Welcome to our blog, the digital brainyard to fine tune "Digital Master," innovate leadership, and reimagine the future of IT.

The magic “I” of CIO sparks many imaginations: Chief information officer, chief infrastructure officer , Chief Integration Officer, chief International officer, Chief Inspiration Officer, Chief Innovation Officer, Chief Influence Office etc. The future of CIO is entrepreneur driven, situation oriented, value-added,she or he will take many paradoxical roles: both as business strategist and technology visionary,talent master and effective communicator,savvy business enabler and relentless cost cutter, and transform the business into "Digital Master"!

The future of CIO is digital strategist, global thought leader, and talent master: leading IT to enlighten the customers; enable business success via influence.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The Monthly Organizational Structure Tuning Aug. 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. From an organizational structure perspective, how can you fine-tune the digital dimensions of your organizational development?

 

Fine-Tune Organizational Structure to Get Digital Ready

How to Fine Tune the Digital Organizational Structure? Tuning the organizational design and structure to achieve the high level of autonomy is the symbol of the digital maturity. Majority of organizations are designed to improve functional efficiency in the industrial era. But digital masters move a few steps ahead, focus on shaping changeability, innovation, and people-centricity. However, the digital transformation won’t happen overnight, organizations need to have an in-depth understanding of gains and pains of organizational design and development, follow the digital principles to plan, experiment and scale up for improving strategic responsiveness and structural flexibility of their business.

Tuning Organizational Structure to Improve Digital Ready-ness Organizations across the vertical sectors and geographical boundaries are on the journey of digital transformation. New generations of digital technologies such as digital collaboration platforms and tools are enabling not only the structured processes of the past but also the unstructured processes of the digital enterprise. The future of digital organizations would be complex enough to act intelligently and nimble enough to adapt to the change promptly.

The New Book "Digital Maturity" Introduction Chapter 3 Fine-Tune Organization Structures to Get Digital Ready? Due to the “VUCA” nature of digitalization, organizations that are skilled at managing complexity can gain advantages by pushing the boundaries of more complicated business mix that provides opportunities to create inter-business value. From an organizational change management perspective, how to fine tune the digital dimensions of your organizational structure development to get digital ready?

Fine-Tune Organization Structure to Get Digital Ready Due to the “VUCA” nature of digitalization, the business complexity is unavoidable. Organizations that are skilled at managing complexity can gain advantages by pushing the boundaries of a more complicated business mix that provides opportunities to create inter-business value. From an organizational structure perspective, how to fine tune the digital dimensions of your organizational structure development to get digital ready?

Organizational Structure and Digital Transformation Majority of organizations are designed to improve functional efficiency in the industrial era; and many of traditional organizations today are running at two speeds, with the industrial speed, it can continue to keep the business light on; and with the digital speed, it will adapt to the more frequent digital disruptions, wired to change and designed for better innovation and long-term digital transformation. More specifically, how much influence does organizational structure or management hierarchy have on efficiency and innovation? How do you analyze your company's organizational structure for efficiency/innovation and radical digital transformation?

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2+million page views with about #4800+ blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. blog posting. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom, to inspire critical thinking and spur healthy debates. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating the new ideas; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify diverse voices and deepen digital footprints, and it's the way to harness your innovative spirit.

The Book “Digital Hybridity” Quote Collection IV

You cannot make true digital paradigm shift without truly understanding of the hyperconnectivity and overcomplexity of modern business and embracing the multitude of digital hybridity.

The purpose of the book “Digital Hybridity: How to Strike the Right Balance for Digital Paradigm Shift” is to shed some light on how to strike the right balance of stability and changes; being transactional to keep spinning and being transformational to leap forward for making a seamless digital paradigm shift. Digital organizations should apply the hybrid management approach, focus on building a diverse, networked, and extended modern working environment in which the powerful digital platforms and computing technologies enable seamless conversations, delayer overly rigid organizational hierarchy, inspire idea sharing and brainstorming, and engage employees and partners to achieve the high-performance result.
36 Leaders focus on effectiveness, and managers focus on efficiency.

37 Innovation is not serendipity; it’s a mindset, a process, and the strategic business capability.

38 The primary role of leadership is about creating change while the primary objective of management is creating order.

39 Persuasion with good intention helps problem-solving; manipulation often serves the ego.

40 You are motivated to keep moving forward by a necessary “push,” and inspiration is the “pull” factor for the continuum of motivation.

41 The true leadership may be achieved only if you have a listening and telling organization.

42 Businesses have to address collective thinking, attitude, and behavior, balance both hard and soft elements for moving to an outcome-focused and outside-in digital organization.

43 All generations need to realize they can learn from each other, to run a successful business and an advanced society.

44 People must first become “integrated with themselves,” only then, will they become effective leaders.

45 Performance keeps the business running, and potential moves the business to the next level of the growth cycle.

46 Raw talent is precious, and well-crafted talent is a good combination of willpower + brain power + knowledge power.

47 It takes both complementary actions and competitive actions in a constructive and professional way to build trust in teams.

48 Do not limit to your personality, but develop it to mature you as a great human being and an effective leader.

49 We live in an information and knowledge economy, learning is not the things you are “done” only in your youth; it has to become the digital lifestyle and develop it as a healthy daily habit.

50 You must be clear about balancing the hybrid style of “Thinking and Doing,” to improve quality, creativity, and productivity, etc.

51 It is in the best interest of the talent management to improve employee performance by striking the right balance of ends and means.

Three Perspectives of IT Creativity

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

Develop innovative IT leadership: Being innovative is truly a state of mind. To reinvent IT for digital ready, CIOs must be open-minded and creative. Creative leadership is essentially anchored on the leader’s overall multifaceted resourcefulness. They can view the holistic business pictures and apply creativity in areas not explored yet. Every business is different, every industry is different, and the enterprise culture is unique. Thus, the innovation management practices come to mind first is a dedication to the time slot to pitch questions to their team. That also means to have the willingness to try something new, to test, to learn what you knew again, to listen and remain balanced. Being a creative CIO means learning fast, being inclusive, embracing candid and multi-viewpoints, and taking calculated risks. The digital era is the age of options, it provides the opportunities for IT leaders to get really creative on how to delight customers and solve problems alternatively. That is, the multi-dimensional competencies to formulate creative or unconventional solutions to resolve problems, to show versatility and flexibility in response to unpredictable or unanticipated circumstances. Exceptional IT leadership is key to re-imagine IT and reinvent IT as an innovation hub to achieve the art of possible.

Explore the creative side of IT: The available digital technology just makes innovation easier to do now than in the past-less costly, more easily accessible. Businesses are looking for IT to add new innovative methods for management of complexity and investigating innovative business solutions. Creativity is the core of what makes IT strategic in any company, it is critical that creativity is focused not on the technology, but on how it can be used to advance the business objectives. IT shouldn’t just provide the cool gadgets and expect the new ideas will start flowing in automatically, creativity without a direction or purpose is building technology for the technology’s sake. IT is mainly an engineering discipline, engineering is not only about science, but is also the art because it involves personalized observation, judgment, design thinking, intuition, and innovation. Thus, digital IT leaders shouldn’t classify creativity and logic in two completely different disciplines, they are interconnected and multidisciplinary. IT needs to become an innovation engine of the business and a business enabler to catalyze business growth. CIOs must realize that stifling the creative side of the IT will set back business, and IT organizations would continue to be perceived as a cost center. Unfortunately, it seems that creativity is not encouraged in most organizations, it is imperative to build a healthy culture - the collective mindset to encourage learning and creativity. Innovative IT leaders need to discover creative ways to tackle innovation potential lying in an enterprise and to provide the necessary tools to unleash creative force of IT.

Build an IT innovation framework:
The art of innovation is that it involves new ways of bringing together ideas and resources to create something novel. The science of innovation is to take a structural approach to innovation management. Put briefly, to get the best business results, you need to structure the creative process to do innovation. Innovation often has a lot to do with external circumstances. A systematic innovation approach is to depict innovation as a system and build an innovation framework for aligning the various business components (people, process, resources, partnership, actions, controls, measurement, etc., to intensify innovation with focus and manage innovation in a structural way. It’s also critical for businesses to have objectivity and humility to realize that their systems or processes are outdated, it needs to keep updating the innovation framework, processes, and technology to speed up innovation management lifecycle. Because the robust systems and tools that enable the business to generate winning concept on the consistent base is the prerequisite for sustaining business advantage and growth.

Understanding the element of art in digital IT is for achieving the art of possible and make a seamless digital transformation. To unleash the full digital potential, organizations need to understand that IT is not just technical or scientific, but also artistic and delightful. IT plays a crucial role in scaling up innovation practices, amplifying innovation effect, and gluing up the innovation framework which enables the business to manage innovation in a structural way.

Monday, August 20, 2018

The Monthly “Digital Maturity” Book Tuning: Riding Learning Curves to Achieve Digital Maturity 2018

Digitalization is a journey, not just a one-time business initiate, riding ahead of the change wave takes both strategy and methodology.

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. At the heart of digital, it is people and how to build a customer-centric organization. Here is the new book “The digital Maturity” summary.
     
 Riding Learning Curves to Achieve Digital Maturity

Riding Learning Curves to Accelerate Changes Change becomes the new normal, and even the speed of change is accelerating. Too often changes are made as a reaction to outer impulses, crisis. How do you make changes to anything without knowing all the parts and how they are related? The goal of Change Management is to manage changes in a systematic way, either for making continuous improvement or innovation. Most of the changes are complex processes, how to ride learning curves to accelerate changes?

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?

Take the Logical Scenario to Beat Digital Change Curves
 Now with the uncertainty around the volatile market situations, extreme competitions, continuous disruptions, and unprecedented business complexity, digital organizations today must be responsive to the increasing speed of changes. Digitalization is a journey, not just a one-time business initiate, riding ahead of the change wave takes both strategy and methodology. How to take the logical scenario to beat digital curves, improve business performance, and achieve business maturity.

CIOs as “Digital Master”: How to Ride Three Learning Curves to Improve IT Digital Maturity? Due to the disruptive nature of technologies and the exponential growth of information, the CIO role also becomes more dynamic and multifaceted. Compare to the other executive positions, the CIO role continues to be shaken up, refined, reinvented to get digital ready. A digital CIO has to focus on guiding the company through the digital transformation. At the very least, IT must be a business partner within the organization. Regardless of which industry sectors or the nature of organization you are in, being a digital CIO will need to ride the multitude of learning curves promptly and lead digital transformation effortlessly.

How to Get Ahead of the Change Curve The change curve is a model of the states that people who are to change will go through because going through the downs of the change curve has a negative impact on productivity, leadership is required to guide people through the different phases in order to flatten the curve and to minimize the impact on productivity. ?

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2+million page views with about #4800+ blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. blog posting. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom, to inspire critical thinking and spur healthy debates. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating the new ideas; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify diverse voices and deepen digital footprints, and it's the way to harness your innovative spirit.

The Book “Digital Hybridity” Quote Collection III

The purpose of the book “Digital Hybridity: How to Strike the Right Balance for Digital Paradigm Shift” is to shed some light on how to strike the right balance of stability and changes; being transactional to keep spinning and being transformational to leap forward for making a seamless digital paradigm shift. Digital organizations should apply the hybrid management approach, focus on building a diverse, networked, and extended modern working environment in which the powerful digital platforms and computing technologies enable seamless conversations, delayer overly rigid organizational hierarchy, inspire idea sharing and brainstorming, and engage employees and partners to achieve the high-performance result.

22 Hybrid Thinking is a set of digital minds integrating the multiple thought processes to think big, think deeper, think broader, and think critically, etc.

23 Critical thinking has the potential to be a deeply creative process.

24 In the physical world or business world, most relationships are nonlinear.

25 Being objective is the next step in our human evolution and is very simple but not easy to accomplish.

26 Critical Thinking narrows and Creative Thinking expands, they must work in tandem for problem-solving and decision-making.

27 Systems THinking provides the frame to inspire creativity with a focus and management innovation out of chaos.

28 There are more than synergy between Systems Thinking and Process Thinking.

29 Emotional Brilliance comes because of balance, not extremes of any kind.

30 Innovation is like a breathing cycle: Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale, diverge, converge, diverge, and converge.

31 “Seeing” the context we are “part” of, allows us to identify the leverage points of the system and then “choose” the decisive factors, in an attempt to bridge the cognitive gap.

32 Digital management is responsible for designing, enabling, and enforcing a collaborative, innovative, intelligent, inspiring, and inclusive working environment.

33 The rate of change has accelerated, indicating that business leaders must learn how to strike a balance between managing the top prioritized business problems today and predicting the uncertain issues of tomorrow.

34 Transactional capabilities keep the lights on, but transformative capabilities make the organization stand out.
35 Strategic managers can read “blue ocean” currents; operational managers only see “red ocean” currents.

What would an Amazing Digital Breakthrough Look, Smell, Sound, Feel and Taste?

Running a successful dynamic digital organization means that you should leverage five senses, be open to changes; be informative to act; be flexible to take alternative paths.

The emerging digital era upon us is full of uncertainty, velocity, complexity, and ambiguity. Digital transformation is not about leveraging the latest technologies as a one-dimensional enhancement, it evolves production, adoption, assimilation, exploitation, and exploring of value-added novelty in the business. Digital organizations are like the living things which need to keep growing and expanding. From business innovation and evolution perspective, what would an amazing digital breakthrough look, smell, sound, feel, and taste, how to prioritize what you know about and keep eyes open for signs of things you don’t know about, for driving change and making a digital paradigm shift effortlessly?

Look cursive: The digital breakthrough has the s-curve shape, which mostly requires adopting new technologies, processing exponential growth of information, and gaining insight. The digital boundaries are not “sharp” lines, but like the cursive waves with zig-zag patterns on it, and they are fluid to adapt to changes. Every digital organization is like the switch hyper-connected to the interdependent digital ecosystem. To function seamlessly, an enterprise has to be linked to many and varying touch points between itself and its dynamic environment. The challenge for organizations is to manage its portfolio of relevant cross-border strategic synergies and organizational interdependence with the appropriate mix of business elements to keep moving forward. To understand the business as a complex adaptive system requires an in-depth understanding of how things have come together, being “built,” and how to lubricate its parts, and keep it running frictionlessly. Information and technology can fuel the “digital engine. Ideally, an amazing digital breakthrough is like the upward cursive spiral to reach the next level of the business growth cycle and organizational maturity.

Smell fresh: Digital is the new age paradigm associated with deep ecology and natural evolution, thus, it smells fresh. It is the era of innovation which is ‘anything new to businesses’ or purists want to call it as ‘new to the world.’ Innovation is about transforming fresh ideas to achieve their commercial values. Creativity in the digital workplace is fundamentally about the collective mental production of new ideas, not just any fresh ideas, but the creation of ideas that are both original and valuable. Creativity is like the seeds, it smells fresh, to grow it, you need to have the level of curiosity and good attitude, desire to learn, observe, with the natural ability to maintain an open & inquisitive mind and have a playful attitude to discover and experiment, get out of ‘we always do things like that mentality,” dare to fuel imagination and share fresh perspectives. Being highly innovative is about breaking down silos and conventional wisdom, seeing things from different angles and solving problems in different ways.

Sound like a symphony: With frequent digital disruptions, changes cannot be just another thing that needs to be accomplished, it has to be woven into communication, process, and actions of the business. Change has to be orchestrated at all levels, sounds like a symphony via synchronized communication and harmonized instrumental performance. The digital synchronization occurs when all parts of the choir sing their respective parts in harmony to achieve the business purpose and strategic goals. The business management has to keep the in-house order, but also simultaneously coordinate with all sorts of business partners or stakeholders across the geographical territories and time zones, take into account the time lag and ensure they can orchestrate the digital symphony harmoniously. The role of digital leadership is to leverage information & technology, blend the way to enforce cross-functional communication & collaboration to shape a digital business by linking all important business aspects together, creating a context where people can collaborate where they are empowered and respected and make collective decisions timely. As the matter of fact, a digital organization can only achieve high performance and amazing digital breakthrough by taking the collaboration road.

Feel emotional: To run a highly responsive and highly effective digital organization, the management must get a feeler of the business view and speed, as well as how people feel about changes. The psychology behind of change is usually the mixed bag of positive & negative, with the full emotional cycle. Emotions play a huge role in the front of the decision process to reflect the humanity of the organization. Digital transformation involves risks. an empathetic review to come to a decision reflecting the best outcome possible. Great opportunity, danger, digital convenience, and disruption are around every corner. There are also many reasons to feel panic. The bigger the “change” is, the more important to keep changes on track and take these into account early rather than late. Digital transformation is not for the fainted heart. Monitoring the change pulse of the business is to assess the business’s maturity traits such as adaptability, flexibility, resilience, responsiveness, agility, effectiveness, speed, etc. The change pulse of the organization should be synchronous with the pace of digital transformation. The digital dynamic ecosystem explicitly seeks to create a creative environment where people can grow, innovate, and feel better about themselves. You can feel creative tension when you sense the freedom to be creative, the harmony is achieved not through compliance, but through idea sharing and relationship development. There is the full cycle of emotions behind the digital transformation,

Taste bitter, spicy, sour, and sweet: Digitalization is the thorny journey with many bumps and curves on the ways. Digital innovation has all sorts of flavors, there are sweet spots, highly innovative digital organizations are hunting for constructive criticism and smart skepticism which tastes bitter, but it’s good for the organizational improvement. The constructive criticisms such as good advice or timely feedback either taste spicy or sour, are crucial to business advancement individually or at the business scope. Not to have critics could make your path easy, but you might not be able to explore the collective business potential. However, pay more attention to those destructive criticisms with negative intentions. Today’s working environment is multigenerational, multicultural, and multidevicing, or to put simply, hyperdiverse. The high taste of digital business means openness, responsiveness, innovativeness, and fluidity.

The multidimensional digital evolution is based on socio-cultural, socio-technical, socioeconomic, organizational, scientific, philosophical, psychological, and artistic, etc, lens. Running a successful dynamic digital organization means that you should leverage five senses, be open to changes; be informative to act; be flexible to take alternative paths; be nimble to adapt; be intelligent to decide; be elastic to scale; be resilient to recover, and be innovative to thrive.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

The Monthly Communication Brief: The Art and Science of Digital Communication Aug. 2018

 Great communicators are working to spread their messages throughout the organization in a diverse set of activities with mixed communication styles.

The great communicators are the high-quality leaders or professionals who can communicate objectively with strong logic, clarity, and understanding; the great communicators are the great artists who are fluent in creative expression or metaphorical description. Communication is both art and science.
                                   
       

 The Art and Science of Digital Communication

What’re the Compelling Stories Behind Digitalization Communication is often the key to radical changes such as digitalization? The effective communication is not just for gaining popularity, but to share the vision and convey insight. Digital leaders today should be the great communicators who can tell compelling stories behind digitalization and communicate objectively with strong logic, understanding, creativity, and clarity.

Three Principles for Communication Effectiveness Communication is always important, although it is the means to the end, not the end itself. The end is for problem solving and idea brainstorming. A great communicator doesn’t need to be “the everyone’s cup of tea,” but in order to communicate effectively and avoid the miscommunication symptoms such as “lost in translation,” you have to follow the right set of principles and deliver the messages persuasively and creatively.

How to Communicate Effectively in Digital Dynamic?
The speed of change is significantly increasing. Decentralization, globalization, and diversified workforces can all be practical reasons for communicating barriers. How do you communicate a common message across the globe with empathy, and, in particular, make sure the message you want to communicate resonates effectively?

Three Aspects of IT Communication? Traditional IT organizations are often running in a functional silo to speak the technical jargon business couldn’t understand; now with IT consumerization and other digital technology trends, IT is at crossroad to either move up the maturity ladder, to become a value generator and business partner, or continue to be considered as support function or cost center. As IT leader, how can CIOs and IT managers convey the vision and deliver the clear messages of IT being a value enhancer and profit enabler?

The Digital Communication Framework with Three Vertices? Communication is key to improve leadership effectiveness and modern management effectiveness. Great communicators are working to spread their messages throughout the organization in a diverse set of activities with mixed communication styles, and sometimes, they have to be fluent in multiple business dialects, with contextual intelligence; and keep communication flow with clarity and verification. Often, communication gaps caused by cognitive difference, ambiguous process or management bottleneck stifle changes and block creativity. At both strategic and operational level, how to apply the digital communication framework with three vertices to improve business communication transparency and effectiveness?

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2.5 million page views with about #4800th 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 Book “Digital Hybridity” Quote Collection II

The purpose of the book “Digital Hybridity: How to Strike the Right Balance for Digital Paradigm Shift” is to shed some light on how to strike the right balance of stability and changes; being transactional to keep spinning and being transformational to leap forward for making a seamless digital paradigm shift. Digital organizations should apply the hybrid management approach, focus on building a diverse, networked, and extended modern working environment in which the powerful digital platforms and computing technologies enable seamless conversations, delayer overly rigid organizational hierarchy, inspire idea sharing and brainstorming, and engage employees and partners to achieve the high-performance result.
12 The digital organization has a hybrid nature with flexibility, agility, and innovativeness.

13 Either at individual or business level, we should follow the “simplicity” principle to handle the over-complex digital reality with “VUCA” characteristics.

14 “Inclusiversity” is like a gift box, really not about the color outside, but the context inside.

15 Competition to catalyze digital innovation is great. Competition to further the world of pursuing superego is unhealthy.

16 Coherence improves business flow; resilience makes business robust and anti-fragile.

17 Knowledge can be shared and creativity can be manifested in a collective environment.

18 The most effective digital workplace is the one where collaboration and sharing are the norms.

19 From a cognitive perspective, Systems Thinking integrates analysis and synthesis.

20 “Insighteers” are in demand to lead change forward with a clear vision, courageous attitude, and unique digital competency.

21 Taking the multidimensional hybrid models for going digital is all about how to strike the right balance of reaping quick wins and focusing on the long-term strategic goals.

Three Pitfalls in Measuring Digital Performance

Not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted. - Albert Einstein

Digital transformation represents a break from the past, with a high level of impact and complexity. The change efforts need to be undertaken as the means of getting to a differentiated capability to accomplish a defined goal. Otherwise, they cannot have a clear focus and business rationale that is essential to gaining any traction in changing. Keep in mind, you can only manage what you measure. It’s important to avoid varying performance measurement pitfalls, to ensure that digital performance measurement is both qualitative and quantitative and tell the data-based compelling story of the digitalization.

Incomplete assessment of measurement variable: Digitalization is the multidimensional explorement. Metrics are not just numbers, they should tell the stories. Thus, the digital performance assessment needs to include the techniques such as the overall organizational health check techniques, employee engagement, customer feedback, business partner relationship analysis, etc, and those can be applied to give a holistic picture of what is working or not. When businesses only measure finance related performance, it only covers the part of the story. It is important to define the strategic level performance indicators which take into consideration the possible implication on the organization as a whole and the future orientation. The incomplete assessment of measurement variables would mislead the management making ineffective decisions or focus on short-term business results only. The comprehensive assessment of the measurement variable should tell the full story. It’s important to select the right set of business indicators and leverage metrics that includes reducing costs, improving system effectiveness & efficiency, streamlining business processes and providing continually expanding business services or solutions to substantiate ROIs. It’s also critical to stimulating information-based communication and harness the organizational based collaboration. The management should ask tough questions. The absence of inquisitive conversations around the issues about digital performance can lead to the disconnect between actions and the measurements of success. Metrics shouldn’t motivate a team to game the data, otherwise, they can filter and even distort qualitative evidence and prevent the management from seeing the truth, or distract the business from reaching the long-term business goals.

Irrelevant measurement indicator: Measurement is the means to the end, not the end itself. Irrelevant measurement indicator will waste time, add the other layer of management complexity, and decrease the business effectiveness. That said, every metric should have a good reason for being measured. And the output should actually be a throughput, it should be an input to something else. It’s important to define how you will measure the business success in meeting the organizational purpose and vision, for success will be predicated on the business strategy and sourcing models. However, in practice, there are management practitioners are extremely obsessed by metrics who end up creating a huge and sophisticated set of meaningless metrics; they measure things based on convenience, not on the ultimate business goals. Keep in mind, the right metrics are requested in the right context; it’s important to explain to the upper management of why they are requested, to ensure the management buy-in for the metrics collection processes, and really focus on key metrics that correlate to better business outcomes.

Inaccurate measurement data: Selecting the right measure and measuring it right are both art and science. Even you have a well-defined set of measurement, it doesn't guarantee you could measure them right. It’s crucial to take a systematic approach, put the cohesive effort into taking the correct measurement, collecting the obtained data, analyzing, evaluating and determining what the actions are needed to improve them. Business is looking for and identifying systemic issues and addressing the cause and corrective action. Inaccurate measurement data will distract the management from making the true improvement and achieve the ultimate business results, sometimes it leads to the wrong direction and causes more issues later on. The other big issue about metrics is that, once you have them, people will try to game them, improve the data without truly improving performance. Thus, it’s important to collect the right data and measure things in the right way, for motivating teams to achieve better business results; for helping connecting contextual dots and focusing on the overall business objectives as well.

Assuming an organization believes that metrics can lead to continuous improvement. There does not exist one tool that can be used to dictate the direction of the organization, you must use an integrated approach to evaluate business performance objectively. It takes leadership proficiency and management discipline to avoid the pitfalls and improve the overall business results. It won’t be just a matter of explicit communicating the intention behind metrics, but a matter of coaching and leadership to guide the team to understand the purpose of doing that and engaging on that. A measurement system should become a real foundation for continuous improvement.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

The Monthly “12 CIO Personas” Book Tuning: CIOs as “Chief Interpretation Officer” Aug. 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. Here are a set of blogs to brainstorm digital CIOs as “Chief Insight Officers.”

               


                          Chief Interpretation Officer


The CIOs as Business Polyglot to Facilitate Digital Dialogues Nowadays, forward-thinking organizations empower their CIOs to facilitate digital dialogues and lead digitalization. Language influences perception, the CIO must be able to translate between the board/business speak and technology in both directions. CIOs need to tailor the different audience and speak multiple business dialects in order to enforce leadership empathy and improve communication effectiveness. Without a clear strategy and a way to communicate it in the language of the business, CIOs will always have trouble getting even "aligned," no mention of reaching the higher IT maturity level of proactively enabling and engaging with business, as well as leading the organization to reach the high level of maturity.

The Digital CIO’s Vision, Passion, and Digitalization IT is like the business engine, CIOs are accountable for the critical part of the business that is constantly changing and evolving. The emergence of the CIO coincided with the birth of the PC and end-user computing. That role certainly is matured as the Internet age unfolded. Contemporary CIOs should be capable of evolving leadership skills to not only match pace with the changes in technology and the pace at which an organization can effectively manage these changes but also proactively drive changes in business transformation based on their vision, passion and leadership practices.

Three Perspectives for CIOs to Stand out as the Top Digital Leader As we all know that the only "Certainty" or a "Constant" is "CHANGE." Business is only an extended part of our life and all businesses have to accept change to survive. Organizations rely more and more on technologies; the IT department has more to overcome in streamlining information flow and running at digital speed. Thus, CIOs generally have greater opportunities to stand out as the top business executive and take the digital leadership role in creating business value across their companies and drive digitalization steadfastly.

Digital CIOs as Anthropologist: How to Run a People-Centric IT organization? Contemporary CIOs are no longer just glorified geeks, but business savvy strategists and versatile digital executives. Great CIOs have multiple personas, varying personalities, and impressive leadership profiles. Digital leadership sophistication is crucial in complex problem-solving and strategy management. Digital is the age of people, how to truly understand your people and run a people-centric IT organization for improving business maturity?

The New Book “12 CIO Personas” Chapter VI Introduction: The CIO as “Chief Interpretation Officer”? IT is on the journey to shift from a cost center to a profit rainmaker. CIOs are no longer good enough to be tactical IT managers only, they have to play multiple leadership roles and wear multiple hats to deal with the unprecedented business complexity today. One of the important roles for the contemporary CIO is “Chief Interpretation Officer,” who is fluent in the business language and IT terminology, to ensure the seamless cross-functional communication without “lost in translation,” and improve IT management maturity.

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 #4800 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 Practices to Enforce Enterprise Innovation and Change

Innovation has to result in something which leads us to a better state than where we are today.

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.

Deep listening practices: The digital era is the age of people-centric innovation. That means you have to listen to their feedback, involve them in both idea generation and process implementation, to gain insight and empathy. This is particularly important for managers. Because when you are in a position of authority, you have lots of opportunities to tell and lots of leeway in how to do the telling. But innovation as a management process does not start with “HOW,” but often it needs to figure out “WHY” first. Thus, for them, the message is LISTEN with empathy! If you do not listen, you will lose the goodwill of collaboration. Talking and actively listening to one another also creates excitement which propels good ideas to be formed. Communication has occurred when the message is received and understood. Listening and communicating are also critical to deal with conflicts or even constructively advocate the fresh point of view or build the trustful business relationship which will lubricate the business processes to further enforce innovation effectiveness.

Team inception practices: Most of the organizations today are process and control driven, and management puts emphasis on compliance with the result people forget to think freely. However, from driving innovation from inception to fruition, it’s important to develop a working environment in which people are encouraged to think independently, share the fresh viewpoint, harness collective or external collaboration, and get teams off on the right foot. Businesses can access the maximum number of potentially good ideas for building new innovative products, services, business models or solutions. Innovation leaders should cultivate an open nature of the business, break down the multilayer of business silos such as silo mentality, silo information or silo processes to build innovation capacity. Instead of being rigidly grouped around a specific function or team, the hyperconnected digital ecosystems draw together mutually supportive companies from multiple industries that collectively seek to create differentiated ideas and achieve innovation fruition that they could not reach alone.

Dynamic facilitation practices: Fundamentally, innovation is about figuring out the better way to do things. Thus, from a management perspective, you have to give up some control. It’s about how to strike the right balance of creating and standardizing. Innovation is change, change is a challenge. If you try to turn it into an obligation, you will cause an equal and opposite reaction. Compared to nimble startups, many well-established organizations are struggling with innovation because of overly rigid business processes, legacy technologies, inflexible management disciplines, or command-control management styles, etc. But to rejuvenate the culture of creativity, it’s important for innovation management to adopt the coach or facilitation style, apply dynamic facilitation practices to build high performing and creative teams, build both internal and external beliefs around how the business is a movement for business enablement and improvement. It takes time and generations of changes within a company to practice and build innovation as the business competency.

Feed-forward practices: Either for improvement or innovation, feedback is always about how to improve performance so it’s always about the future. Feedback is not limited and static as opposed to expansive and dynamic. If you want to create a great future for the organization, the team needs to be responsive to feedback. Feedback does not focus on the past - it tells you what is happening so that you can adapt. Feedback needs to be continuous, as close to real time as possible. Feedback helps to not only to act but aids to feedforward for either managing change or innovation performance. Eventually, feedback should always be genuinely proper, precise, and substantive, it is a solution to the problem of cluelessness. Thus, feedback-feedforward practices are important to improve innovation effectiveness and achieve fruitful business results.

"Every individual as a stakeholder” practices: Digital organizations are flatter and hyperconnected; It can approach the flow zone when the positions in its hierarchy have clear and accountable tasks and enforce “every individual as a stakeholder” practices. Lack of accountability is often one of the biggest obstacles to getting things done, or cause change inertia. The digital organizations can close the accountability gap through open door listening, cross-functional communication & collaboration, transparency, and empathy. It covers innovation management, knowledge, and technology transfer or entrepreneurship, Thus, it drives the culture of innovation. When digital leaders are equipped with the ownership mentality, they can run businesses boldly and provide the digital leadership style to inject enthusiasm, which is infectious and spurs the concept forward. The challenge is to set the digital principles, encourage self-management, enforce accountability and adapt to changes depending on the company’s ambition and situation.

Innovation has to result in something which leads us to a better state than where we are today. There is no “one size fits all” success formula for innovation management success. Demystifying innovation takes experiments and practices. Each organization has to define their compelling and unique approach or a mix of different approaches to address the needs and tailor their own circumstances to improve the success rate of innovation.

Friday, August 17, 2018

The Monthly “Digital Gaps” Book Tuning: Bridging Digital Gaps by Fixing “Lost in Translation” Syndrome Aug. 2018

Today’s digital organization simply just can’t stand still., bridging the 'gap of opportunity' between where you are and want to become is a welcomed challenge.

Digital Gaps -Bridging Multiple Gaps to Run Cohesive Business” is a guidebook to help digital leaders and professionals today identify, analyze, and mind multiple gaps with the multidisciplinary insight and holistic understanding. Today’s digital organization simply just can’t stand still., bridging the 'gap of opportunity' between where you are and want to become is a welcomed challenge. It is important to bridge the leadership gap and take a stepwise approach to make a leap of digital transformation.
        
Bridging Gaps by Fixing “Lost in Translation” Syndrome

Three Syndromes Decelerating Digital Transformation of IT Forward-looking organizations are on the journey of digital transformation, and IT is a key enabler. Information technology is penetrating into every core process of the organization; how agile the organization can adapt to changes and how intelligent the organization can capture business insight are often dependent on how effective the company can manage information and knowledge. Hence, IT as the information steward of the business plays a crucial role in business growth and innovation. However, there are pitfalls on the way to stop IT from reinventing itself, and there are a few common syndromes of decelerating the digital transformation of IT.

Connecting IT and Business without “Lost in Translation” Due to the exponential growth of information and lightweight digital technologies, IT is gradually becoming engrained in every aspect of business these days. The clear-cut divide that used to be there between IT and business in the olden days is vanishing fast; IT is the business, IT-business relationship needs to be shifted from alignment to integration to ensure that the business as a whole is superior to the sum of pieces. And digital transformation is a thorny journey, with complexity, uncertainty, trials, and pitfalls on the way, how to harness communication and enforce collaboration between IT and business without “Lost in Translation”?

How to Close Communication Gaps? Communication is key to improve leadership effectiveness and modern management efficiency. However, communication is not just the soft discipline, it’s both art and science. For example, there are communication gaps between management and employees, there’s “lost in translation” syndrome in cross-functional conversations, there are all sorts of miscommunication at the different level of the organization, how to close communication gaps and overcome such challenges?

Three Misguidance Stifles Digitalizaton? Digital means flow and high velocity, closer to reality is that 'change' is continuously happening in such a dynamic environment of a company, with accelerated speed. It indicates that business leaders must learn how to strike a right balance between managing complex issues today and forecasting the uncertain issues of tomorrow, commit to transforming themselves into a highly innovative digital business powerhouse. Misguidance will cause business failing and stifle digitalization. To stay competitive, companies must be steered in the right direction, move from “Doing Digital” - experimenting with digital technological tools to “Being Digital” - running a full-fledged digital organization.

Three Pitfalls in IT Digital Transformation? The majority of organizations are designed to improve functional efficiency in the industrial era; there is nature friction between different functions of the organization, because often they compete for the limited resources, or speak different business dialect. Different IT organizations are also at the different stage of business maturity, IT can be used as a tool, help desk, enabler, catalyzer, or a digital game changer to meet the ultimate goal of an organization's short-term quick win and long-term strategic advantage. There is no one size fits all formula to run a highly effective IT organization. Regardless which flavor of IT you are running, here are three pitfalls in IT digital transformation you should avoid in order to improve organizational effectiveness, agility, and maturity.

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2.5 million page views with about #4800th 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.