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.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

The Monthly “The Change Agent CIO” Book Tuning: The Digital IT Change Practices Oct. 2018

Compared to the other executive positions, the CIO role continues to be shaken up, refined, reinvented and reenergized. The magic “I” of the CIO title sparks many imaginations and modern CIOs need to wear different hats and play multiple roles. More importantly, digital CIOs are Change Agent who can lead change and orchestrate digital transformation smoothly. Here are a set of blogs to brainstorm on the change practices to run the digital IT organization.

  


The Digital IT Change Practices


The CIO’s Three “How”s to Lead Digitalization Digital makes a significant impact on every aspect of the business both horizontally and vertically. Embracing digital is inevitable as that is now part of the reality. With the exponential growth of information and technology-led disruptions, IT becomes the decisive success factor for the business’s long-term perspective. CIOs as IT leaders should reinvent IT as the change agent, ride above the change curve ahead of the other parts of the company. Here are the CIO’s three “HOW”s to drive changes and lead digitalization

Three “Soft” IT Management Disciplines IT is impacting every business unit and is becoming the driver of business evolution and digital transformation. With the fast pace of changes, old IT thinking simply cannot move fast enough in the era of digitalization. IT management is multidisciplinary; it not only includes “hard” components such as IT operation and portfolio management but also has some “soft” touch elements. Digitalization means business fluidity. Often, soft overcomes the hard and gentle overcomes the rigid. Here are three “soft” disciplines to improve IT management maturity.

Running a Propositive, Personalized, and Persuasive Digital IT Organization As businesses move into the digital future, technology is the fastest growing arena, IT is in the middle of a sea change. Digital CIOs have to deal with constant ambiguity, rising complexity, increasing velocity, and unprecedented uncertainty, they shouldn’t get stuck with “we always do things like this” mentality and they have to keep IT relevant by running a propositive, personalized and persuasive digital organization for building a strong reputation as the business partner .

Rebooting IT to get Digital Ready Organizations are stepping into the deep digital normal with increasing speed of changes. Information is abundant, technology is pervasive. Never before has IT and business been so closely tied together, never before has technology moved more quickly and missteps have larger trajectory impacts on every aspect of the business. Therefore, CIOs play the crucial role in leading changes as they continue to be put on the front line. They need to deal with constant ambiguity and digital disruptions for rebooting IT to get digital ready.

Running IT as the Change Engine of the Digital Business? Digital is about change. IT is in a unique position because they can oversee the whole organizational processes and they should have the program skills to implement digital transformation successfully. Thus, in forward-looking organizations, IT has become synonymous with the change department. Change Management needs to be the mechanism embedded in the multitude of IT management disciplines, in order to run IT as a change agent.

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 “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2.5 million page views with about #5000 blog posting. Among 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. 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.

Five Steps to Achieve Digital Breakthrough

Today’s organization is an organic living thing thriving at the expanded business ecosystem. Digitalization disrupts not only the functional and business boundary but also industry and geographical territories. Digital management is responsible for designing, enabling, energizing, and enforcing a collaborative, innovative, intelligent, inspiring and inclusive working environment. Besides incremental improvement, here is the five-step scenario to make a leap for achieving the digital breakthrough.

Practice “Out-of-the-box” thinking: The power of thinking is fundamental to all collective progress we’ve been made. To break down silos and outdated knowledge, shaping the bigger, much bigger box of thinking is evolutionary to solve problems at the cognitive level. The mind is the storehouse of thoughts and experiences, memory. To keep the mind fresh, today’s digital leaders and professionals must keep updating their knowledge, gain insight, practice how to tap into their most powerful and brilliant mode of thinking anytime, anywhere, and under any circumstances. Only the new fresh thoughts help to resolve emerging situations, and through applying the new found insight and accumulated experiences, the mind crafting, in turn, becomes the reservoirs for resolving the next ‘situation’ with fresher thoughts. To achieve the digital breakthrough, it’s important to build an innovative workforce which continues to depoliticize working culture, dismantle bureaucracy, encourage creativity and risk-taking, leverage multiple choices, think out of the box, pack it in a new box which then creates breakthrough solutions to either new or existing problems. Today's problems become more complicated in the ever-changing world, collective thinking and creativity can lubricate idea flows and digital breakthrough.

Make the “art of possible” strategy: The digital business is very complex, the leaders need to diagnose the core issues they have in their organizations, observe, perceive, and pay attention to the myriad of internal, external, national, or global forces that define and influence the way they do business these days. Making the “art of possible” strategy means businesses will set aggressive enough mid or long-term goals to inspire and motive, rejuvenate their workforce to achieve high performance and unlock their potential. “The art of possible” strategy is not based on the mirage but based on a set of differentiated digital capabilities because business breakthrough and digital transformations are not something every business can accomplish, you have to systematically develop and sharpen those abilities which cannot be built overnight. Strategic planning is paramount but, in these uncertain times, this should go hand in hand with contingency planning around “what if” scenarios. The goal of digital management is to build a robust business which is able to recover quickly from adverse and unpreventable conditions; innovative, flexible, resilient, and well positioned to explore “the art of possible,” to improve and deploy countermeasure against threats.

Manage the flawless execution: With increasing paces of changes and continuous disruptions, the digital strategy implementation are not linear steps, but an iterative continuum. Most strategies that do fail, it fails not because the fundamental strategy is flawed, but because of poor execution of an otherwise sound strategy, through misalignment and miscommunication. Managing the flawless execution is challenging, the heavy lifting starts as a firm aligns resources, processes, talent and executes, make effective decisions and improve the strategic responsiveness of the organization. From the business management perspective, it means to have the right people getting the right information to make the right decisions timely. Strategic responsiveness is the ability to process business information almost real time; break down silos, communicate and collaborate with your business counterparts, dig through the real business problems and fix them. The challenge for organizations is to manage its portfolio of relevant cross-border strategic synergies and organizational interdependence, laser focusing on the top priority issues and maintain the digital balance, fine-tune the organizational structure, improve changeability, engage people to deliver quality products or services, and achieve operational excellence.

Strengthen the weakest link - people: People are always the most invaluable asset but the weakest link in organizations. The talent gap (both cognition and skills gap) is the reality, not a fiction. Thus, strengthening the people link is a crucial step to achieve the digital breakthrough. The part of the digital transformation journey is to prepare people for the new structures and to recognize this is a crucial step. As the digitized world becomes hyper-connected, over-complex and interdependent, the bar is actually raised higher either being a digital leader or being a digital professional. The workplace needs to be designed to help employees at all levels within an organization (from top leaders to front-line employees) to sharpen digital mindset, understand and develop their creative capacity to solve problems and explore opportunities in new and innovative ways. In reality, most organizations today are process and control driven, but building people-centric changeability is a prerequisite for adapting to business dynamic. It’s important to develop the process of a corporate pulse that identifies where the pulse, passion, motivation, and commitment of the organization lies, and who embodies it. Organizational development and people management need to manage the conflict between the classic style and the digital style of the management to achieve the business breakthrough by the alignment of people, process and technology and applying the new methodologies and practices

Play the number game wisely:
You can only manage what you measure. A performance measurement system is a necessary foundation for continuous improvement, also critical for making the digital breakthrough. It is not the measurement that is important; it is what you do with the data obtained from the measurement, to improve business responsiveness and develop organizational competency. In fact, it is dangerous to impose metrics just because the focus on what’s measurable is manageable. Managers need to ponder: How do you design metrics to measure what changes and how these changes are measured? What are the relevant metrics and how can they be quantified and validated? All indicators must be related to the outcomes identified in the organization's strategic plans. Performance metrics setting needs to strike the right balance of transactional measures and transformational measures. It’s important to link lower level metrics with higher level strategic objectives. Every measure selected should be part of a link of cause-and-effect relationships, and ultimately affect the growth and long-term perspective of the organization.

As uncertainties are a common occurrence in any walk of our progress, the business leaders and their team cannot afford to be unprepared for the challenging task of facing the “VUCA” digital reality. Digital organizations arise when the scale of the interrelations, interactions, or interrelational interactions brings the new cycle of business growth and the next level of organizational maturity. The challenge for today’s business leaders is to be well prepared, take the dynamic approach with step-wide steps to achieve the digital breakthrough and move forward confidently.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

The Monthly “100 Creativity Ingredients” Book Tuning: The Creativity Leap Oct. 2018


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

                         

                           The Creativity Leap


The Creative Leap? Innovation is about having new knowledge and new processes. Innovation is about too much knowledge in terms of too many good creative ideas and too little available resources. Innovation is about prioritization, a system that can “smell” the right idea at the right time and place. Innovation means something new and valuable. Innovation is relative and has context. And innovation is a critical component of business strategy, Often technology is a disruptive force to changes, and information provides the dots to spark innovation. So how to leverage IT to enable creative leaps and manage business innovation more effectively?

Is Creativity only Achieved via Diversity? The world is hyper-connected, there's nothing in the universe that exists in isolation from everything else, and certainly not a culture in particular. Cultures, as collective mindset and habit, are mainly shaped by the “mainstream” mindset at the particular time, need to be reprogrammed when it lags the era we live in, only creative and transformative leadership can make such shift. Culture is like the soil, the key factor to spur the seed of creativity. But what is the real engine of creativity? Is creativity only achieved via diversity? Should diversity mean more about the color of characters and the difference of cognition, than the physical identity?

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

Three Horizons of Innovation There is a rapid shift in the digital paradigm. We are more creative and innovative than ever. There are all sorts of innovation and different flavors of digital innovation. Innovation is risky and most companies want to minimize risk versus taking intelligent risks. Most companies would never take a huge leap even with the enticement of a huge payback. The innovative appetite and aptitude decide the future of the business. Here are three innovation horizon.

How to Inject Creativity in Digital Transformation Digital disruptions are inevitable, and digital transformation is unstoppable. Organizations shouldn’t just respond to them in a reactive way. They have to be proactive, informative and innovative. To make the journey more fun and engaging, it needs to inject the right dose of creativity. And test for how 'creative' or accepting of 'creativity a company is by asking insightful questions.

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

How to Run IT as Enabler, Driver, and Disruptor to Accelerate Digitalization

Either disrupting or being disrupted, IT is at an inflection point to lead the organizational level of digital transformation.

Nowadays, information is permeating into every corner of the business, what technology is expected to do has changed significantly over recent years, although every company has its own circumstances. Many businesses still think their IT organizations are the controller or even the inhibitor to changes due to “risk-avoidance” mentality, Embracing digital is inevitable as that is now part of the reality. How to run IT as an enabler, driver, and disruptor to accelerate digitalization?

IT is an enabler of the high-performance enterprise: In most of the organizations, IT is setting back and waiting for the request, and no wonder often being perceived as the support center only. Collaboration, transparency, respect and clear leadership are the keys to breaking down the realities. IT cannot be seen as an enabler unless IT management clearly understands what their organization does for a living. IT should be integral to and knowledgeable of the business, aligned with enterprise objectives, as an enabler and a facilitator. The role of digital IT is to identify and blend the ways that information and technology can enable and shape business capabilities and capacities by linking all digital aspects such as goals, objectives, actions, etc, together to enforce business competencies, delivers higher-than-expected business results and accelerates the speed of digital transformation. IT needs to gain a better understanding of the business and shows that knowledge by talking business to the business. It’s important to break down old school silos of thought, IT and business are not separate departments. In the digital company, every department needs to work together to be successful.

IT is a driver of digitizing business: The inevitable range, breadth, and pace of uncontrollable factors acting on any organizations mean constant fine-tuning for change circumstances is essential to accelerate digital transformation. Too often IT is not involved at a goal level but instead at a task level. This creates an environment where the IT folks focus less on the objective and more on the processes that are defined for their department.  In leading organizations, CIOs will continue to be put on the front line to run IT for leading changes, manage both opportunities and risks accordingly, to ensuring IT is strategically positioned to be ahead of where the business is moving next, ultimately becoming the change agent. CIOs need to understand how technology affects each area of the enterprise, they should become the confident change leaders, evolving leadership skills to not only match the pace with changes in technology, the pace at which the organization can manage changes effectively but also ride change curve ahead of the rest of the company. IT shouldn’t just work within the IT information system, but often it has to work on the system or within the systems to drive changes and lead the digital transformation. The “Change Agent” IT can orchestrate processes, tools, and people that organizations use to effect the transformation from strategy to deployment. For well-established organizations, IT resources and dynamic capabilities are often the company’s secret sauce and the key to how they deliver value to the business with both quick win and long-term business competency.

IT is a disruptor of the overly rigid silo, hierarchy, outdated rules, processes, and practices: “VUCA” is an acronym used to describe or reflect on volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity of general conditions and situation. Information and technology catalyze today's digital businesses, the IT department has more and more to offer, also has a lot of obstacles to overcome. To move up to the next level of digital maturity, IT needs to become a “constructive disruptor” to break down some over-complicated organizational structures or redundant business processes, outdated rules or practices. IT leaders should leverage interdisciplinary management disciplines which involve engineering, design, psychology, philosophy, biology, economy, and sociology, etc, in order to think “out of the box,” and enforce IT innovation. IT should first disrupt itself, IT needs to focus on the fastest speed available - because that is where the main threat to competitiveness. IT should also keep optimizing business processes to ensure seamless IT-business integration, create a rhythm of communication and collaboration that establish clarity around the top priorities of the company, to evolve the digital dynamic and reinvent itself as a strategic business partner and innovative game changer, with ultimate goals to reach the zenith of digital maturity.

Either disrupting or being disrupted, IT is at an inflection point to lead the organizational level of digital transformation. IT today has many roles to play as a business enabler, innovation engine, digital driver; integrator, customer advocate, or governance champion., etc. It’s simply not sufficient to “keeping the lights on” only, IT should ride above of the change curve ahead of the other parts of the company, to become an enabler, driver, disruptor to accelerate digitalization.

Friday, October 19, 2018

The Monthly “Digital Boardroom: 100 Q&As” Book Tuning: Q&As to Assess the Boardroom Digital Readiness Oct. 2018

The directorship in any organization must have the ability to guide, inspire and motivate.

Modern corporate boards play significant roles in guiding businesses in the right direction and achieve expected business results. Due to the “VUCA” characteristics -Complexity, Uncertainty, Ambiguity, and Velocity of the Digital Era, the directorship in any organization must have the agility to adapt to changes and build abilities to advise, inspire and motivate a group of people toward accomplishing shared visions and goals. Here are the multiple perspectives of digitizing boardroom.

               

A Set of Q&As to Assess the Boardroom Digital Readiness


The “Bellwether Board”: How to Set Tones for Catalyzing Digital TransformationThe modern corporate board as a top leadership team plays a significant role in overseeing the business strategy and advising the organization management. The directorship in any organization must have the ability to guide, inspire and motivate a group of people toward accomplishing shared visions and goal. So, do you have the bellwether board that can set the digital tones to influence the business “mindset” and lead changes as well as digital transformation effortlessly?

What Should the Board of Director’s Skills Matrix Include? The board of director plays a significant role in overseeing organizational strategy, setting policies, practicing governance and exemplifying leadership disciplines. The contemporary corporate boards need to focus on both performance and compliance, monitoring business performance and improving management effectiveness. Due to the “VUCA” digital new normal, the directorship in any organization must have the ability to inspire, guide, and motivate. What should the board of director’s skill matrix include to improve the directorship maturity individually or collectively?

What Do Positive Policies Look Like? Generally speaking, the policy is a set of principles for decision making or guidelines to drive behaviors. A policy is implemented via a protocol, process or practice, etc. When having positive policies, what do they look like, and how do they affect organizational performance and maturity?

What are the “Thinking Blocks” to Build a Mindful Digital Board? The corporate board as the top leadership team plays a significant role in business advising, leadership exemplarity, policy setting, and governance practices. BoDs as top decision makers require multidimensional thinking and bring different viewpoints to improve business effectiveness and maturity. So, what are the “thinking blocks” to build a mindful and insightful digital board?

How can BoDs Overcome Barriers to Get out of the “Comfort Zone”
With the increasing speed of changes and frequent digital disruptions across vertical sectors, the role of the corporate board also becomes more dynamic and strategic. No longer are boards sitting in a room and just voting on various policies for business compliance. They need to focus on their own performance as well as the performance of the management team. Dynamism means free and progress. It is the power of BoDs as dynamic leaders to drive changes. But what are some root causes of the board ineffectiveness, and how can they get out of the comfort zone and ride the change wave for steering the board in the right direction?

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2 million page views with 5000+ blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify your voice, deepen your digital footprints, and match your way for human progression.




















Overcome Barriers to Break Through the IT Digitalization Plateau

Given the value that information is playing in the innovation and growth of organizations today, CIOs need to be fully aware of the promises and perils of IT management.

Information is pervasive, permeating into everywhere in a contemporary business, the emerging digital technologies make continuous digital disruptions, and the speed of change is increasing significantly nowadays. However, many organizations still get stuck in the old IT thinking which cannot move fast enough in the digital era. There are still many roadblocks and hidden barriers along the way of digitalization, how to overcome them and break through the IT digitalization plateau?


Lack of comprehensive IT strategic planning: Organizations rely more and more on technologies; the IT department has more and more to overcome in becoming the strategic business partner. IT strategic planning is a cohesive component and a necessary process that parallels or follows a business strategic planning process. At the same time, it must be crafted in such a way that it matches or enhances the maturity level of the organization. It must also be compelling so that it does not simply sit on the shelf after it is developed. Taking a wide look around at what's going on outside the IT organization at the business scope, as well as outside the entire business, at the business ecosystem scope; and how it might affect the organization through an environmental scan, identify opportunities and threats. The IT strategic plan needs to be a community effort, not something the IT team does alone in a corner. You need to talk to the business people, find out what their key initiatives are, and discuss how IT can facilitate, enable or support their initiatives. Talk about shared goals, and shared risks. Discuss timelines and milestones. It’s also important to take a hard look at what's going on inside the organization, including its strengths and weaknesses (perhaps doing a SWOT analysis), establish the mid and long-term goals. CIOs should always stay focusing on the big picture of the business, leverage and prioritize, ensure that the IT is on the right track to achieve well-defined goals, without getting lost or burning out in continuous IT overload

The IT-business misalignment:  IT - business alignment ensures that IT can keep the fundamental right. IT- business alignment is also about “keeping an eye on the horizon.” Alignment is fundamental and multidimensional. Look for and assess IT manageability, determine viability and alignment with the organization's strategic direction. IT-business misalignment enlarges the business gap. It is a persistent and pervasive problem that demands an ongoing process/capability alignment to ensure that IT and business strategies adapt effectively and efficiently together. One of the key ways that a CIO can become a business leader (and not just a technology leader) is to become connected at the hip with the business. All IT spending must be rationalized against the business benefits, to make sure that the money being spent on IT is aligned with the long-term goals of the company. More specifically, the business strategy alignment evolves integration, collaboration, and harmony, etc, take each of those strategic “WHATs,” and figure out the “HOW” that will implement and execute the strategy cohesively and effectively. Back this up with descriptions of the projects, portfolio cost, benefit and outline approach, technology, aggregate risk, dependencies, and organizational structure changes. Those organizations that have a more mature strategic alignment outperform their competitors and tend to be more responsive to the business dynamic.

Dysfunctional IT organizational structure with unclear roles and responsibilities: IT can no longer be run as an isolated function, it must become an integral part of the business. Digital leaders tend to restructure if they sense things are becoming dysfunctional, and often with mixed results. Before you could create a new IT structure, you have to make sure it’s not just in alignment with the organizational "culture," but also helps to cultivate the culture of innovation in the entire company. The digital organizational structure design should delayer the unnecessary business hierarchy to enable digital flow and inspire “digital holism.”The digital organization of the future is designed openly for anyone with ideas on how human organizations ought to be contrived in the face of challenges, break down silos, and overcome complacency. To take advantage of the latest technologies, many organizations today adopt the hybrid organizational structure that creatively blends structured and unstructured processes to harness innovation efforts rather than overcoming organizational hurdles and pushing against structural boundaries. The digital organization is an integral business ecosystem with fluid structure and hyper-connected nature. They need to be organized in running with quantum speed, emphasize communication, participation, relationships, and realize that they will need to renew themselves periodically to cope effectively with changes and have a fluid structure that responds effectively to the business dynamic.

IT creativity and other skill gaps:
IT skill gap is the reality. There are disconnects between IT short-term staff needs and long-term strategic competency perspectives. There is the high rate of employee disengagement either in IT or the entire business. Due to the changing nature of technology and exponentially increasing information, the velocity of IT is more frequent than some other areas of the organization. IT is no longer just a support center or help desk. IT organization needs the talented specialized generalists to connect the dots, have an in-depth understanding of business, and do more with innovation; IT also needs dedicated specialists to keep the light on and focus on technical excellence. Running modern IT is not equal to IT modernization, it goes a step further, doing more with innovation and solving problems creatively. There are skill gaps existing in modern IT organization, It’s important to identify the skill gaps and define the technical/functional competencies required to achieve business goals. Thus, from top down, IT diversity and inclusiveness help to close the cognitive gaps and enforce the strengths of the problem-solving capabilities people bring to the team. IT has the potential to become the creative business problem solver, because the original gem of a creative idea is often, if not always arrives at through the interaction of ideas from different domains of thoughts and experiences.

Ineffective IT metrics and measurement: In many cases, the non-IT players at the big table do not know what IT is capable of providing. Thus, they still perceive IT as the cost center. The only way to change the perception is to show a clear link to top executives between IT performance and productivity/ top-line revenues. IT value to the business can be categorized in a number of ways, such as: Improving Speed (Speed to Market, ability to change etc.), Improving Revenue (enable the business to gain market share). Customer Acquisition/Retention (optimize end customer experience) Lowering Risk (reduces business system downtime, create business continuity) Lowering Cost (reduces the cost of the current business process, improve margins, freeing up capital for new ventures, etc.) Identify metrics and KPIs that will be shared across teams, and talk about funding and resource commitments. IT metrics do need to be transparent and based on strong data governance and process excellence programs, so they are accurate and consistent, in order to have a chance of being believed and trusted. Besides the internal IT metrics to “keep the lights on,” the more important set of metrics are those used to inform the business of IT value and performance. These should all be presented in business terms such that they are directly aligned with operational factors a business executive would find important to be familiar with and tracking.

Given the value that information is playing in the innovation and growth of organizations today, CIOs need to be fully aware of the promises and perils of IT management. IT has to expand its impact in every dimension to improve the company’s operational excellence, business responsiveness, flexibility, digital fluency, and resilience.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Weekly Insight of the “Future of CIO” 10/18/2018

Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking, brainstorming, innovating and sharing.
The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2.5 million page views with 5000+ blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The "Digital Master” book series includes 25 books to share insight from the multidimensional digital lens and perceive the multi-faceted impact the digital era upon us is making to the businesses and society. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom. Here is the weekly insight of digital leadership, IT Management, and Talent Management. 

Five Roadblocks Enlarge Innovation Gaps In the rapidly evolving businesses and economic systems, innovation in the digital era is coming at seemly much faster pace, it is critical for firms' survival and thriving. Innovation management also becomes very complex, actually many think that digitalization enlarges thinking and innovation gaps because different individuals, functions, and organizations evolve change and ride learning curve with varying speed. Nowadays, innovation is perhaps the only way of applying creativity systematically in real life and running the business to win over competitions. Here are five roadblocks enlarge innovation gaps.

The Digital Board’s Balanced Scoreboard
Due to the “VUCA” digital new normal, the directorship in any organization must have the ability to inspire, guide, motivate, and innovate. The boards need to keep adapting to changes by the boardroom refreshment and taking advantage of effective tools to improve the board effectiveness. A well-balanced scorecard measuring key strategic performance indicators such as the business finance health and performance, process effectiveness and efficiency, innovation and learning capacity of the company, and customer satisfaction, etc, can provide board directors both information-based stories and holistic pictures for improving digital fluency and directorship influence and maturity.

The CIO’s Three “How”s to Lead Digitalization Digital makes a significant impact on every aspect of the business both horizontally and vertically. Embracing digital is inevitable as that is now part of the reality. With the exponential growth of information and technology-led disruptions, IT becomes the decisive success factor for the business’s long-term perspective. CIOs as IT leaders should reinvent IT as the change agent, ride above the change curve ahead of the other parts of the company. Here are the CIO’s three “HOW”s to drive changes and lead digitalization.

The Monthly “Digital Fit” Book Tuning: The Creativity Fitness Oct. 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?

The Monthly “CIO Master” Book Tuning: The Multifaceted Digital CIO Oct. 2018
Compare to the other executive positions, the CIO role continues to be shaken up, refined, reinvented and reenergized. The magic “I” of the CIO title sparks many imaginations and modern CIOs need to wear different hats and play multiple roles. Here are a set of blogs to brainstorm on the digital CIO’s dynamic role.

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 Metrics and Measurement Aspects of Shaping IT as the Growth Engine of the Digital Business


The performance measure setting should focus on achieving the ultimate goals of the organization as a whole, not just the individual or the team’s performance.


 Forward-looking IT organizations re-invent themselves from a cost center to the revenue generator. A measurement system is a necessary foundation for making continuous improvement and building a strong IT value proposition. However, the fact is that many IT organizations are not even trying to address measuring their value to the business as they simply have not employed the methodologies to enable it. The good metrics can help you get some objective perspectives on what you are trying to manage, but they need to be crafted and interpreted well. Here are three aspects of metrics and measurement management to keep IT on the right track of becoming the growth engine of the digital business.


Cost optimization metrics: With frequent disruptions driven by technology, companies across sectors are highly dependent on IT executives who make the proposal to changes or replace the technology based on the need for the business. Continually accelerating changes in IT consumption and production require faster responses and better performance metrics. From the finance perspective, every new technology adopted must facilitate business but also bring down the incremental cost of growth and the time to market. IT management needs to be in the continuous tuning mode through consolidation, modernization, integration, and streamlined process optimization. The new thinking about IT KPIs/metrics can be categorized into infrastructure performance metrics, key process optimization metrics, key innovation measurement., etc. IT metrics have to evolve from being a cost center to becoming a revenue generator. The only way to do this is to show a clear link to top executives between IT performance and productivity/ top-line revenues. When selecting the right set of metrics for cost optimization, ask whether the metrics can reveal anything meaningful for the identified purpose, and ensure the management buy-in for the metrics collection processes. Those should be the true metric for a CIOs success – how have they been able to impact the top and bottom-line and facilitate business growth and competitiveness.

The measurement of IT contribution to revenue generation:  When people speak about an IT initiative generating new revenue, visibility of costs measured against the visibility of quantifiable benefits is a way to show how IT contributes to the top and bottom line. It provides a pathway into technology optimization and justification of IT value contribution to the organization's bottom line performance within each revenue stream. More specifically, IT infrastructure asset including both hardware and software must be linked to business services that support the revenue generation. In other words, IT value is measured by optimization and consumption of IT assets in support of business products or services that are identified within the organization’s producing revenue streams. These metrics increasingly put emphasis on measuring things the business care and making IT function as a clear value-adding partner in the company, in addition to an ever greater strategic element to the business.



IT metrics must get focused on the end-users: It is undoubtedly dynamic time, although the fundamentals of a business seldom change, it is about creating value by serving customers. Digital IT is customer-centric. The end-user continues to be the key component of any people-centric and digital-driven business. This is where the metrics for a CIO should rest – the end-user experience. IT leaders are encouraging their teams to spend more time with leaders on the business side as well as directly with customers, to improve their satisfaction and experience. IT needs to transform from an operationally driven support function into outside-in, customer-focused business partners. IT has both internal and external customers. From IT metrics and measurement perspective, efficiency, customer retention, acquisition, and penetration metrics are powerful ways to improve customer-centric IT performance. These data-oriented and metrics-wise engagements are leading IT to be much more proactive in proposing, as opposed to responding to ideas, and take new ways to improve customer service or actually create new customer value and revenue. Broadly speaking, business needs to understand the maturity of customer-centric practices at the overall organizational scope (quantified across all measures) and at specific section levels, with the objective to develop the related business capability to improve customer satisfaction across all areas.

Do not confuse the means with the end. An effective CIO is a true business partner! With "SMART" IT metrics and measurement, a higher priority on the development needs and customer relationship management skills that align with the organization's strategy helps to improve communication effectiveness and drive IT business engagement throughout the enterprise. The leverage point is to keep the light on, also maximize the business growth. The performance measure setting should focus on achieving the ultimate goals of the organization as a whole, not just the individual or the team’s performance.


Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The Popular Quotes of “Digital Master” Book Series

The right people have the right mindsets, they are high-positive, high-innovative, high-influential and high-mature.


Digital Master is the series of guidebooks (25+ books) to perceive the multi-faceted impact digital is making to the businesses and society, help forward-thinking organizations navigate through the journey in a systematic way, and avoid “rogue digital.” Digital organizations are always on, interdependent and hyperconnected, people are always the most important asset in any organization before, today, and future. However, compared to a traditional industrial workforce, the digital workforce is a new breed -it's the super-connected generation with a multitude of varieties - multi-generations, multi-cultures, and multi-devices. Here is a set of quotes of "Digital Master."

89 “The business or societal progress is made via a healthy cycle of problem framing and problem-solving continuum.”
― Pearl Zhu, Problem Solving Master: Frame Problems Systematically and Solve Problem Creatively

90 “Setting the right priorities or having superior time management skill means knowing the difference between “must have,” and “nice to have.”
― Pearl Zhu, Thinkingaire: 100 Game Changing Digital Mindsets to Compete for the Future

91 “Critical Thinking brings insight into the situation.”
― Pearl Zhu, 100 Digital Rules

92 “The art of questioning is to ignite innovative thinking; the science of questioning is to frame system thinking, with the progressive pursuit of better solutions.”
― Pearl Zhu, Leadership Master: Five Digital Trends to Leap Leadership Maturity

93 “The answer from yesterday is not as critical as the questions about the future.”

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

94 “Innovation has to become the philosophy, and part of DNA in an organization.”

― Pearl Zhu, Digital Master

95 “Silo builds the wall in people’s minds and creates the barrier in organizations’ “hearts.”

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

96 “Dissatisfaction with the status quo is the psychology behind creative disruptions.”

― Pearl Zhu, 100 Creativity Ingredients: Everyone's Playbook to Unlock Creativity

97 “Ingenuity is the ability to solve difficult problems, often in an original and creative way.”

― Pearl Zhu, Talent Master: 199+ Questions to See Talent from Different Angles

98 “Lack of independent thinking is lacking in confidence.”

― Pearl Zhu, 100 Creativity Ingredients: Everyone's Playbook to Unlock Creativity

99 “Intuition matters but, pay more attention to the unconscious bias.”
― Pearl Zhu, Talent Master: 199+ Questions to See Talent from Different Angles

100 “The right people have the right mindsets, they are high-positive, high-innovative, high-influential and high-mature.”

― Pearl Zhu, CIO Master: Unleash the Digital Potential of It


Digital Master refers to those high-performing, highly innovative and high-mature (less than 15%) digital organizations; they have both clear digital vision and well-crafted digital strategy; they are courageous to be in the vanguard of digital transformation with a quantum lead. But they also proactively develop more advanced and unique digital capabilities step-by-step and build a digital premium into their very foundation of business, such as digital thinking, culture, agility, intelligence, and structure, and they achieve high performing results through strong digital governance discipline and reach its zenith as the digital world continues to expand and diversify. At the individual level, Digital Masters are those cross-generational digital professionals who are equipped with advanced digital minds and build a unique set of digital capabilities, climb to the top of Maslow’s Pyramid 2.0.

The Digital Board’s Balanced Scoreboard

With a balanced scoreboard, the top leadership team such as BoDs can become more confident and accurately judge the upcoming curves and obstacles on the path. 

Due to the “VUCA” digital new normal, the directorship in any organization must have the ability to inspire, guide, motivate, and innovate. The boards need to keep adapting to changes by the boardroom refreshment and taking advantage of effective tools to improve the board effectiveness. A well-balanced scorecard measuring key strategic performance indicators such as the business finance health and performance, process effectiveness and efficiency, innovation and learning capacity of the company, and customer satisfaction, etc, can provide board directors both information-based stories and holistic pictures for improving digital fluency and directorship influence and maturity.

A strategy oversight tool: A scorecard assesses the business progress to strategic goals. It is important to define the strategic level performance indicators which take into consideration the possible implication of the organization as a whole and the future orientation. A balanced scorecard approach is needed to measure all the relevant areas of corporate performance such as, how the company is dealing with its customers, employees, vendors, and communities; how it is performing financially, with a focus on how assets are being employed; and how it is cutting cycle time, improving quality and developing new products and services. It provides them with a holistic view about the progress of digital transformation, and it offers a way for a corporation to gain a wider perspective on its strategic decisions about the future business performance. The feature of the scoreboard is an effective communication tool to help the board capture the holistic picture, make sure that the strategy execution is on track. It enables feedback & learning, as well as adjusting the strategy accordingly.

A decision support tool: A Balanced Scorecard, correctly and fully implemented and used, is nothing more than a strategic decision support system, allowing the most effective initiatives to be planned for achieving the corporate goals and the appropriate corrective actions to be taken upon those initiatives when needed. A scoreboard is to provide the “balanced” view of trade-off variables and ensuring decision makers such as board directors understand and weight in on making effective decisions. You also need to consider, among other things, the overall strategic balance, dependencies, and constraints between components, and overall risk exposure. There are a lot of things (both “hard” factors such as policy, process, performance, and “soft” factors such as culture, leadership, communication) that come with business success, boards need to gauge diverse conditions and choices, in order to make the digital model transformation sustainable. The board’s oversight of appropriation - matching priorities and resources is to ensure that management can see and agree on what has been done and what should be done next all these with proper check and balance, make use of clear targets, communicate and embed prioritization mechanism into the multitude of management disciplines for unlocking performance and unleash digital potential.

A discussion facilitation tool: A balanced scoreboard is a very useful tool for facilitating board discussions and communication. Quality boardroom communication ensures that information is concise and update in enabling decision-making and goal tracking. It is a matter of leadership guidance to make sound judgments and steer the organization in the right direction. Thus, the important issue is how the board accommodates diverse opinions and how they assess them and converge the diverse thoughts into effective decisions. It is a matter of leadership guidance to steer the journey of digitalization in the right direction by understanding the purpose of doing that and engaging on that. The balanced scorecard measures key strategic performance indicators along with the things that drive those measures. The well designed balanced scoreboard with well-selected metrics can harness information-based communication and lead to continuous improvement. A balanced scoreboard is very useful for facilitating discussions and ensuring decision makers understand the various trade-offs and make the overall strategic balance, business dependencies, and constraints between components, individuals, and overall risk exposure.

With a balanced scoreboard, the top leadership team such as BoDs can become more confident and accurately judge the upcoming curves and obstacles on the path. With the support of measurement, the management can clearly evaluate each stage of change, and point out clearly wherein the business gets the benefit of taking up the activities so far to form a stepping stone for the big jump of digitalization.

Three “Soft” IT Management Disciplines

It takes mental toughness to manage orders from chaos, stay cool under the turmoil and present gentle to overcome rigid. 

IT is impacting every business unit and is becoming the driver of business evolution and digital transformation. With the fast pace of changes, old IT thinking simply cannot move fast enough in the era of digitalization. IT management is multidisciplinary; it not only includes “hard” components such as IT operation and portfolio management but also has some “soft” touch elements. Digitalization means business fluidity. Often, soft overcomes the hard and gentle overcomes the rigid. Here are three “soft” disciplines to improve IT management maturity.

Business Requirement Management: There are both business requirements and IT requirements. IT has to oversee the full set of the requirements to ensure the cohesiveness and to determine all the customers, users, and stakeholders and obtain their involvement. IT requirements are allocated to IT from the business requirements. Business requirements drive everything the entire businesses do, way beyond IT, but many of which IT is "allocated" its share of. The customers, users and all stakeholders including suppliers, partners, and all internal functions hold a stake in the requirements. IT initiatives are unlike others as they are always enterprise-wide, and IT oversees business processes. Assume any inputs are incomplete from a holistic perspective and are filtered from the silo's functional view, the reiteration of the requirements development process is essential to arriving at the "real" requirements to keep the business initiative moving forward. When it comes to collecting the business requirements, IT needs to take the traceability path of where the requirements come from, and IT requirements need to be functionally structured to serve each functional needs of the enterprise. The requirement managers shouldn’t lose the sight of all requirement and relationship, understand where all the functional boundaries are and who is organizationally associated with each requires managers with a holistic perspective as well as the “soft” leadership skills and management disciplines to communicate and prioritize, focus on those requirements whose improvement has the most benefit to the business, and keep the stakeholders focused on those requirements and relationships.

Communication Management: Communications are the tool to solve problems, and languages are the tools to make communications. Communication clarity makes directly impact on the business effectiveness. However, in many organizations, especially those strictly hierarchical large organizations with bureaucratic culture and silo mentality, a lot of time and energy are spent on keeping and maintaining the functional wall instead of developing honest and genuine relationships with people. They are process and control driven, have large communication bottlenecks, which stifle cross-functional communication and collaboration. In fact, miscommunication is one of the biggest gaps between IT and business. To improve IT communication effectiveness, the question is not only about how to deliver the clarified message but also what message to deliver. People all filter information differently based on their experiences. Respect your audience's cognitive diversity and professional interest, and try to send the message which appeals to them. It is also important to foster an environment where feedback and communication are based on reality and not simply what senior management wants to hear. It is equally important to discourage unprofessional communications. We live in the digital era with continuous delivery as a new normal. So, it’s all about striking the right balance of overcommunicating and “less is more,” to improve communication effectiveness and achieve the end goals smoothly.


Partnership Management: Digital IT shouldn’t be run as an isolated function, but a real-time business partner in order to bridge the gap and improve its responsiveness and maturity. Therefore, the partnership is a “soft,” but a critical component in the digital IT management playbook. IT is no longer that island, or corner and those who still want to stick in that corner or live in its comfort zone! Business today will not just use IT as a digital extension, but leverage IT across their organization to attain the enterprise-wide business competency. IT is not a function that can be handled only in the IT department or by IT managers only, what should be focused on is how to integrate IT into business decisions and processes. IT not only needs to build a cohesive relationship with the business but also should develop the varying business partnerships with vendors, customers, and varying shareholders within its digital ecosystem. IT leaders should make an objective assessment of those relationships: Who are your strategic partners, who are your reliable supporters, and who will be your detractors? Who will work with you to overcome big challenges? Who may try to kick you when you are down? Etc. To go broader, IT leaders need to manage multi-layer business relationships and play toughness and softness accordingly and master one of the most sophisticated executive roles in modern businesses effortlessly.

Due to the complexity and ever-changing business dynamic with frequent disruptions, it takes mental toughness to manage orders from chaos, staying cool under the turmoil, and presenting gentle to overcome rigid. More often than not, soft overcomes hard, but it takes enormous strength to achieve it. The soft elements will become the key factors for the success of changes. Organizations also have to tailor their management styles to make these soft business elements well mixed into organizational competency, and ultimately run a high-mature digital organization with digital fludity.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The Monthly Digital Practices Summary: The Practices to Enforce Innovation Oct. 2018

At the heart of innovation is the lifecycle of idea generation, interaction, selection, and learning. 

The business practice is always a combination of people and how they are used to doing things based on the set of principles and standards for adapting to changes in the business or technology shift. Besides building a set of principles to follow, it’s also important to develop a series of best/next practice to scale up and amplify digital effects.

           


The Practices to Enforce Innovation


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

Five Practices to Enforce Enterprise Innovation and Change: In the rapidly evolving businesses and economic systems, the creation of new innovations is very complex but critical for firms' survival and thriving. The essence of innovation is made of trying the new combination of known things to create new stuff and figure out the better way to do things. Organizations should develop a healthy working environment to encourage idea sharing, enable cross-functional communication, and take a scientific approach to crack innovation serendipity code for achieving digital innovation premium. Here are five digital practices to enforce enterprise innovation and change.

CIOs as “Chief Innovation Officer”: What are Your Innovation Leadership Digital Principles & Practices? Innovation is the management process to transform novel ideas to achieve their business value. At the heart of innovation is the lifecycle of idea generation, interaction, selection, and learning. Due to the fact that innovating in today’s digital world has become increasingly complex in nature, organizations can no longer rely on a single individual or team to drive innovation. Innovation management requires much deeper whole systems and taking emergent, generative, iterative, integrative, and holistic approaches. Information is one of the most time-intensive pieces of innovation puzzle and technology is the disruptive force behind digital innovation. CIOs as “Chief Innovation Officer”: What are your innovation leadership digital principles and practices?

Tuning Soft Elements in Innovation Management? Creativity is, by nature, unique to each person, it is an innate process to create novel ideas. Innovation is to manage novel ideas and generating business value from them. There is no template which you can apply and suddenly have a creative workforce. It has to be done slowly, patiently, and individually. That is why so many companies won't do it. There are both hard elements such as framework, processes or tools as well as soft elements woven together to orchestrate an innovation symphony. Here are three soft elements in innovation management.

How to Walk the Innovation Talk Effortlessly: Digital is the era of innovation. Nowadays, many people and organizations are talking about innovation, but very few practice creativity persistently and manage innovation effectively, with the ability to walk the innovation talk effortlessly. There is innovation friction existing and change fatigue block the way. Once people get into a routine at work, they typically get stuck at the “We always do things like that” mentality, and they do not like to hear about how things could be done differently to make the work more productive, and innovative, or finding the better way to solve either the old or existing problems. So, digital business leaders today should learn how to walk the innovation talk and manage innovation in a structural way.?

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

The Characteristics of Digital Workplace

Digital organizations are like the living systems that keep growing, adaptive, and renewing.

Due to the “VUCA” characteristics of business new normal, digital workplace today needs to become dynamic and informative. Traditional hierarchical lines will phase out and a collective of the business partnership will emerge. The digital transformation won’t happen overnight, organizations need to work collaboratively to set the strategy and achieve organizational goals, invest in the cultivation of capacity for change, innovation, and strategy implementation. Here are five characteristics of the digital workplace.

Adaptive: The disruptive technologies and the fast growth of information bring both unprecedented opportunities and risks to the business. Therefore, organizations today must adapt to changes and stay curious all the time. From the organizational structure point of view, the structural elements adapt because of the business flow; the business flow adapts because of the structural elements. The point seems to be that the organizational structure has a strong influence on organizational traits and behavior. it is possible to see what enables a self-adaptive organism is an information-driven process feeding and sustaining it. People are able to adapt themselves and their organization through a collaborative and peer to peer approach. A highly adaptive organization is a system which is able to re-configure its own structure and change its own behavior during the execution of its adaptation to environmental changes. A highly adaptive organization is to create an organization in which change is the new norm and happens the whole time, thereby delivering faster and increasing market share, and ultimately becomes the business competency.

Trustful: Trust is fundamental in an organizational system if you want to change something. The more deeply the leaders or managers understand their employees, their value, priority, the way to think and do things, the lens to see the world & work and what they see; the more effective leadership would be. Leadership at many different levels is often likely to drive out the best in the people, organizational innovation, and culture. It's trust that is the key determinant of any collaborative effort; and conversely, the lack of it can accurately predict the demise of any collaborative effort. Trust is not straightforward, but multifaceted. Reciprocity is an important part of building trust because of shared goals, which create less stress on the relationship, also allows predictability and stability in the relationship building. One of the key principles of assigning responsibilities is to reduce as far as the possible number of people who have to be involved in each task since all the additional communication/consensus seeking dramatically increase the time required to get even simple tasks done. So, there needs to be the real delegation of responsibility with well-defined boundaries and clear accountability. Trust can make the delegation process frictionless. This also helps to improve digital workforce quality, reliability and also productivity; and it further fuels the sustainable growth of the business.

Responsive: With increasing pace of changes, the reality is that organizations that do not respond to external environmental changes will quickly outcompete as more responsive enterprises take their customers. The responsive organization is highly conscious about what's happening in their environment, learn to stay alerted and to observe with subtlety and respond fast, grasp opportunities and prevent risks effectively. The digital organizations are more dynamic, if you look at a business as a collection of subsystems, the degree of business responsiveness depends on how those subsystems interact with each other, and those interactions can be structural, technical, informational, or human. Running a highly responsive organization sometimes needs to have the adaptability to meet the business’s expectation, leverage tailored approaches to fit specific circumstances, ultimately respond to the external environment. The less friction for the changes and the more seamless business interactions enable the business to flow and accelerate its performance and growth, and ultimately transcend into the highly responsive digital business.

Flexible: Flexibility is about figuring out alternative ways to do things and the resilience to survive or thrive from the failures. With unprecedented uncertainty and high velocity, companies across sectors should be flexible to leverage tailored approaches to fit specific circumstances and respond to the external environment as geopolitics, rapid innovation, and social expectations change the business landscape and blur the digital territories. Each of these business contexts requires a different management approach to improve organizational effectiveness and efficiency. People with a flexible mind can work as a team more seamlessly, but also professionally, such team or working environment encourages collaboration. From the organizational structure perspective, the goal for optimized organizational design is to improve cross-functional communication, mass collaboration, and overall business changeability and flexibility. Ideally, the two structures - hierarchy and relationship structure wrap around each other to ensure high responsiveness, flexibility, and accountability. Ultimately, digital organizations are becoming more flexible, able to navigate changes and business complexity through creative problem-solving.

Innovative: The digital 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. Innovation is the most wanted changes. Make sure the work environment encourages creativity and collaborative thinking, help employees at all levels within an organization to think out of the box, take reasonable risks, go beyond their defined roles and demonstrate their intellectual capabilities to bring positive changes and breakthrough innovation. From top leaders to front-line employees, understand and develop their creative capacity to solve problems and explore opportunities in new and innovative ways. Generally speaking, the more innovative employees are, the less tolerant of structures (policies, rules, and paradigms)  they are. So, there must be an appreciation for the organization of the sources of creativity as well as the structures and cultures that will promote innovation. Innovation management in the workplace is a multi-dimensional pursuit. Talent, the individual, and teamwork are important, so are strategies, systems, and processes, so are the freedom and a capacity for risk-taking.

Digital organizations are like the living systems that keep growing, adaptive, and renewing. Today’s digital organizations need to be highly responsive, flexible, innovative, and self-adaptive to the dynamic environment. The organizations have to embed digital across the organization, expand to every dimension of the company, to emphasize communication, participation, relationships, and realize that they have to renew themselves periodically to cope with change effectively and achieve higher-than-expected business results.