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.

Friday, July 29, 2016

The Monthly Insight of Running a High Mature Digital Organization July 2016

Being outside-in and customer-centric is the new mantra for forward-looking digital organizations today.

Change is inevitable, organizational change has become a common practice within an organization, but too often changes are made as a reaction to outer impulses, crisis, and demands. This is the bureaucracy’s way of meeting the challenges. How to fine tune the process of Change Management, and overcome the obstacles to managing a high mature digital organization?


    Running a High Mature Digital Organization

  • How to Assess and Improve Change Management Maturity: Change is inevitable and needed in every business. But organizational Change Management is always challenging with a high percentage of failure rate. The successful businesses are the ones that have learned how to implement change time after time, and build it as a solid ongoing business capability. Change Management requires a well-defined strategy with comprehensive change agenda as well. Is there any ideal route for the change, and how to improve the success rate of Change Management and improve overall Change Management maturity?


  • How to Build a CHANGEABLE Organization Riding Above the Learning Curve Change is inevitable, and the speed of change is increasing. However, organizational change is always difficult. How can you ride above the learning curve, is there any ideal path to change, how to improve the success rate of change management and build change as an ongoing capability of the organization?


  • Three Digital Effects to Catalyze Business Maturity Digital transformation represents the next stage of business maturity which will improve how the enterprise works and interact with its ecosystem, with the customer at the center of its focus. Digital becomes the very fabric of the modern business, being outside-in and customer-centric is the new mantra for forward-looking digital organizations today. So how can businesses amplify positive digital effects and grow into the high-performing Digital Master?


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


  • Three Hybrid Elements in Running a Digital Organization? With emergent digital technologies, organizations large or small reinvent themselves to become more agile, flexible and innovative. Digital doesn’t mean just tear down all the old things in the previous era, in reality, digital means to strike the right balance between the new way and the “old way,” the physical building and the virtual platform, the face-to-face communication and the always-on online presence. Here are three HYBRID elements in running a digital IT and organization.
Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes the time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify your voice, deepen your digital footprints, and match your way for human progression.

Digital CIOs’ Elevator Pitch

Digital IT has multi-faceted fitness, multidimensional intelligence, and multi-level capabilities.

Digital IT plays a significant role in busienss trainsformation. CIOs as IT leaders also have to envision and convey the clear message about IT reputation. So what's CIO's elevator pitch for getting BoDs, executive peers, and shareholders' buy-in?

IT is more like the “Digital Brain” of the organization: Because information allows you to build an actionable insight, to help the business make right decisions at every level, to capture insight & foresight for the future of the organization. IT should not only act as a “left brain” of the organization to focus on analysis and logic, more importantly, it needs to become the whole brain, to leverage the creativity of right brain and boost business innovation.


IT can be both the connective tissue and nervous system to the business' blood, bone, and muscle: If you relegate IT to "computers and servers," you’re basically not engaging a core part of your body that is critical for growth. IT and the business are intertwined but must be on the same page. IT enables the business to operate effectively and successfully and catalyze it to grow, change and adapt to future needs.


IT is the lubricant to a well-designed business system: Software and hardware by themselves will never make a profit if a company’s products, people, and processes are not good and strong enough to compete in the marketplace. IT helps to integrate/optimize/orchestrate business processes to facilitate the business outcomes and build an effective digital ecosystem.


IT is an innovation engine of any business in the digital era: To equip people with the latest technology and information, visionary IT leaders re-imagine IT as an innovation hub, but an innovative IT can only happen if IT is regarded as a strategic business partner and given the role in catalyzing innovation and driving the business transformation.


IT needs to become the digital capability builder of the organization: Defining your enterprise business capability is part art and part science. Because business capabilities are fundamental pillars to achieve the corporate strategy, IT role is to enable the business to exceed customer expectations, increase profitability and maintain a competitive advantage. IT should provide innovative solutions to meet business needs.


IT as a business ‘Solutionary’: IT needs to understand how the organization works and then give solutions that will increase the functionality to lower cost. IT provides a progressive technology-driven business solution, from business enabler to digital  transformer, helps to shape up the high-performance organization at today's hyper-competitive environment.


IT as a business catalyst: IT can leverage the power of information and the efficiency of the latest technology to catalyze any organization to achieve their business goals and toning ecosystem. It has to enable the organization by increasing profits, reducing cost and increasing value for shareholders, customers or consumers, employees, and business partners.


IT as a conductor: IT as the information steward of the business needs to break down the silo and leverage the holistic digital enterprise platform to enhancing cross-functional communication, collaboration, and innovation in achieving customer-centricity or improving operational excellence, and orchestrate a digital symphony.








The Weekly Insight of the “Future of CIO” 7/29/2016

The digital business and the world need more transformative visionary leaders and profound and original thinkers in dealing with the "VUCA" digital new normal.

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 1.3 million page views with 2900+ blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom. Here is the weekly insight about digital leadership, IT Management, and Talent Management.


The Weekly Insight of the “Future of CIO”  7/29/2016
  • Three Practices to Scale Up Digital Transformation Organizations large and small are on the journey of digital transformation. 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 business practice is always a combination of people and how they are used to doing things based on the set of principles and standards to adapting changes in the business or technology shift. Here are three practices to scale up digital transformation efforts.

  • "Digital Master" Book Series Summary, Quotes Slideshare: Digital Master” is the series of guidebooks (5+ books) to perceive the multi-faceted impact digital is making to the business and our society, help forward-thinking organizations navigate through the digital journey in a systematic way, and avoid “rogue digital.” It perceives the emergent trends of digital leadership, advises on how to run a digital IT to unleash its full potential and improve agility. It explores the breadth and depth of digital wisdom, also instructs digital workforce on how to shape game-changing digital mindset and build the right set of digital capabilities to compete for the future. The purpose of "Digital Master" Book series intends to help forward-looking digital professionals and organizations navigate the digital journey via planning, innovating, taking structured approaches and leveraging the right technologies.
  • Managing Innovation in a Structural Way Digital is the age of innovation. And innovation is what leads to differentiation. There are many ways to differentiate and, therefore, there are many ways to pursue innovation. For many organizations getting stuck at the lower level of maturity. Innovation is still a serendipity, with a very low success rate, often the ROI is not proportional to the investment they pour in, and lack of a balanced portfolio to both managing incremental innovations and embracing disruptive innovations. Is there a magic formula to build a highly innovative company and how to manage innovation as a core business capability in a structural way?

  • Running a Differentiated IT to Reach the Zenith of Digital Maturity: The majority of IT organizations today still limit their role as a support center to keep the lights on. Bottom line thinking is one of the great limitations of modern IT organization. The true ITvalue is hard to derive from support services since measuring productivity can be elusive and difficult to quantify. Also with explosive information flow and disruptive digital technologies, all forward-thinking organizations claim they are in the information management businesses. Hence, IT as an information steward of the business has to be run as a strategic partner and a key differentiator of the company, in order to improve business competency and reach the zenith of digital maturity.

  • The Multiple Confusions to Drag Down Digital Leadership Effectiveness: Leadership is all about change, to navigate the direction both for oneself and others. The digital world today is much more complicated and that requires an ability to juggle multiple and competing demands and clear the vision under cloudy climate and uncertain circumstances. Businesses need to recognize the change and help leaders meet the challenge via business savvy and agility. In reality, there are many well trained transactional managers, but very few visionary transformational digital leaders; there are many skillful communicators, but very few deep and original thinkers. Under today's uncertainty and ambiguity as the digital new normal, what are possible confusions to drag down leadership effectiveness and how to improve overall digital leadership maturity?

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

The “PEARL” Principles to Spark Creativity

Always dig through the thoughts underneath the words, and be authentic of being who you are!

Creativity is the high level of thinking and innovation is the light businesses are pursuing, We all just fumble around from the dark to pursue creativity and chase new ideas. Is there such a magic formula to double or triple of your innovative ability, what’s your principle to follow for living with creativity?

Profundity: Back to the root of the word “profundity,” it means insightful and understanding. The digital ecosystem is dynamic with velocity, it’s important to filling cognitive gaps and spark the fountain of collective creativity via profound thoughts and inclusive culture. However, often at the traditional business setting with restrictive hierarchy, people normally 'close' the boundaries of the system, so that less energy is transferred and, therefore, fewer changes happen in the system, little creativity gets inspired, and the little box called comfort zone turns to become one of the biggest roadblocks for innovation. To keep the digital flow, leadership profundity and wisdom have to be enforced via practicing multidimensional thinking, such as critical thinking and embracing holism and nonlinearity. Innovation effectiveness is dependent on how capable the business can manage changes and keep the digital flow. Because workers now are more educated than what they used to be, they are at least more informed as to what is going on and the changes taking place around them. It is the responsibility of each leader to examine themselves and to make sure they are open to true understanding. Climbing Knowledge-Insight-Wisdom pyramid is an important step in gaining profundity and reach the next level of innovation management maturity.


Excellence: A progressive mind is to make continuous improvement either via creativity or excellence. Achieving excellence is more about “perfecting,” not about “ perfection.” There's a word of difference between the noun 'perfect' with the implication of a 'perfect' entity and the verb 'perfecting,' through progressive problem-solving. The key is striking a balance between opposing forces, each with its own set of pros and cons. Excellence mind can cultivate innovation, but perfectionism may diminish enthusiasm and slows down progress, or leads to analysis paralysis and no endpoint at all. Striving for perfection is an asset to the implementation of an idea while at the same time it is a detriment to the idea's creation. For the works need a certain level of creativity, and whose creations and output do not require precision, you should spend more time on brainstorming, no need for wasting precious time striving for perfection. Instead, good enough, will be and is good enough when bringing innovative, inventive products and services to the marketplace!


Authenticity: Being authentic means to discover “Who You Are,” your inner strength and personal traits. Being original is one of the important characteristics of authenticity because you don’t just blindly follow other people’s opinions or conventional wisdom. You discover and explore your own path. Originality means creative and independent thinking. In other words, make our own mind up, or formulate our own conclusions, or ideas, or expressions. Originality is valuable as authenticity. Original thinking is independent, creative, original, special or different. This world needs more of an original thinker than ever to handle the ever increasing complexities, and organizations need to be able to recognize them not least in order to innovate and adapt. The traits like, character, self-motivation, creativity, uniqueness and confidence can be the indicator of original thinking which is also a trait of being authentic. The organization and our society will become more naturally digital fit with an abundance of authenticity. When digital professional are inspired to discover who they are, their inner genius, and empowered to grow into who they want to be, the negative emotions and unhealthy competitions are discouraged and every member can bring some wisdom to the workplace.

Resilience: There is no innovation without failure. And there is no great leadership without resilience. Digital leaders and professionals must have resilient mindsets in order to adapt to the continuous digital disruptions or unexpected setbacks either in career or personal life. It's the ability to respond to change, dare to be creative when facing difficulties, to recover quickly from setbacks, as well as the capacity to respond to the unexpected in a way that increases gain or minimizes loss. Resilience is about B.O.U.N.C.E. It’s about regaining one's footing which could be bouncing back, forwards or restructuring your life integrating the change in some way that works. It's also about being able to keep working and focusing, even during stress and disturbances, rather than reacting to stressful situations. A person with resilience lives in a grounded and centered place, being flexible and adaptable in the midst of adversity, threat, and stress. It’s an important trait to be an innovator and a digital leader today.


Logic: Creativity and logic seem to be opposite, in fact, it’s not unless you misunderstand logic with conventional wisdom. Logic is not always linear or just blindly following the authority's opinion. Logic is part of the deep universal structure of all languages. More precisely, logic is a PART of language, a deep part of the language that was always there and is discovered by an analysis of language, or doing philosophy of language. And logic can be abstracted across disciplinary domains as well. Logic was discovered, much as we discover mathematical truths. Fundamentally, thoughts, words, and actions, in this order, this is the logical way to be either creative and persuasive. People, even well trained digital professionals or leaders today often confuse the means with the end or substance with style, they need to retool the mind and think in a more logical way.

Creativity is a flow, an abstract and an imagination. You can put creativity in a box and say it's "all just creativity," or you can pull it out of the box and look at it through different lenses. It’s your perception. Set your own principles and practice, practice, and practice more to spur the abundance of creativity.

Making a Leap in Digital Transformation via Mixing Hard & Soft Elements Right

The "hard" and "soft," are not opposite, but the complementary ingredients in running a dynamic digital organization.

With the digital paradigm shift, forward-looking organizations are reimagining how to run and grow a dynamic or a "liquid" digital organization via both "hard push," and "soft pull." Hence, business managements need to make the proper adjustment as well to run an organic business with “living cells,” not just the mechanic firm composed of “hard nuts and knots.” Digital organizations as a whole are agile, flexible, dynamic and innovative. So how to make a leap in Digital Transformation via mixing hard & soft element right, and how to run, grow and transform your business effortlessly?


Mixing the hard data and the gut feeling (soft) in decision making: Digital business is complex and uncertain, decision making is more often a complex scenario.The decision makers should overcome bias which comes in many forms and is difficult to recognize if you are the decision maker. Hence, collecting necessary information is an important step in making an objective decision, Decisions are based on information and generate information. The amount of data required for a decision, and the amount of information generated by a decision, can both be measured in bits & bytes. There's soft and"human" side of decision making as well, hence, it's important to leverage intuition - the right amount of “guts,” in order to make effective decisions. Decision making is the discipline of both the "soft" art and "hard" science; gut feeling and data driven; confidence and humility; and more often than not, it takes both multi-disciplinary knowledge (hard) and light bulb type intuition (soft) to make effective decisions.

Managing a healthy portfolio with both “hard” and “soft” innovation: Innovation management means to transform novel ideas to achieve business values via creating a need for, or finding a demand for a 'pull.' Innovation is all about doing things better, differentiate yourself from your competition. Look at innovation management from the perspective of developing business-wide innovation capabilities, and the digital innovation has expanded spectrum which includes both “hard innovation” such as products/services/processes/business model innovation and soft management/culture/ communication innovation. Digital drives all sort of innovations, proactively pushing ideas on how to leverage creative thoughts (soft) and the latest technology (hard) to drive revenue growth, increase business productivity, flexibility, and agility. Innovation follows basic rules, which are adapted depending on the company's situation and ambition, in order to mix the “hard” and “soft,” elements and manage a healthy innovation portfolio with business blossom.


Managing a hard strategy enabled by “aqua” like soft business elements such as culture: The strategy is defined by vision (hard) and culture (soft). If the strategy is about growth, whatever the way you make it. A culture defines people's attitude and the organization's process. and then if there's no culture of execution, there would be no positive attitude and no good behavior. People have been the driving force of much of what mankind has accomplished. Culture is soft, but one of the most critical success factors to support strategy execution. The success factors have to filter all the way through each layer of the organization for a unified execution. Culture unifies different groups of people. First, you have to build a company culture that encourages staffs to think of new strategies to be implemented, then you've got to define a process to improve this idea by stimulating the development of it, or to shut it down as smoothly as you can, but not to discourage new ideas. Successful strategies and a successful culture are interdependent. The degree to which culture supports strategy depends on upon the degree to which culture unifies its efforts to realize critical success factors, and thus implement successful strategies. Then you'll have to define the metrics to measure the success of the strategy, whether it's a strategy concerning growth, or employees satisfaction or clients satisfaction. The success of strategy execution is the right mix of both (hard and soft).

Digital means flow, mind flow, information flow and business flow with a change management continuum. It is a healthy business life cycle to close the gaps of the industrial age and the new digital era, and mixing the “hard” and “soft” business ingredients accordingly. There is no magic formula or prescribed solution to digital transformation. To build that bridge requires enthusiasm, belief, determination, hard capabilities and soft skills, and commitment to a more responsive way of working in general and be agile to adapt to changes, to run, grow and transform the business.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

“CIO Master” Book Tuning: XXXXXXVI: Running Premium IT with Three Digital Aims

Running a premium IT means to focus on top-line growth, without ignoring bottom line efficiency.

Digital is all about changes which bring both unprecedented opportunities and risks. IT plays a leading role in such a business transformation, because often technology is the disruptive force of digital, and the information is the lifeblood of the business nowadays. However, traditional IT has been treated as a cost center or a support function, not as a strategic business partner for a long time. As businesses move into the digital future, technology is the fastest growing arena, which new role should IT aim to be, and how to run a premium IT with clear digital aims to drive digital transformation?




Running IT as a digital brain yard: One of the important goals to run a value-driven digital IT is to make sure the right people to get the right information at the right time to make the right decision. IT is more like the “Digital Brain” of the organization because information allows you to build an actionable insight on how to framing the problems and making effective decisions either for achieving customer-centricity or improving operation excellence. It applies to the context and environment in which decisions are made. One significant effect of digitization is increased velocity, complexity, unpredictability, and a need for a faster response to changes in business and industry based on effective and efficient decision making. Running IT as a digital brain with information savvy would help to build a high-intelligent, high agile and high effective organization.


Running IT as a digital innovation engine: IT should not only act as a “left brain” of the organization to focus on analysis and logic, more importantly, it needs to become the whole brain, to leverage the creativity of right brain to boost business innovation. Often IT department is so busy in mundane day to day activities, they lose the sense of creativity over the period of time. But to improve IT maturity and become a strategic business partner, IT needs to be running as an innovation engine. Innovation is to have a new perspective on things. The definition of innovation is simple - to gain benefit by doing something different. Innovation is all about doing things better, differentiate yourself from your competitions, run, grow and transform the business. Innovation follows basic rules, which are adapted depending on the company's situation and ambition. Innovation can be categorized as empowered innovation (creative disruption), sustainable innovation (better version of product/service) or efficiency innovation (process improvement), management innovation (leadership, culture, communication). IT can drive all sort of innovations, proactively pushing ideas on how to leverage technology to drive revenue growth, increase business productivity, flexibility, and agility. So doing more with innovation, minimize resource on keeping the light on, but invest more in business innovation. Educate IT team on the business and encourage them to engage with business counterparts in a value-oriented manner.


Running IT as business Catalyst and accelerator:  IT leaders can envision of future of business, empower talent with effective tools, enable cross-functional collaboration, enchant end customers via optimizing every touch point in customer experience, standardize and simplify end to end business process. IT needs to be proactive, not reactive, with another clear aim of being a digital accelerator. In most of the organizations, IT is setting back and waiting for the request. IT has to be configured in a way to understand the business and set the architecture to deliver the business and market need. IT has to be a consultant and advisor to business to maximize the revenue. IT needs to engage with the business units to find out how the department is perceived, what the pain points are and to identify opportunities for developing new services or improving/optimizing current ones. CIOs as IT leaders need to become business strategists and relentless change agents, to proactively co-create business strategy and execute it seamlessly. The CIO has a role in selling the merits of IT to the business and quantifying projects in terms of ROI, also the board within the organization must support the CIO. IT leaders needs to seek to understand the importance of the solutions IT provides and future initiatives delivered with measured ROIs to the business. IT not only enables business with the latest technology, it needs to walk the talk, exemplify to be run as a business, doing better with less; focus on delivering business value.

IT is in the middle of a sea change, it is important to realize that there are basic principles and rules that make it work. But the self-centered "our jobs are hard" line only isolates IT more. Make a list of the positives and negatives for each. Regarding negatives, challenge whether it really is a problem. Is there a way to work through it? Make sure that nothing is dismissed due to out of date beliefs or the natural human emotions. Understand your organization’s strategic goals and initiatives, and run a premium IT aiming at implementing the strategic value of the business.



The Multiple Confusions to Drag Down Digital Leadership Effectiveness

Often the business confusions are caused by lack of profound leadership, clarified principles, and a culture of innovation.

Leadership is all about change, to navigate the direction both for oneself and others. The digital world today is much more complicated and that requires an ability to juggle multiple and competing demands and clear the vision under cloudy climate and uncertain circumstances. Businesses need to recognize the change and help leaders meet the challenge via business savvy and agility. In reality, there are many well trained transactional managers, but very few visionary transformational digital leaders; there are many skillful communicators, but very few deep and original thinkers. Under today's uncertainty and ambiguity as the digital new normal, what are possible confusions to drag down leadership effectiveness and how to improve overall digital leadership maturity?


Confuse guiding principles with rules: Principles are statements of values, to provoke big WHY inquiry -Things that define why one make a decision one way or another. Principles are more abstract based on wisdom to guide mindset, and thus, more universal; while rules are set within different circumstances and time, and therefore, more detailed to manipulate behaviors. The principle is like the light tower, guide people or organizations toward the right direction and speed up to reach the well-planned destination. Principles are often transcendental, going across time spans or disciplines. Rules are often domain specific and time relevant, so perhaps there’s no rule which can “rule” the world all the time. And rules need to be updated continually because often the outdated rules become the roadblocks to stifle innovation and progress. It takes the true wisdom to differentiate the principles from rules across disciplines, though. It’s not easy for a set of rules defined that can be applied holistically - their content contains natural conflict, and without a method of prioritizing and implementing them consistently, they become a source of contention. One has to articulate which rule is applicable in which situation. So perhaps you have to abstract the condensed set of principles from a large set of rules in order to advance and harmonize. If fine-tuned, a set of principle could guide, unify and, accelerate the collective human’s progress.


Confuse “Effective Hands-on” with micromanagement: Top digital leaders do need to be tactical and hands-on when necessary, but being effective hands-on means they shouldn't ignore key details or measure results, envisioning the future and seeing around the corner are both important -why, who, what, when, where, how., etc., all matter. However, ineffective “hands-on” means they are interfering, undermining their people and therefore inhibiting the decision-making processes and stifling execution of the required deliverables. They get trapped by micromanagement – A micromanager will overemphasize the 'how' over the 'what' and ‘why,’ and will be focused on minutiae to the detriment of the overall outcome. What makes the pattern more difficult to break is the fact that micromanagers are often seen by the organization as detail oriented. So they don't see the need to change. This can be very perplexing to some of the most talented individuals in the team because they suddenly find themselves more worried about some routines, not laser focus on the top priority. Hence, to improve leadership ability, the delegation style of digital leadership is more effective than controlling, to improve business self-manageability and agility.


Confuse critical thinking and constructive criticism with “finger pointing”: Many organizations are still run with silo mentalities and culture of “finger pointing.” The business is running as a sum of pieces, not a holistic whole. Thus, the true critical thinking and constructive criticism are very important for the business’s improvement continuum. The effective critical thinking scenario includes, knowing by observing; what is said or done, how, when, where, why it's said or done, and who said this or did that. From a management perspective, the best way to learn critical thinking is simply to listen to your workforce. Ensure that everyone in the company feels valued. Unfortunately, many companies confuse critical thinking with finger pointing, not focus on problem-solving, but on blaming. Critical Thinking becomes more “critical’ in today’s “VUCA” digital new normal, and critical thinkers gain in-depth understanding through asking the right questions and open for varying answers. They not only ask the right questions, but rather absorb information forecast potentials; risks/benefits; mitigation and compare and contrast options, facts, ideas against logic and creativity. The good leaders focus on solutions, not on blame. So as far as who is to blame, per se, anyone who contributes to the decline of an organization can own some fault it in its demise. Before accusing or blaming anyone or any function, the organization should understand what went wrong through all available analytical tools. Even the best Critical Thinkers have blind spots. Because we all have a cognitive bias, whether individually or collectively. Therefore, always be open-minded to embrace the new viewpoint, learn and re-learn all the time. The one thing to differentiate talented people from mediocrity is MINDSET, which further drives attitude, they either demonstrate the positive attitude or constructive criticism to build a healthy or even creative workplace.
Confuse the symptom with the root cause of business problems or issues: Many business functions or organizations still get overwhelmed by fixing the problems, but often they are busy for fixing symptoms, not root causes. Many times, hunting for root cause takes a holistic approach and need to break down silo processes. If functional executives hold silo thinking; or if leadership teams do not collaborate as a whole, but act as the sum of pieces, unhealthily compete with each other internally about budgeting, resources, credit, and blames, there is no surprise about business friction to changes, and organizational level ineffectiveness. Therefore, the two-way trust is critical, the trust means business as a whole work closely to deliver the business solution with optimal speed. Where there are failures the takeaway should be WHAT (not who) went wrong. It would require members across all business scope to work collaboratively to set up business goals effectively & efficiently, diagnose the root causes, standardize processes of due diligence, and  take clear and constant initiatives to improve and grow businesses strategically.


The business speed can only be accelerated with a clear vision, strong focus, and distinctive capabilities. By clarify those confusions, and avoid change pitfalls, an organization can be well prepared to effectively and efficiently absorb and accept change in all its forms; an organization in which change does not disrupt and interfere with business as usual, an organization for which the ability to evolve, adapt and innovate is business as usual, and digital leadership has been moved up to the next level of maturity.


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

CIO’s Leadership Agenda: Digging into the “Keywords” to Get you Digital Ready

From one generation to the next, the substance of leadership does not change, it’s about future, change, and influence. However, the digital leadership trends will continue to emerge. Here is a set of featured blogs to dig into the “keywords” of the 21st century to brainstorming the future of digital leadership.


Digging into the “Keywords” to Get you Digital Ready



SIMPLICITY as a Principle  People are complex by nature, but to dwell on complexity is to complicate an implicate order that is naturally simple. Getting to simple is not easy for most people because they rather follow the traditions and set rules and regulations in the society. They don't bother to remove the dust around them, or want to question the unknown, or challenge the status quo, out of fear. So how to address complexity, and what's the advantage to set simplicity as a principle and live with it?


Is UNCERTAINTY  Problem or Opportunity  Uncertainty and ambiguity are a key challenge for business leaders today. In the past, many business leaders believed their organizations’ long-term goals could wait until they had dealt with the current crisis. In the current business environment with “VUCA” characteristics, this is no longer the case. The rate of change has accelerated, indicating that business leaders must learn how to strike a balance between managing complex issues today and predicting the uncertain issues of tomorrow. So is uncertainty the biggest problem in business today? And is it affecting business in setting long-term strategies and are forced to concentrate on short term goals? And further questions include - how can the soft signals of contextual changes be best determined? How do you structure information systems to deal with uncertainty


Is DIFFERENTIATION a Strategy? Today’s digital business environment is unprecedentedly dynamic, complex and uncertain. There are always players starting with different resources and competitive position. And there are always different complexities in the different time. Thus, the organizations have to build the two sets of business capabilities: The competitive necessity and competitive uniqueness. There are many sources of differentiation. Differentiation just for the sake of being different isn't a strategy, it's a tactic. The real differentiation is to create true value, look forward, not backward, and present the advanced uniqueness to shine through. The question of whether differentiation is the best strategy has to be answered case by case.


Trans-disciplinary Science?  Complex systems science is not a science in itself, but it may be considered as a 'Science of Sciences.’ Or more precisely, are we ready to recognize a complexity science as a "trans-disciplinary Science" and apply it to understand the dynamic digital ecosystem?


BALANCE as the Key in Strategic Planning: Crafting a good strategy is indeed challenging, as a strategy needs to have the “vision thing” to inspire the team; but also, be detailed enough for execution. To put simply, you must have balance - and this is often where businesses fall down.


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 1.3 million page views with about #2900 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.

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