to manage emotions in a progressive way. When you become self-aware, when you know the triggers to the emotions, it is very important to experience sensation, but not be overwhelmed, learn how to feel and engage the life in a mindful way.

Intuition is more yin and sensation more yang. Intuition is more receptive, global, holistic and sensation is more active, focal, serial: Intuition is also called gut-feeling; because it seems to have got to do something with the gut. Intuition or being intuitive is when you have a gut feeling about something. It is when there isn’t an exact answer to the puzzle because you don’t have all the pieces. Chaos needs to be navigated by intuition. There are some forces: to step away from the normal noises and messages of life, which absolutely have their place but often drown-out or override intuition. The human brain can be a magnificent synthesizer of disparate pieces of nebulous information, and often formal techniques and procedures thwart and inhibit this mysterious mechanism from operating efficiently. We need an intuitive approach to the logical breakthrough!

Often we cannot control intuition but we can control sensation. We need to be provoked to make our intuition work and get our sensation meaningful. it's about proactively opening ourselves, leverage intuition to take “fast thinking” scenario and switch on creativity purposefully. An open mind leads to push intuition button and touch the sensation nerve, stimulate imagination, and spark creativity.

Digital Workforce Hybridity

The digital paradigm that is emerging is the dynamic organization with hybridity of knowledge, processes, and competencies.

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

The hybrid digital workforce: Today’s digital workforces are multigenerational, multicultural, multi-geographical, and multitasking. Each generations—Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Y (Millennials) and Z has different leadership, communication, working, and learning styles, they also evolve digital in a different way at different paces. There is the mix of old and new, physical and virtual things in organizations today. The digital workforce and workplace will be shaped by changes that take place in the way people relate to themselves and to their experience of their environment and others around them through cross-functional communication and collaboration. It is a hybrid, networked, and extended modern working environment in which the powerful digital platforms and computing technologies enable seamless conversations, delayer overly rigid hierarchical organizational structure & processes; inspire idea sharing, and brainstorming, engage employees and partners, as well as improve customer experience.

Knowledge ‘Hybridity’ (Interdisciplinarity): Digital organizations are complex and diverse, single dimensional operation-driven management discipline perhaps does not work out. The dynamic digital ecosystem can be perceived through the lenses of sociology, anthropology of cultures, economics, technological, organizational and communication sciences, poetical science or philosophical lens. That means the border of knowledge domains is blurred and the scope of knowledge is expanded in the continual base. It requires fundamentally different mindsets and paradigms such as accepting that digital influence is multidimensional and attainable, but control is not. Different organizations must tread on their path of the quest to understand the symbolic language of nature contributing to evolutionary processes. Knowledge hybridity or interdisciplinarity can be applied to digital management by integrating multidisciplinary methodology which involves applied Science (Engineering), Art (Design), principle (Philosophy), Cognition (Psychology), Social norms (Culture) and group behavior (Sociology) for reaching the next level of digital management maturity.


Innovation hybridity: Digital is the age of innovation. Innovation in the digital era is coming at seemly must faster pace, more changes and potential disruptions, but the patterns and rules of communication are pretty much the same. Nowadays it is hard to think of any innovation as not a hybrid, a combination of something old with something new or a number of new things. The broader the scope, scales, and impact of change, the more one leans toward calling it as an innovation. You could consider all innovations by hybridized in that sense. Digital innovation management does require interdisciplinary understanding to connect wider dots and see what’s possible, as well as the technical expertise to create disruptions. You need a certain form of framework and processes to ensure that you can qualify ideas, direct the right amount of resources, and make the wise investment to the most promising ideas based on their incremental or radical nature. The goal is the manage a healthy innovation portfolio with hybrid types of innovations, shepherd them through several phases of development, know when to move forward and when to return to an earlier phase, to improve innovation success rate.

Digital organizations with knowledge and workforce hybridity are able to adapt to the continuous changes and reconfigure the organizational structure and change their own behaviors for improving business responsiveness and flexibility. It is also important to build a high level of trust within the upper rankings of management, share the same vision, set the strategic goals, be able to coordinate and communicate effectively across departments and manage business performance to ensure the organization achieving the high-performance result and making a seamless digital paradigm shift.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

The Weekly Insight of the “Future of CIO” 6/15/2018

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




The “Magic Formula” to Achieve Digital Cohesion The very characteristics of digitalization are hyper-connectivity, hyper-complexity, and interdependence; with the exponential growth of information and fast-paced of changes. Digital makes an impact on the speed to run the business, the empathy for their people, the prioritization skills to get important things done, and the orchestration of their capability in high mature digital organizations. Every organization needs to explore their own way to get digital ready. But businesses can also learn from others’ failure, as well as summarize what they experiment, and develop the best and next practice, and improve their ability to consistently execute and make a digital paradigm shift seamlessly.


The Digital Boardroom Guidance: The Three Legs of the Stool The key dimensions of corporate board’s responsibilities include, but not limited to strategy oversight, policy-making, performance monitoring and executive advising - understanding accountability of business environment - regulatory, shareholder, etc. Highly effective boards can sense emergent opportunities and predict potential risks, prioritize and put significant efforts into governance and risk management, to steer the business ship in the right direction and achieve high-performance business results.

How Can IT Reach the Next Phase of Digital Blossom? Forward-thinking organizations across industrial sectors declare they are in the information management business. IT organizations need to be propositive, which means taking the proactive attitude, leading ahead of the pack, keeping ideas flow, contributing to the long-term business growth, and march to the next phase of digital blossom.

Three High-Quality Efforts to Enable Organizations Thriving Digitalization is series of radical changes, these changes are more extensive than what happened in the past. You have to transform the company’s underlying functions, processes, cultures, and the organization as a whole with adjusted digital speed. Today's organizations are increasingly exhibiting digital characteristics in various shades, extensiveness, and intensity. Therefore, it is important to understand that digital business development is multifaceted and take the high-quality effort to enable organizations thriving.

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

Three Aspects of Integral Digital Management Competency

Integral management Competency = Holism + Interdisciplinarity.

At the dawn of the digital era, businesses and the societies are heading into a dynamic, nonlinear, and hyper-connected digital ecosystem in which everything seems to affect everything else, brought silo, tunnel, and mechanistic view to an end. The traditional management discipline based on linear logic and reductional thinking is outdated somehow, an integrated digital management approach is about leveraging nonlinear processes and interconnectivity between problems in a managerial context, to ensure that the business as a whole is superior to the sum of pieces. Integral management Competency = Holism + Interdisciplinarity.

Enforcing inter-organizational linkages for holistic problem-solving: Digital is full of uncertainty, velocity, complexity, and ambiguity, organizations today are at the crossroads where the segregation or silo of business units are at a need to reach across the aisles and respectively work with each other in order to understand complex business problems holistically and solve them systematically, without too many side effect. Therefore, the digital organization is the living thing, the mechanistic production metaphor needs to be replaced with organic service metaphor, operation centrism becomes people-centric and multidisciplinary; the linear business system perception is replaced by the adaptive digital system, and technical behavior is replaced by socio-technical behavior. Therefore, business managers need to have a contextual understanding of the interconnectivity of both visible and invisible business success factors underlying the surface, enforce inter-organizational linkages for running a high-performance digital organization. Fundamentally, running a business is an iterative business problem-solving continuum. Behind every problem is a relationship dynamic out of alignment, the digital ecosystem is complex and volatile, it’s critical to create the relevant context to make a more lasting solution - without it, you are working without any boundaries or fix symptoms only. It takes the collaborative effort across the entire business scope to streamline processes, keep information flow seamlessly, enforce cross-functional communication & collaboration, and improve the long-term business competency.

Capturing business insight to overcome uncertainty, ambiguity, and paradox: The information grows exponentially and the rate of change has accelerated, indicating that digital leaders today must learn how to overcome uncertainty, ambiguity and deal with management paradox in varying circumstances. Uncertainty is the lack of certainty, a state of having limited knowledge where it is impossible to exactly describe the existing circumstance. Leading organizations across vertical sectors claim they are in information management businesses, the purpose of information management is to process raw data, refine information, gain business insight and foresight which can help to instruct organizations adapting to changes promptly. Business management, especially at senior management level, practicing integral digital management is about taking a holistic view and applying interdisciplinarity for planning and taking actions, which are always based on rough estimations of what the future conditions of business execution would be. Though business leaders today can’t predict every turn or curve on the digital journey, quality information and business insight allow them to envision emerging opportunities, predict risks, have the right level of ambiguity tolerance, and lead the business forward confidently.

Developing flexible, inclusive and innovative working environment: Every individual, including the leader, has limited knowledge or viewpoint; collectively, it is important to orient people and make them aware of the diversity in their organization or team, help them understand the power of collective insight, the value of harnessing differences and embracing inclusiveness. The “diversity of thought” is the enforcement of critical thinking and the power switch of creativity. Develop the flexible, inclusive, and innovative working environment, to tap diverse resources and recognize merit and ideas. To apply integral management discipline, digital leaders should shape the “inclusiveness mindset,” always look for capabilities they don’t have so that they can build a winning team with complementary mindset and skills. They should also practice nonlinear management discipline,
empower teams with efficient tools to harness communication and build trustful relationship across the functional border to build a highly flexible and highly innovative workplace. 
 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. It is important to involve not only putting the pieces together but also blending them in such a way that the emergent whole is somehow more than the sum of its parts. Taking an integral management approaches is all about understanding and examining the whole, break down the silo, flatten organizational hierarchical layer, significantly improve the overall organization’s competency and growth potential,in order to build high-effective, high-responsive, high-intelligent and high mature digital organizations.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Monthly Foresight: Running Digital Organization with Autonomy June 2018

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?

             

 Running Digital Organization with Autonomy  


How to Run a Digital Organization with Autonomy: The business world is moving from a static, siloed, and mechanic industrial mood to the dynamic, fluid, and innovative digital mentality. Because the speed of change is accelerating, so the attempts to solve the existing challenges through the lens of the old paradigm continue failing. The new paradigm that is emerging is a digital organization that is more responsive, holistic, vibrant, self-driving, and above all enhances and supports the living organization and the dignity of the creative human spirit. More specifically, what is the digital way of running an energetic and autonomous digital IT organization?

The Organizational Autonomy and Digital Transformation Digital disruptions are inevitable, and digital transformation is unstoppable. Organizations shouldn’t just respond to them in a reactive way. The new paradigm that is emerging is a digital organization that is more responsive, holistic, vibrant, self-driving, innovative, and above all enhances and supports the living organization. In fact, autonomy becomes one of the most critical characteristics for digital organizations to thrive as well as the symbol of achieving high-level digital maturity.

Three Characteristics of Digital Organization?
Digital organizations are like the living systems that can self-renew in thriving as high-performance businesses. Digitalization means that companies need to infuse digital into every aspect of the business, expand to every dimension of the organization. It is the movement from static to flow, silo to holistic, mechanical to organic, and command & control to self-management for shaping the digital-empowered workforce with following characteristics.

Three “A” Characteristics in Running Digital Organization? Digital transformation is “pushed” by both visible forces and invisible forces, hard forces and soft forces from multiple directions. The digital transformation is now spreading rapidly to enable organizations of all shapes and sizes to reinvent themselves. The organization should leverage the latest digital technology platforms and tools, keep tuning its structure, process, and people, to become more digital ready -be adaptable, living, innovative, and people-centric. Here are three “A” characteristics in running the digital organization.

Autonomy, Alignment, and Acceleration of Digital IT Organization With the exponential growth of information and ever-fast changes, great opportunity, danger, digital convenience, and disruption are around every corner. With emerging digital technologies, the territories between functions, companies, and industries are blurring, or converged, IT is the linchpin for integrating the business as a whole and running a hyperconnected digital organization. IT also has to take the step-wise approach to reinvent itself from a cost center to a strategic business partner through autonomy, alignment, and acceleration.

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