Welcome to our website. Open forum to discuss global thought leadership, Tao of IT Leadership .

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 best practicing the Tao of IT leadership: leading IT to enlighten the customers; enable business success via influence.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The CIO Leadership is the CENTER of the “Future of CIO”

 CIO LEADERSHIP is the CENTER of the "Future of CIO"!

The blog is a dynamic book flowing with your thought; growing through your dedication; sharing your knowledge; conveying your wisdom, and making influence through touching the hearts and connecting the minds across the globe. The Blog is a Dynamic Book which Flip to the Future Continually!

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 1.5 million page views with the #2131th blog posting today. Among 50+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. blog posting, CIO LEADERSHIP is the CENTER of the "Future of CIO" ! Here are a set of featured “Future of CIO” categories to highlight CIO leadership and management capability:

The CIO Leadership is the Center of “Future of CIO”
  1. CIO Leadership/CIO Debates/ (350+ Blogs): 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 Improvement Officer, Chief Insight Officer, Chief Imagination Officer, Chief Interaction Officer, and Chief Influence Officer 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 optimizer, and transform the business into a Digital Master!

  1. IT Transformation/IT Strategy & Roadmap/IT Performance/KPIs (300+ Blogs): IT is not just to support strategy, IT strategy is an integral part of business strategy. The main problem is that business executives still limit their vision of IT as “IT supports a strategy,” CIOs role as C-level is to contribute to the formulation of the business strategy where new trends of technology will provide strategic business capabilities to the business that will enhance the competitive advantages of the organization. With information and technology interwoven into business strategy, IT will re-integrate into the business, delivering business initiatives derived from corporate strategy. Such effort will just be one that is appropriate to the organizational maturity and culture.

3. Digitalization/Digital Master Tuning (250+ Blogs): Digital Master - Debunk the Myths of Enterprise Digital Maturity was published in Jan. 2015, it is the book to envision the multidimensional impact that digital philosophy, technology, innovation, and methodology will have on the future of business and human society. It received overall great feedback in the IT community and beyond. After publishing, I also wrote more than 100+ blogs to continuelly advocating the best principles and the next practices to run a “Digital Master” - The organization that has rich digital insight , high level innovation capability and maturity, not only to initiate digital innovation, but also to drive enterprise - wide digital transformation.

4. Information Management/Analytics/Cloud/Social Computing (500+ Blogs): Information Potential directly impacts business's potential of organization: Potential value of business all depends on how the information will be used again in the future and this is often exceptionally uncertain. Information may never be used again, or it may be used multiple times. Unless you can predict how it might be used again for tangible gain, it is difficult to say what, if any, potential value. The art and science of information management are to optimize information usage and achieve its value and full potential. The purpose of IT organization is to leverage the latest technology trends such as SMAC and ensure the right people getting the right information at the right time and location. 
5. IT Principles/Practices//EA/Capabilities/PM/BPM (350+ Blogs): Organizations today have to manage the large quantity of projects to beat competition and delight customers. Think about how a portfolio platform might look, it includes innovation management, portfolio management, enterprise architecture, business process, the planning aspects of a portfolio, all should make up a platform. They all offer extensive reconfigurability to reflect the way you like to see the portfolio sliced and projects run (flexible or formal process with "forks"), with links to business strategy alignment, scenario planning, program and project life cycles, project initiation, requirements management, risk management, resource management, project controls (progress, finance, quality and change), comprehensive dashboard reporting and tracking of benefit realization.

6. Innovation/ Creativity (250+ Blogs): In recent years, creativity has become a very highly valued skill. Creative people combine existing possibilities to reach more often unexpected solutions. Creativity is an essential building block for innovation in business. It is very important to recognize that innovation is an essential factor for a company’s long-term success. However, becoming a truly innovative company is difficult, due to the risks involved and management skills needed. Innovation is about moving forward. In any business, if you are not moving forward, you are moving backward.

7. Talent Management (200+ Blogs): People are the most invaluable asset in any organization anytime and anywhere. However, the traditional talent management treat people more as cost or resource, less as an asset or capital investment; performance management approaches more focus on measuring behaviors and quantitative result, with ignorance of qualitative assessment about character, mindsets, talent potential, multidimensional intelligence and culture effect. Talent competency is the digital lenses through which people managers ought to assess and manage talent in more strategic, analytical and creative way.

8. Change Management (200+blogs):  Change Management and Strategy Management need to go hand in hand. The goal for change is always to make improvement or innovations happen, and it's a progressive journey to keep business move forward. Change is inevitable, but more than two-thirds of change effort fail to achieve the expected results. The change shouldn't be treated as a singular occurrence when it is an ongoing, continued process and dynamic capability within the organization.

9. Governance/Decision Making/ Quality/UX/IT Vendor Relationship (250+ Blogs): Governance is like a steering wheel, to ensure your project or business as a whole to run towards the right direction. The entire point of any governance discipline is to optimize decision making. Governance, risk, and compliance are not a single process. It is a collection of processes (and other governance mechanisms, such as roles) to improve quality, efficiency, effectiveness, agility and maturity of the business.

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.

How to Define the Quality of Experience

The better way to define experience is as “Lessons Learned.”

Humans are curious by nature and have an unfazed attraction towards perfection. Whatever we are today - our knowledge and our capabilities is on account of our cumulative experience only right from the day we were born, even before. These experience got created consciously and subconsciously both as such, some are positive, and some are negative; some help us grow, and some are undesirable and become the stumbling blocks. What is exactly the experience? Should Experience be measured in more quantitive or qualitative way? And when does experience become a hindrance to future progress?

Experience in most of the case is a mixture of success and failure. It is much more like our personal library, a reference or a chronicle. The very theme for us is that our life is the journey with the knowledge we gain and the experience we accumulate, etc. Everything is like a partially full, or partially empty glass of water, depending on the optimistic or pessimistic mode you are in. We all are in some way givers and seekers. From knowledge point of view, we gave others what we learned or experienced and sought new knowledge from others or experiences of others. All efforts directed to fill the gap in the water level of our glass. Either the fresh thinking or the old thoughts, analyze them, evaluate them and choose the best for the situation. It is not necessary that a correct solution in one situation will be correct in all similar situations. Experience is not about doing the same things again and again; it is about always learning the new things through it -either it’s success or failure. Working with attention to detail by staying focussed at the moment while having a certain awareness of the big picture is the best way to handle both. It is a win - win situation. When experiences become cyclical, repetitive with no focus or interest; it soon becomes a trap.

The experiences become a hindrance to future progress when experience resist you to intake knowledge, or de-learn and relearn when necessary. Or the experience causes the arrogance, makes you feel that you are finally capable of everything. Nowadays, we live at the age of information explosion; knowledge is only clicks away, but wisdom is still in scarcity. And knowledge life cycle is significant shortened. A knowledgeable mind can become outdated much sooner than before if it stops filling in the new knowledge. And an experienced professional is faced with similar challenges - do you have X years experience or do you have ONE year experience X times? The pace of change is increasing, EXPERIENCE can no longer be measured quantitatively only, quality counts, dynamic counts, and learning agility counts - in mastering the full cycle of learning, de-learning and relearning. You just have to deepen the experience continually to capture the insight, or broaden your experiences to cultivate creativity or refine wisdom.

The better way to define experience is as “Lessons Learned.” If lessons are NOT Learned, then it is not Experience. Any lessons learned are helpful in future progress.We as a human also have few attributes like fear (the most important quality needed for survival), skepticism, "first impression is last impression" syndrome, and so on. Although these attributes are necessary, it may actually contribute towards the possible conversion of an experience from an opportunity into a hindrance. But in that case, the so-called "experience" cannot be truly termed as experience. Experience, be it bad or good, has a repository of learnings of "do & don't." Our intentions to gain experience needs to be pure and aim should be solely driven towards understanding the truth and filling our emptiness in the glass; it will definitely drive us towards progress personally, socially, and technologically, you name it. Some researchers experiment to leverage the systematic thinking and methodology of getting rid of such undesirable experiences. As the nervous system cannot distinguish between a real and vividly imagined experience, they used the synthetic ( vividly imagined ) experience to bring about the desired changes. They found that synthetic experience could change people's behavior - habits, attitudes, beliefs, perceptions, etc.

When experience saturates your mind, you are not open to understanding beyond what you’ve already known. If one has understood about a certain thing in a particular way, then one is not ready to leave it and look at it in multiple different directions. Experience needs to be defined as the lessons we learn, from Experience to Education to Wisdom. If experience brings wisdom, then there is a definite growth. If an experience is repetitive, and then there is a limitation. Experience to tackle new situations under diverse factors is what we should be looking at. So the quality of experience is very essential.

Digital Master Tuning #108: Three Aspects to Differentiate Digital Leaders from Laggards

Digital masters are dynamic, high-agile, high-innovative, and high-mature business leaders or champions with their own unique strengths and styles.

Digital transformation is a journey, compared to the change, TRANSFORMATION is definitely the more ambitious sounding term, and organization’s digitalization is surely a transformation journey, it has to permeate into business vision and strategy, mindset and culture, communication and action, process and capability. In the book of Digital Master, I defined the tree-level of digital maturity: Level 1: Digital Laggard, Level 2: Digital Mediocrity. Level 3: Digital Master. What are the important factors to differentiate digital leaders from laggards? Why are there so many companies not taking advantage of customer-facing opportunities to digitize interactions with digital technologies? Even during the journey, shall you continuously check: Are you doing the right things? Are you doing them the right way? Are you doing them well? Are you achieving the desired outcomes? Are you shaping the good digital strategy about the future and positioning appropriately for your place within it? Do you have enough resource to implement the digital strategy? Are the assumptions and risks understood and manageable smoothly? Here are three aspects to build a Digital Master.

Change capability: Digital transformation is the leapfrogging scenario with accumulated steps of changes. Change turns to be one of the ongoing strategic capabilities which underpin successful execution and move an organization from efficiency to agility. However, no change is for its own sake, there's always a clear business purpose behind it, and people are the core to changes. Developing change capability in those who'll help drive and deliver the change, consider also the capability or ability of those impacted by the change to handle its impacts; their resilience will be massively increased if they are involved, included and educated as to what they should expect. Many people across the organization are either directly involved in contributing to the change effort, or they have the opportunity to participate and choose to hold back but know they had the chance to contribute, or at least they regularly hear about the key change effort, the design and progress made even if they have no direct involvement at all. The key trait is credibility at every level of organizations. It is imperative to find a progressive executive sponsor, but you must also find other like minded, well-respected individuals throughout the organization, to take accountability on the change project or any transformation effort. They will serve the organization with more energy and determination.

Innovation: According to Drucker,” Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship, the act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth.” From a business perspective, innovation is how to transform novel ideas into products and services to achieve its business values. At the individual level, what matters now is creativity. Creativity can manifest in a collective environment: While the individual contributions provide the building block of creativity, it is the collective consensus on what to do with them that is exciting. Develop employees entrepreneurially, let them do things and problems solving in their own way to meet good results. Though the guide is needed at that crucial time, you will see the innovations in your company pipeline. Management should direct workflow, support the health of the team, create an environment where people want to work, encourage brainstorming. If management is successful, innovation will follow. Business innovation is bravery - it may take you to a whole other place. And it’s the success factors to grow into a digital master.

Learning agility: Learning agility is the willingness and ability to learn, de-learn and relearn, and then apply those lessons to succeed in new situations. People who are learning agile continuously seek new challenges, solicit direct feedback, self-reflect, and get jobs done resourcefully. They see unique patterns and make fresh connections that others overlook. At the organizational level, learning organizations are comfortable with complexity, ambiguity, paradoxes and they have a penchant for candor. So high organizational learning relates to high response in recognizing and addressing system constraints. Unless constraints are addressed, a range of employees’ frustrations, risks, stress, and poor organizational performance examples can increase. This means in turn understanding levels or approaches at which organizational systems operate, and recognizing how and why they should change, and how they learn. As a result, this can influence employee and group learning and development. Thus, for a learning organization, it is not enough to survive only, but for thriving; not just for running business today, but for growing and transforming business to reach high level of digital maturity in the long run.

Digital Masters are the high mature digital leaders in their vertical sector and business ecosystem. The digital transformation does not mean only to adopt the latest digital technologies or tools; it refers to modification and internalization of new values, behaviors, and culture when the need for the significant digital shift is identified. The business capabilities are also different from the mere sum of individual abilities and skills of its members; processes underpin business capabilities; and culture nurtures capability coherence. It’s about what we do as a company, how we do it, it’s collective capabilities to ensure organization as a whole can achieve more even it is consist of group of normal people, and the well set of optimal capabilities can be cultivated via cultural coherence and continuous process improvement. Digital masters are dynamic, high-agile, high-innovative and high-mature business leaders or champions with their own unique strengths and styles.

Digitalization is like a flywheel, and Digital Masters are the one riding above it. Surf more Information about Digital Master:

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

How would you Define the Right People?

The right people have the right mindsets, they are high-positive, high-innovative, high-influential and high-mature.
People are always the most invaluable asset in businesses. “Hiring the right person to the right position at the right time,” is the mantra of many forward-thinking organizations. The question is how would you define the right people? How do you define wrong, average, mediocre, good, great or extraordinary person? Or put simply, for what should they be right?

"People engagement" blended with ""context-fit" makes the people "right." The goal of an organization is to find out how you can locate the right candidate for a specific position within an organization. Hiring good people is hard; hiring great people is brutally difficult. For example, some would say, a right person is self-motivated, self-directed, self-inspired. Others will say, a right person is purposeful or creative., etc. Although there are many attributes that may influence hiring the right people. A "context-fit"(culture of the team/job profile matches with the culture of the individual, or a 'misfit' mind helps culture transformation) is highly desired along with attributes. The culture of the organization begins at the top with the leadership. That culture is communicated through documentation, through informal practices and formal behavior. A recruiter or hiring manager must fully understand the culture of the organization, including the values and beliefs, to determine if any prospect will fit in the organization. The guiding principles, which is part of the culture set by the leadership of an organization, should be at the forefront of the mind of anyone doing the hiring because finding the right person who fits in the company will only lead to greater success for the individual and the company. Moreover, a passionate and motivated leader makes the hiring right as he/she can engage the team members and can unlock their motivation. It further leads to enhancement of productivity and performance.

The question could be interpreted differently by different people. Every single individual is right (talent or genius) in some way. There are some basic fundamental characteristics will separate a right candidate from a wrong candidate. For example, would you prefer hiring a person who has a graduate (know it all) attitude vs. somebody who is passionate about lifelong learning? Would you hire somebody who demonstrates the ability to execute vs. somebody who lacks the capacity to break down a strategy into execution? Would you hire a person who is constant negative vs. somebody has a positive attitude? Would you rather hire a transformational leader or a transactional manager? Would you hire a candidate for leadership position who is strong in execution, but lacks strategy formulation skills? Would you hire a person for teaching position who understand the subject inside out, but not a great communicator? Would you hire someone who has the negative influence of the culture, or hire a change agent who can rejuvenate the new way to do things? When it comes to finding the right people, one must first assume the goal is to find the right person who not only fulfills the required needs of the job at the moment, but also have the potential to lead organizations to the next level; the right person who fits into the culture of the organization, or who can transform the organizational culture to accelerate business execution.

Find the right people through what they think and what they act. The right mindset is utmost quality for being a right fit, because the power of mind is the force to change the business or even the world for better, and then, you should look at behaviour that you expect to see, since "positive energy" always translates into actions, that you can track feedback on. Unfortunately, a block in the road to a valid definition of "right people" is the outdated, but persistent HR practices that jobs are like holes that come in round and square shapes, and people are pegs that must be matched to the job's shape. According to that idea, all I need to do is to describe the job with enough detail and then find the right peg from a pile to fit the hole.As Collins, the author of Good to Great, well defines:  
The right people fit with the company’s core values.
-The right people don’t need to be tightly managed.
-The right people understand that they do not have jobs; they have responsibilities.
-The right people fulfill their commitments
-The right people are passionate about the company and its work.
-The right people display maturity.

As the old saying goes, the rumor stops at a wiseman. The right people make a positive influence on corporate culture and brings the wisdom to the workplace. The right people are the ones who possess the right mind with knowledge, skills, abilities and behaviours necessary to move your business in the direction it needs to go; to help realize the vision and values of the organization, they are not just running the business, but keep innovating and transforming the business for the long-term prosperity.

A Contextual Mind: Context is the Chain of Association

Context is part of a polygon. Each vertex dynamically interacts with the other vertices.

Some say, content is the queen, and context is the king. Context is “the parts of a written or spoken statement that precede or follow a specific word or passage, usually influencing its meaning or effect: You have misinterpreted my remark because you took it out of context. The set of circumstances or facts that surround a particular event, situation, etc.” (dictionary.com). So, it is about the context that gives something meaningful but isn't a context bound, aren't you limited by a particular perspective? Does the dime stop being a dime despite its many uses or does its meanings accumulate with each fresh perspective of the thinking perceiver? Would it be appropriate to summarize by saying that context aids us in understanding what's relevant and what's not?

Context aids us in understanding what’s relevant and what’s not. From a practical perspective, 'seeing' the context you are 'part' of, allows one to identify the leverage points of the system and then 'choose' the 'decisive' factors, in the attempt to achieve the set purpose. To clarify it, without any doubt, this example is always appropriate: when you have to cross a river, no matter being a good or not so good swimmer, the first thing that you are 'interested' in is the depth of the water, rather than its chemical composition; understanding the workings of a river, not just how wide the river is but also knowing its bends, where it is narrow, or where it is deep impacts trade routes, the transportation of people and goods. Also, if you are going to cross that river, you need to know what's in it. Abstractions of rivers--models of models, for example, can give you a general idea of a river, but can lull us as well, it all depends on one's perspective and 'inner' structure. The 'constraints' could be identified and the previous experience in the area too, the context offers new opportunities, as well. Talking about development and the context relevance, maybe on the other side, you meet someone who likes to buy your boat - the commercial relationship. Or maybe you discovered a new route for crossing that river, the most effective known by now so that a regular service could be provided for the ones who want to visit the other side. Further contextual intelligence about the river: Shall you consider the river's particular characteristics, its personality. Are you aware of flooding, the seasons of the river, the melting of snow and ice that may feed a river, the animals that may live in the river like alligators or piranha, but also if the animals are protected. The surrounding human settlements of the river also differs, depending on the river. What is being dumped in the river and vented? Water treatment plants, power plants, or factories impact ecosystems. The surroundings create a context for the river in terms of whether you can drink from it, swim in it, or eat fish from it. Pretending a river is a river is a river can be disastrous depending on the context of your own motivations and needs.

Context is the king, and the purpose makes the difference. Context is part of a polygon. Each vertex dynamically interacts with the other vertices. Another vertex is cognitive perception. Another vertex is the expectation that there is more going on than just the image. Each vertex interacts with the other, changing as it interacts. Context is of utmost importance. The art and the science are in the creation of the context, which some people will perceive immediately. Teachers create contexts for learning. Scientists create contexts with criteria, stating that under these given conditions, this will happen or appear this way because of the very purpose. Causation is always within a context. For example, water is liquid under given conditions of temperature and pressure.We can create the context for business practices as well. Context can be altered with urgency or the perception of urgency. The motivation for change is not just because it would make work better. It's because of the need, the urgency, the competition, the acquisition of some new capacity that creates the difference between "should" and "is." There are theories and ideals that, when presented well, can inspire, but gets no traction in the application. Great ideas that work great in the context of a lab, but is can't be reproduced in "the wild." How many breathless science articles come out filled with implications and possibilities of a certain new technological breakthrough, but we have yet to realize these possibilities. It is not possible yet, not possible because of the context--capacity, materials, expertise, scalability, audience or customer need, etc. Context matters because a system will interact with other systems that share or compete for the same resources.

Context is a chain of associations.  It's like when you contemplate a work of art. You don't get the whole idea immediately. It has to grow on you, sometimes one piece by the other piece. The implications of its effects on the perceiver reach beyond the visual. It also triggers a chain of associations. You see it in another context, or you might see the influences of another domain colliding with the expected domain. Understanding a work of art and getting it is a learning process. It is a statement about how vision works as well as a demonstration of the perception of the form using only color--points of color--without a line. There is also a surprise in the paintings as well. That, instead of getting clarity as you get closer to the painting, the images become more vague, chaotic, almost meaningless. Instead, you gain visual clarity if you are further away from the painting. The role of context in developing a perspective of a system is that it may be a partial cause for many of the behaviors demonstrated by a system. The implication is that models of the context could be useful in developing the perspective of a system. Another way to see the power of context is in the ways you can change the factors that create a context. Context needs to be split into two dimensions in terms of understanding the scope - functional and physical, and a third aspect (to assist planning. risk assessment etc.) is to understand the environment in which the "something" will be developed and then operate.

For complex problem solving, understanding context is often the first and the important step in understanding - without it you are working without any boundaries, or basis for understanding what you are doing. You always have to build a scaffold towards the solution so that capacity can be developed. Only then can the information be used the way it needs to be used, create the relevant context to make a more lasting solution. That's part of the allure of constructing knowledge. Everybody participates and has a stake in the solution.

A Strategic HR

 The HR in any organization as a department or individual need to be proactive in all aspects.

Today most of the organizations have a reactive HR. First of all, why aren't people always talking to HR? Why is HR only seen while recruitment, appraisal, increment or separation? HR needs first to bridge the gap to become the place where an employee needs to feel the importance of HR. Which role HR plays in an organizational profitability? And how to run a strategy HR?

HR helps organizations put "the right people with the right role at the right time." HR must start thinking like the rest of the business, and that includes proper strategic thinking designed to achieve the greatest impact for the least resource spend. Where to start? The fastest and best way to impact profitability is to make sure the hiring process is based on proven performance predictors so the right people get put in the right jobs, then integrate with evidence-based talent management, so performance continues to improve. Do those two things and you'll have transformed the business so much you won't need to worry about your internal PR. One of the major and important roles of HR is to help business hire the best of in terms of character and support later on in training on the technique and growing the expertise. Therefore, It improves the business effectiveness and efficiency, not only in terms of cost but also in terms of quality of the deliverables, which means happy clients, more work, happy employees, etc. And then HR can prove itself as a strategic corporate asset by creating value and cost control. This can happen when HR plays the key role in ensuring that the company strategic plan is implemented successfully by providing HR deliverables that are in alignment with company performance drivers. Secondly, HR should develop a performance measurement system that keeps corporate leaders update about how HR is contributing to overall firm performance and how HR impacts on the bottom line. HR can assess the role of talent acquisition initiatives, system processes, and the cost-benefit of utilizing vendors. HR can mitigate a company's risk at many different levels at its foundation and provide executive support in many other areas of the business around, training, recruiting and communication to name a few.

HR professionals serving as business strategists is an important step to transform HR as a strategic business partner. The fact is that there are many things HR can do to improve profitability. HR should understand their company's objectives; from there, be able to build strategies that tie into these to contribute to the organization's profitability. Overall, HR is experts at attracting, motivating and retaining key talent. Without this, a company in this day and age could lose this crucial competitive advantage and as such profitability as well! One of the success factors to HR significantly improving profitability begins with HR professionals serving as business professionals and strategists first and only then as HR experts on problems or issues addressed. When the real value is added to the business, only then can significant profit be generated. Those who just do not perform the HR journey often forget that for most of the organizational members, HR represents the face of their organization. Although, to the equity holder, it is the financial man that holds the key, often forgetting that even the finance man is a part of the human face of the organization. In essence, investors look at the numbers in money terms whereas a visionary organization looks into beyond these financial numbers. However, it is the onerous responsibility of the HR professionals to ensure that they do not remain just numbers because numbers do not perform journeys whereas the HR performs.

The benefits HR plays are in retaining and developing employees. The cost of hiring, training, and investing in a new employee is a major expense that is constantly rising and if you face constant turnover, a new hire is a huge expense that you may not get the return on your investment for. By ensuring that employees are properly trained, building a strong company culture, and developing successful employee retention programs, as well as many other things, HR not only contributes to saving their company a lot of money by reducing turnover, but also by developing strong performing employees that contribute to the profits and success of the company. From Strategic Planning, Recruiting, Training, Performance Management to providing uncompromising Leadership, HR can contribute a lot to improve company profitability by quantifying workforce productivity, controlling workforce costs and the true cost of recruiting, mobility, training, performance, engagement and turnover, managing cultural change, developing and coaching others, implementing healthy organizational environment. Employee engagement has been shown to affect profitability. Satisfaction may not promote increased engagement, but dissatisfaction will limit or prevent engagement. There are all sorts of things that can cause dissatisfaction; HR should learn what they are and try to ameliorate the causes

Human Resources also occupies a unique position within a business enabling them to identify organizational problems, resulting from poor management or weak leadership. By regularly communicating with employees at all levels, they can often gain insights others cannot. Knowing the "upcoming" talent within the company HR often is in the best position to suggest who can move into problem areas as needed. HR should, and must, become a business partner. It is urgent for them to get power to decide back, in a sea of engineers and finance experts. Because it all starts from within, a good way to raise HR PR / profitability is as follows:
-HR objectives to be clearly defined in the organization.

-HR to partner up with the business to ensure ongoing and adaptable contribution.

-HR to perform efficiently and effectively and then put in place evaluation methods to be able to build on feedback.

-HR to communicate the advantages on an ongoing basis.

HR practitioners need to use data more often to build business cases for talent analytics and expenditure analytics. They need to work to develop professional relationships with other senior leaders. The efforts should be collaborative, and more about building teams and relationships. When you do this, a trust level enters into the equation, and colleagues will not always automatically view HR as an expense. Especially when data supports the decisions and action. What can HR do to improve Company profitability? The "ticket" to having the seat at the table is to deliver real measurable value in the key areas such as developing a desired culture (safety, innovation, execution, change, etc.), improving retention by developing leaders who get what it takes to continually re-recruit and retain great people. Doing well in the key areas of retaining and finding talent, bench strength development, and a culture of being values-driven (vs. policy driven) deliver value in tangible ways. Where HR goes above and beyond is a relentless focus on eliminating waste and inefficiencies that deliver reduced costs and improved profitability. (Reduction of administrative fees, eliminating redundancy and time-consuming tasks, and reducing direct and indirect costs that result from harm in the workplace.

HR plays a significant role in an organization's profitability. When it is acknowledged that employees play a major part in an organization's performance, HR function does play its part equally. Recruiting right talent to the business at the right time is the key for success. Tracking the efficiency and optimizing the productivity of employees supports the company greatly. This helps in rightly sizing manpower for the organization. HR has a paramount importance, in supporting the business, hire the right people today for tomorrow, meaning those people which have the right attitude and soft skills, allowing the organization to adapt to the future through multidisciplinary capabilities, adaptation to change, flexibility and open mind. A Proactive HR can not only make a business profitable but also let it survive through tough times like recession! 
HR is an artery of every organization since the recruitment and selection process is carried out by this office amongst other responsibilities. There would definitely be no profits in an organization should HR carry out the recruitment and selection process incorrectly. Thus, HR should ensure that its systems and processes are up to date and relevant to the dynamic environment at all times. HR needs to be the business partner to both operations and transformation, understanding the organization's goals & issues, deriving HR's strategy thereby. And HR has its own expertise based on solid evidence over time and across all industries, company sizes & company maturity levels. These are the themes which HR needs to emphasize and prove their worth to business strategy and implementation; recruiting the right people for skills, capabilities fit, developing people in skills and leadership, recognizing & rewarding individual & team performance. Its overall function is to make sure the organizations walks its cultural talk. It is the internal oil that ensures the other parts are blending smoothly which includes identifying that talent is used effectively and paid well, ensures that turnover is monitored, complaints get heard and responded to in a timely way, HR proactively honors the human pulse of the organizations and looks for ways to enhance the culture to keep organizational leadership in tune with changing times.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Listening with Empathy

As managers and leaders, you may have to guide, and that is fine after you "seek first to understand."
Empathy is one of the most crucial elements in leadership effectiveness, due to the complexity, ambiguity, and the paradox of the world we live in. On one side, the world has become so hyperconnected and interdependent, the physical barriers such as the oceans and the mountains can no longer divide us; on the other side, due to the cognitive difference, culture diversity, information overloading and wisdom scarcity, there are still the walls in people’s hearts and the gaps on their minds, empathy is the ability to think as if you were on the other party’s position, to gain in-depth understanding about the thought processes behind each action and to win the hearts via mind connection based on the golden rules and profound insight. But first step first, can you learn how to listen with empathy?

It is all about connecting as humans, whether at work or elsewhere. If we become clear about our objectives, we can use a variety of measures to address it. The first is to be clear about our own purpose in life. It is something which when we do, we lose track of time, we don't get tired or lose energy; even if we do, depending on the activity, we are happy to stretch ourselves and feel happier and satisfied by doing so. Similarly, when we listen, and find out the other's purpose, identify and respect, whether we agree with it or not, be non-judgemental, then we can connect, talk about it, discuss it and many times, they will get more insight and will look at it differently and be able to fine tune their own purpose, which they never thought about it in such a way. This is the power of a team.

Empathetic listening is a critical element of business culture. Empathy is a need for managers to be able to relate to people's feelings and bring out their potentials and develop them to be in line with the vision and mission of the organization. After all, "the people as object" thing can only bring you as far. Hard-driving, "macho" businesses that are not really interested in getting alongside their employees see empathy akin to weakness. Those that encourage empathetic listening have the opportunity to give their colleagues a greater sense of worth and in return receive a greater commitment. Listening "attentively" and actively is the greatest gift we can give to another human being. The real beauty is found in the ability to listen from your heart, inviting the speaker to explore the answers that lie within their own hearts and minds. However, due to the rush and fast pace of modern life, people interrupt and seek to solve the problem, often before they have heard enough to understand what is being said and whether anything is truly being asked of us beyond just listening.

As managers and leaders, you may have to guide, and that is fine after you "seek first to understand." The ability to listen with empathy depends on your personal preferences. The step towards empathy is to focus on the speaker rather than seeking meaning within your own frame of reference to how your own needs and goals can be satisfied. To take in information without bias and then review it in its entirety rather than interactively. Listening with empathy is a good description of passive listening that you have to incorporate into your thoughts. The practice of seeing people as people is gaining momentum as organizations are starting to notice the importance of human capital development spurs their growth to the next level.

The loss of listening with empathy may be a side effect of training. The lack of empathy is caused by the homogeneity of leadership setting. Today, many leaders have sympathy, but lack of empathy, they intend to help and manage well, however, sometimes, it goes to the opposite direction. Both of these are major challenges to start with listening with empathy.

Is Culture the Pathway to the Changes

The vivid metaphors for describing culture include the layers of an onion, or the visible and invisible levels of an iceberg.
Culture is perhaps one of the most invisible, mysterious, but critical success factors for business strategy execution. Who does create the corporate culture? Is it the top leadership team who unilaterally in a willful act establishes a particular corporate culture? Or is it that at the beginning of a company, there are just a few people working in the organization, and in their interactions a corporate culture emerges? How is it developed? How can it be remained for years or centuries? Can culture be changed? And how to fine tune a high-performing culture?

First, culture in a company is a collective mindset, attitude, and top-down behaviors and action. The spirit comes from the top. Often the founder of organization creates the culture and builds the foundation of the company. So how strong the culture into the mind of the founder is, how strong it will be in the company. How much effort the founder put in, how fast it will impact the company. Although the founder does not have the full picture about the business brand at the beginning (culture is part of brand), the brand will be created or will grow time after time. How can culture be remained? As long as the founder keeps a strong idea of it, with the buy-in of a high level of management, culture could be remained. To the point about founders shaping culture, often it is the stories that get told about early successes and failures that create enduring elements of culture. Then, the major question would be: Is it the culture that can fulfill the business vision and accelerate strategy execution today? Or put simply, is it still helping the company grow and transform? In fact everything is moving around, the company and the culture could have been successful for years, but no longer be valued by customers or admitted by workers, or it turns to be the very barrier to stop businesses from gaining agility and maturity.

Culture has multiple perspectives that directly impact strategy execution: Statistically, there is 70% failure rate for strategy execution. There are many different causes to failure, such as resistance to change, silo thinking, business functions with competing agendas, lack of clear and decisive leadership, fail to translating strategy to execution, actions inconsistent with strategy, poor communication of strategy, lack of accountability on follow-through; inability to measure impact, too focused on short-term results, fail to making vision and strategy meaningful to front-line staff, fail to aligning job responsibility to strategy. Sometimes strategy makers spend more time designing the content of strategies than communicating more interactively on how to implement them successfully. In other words, the failure is caused by lack of accountabilities, lack of decision rights and inter & intra-divisional tensions. And all those aspects are due to the lack of a culture of execution.

The vivid metaphors for describing culture include the layers of an onion, or the visible and invisible levels of an iceberg. You cannot consider culture as one element of the strategy execution unless you can identify the dominant cultures, subcultures, and the layers of those cultures. Layers of culture is a critical aspect here. What you see in the outer layer of an onion is easier to manage, but the innermost deep-belief core of the onion is much harder to change. The iceberg metaphor well describes the layers of culture, with values and beliefs often being under the surface. It’s nearly impossible to change the culture without bringing these to the surface, articulating them and assessing whether they are still the right ones for the current environment. And that in a fast growing company people tend to have similar ideal values that then get manifested in its corporate culture. When the company then grows, this corporate culture tends to stay the same over time -the culture inertia. However, in order to move up to the next level of organizational maturity, the culture needs to be changed as well to adapt to the emerging digital trend and pulling strategy execution towards the right decision. Typically, strategy execution fails due to surprises and unknown/ unforeseen factors. If you take the visible aspects of culture -the tip of the iceberg- alone as an element of the strategy execution, you may well head into trouble. There is stereotyping and elements of ethnocentric culture as well as there is also subculture. So basically the execution and conviction of strategy strongly relies on culture.

Strategy guides change and culture are the pathways for the change; as the concept of liabilities of origin, the culture is largely a function of history too - whether it is a liability or asset depends on the change itself - but the fundamental nature of change suggests that true strategic change will almost always be in conflict with the old and prevalent ideas. Hence, a conflict with culture is very likely. It is important to explore the local culture in which the organization exists. The existing organization is next to be examined. After you have established a base culture, and then it’s on to examining the needs of the proposed strategy. The resocialization would have to be employed as well. This process is a learning and teaching process with clear communication of vision at its core. Being able to lead by example, lessons and ability to adjust where necessary based on advice from stakeholders will get you what you need.

Being humans, we should have one big advantage - knowing about our own nature. People have no problem with change! They have problems with uncertainty, risk, and fear. Therefore, culture as a collective mindset and attitude is the pathway to changes. There are many different perspectives of culture are presented along with diverse ways and means of dealing with it. Changing corporate culture should address not only the subgroups, but each singular value or behavior to be changed, or not changed. Culture can be changed, although it is challenging!

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