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

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

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

Thursday, May 28, 2015

How to Map Agile with Business Capability

The value of capability mapping is to provide the useful tool to align products with business vision, or at higher level, to visualize the enterprise.
The vision of the company direction, and therefore the direction of the different products, services, the functionality of business processes, and ability of people etc. is generally expressed as business capabilities. Portfolio decisions should be made in the context of those capabilities. Epics, stories, features should all trace to the business capabilities. This not only gives you a better view of how and what you're doing to build out the system, it also allows you to better communicate on a regular basis of the benefits, the level of maturity, and other aspects of the system to those who care.

The asset stewardship is the ongoing work of the business to describe the vision and direction of products: The exact business capability needed and where in the business process should it reside, then drives the application; this capability should be put in and ultimately the technical architecture that drives its implementation. The business side is independent of a particular project or work effort, think of that as Asset Stewardship, and it is the ongoing work of the business to describe the vision and direction of a product, service offering, capital asset, etc. within the overall vision of the company. This is not what Agile thinks of as Product Owner. It is also not Portfolio Management. Asset Stewardship is considering the needs of today in the context of a 3-5 year vision that is not locked in stone but that does provide a direction.

Use the Objective/Key Results format for business capability mapping. Show how implemented features relate to business goals. Investment themes are used to categorize development by internal investment types. Use these to answer questions such as: How much effort did you spend this year on development for existing customers vs new market growth vs sustaining. The objective describes the business level problem you are trying to solve. For example: “Reduce cycle time for workflow X in order to increase revenue per seat.” The key results describe expected business results that will be delivered and when. For example: “Increase revenue per seat by 10% by EOY.”

You can also create data flow diagrams showing business goals, expressed as high level processes; and then, to the degree, if detail necessary, decompose these business goals into subgoals, and then into supporting processes or projects. The good mapping mechanism allows you to create a capability model or some backlog of capabilities that you can then tie to specific features or even better, to the story level. This way, as you deliver stories, functionality, features, you can tie them directly back to the specific capabilities that are cared about by your customers (external or internal). Sometimes (depending on size), use Epics (WHY) -> Story (WHAT) -> Subtasks (HOW) where an Epic unifies all work needed for a singular business outcome and the collection of business outcomes within a release to denote the capability being built.
- release notification notes specifying impact on the value streams/business areas
- motivation to understand the business, so you can speak the same language
- there is incremental log of functionality mapped to the version and existing business process.

Therefore, the value of capability mapping is to provide the useful tool to align products with business vision, or at higher level, to visualize the enterprise. It allows business leaders or Agile managers to establish important business goals or products/projects initiatives relevant to the capability and identify goal dependencies to both doing the right things and doing things right, and ultimately establish a high mature enterprise.

Do you Have the Creative Eyes to See Things Differently

Creativity needs a problem for solving!  
Creativity by the artist C.W. Taylor is described as: "expressive, productive, inventive, innovative and emergent." And the psychologist Hermann believes that everyone has a creative potential that can be expressed through artistic and scientific creativity. Also by the realization of something new that may be an idea, a plan even a new friendship. It begins with the existence of a problem that needs solving! So do you have the creative eyes to see things differently, and what're the challenges to be a creative person?

It’s not difficult of being creative, it’s difficult for you to be understood by others most of the times. People perceive creative people as risky & careless. Creative people always see possibility in the world when most people only see the way that they have been told with ignorance of invisible, or intangible things. Sometimes, the creative one processes so many connections that depend on unusual analogies and chains of thought that might be completely new. It might take years for the popular culture to process and find the same connections valid.

Another problem is the difficulties and challenges of the creative's responsibilities. The inspiration happens, but it's so bright and electric, it may take a lot of work on the creative one's part to "communicate" with his or her audience. Connections can be spelled out. Analogies can be noted. Chains of thought that can lead to those inspirations can be told as stories. But not each of these needs are always included in the creative's repertoire of skills. Hence, creativity now is often the teamwork, people with complementary skills co-creative and transform novel ideas to achieve its business values.

The problem is never to get new, innovative thoughts into your mind, but how to get old ones out. Creative people tend to be non-conformists, or at least appear to be, however, that is just the way they think, not really intentional. Creative people judge the world for themselves and they are skeptical of, but open with outside opinions. Creative people define and create their own convention that they live by in comparison to everyone else who just accept or inherit their convention to live by.

Creative thinking and critical thinking often works in tandem for problem solving: Critical thinking requires an ability to be able to not only ask the right questions, but rather absorb information forecast potentials; risks/benefits; mitigation and compare and contrast options, facts, idea against logic and creativity. Getting input from a broad range of personalities and cognitive difference of people on the particular matter. Stop and think both in macro and micro way, and try to tie inter-dependencies into the mix and believe, to your core, you still missing "something." It's then that critical thinking will be able to help drive improvement, extends to creative thinking, create new ideas or solutions and make them stick or successfully. Critical thinking is essential for making decisions based on careful and comprehensive analysis, while creative thinking "creates" possibilities. In other words, critical narrows and creative expands. Engaging and believing, is the door to critical thinking.  

Creativity flourishes in solitude. With quietness, you can hear your thoughts, you can reach deep within yourself, you can focus. Of course, there are lots of ways to find this solitude, this is first, when it comes to nurturing creativity: participation matters as well. This can come in many forms, but it requires connecting with others, being inspired by others, reading others, collaborating with others. But how can you have both solitude and participation?! this is the point. They obviously have to come at different times. Finding the balance is key, of course, but it takes a conscious effort, this time is for solitude, and the other time is for participation; both are important, because you need inspiration from without, but you need creation from within.

“The only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes, in seeing the universe with the eyes of another, of hundreds of others, in seeing the hundreds of universes that each of them sees." ~ Marcel Proust |

The “Water Attitude” of Digital Leadership

 “Superior virtue is like water.” -Lao Tzu
The philosopher Lao Tzu says that “superior virtue is like water.” At any times water naturally knows what the best place and the best way are, so water obtains without effort and despite all efforts we produce against. Sometimes you can use this image of water flow to think about flexibility, adaptability, ability of interact, motivation skills, problem solving and resilience. That “water attitude” is a good analogy to depict digital leadership, because digital means flow. The water move up to the mountain, down to the valley, there are many challenges on the way which test of one’s leadership skills, who is in control in the face of adversity?

The “water attitude” of digital leadership: Sure when looking at leadership, we must admit that most of the times, we are “naturally forced” to find a kind of “Leadership recipe,” those magic key success factors that will work well “fitting them all.” But this is too mechanical, isn't it? That’s one’s ego working, trying to prove we are keen. The authentic leadership comes with the “natural” attitude: often simple words with deep insight; the clear vision with laser focus, no intention to appear, dislike negative competition, a feeling of connection, open attention and continuous moving forward, like water. Doesn't it look like “water attitude” of digital leadership? So, trying to contribute to the collective wisdom and knowledge brainstorming, that those who proactively respond and learn in hard times are those who are “like water.” Water is not choosy, has no judgmental attitude, does not strictly rely on procedures to take actions. Water acts “naturally,” flow to the river and migrate to the sea; and mature leadership is like the deep ocean which can contain varying things, and tolerate diversity.

Challenges is the way to get in deep touch with yourself: The leader is in control in the face of adversity based upon the principles that the world's finest leaders move forward with some substance of caring, consideration for the current external or internal conditions and plan for recovery. External situations are highly difficult, that require foresight to impact the people in a positive manner within the shortest duration after the disaster. It is human nature for each of us to trip or stumble over our own ego throughout life to keep us humble. Crisis and disasters have a way of letting us know that there are times in life that we can't control the events nor outcome; the only thing we can control are our thoughts, attitude, and how we react and respond to each moment at hand. The best way to be ready to adversities, change and crisis is to remain in contact with ourselves; looking at over structures for what they are, accepting to use them for their purposes, but never confusing between them and us. We can humbly let go and accept when circumstance are beyond our control. Challenges is the way to get in deep touch with yourself, taste your strengths and weaknesses with no alibis, consider the force of your inner power and how you can do with difficulties and challenges. People need to "feel and taste something on their own skin," and a challenge, even a small one, has proved to be working for the purpose. Start running toward your own destination, you don't have to aim at competition. The goal is to meet with oneself, that's not coming from a status, but for discovery, autonomy and mastery.

Plans are like road-maps or blueprints and offer context and guidance. All of us have plans for different situations in life. Planning and preparation offer us an opportunity - a kind of dress rehearsal to walk through the scenario, practice and think through in a calm pace where time is on your side. In the midst of change, crisis or challenges, we are not so clear-headed, nor clearly focused on the big picture and time is never in abundance. This is true on an individual basis because it is on a large scale-like in organizational planning. Planning and preparation allows us an opportunity to move forward, to take the next step, and the next and the next.

Change is the only constant, whether in business or any other area of life. Some change is planned, others hit us due to circumstances beyond our control. For any business, preparing for change should be an ongoing activity, built into their strategy. The fundamentals are to have robust and scalable systems and policies, train and empower people to handle crisis, and of course stand by them when they do, this cannot entirely mitigate all risks, but it will certainly reduce the impact and allow us time to recover, and move forward.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Is it Possible to Evaluate Performance based purely on Objective Data?

The more meaningful and important the thing you want to assess, the harder it is to measure objectively.
You measure things for a PURPOSE. That purpose drives your metrics. You can measure anything, but often not directly, but about measuring INDICATORS, that may or may not be relevant to why you are measuring. KPIs are indicators, not performance itself. From talent management perspective, Performance Management assessment is always subjective, controversial and contentious. Is there way to take out subjectivity out of performance evaluation? What if you could translate every function into the universal language (mathematics) and have computers do the employee analysis? Is it possible that performance evaluation are based purely on objective data?

It is very hard to measure IMPORTANT THINGS, such as Performance objectively and meaningfully. The more meaningful and important the thing you want to assess, the harder it is to measure objectively. That's why you measure KPIs, because you can't measure the important stuff. Overall performance includes soft skills that cannot be measured strictly by metrics; did you contribute to the team and how? did you demonstrate leadership skills? how?, did you offer creative and innovative input and solutions? how? However, you aren't evaluating machines and it isn't all about output. The ideal is to measure so you can determine the VALUE that each employee adds to the company, because that's the ultimate goal, for each employee to contribute to the RESULTS the company is trying to create. Unfortunately, you can't separate the value of one employee from another, because each one is simply one part of the employee value chain. Very sophisticated multiple regressions can be used to TRY, but the cost would be enormous for any company to do this. It would get closer to determining value, but not close enough.

Performance assessment has a human component, which cannot be eliminated by any metric. Furthermore, in modern socially responsible companies, it isn't just about WHAT you have achieved, but also about HOW you have achieved it. The HOW aspect in CSR is unavoidably subjective, because it stems from perceptions. It doesn't mean that these aspects should be disregarded because they are not objective; but it does meant that good guidance needs to be formulated and deployed on consistently measuring and interpreting these "softer" aspects. Performance management must be such that it encourages and drives stretched goals or KPIs; encourages people to take initiatives, drive innovations and compete in professional way. It must question your achieved and mastered terrain and makes one try new things. This will be the sign of a growing and developing organization where each individual in an organization goes beyond the tangible and quantified goals on assignments.

The issue of Performance Management measurement isn't about accuracy, but of validity and reliability - does this measure what you want to measure, and if you measure repeated times, all things being equal, would you get similar results? If your work involves a standardized process where you have to follow a procedure to get to a desired outcome (like following a recipe) then performance is highly measurable. If the work demands problem solving, creativity, etc, where there is more than one road to an outcome, measurement is always problematic. Evaluators are by default biased and usually unaware of this. Performance feedback, unless it is the objective outcome of an almost mathematical process increases stress and decreases motivation and performance. The performance evaluations should be a combination of both an objective and a subjective measurement. When the subjective measurement is included, it becomes a chance for the manager and the employee to start a two way communication. The manager should take this opportunity to coach, mentor his/her employee, address areas of concern, areas that need improvement and praise areas where the employee is meeting or exceeding goals. The two way communication will also provide the employee an opportunity to discuss challenges and their desired career path. These are all factors that provide the foundation for goals to be set, motivation and attachment to goals to be formed by the employee.

Setting Key Performance Indicators (KPI) for performance measurement which are measurable and robust takes a lot of effort and needs the cooperation from various departments in the organization. Data based talent analytics is absolutely becoming more important for improving people management and performance management maturity. However, performance evaluation only works when it is part of an overall performance management system where the goal is for both supervisor and subordinate to continually provide each other with open honest feedback, not just measuring quantity, but evaluating quality to harness leadership, improve business culture and encourage innovation. It includes WHY do you do what you do, HOW you do it and WHAT you've accomplished for encouraging purpose discovering, autonomy and mastering.

How to Design Organizations to Maintain Viability

If the organization understands itself in relation to its context, it should be able to determine whether it requires to change something to become viable.
Digital organizations are complex ecosystem with blurring line between functions, organizations and geographic locations. How to design organizations to maintain viability and deliver tactical actions for strategic effect, given weak, noisy and evolving feedback signals due to systemic adaptive complexity in its environment? What would be an inclusive set of theories to accommodate a complex system? How would such a set be integrated? How would an organization experiencing that type of feedback know it's viable? How would it or its parts know it needs to change itself? How would it or its parts know what to change?

Multifaceted perspectives unfold into wider multidimensionally enhancing systemic continuum. You are going to touch on the notion of change in simple terms to start with, from different perspectives. If the organization understands itself in relation to its context, it should be able to determine whether it requires to change something to become viable. It can do this by choosing to: (1). Change something about the other actors. (2). Change the environment and (3). Change something about themselves. This however is dependent on forming a sufficient understanding of itself in relation to its context, in an environment that is most likely significantly degraded, having a significant impact on the ability to acquire information. Some perspectives below unfold into wider multidimensionally enhancing systemic continuum, which would perhaps invoke further reflections both for the focal original-case scope and purposes, but also for more generic purposes and perspectives.
  • how to orchestrate the hybrid-“truth”- from an epistemological competition perspective;
  • how to maintain or transform the dense novel-vs-legacy-inertia narratives’ meaning-structures spanning across abstract or cognition levels to real-world systemic?
  • how the hybrid-narratives’ systemic integration or separation is orchestrated;
  • how to orchestrate and elaborate with the dense systemic-fractal “hybrid-truth-narratives” and respective meaning-structures from an ontological competition perspective;
  • how the systemic narrative-advance and value shall be formed, delivered, sustained, and shared in through-life-mission-resilient way, including the mission-outcomes-targets-driven “adversary-related” narratives' value-decay etc.

The highly complex and dynamic system needs to be elaborated in a well organized effort. To deliver any real outcomes, probably such a highly complex and systemic target case would need to be elaborated in a serious real and well-organized through-life-effort. It goes beyond the possibilities of any community-platforms' limited intensity and action-spectrum. What reflections might be seen valuable to share or discuss across the effective systemic stakeholders' integration, and across such engage-deliver-decoupling, and living thereon with the full-spectrum intended, reached and positively-emergent outcomes plus the unintended portfolios of emergent, or other residual outcomes, legacies, or commitments etc. The system is operational in crisis and conflict environments and is 'designed' to couple with them, influence the emergent properties of the environment and enable emergent change in its own behavior, function and structure to propagate through itself changes how it couples with the environment in order to:
1). Reduce the coupling in a crisis or conflict environment;
2). Destabilize the existing environment;
3). Influence towards a strategic stability preferred by a legitimate process;
4). Stabilize the environment.

A core challenge appears to be discerning systemic understanding from a feedback mechanism (PRY); that is a dynamic flow of cumulative stress or pleasure (drives change or reinforces) across a network of evolving interconnections. What would be the balanced design principles to enable successful emergent behavior and function of the organization (within safety, legal and ethical constraints) in order that its structure is emergent as a self-organizing or self-redesigning team of teams? In order to gain insight over the paradigm-bound-relevance of the system or subsystems thereof, one should distance oneself, at least for the holistic whole-system-evaluation away beyond the systemic-expanding boundaries-envelopes (each containing respective systemic-envelope-bounded feedback PRY described below ) of the prevalent paradigms, to gain distant trans-paradigm- and respective. Maybe better outlined as three slightly overlapping/cascading upside-down curves, where P is leftmost, R is middle, and Y is rightmost, and time flows to right: first you start to create or advance with the idea and potential, then implement it, and then get the yield.
a) feedback on action/impacts/outcomes/Yield Y [of a paradigm]
b) feedback on Realization/implementation R [of a paradigm]
c) feedback on Potential P [of a paradigm]
It’s the strategic-choreography perspectives (whether intentional or emergent paradigm-shifting bifurcations unfolding there) of the relative and absolute P/R/Y developments, and endogenous within-paradigm-relevance vs. exogenous systemic-enhancing paradigm. In the systems context the adding-kinetic-energy-long-enough/-dense-enough means appropriate interventions, which
- need to be concerted into multiple dense-enough strategic-leverage-points,
- need to be applied in such concerted way for long-enough timespan to turn the systemic vessel into appropriately systemically-liquid-mode for an overall-systemic-paradigm-shifting mode to emerge or be enforced intentionally.

The balanced and effective-outcomes-driven design approaches and principles then, obviously highly related to the various systemic-kaleidoscopic. The systemic “strategic growth through-life orchestration, influence, steering or governance for such complex hybrid orchestrations, might be worth reflecting the following “full-spectrum-integrative” frame across the multiply-interferencing perspectives:
(1) The core focus, the through-life-profiling across the full spectrum of the mission, and the kaleidoscopic views to theaters, epochs, episodes etc;
(2)  Strategic “ownership” characteristics over the full-spectrum phenomena;
(3) full-spectrum characteristics, interests etc across the engagement/ delivery-operations/ decoupling.
(4) systemic platforms/capabilities/operations/positioning/growth/integration etc profiling across the systemic through-life stakeholders;
(5) stakeholder’ mission/theater/episode etc action profiling and operations preparation/ assignment/ execution;
(6) Systemic value-delivery-assurance; full-spectrum compliance and integration

Digital system themes with all the aggregates-spanning challenges/pathologies/paradoxes and opportunities bring organizations further towards the challenges of constructing and enacting such systemic-spanning "hybrid realities," across such systemic- dynamic autonomous-induced mixtures of "real" and "intentionally created" processes of "constructing and enacting the hybrid realities." It also brings organizations into the full-spectrum dynamically transforming mixture of systemic-spanning and and full-spectrum-issue-distributions of such systemic-intensivity-related capabilities, maturities challenges, paradoxes, pathologies across individuals, teams, looser groups, organizations, network-enterprises, and holistic digital ecosystems.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Digital Master Tuning #91: Critical Thinking vs. Creative Thinking in Workplace

Critical thinking narrows and creative thinking expands, they must work in tandem for problem solving and decision making.
Both critical thinking and creative thinking are vital in a workplace. These skills hand in hand help drive growth of an organization and its employees as well as enable effectiveness (doing the right things or framing the right questions) efficiency (doing things right) and agility (ability to adapt to the changes) in solving problems and making decisions.

For either to be effective, they are both important and must work in tandem. The more creative you are, the better you are at solving problems. Creativity and intuition are the key skills, but both of them depend on critical thinking itself. Creativity is stifled by business reality if you aren't using logic and critical thinking. Conversely you, your brand, and eventually your organization will become tired if you aren't creative in your vision and how you make it work. Both are vital in a workplace. These skills hand in hand help drive growth of an organization and its employees as well as enable effectiveness, efficiency and agility in solving problems and making decisions.

At digital setting with ‘VUCA” characteristics, creativity and critical thinking shouldn't only be the ‘privilege’ of small percentage of workers: But there are concerns that should be taken seriously. The bit about creativity and critical thinking being needed only for a small fraction of workers, and just a source of distraction for the rest, is one. This is of course true in any organization set up in a hierarchical structure, with fixed procedures and work rules. But that entire system is in danger of itself becoming rigid, unresponsive to changing circumstances and obsolete, in the long run. And for problems (the 'wicked' kind) where the information about its sources, cases, and possible consequences of the unexpected kind are distributed in the population of the organization and its 'customers,’ this setup cuts itself off from that vital information.

The balance trumps either as the most crucial aspect: Both critical thinking and creative thinking are essential in today's workforce seeing as to how the current economy demands for new innovative ways to look at things. Creativity is the one which deals with any sort of idea necessary to solve a situation which definitely requires a critical analysis skill, so to an extent, both of them share a kind of symbiotic relationship. Both are essential in today's workforce seeing as to how the current economy demands for new innovative ways to look at things. However, in the silo settings, people are often have to follow overly restrict rules or algorithms in the workplace, the danger is that it reduces the scope for a critical approach and creativity. Therefore more often, people are unable or unwilling to think out of the box and freeze when have to face a challenge that is out of the norm. It means that organizations should be designed to improve their capability to work in this way, drawing on the thinking and creative skills of everybody involved and affected.

Critical thinking evolves deep thinking process usually with creative thinking embedded; creative thinking and critical thinking are both types of “out of box” thinking to challenge conventional wisdom, and bring up new perspective for framing and solving problems. Both are nature and nurtured. Critical thinking is essential for making decisions based on open up with diverse viewpoint, careful and comprehensive analysis and synthesis, while creative thinking "creates" possibilities and encircle imaginations. In other words, critical thinking narrows and creative thinking expands. Good to have both, but rare to have in workplaces and also in high demand.

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

Do you think IT is well Positioned to be the Innovation Nerve Center of the Organization?

As CIO, you need to understand what the organization’s expectation from IT through an innovation lenses.
The traditional role of CIOs is to managing information, IT systems, and cost, now with information is permeating into every corner of business and digital technologies are more often the cause to innovation disruption, IT has itself transformed to creating new competitive advantage, new products, and new services. But many of today’s C-suites are unaware of what is technologically possible now or in the future, so do you think IT is well positioned to be the innovation nerve center yet?

As CIO, you need to understand what the organization’s expectation from IT through an innovation lenses. There’s a lot of opportunity to clarify the role of IT in innovation. Are you talking about enterprise innovation using technology or are you talking about IT’s innovation, improving things they have more control of like business processes or the IT function itself? Or both? Innovation can also be getting two business areas to work together on new business opportunities. IT is uniquely positioned to observe processes across the enterprise. Sometimes when one business area has a new product that can be used by another, IT leaders can connect the dots to come up with new innovative solutions.

CIOs need to think about freeing some time to learn for real business from business strategist’s perspective: Even though they are usually too busy for acting as a firefighter, and promoting their organizations in one way or the other. Because the root cause of that “ firefighter mood,” is indeed the lack of true knowledge at the strategy and governance level, but as a CIO, you need to be a business strategist with technology vision and the mindset of governance champion to be able to achieve the above. But you must know how to walk first, before being able to learn how to run. Only then, you’ll become finally ready, to jump the obstacles in front of your organization true success. But that; can’t be done by the existing mere management model, but by adopting a fresh new thinking and vision. This will allow you to know what you’re exactly architecting, before delegating its construction to the builders. Innovation is more about true knowledge acquisition first. Because if the organization has got that knowledge, it could accomplish a lot with less, and do more with innovation, and it could also use less than that 80% to achieve more than what it has today. Pragmatically speaking, to know what is really possible, you must know more and better than your own IT vendors. That is to pushing them, and even forcing them to giving you more, better, cheaper  and more innovative solutions than what you are having right now. And to achieve the latter, you need to get the right knowledge; which then becomes a mandatory ingredient.

IT staff are the co-creators for business innovation. Being able to become innovative or close is being able to think, and create new things based on its own needs, true knowledge is the optimal solution. But there will be always, few little exceptions to any rule, because perfection doesn't exist. It works, but fortunately there are also many useful tools for helping ideas to become real innovative solutions. It's a process supported by tools and people. How well it works depends on many factors. The interesting point is that, once IT is unburdened from the daily routine of flipping the lights and break/fix; it’s almost natural that the staff turn into the co-creators. The challenge is getting out from the daily burden, but that requires creativity and some open and experienced leadership because money isn't always easy to come by. Responsibility for IT to be creative squarely and fairly lies on CIOs. Lot of them find themselves in this role by happen chance without any clue how they got there. Expecting creativity is way beyond their capabilities. There are some who have the capability to inspire and cultivate creative IT department are so busy in mundane day to day activities, they lose sense of creativity over the period of time. Hence, CIOs have to learn the right and real things about organizations, not just via IT lenses, but via business lenses. Because then, he/she can practice that knowledge in the field to start innovating at the organizational level.

High mature IT will enable building high mature organizations, there are very progressive organizations where IT sparks organizational creativity. In each case, the organization has built highly interactive teams with representatives from each line of business focused on finding innovative new ways to creatively resolve issues. And IT is well positioned to be the innovation nerve center in these organizations.

How to Manage Customer Experience Effectively

The best customer experience leads to a positive emotional reaction, a “WOW” factor.

Customer Experience Management is key to every business. It is not just important, it is vital for growth, development and to make sure you stay in business, Both retaining a customer and winning a new customer are very important to every business’s surviving and thriving, shall you take inside-out or outside-in view to observe customer? Should customer journey be represented as a set of discrete events or experiences or is it actually a seamless continuum? And how can you manage Customer Experience effectively?   

Customer Experience Management helps organizations in two ways. It attracts and wins the new customers as well as helps a great deal in customer retention. The best customer experience leads to a positive emotional reaction, a “WOW” factor.  One experience can be enough. After that you have to create a relationship, to maintain positive behavior of the client (loyalty, word of mouth, higher share of wallet, faster paying of bills and positive influence on employee engagement). And beyond the emotional WOW, the experience is effortless (easy), productive ( achieved objective) and painless (frictionless). And there is consistency over time in the delivery of the experience. Customer Experience Management is extremely important to a company's existence and growth. It's not only a department; it's an attitude that carries itself throughout the whole company. If those at the top don't value it, they won't feel it's important to have the best people in place to deal with their customers' issues. Working with a company where employees don't communicate is also an example of bad customer service. Everybody should be working together within that company toward a common goal of achieving customer-centricity.

Outside - in Customer Viewpoint: When look at the customer experience from the inside out, there is nothing wrong with that, because you are the ones that can change the inside. However, the outside-in view is more important, because the customer's experience is about how they encounter, observe, or undergo a company's events or stages. You lay out a journey which is helpful, positive, and sharing experience with customers. They may not like, appreciate, or really care about the journey, or simply may not go through the journey in the "correct" way. If the sequence of events is based on "outside in" data, and the end result is to transform the company or organization to increase its customer centric maturity, and build a culture to focus on creating value for their customers, then you can call it a sequence of experiences or simply a strategic plan. Let the customer touch points land where they may achieve the results."Voice of the Customer" or a VOC program is a very important factors that you do research into what the customer really wants. In early stages of a relationship, you need segment based modeling, but after more data come available in a relationship and more importantly, customers are more willing to share insights, predictive model can purely focus on 'within customer record' information. When you really understand or attempt to understand what the customer would say they want and what you found they actually want, that is when you can really develop an experience that fits them and their needs or desires.

Tear down business silos through journey mapping, and build involvement and commitment in improving the customer experience. Customer Experience Management is a nurturing, developing, building block that takes the ordinary to the sublime - without customers, there is no business. In order to build a customer - centric organization, business needs to run more holistically, to ensure organization as a whole is superior than the sum of pieces. Cross-departmental teams need to view each other as customers and provide a top notch level of support and attitude toward each other. Having positive internal interactions will certainly lead to great customer service for external customers. One of the best ways to tear downs silos, from a management perspective, is to get together around the customer journey mapping process. It is important for getting everyone together on the same page through journey mapping, and building involvement and commitment in improving customer experience, the shared goals surrounding a common vision. In addition, Customer Experience Council, made up of internal cross-functional management, also helps build more transparency, communication and engagement with diverse teams that wouldn't otherwise work together. Here can every one from each silo start to talk, feel and think with the customers shoes and glasses on. To use the empathy map from each touch point to drive real empathy and understanding from managers, and from there connect the higher purpose, the core values and the company's goals. It is what we measure, celebrate and reward that arise in the business.

The good customer experience management is norm, but exceptional customer service and experience offers the 'WOW' concept as the necessary success factor to ensure you stay ahead of the game, particularly with your peers in business. Hence, you have to put the customer at the heart of everything that you do as a business - great customer experience management is a differentiator for companies. It also has to be driven as a culture within the company starting at Board level. You need to believe that, customer is the lifeline of the business. Once you have this basic premise right, everything flows naturally and exceptional customer service and WOW moments will be the automatic result. You have your priorities and chain of thought properly coordinated. Nobody can deny you the success. You will do well for the long term prosperity.

Monday, May 25, 2015

How to Push the “Internal Hot Button” to Lead the Digital Transformation

For humans to move to higher ground, we must have a different view, but share the common ground as well.

Many forward thinking organizations are on the journey for digital transformation, some key questions to consider when it comes to the needs of organizations to build tomorrow's digital leaders could be: Who is your prime source of inspiration? Where do you go to collect your thoughts? Who can you trust with the private information? Who will you spend time with to enable a collective of feedback, to seek a fresh perspective? How to shift your mind from knowledge to wisdom - to enable leading toward the right direction? And how to push the “internal hot button,” to lead the digital transformation effectively?

True effectiveness and change begins, and originates from the geyser within. More often the appreciation for the need to "begin within" or to "begin with oneself" is very underrated, whether it is a human system or organizational system, change comes from the inside out. Most people just do the opposite and keep on justifying their failures by blaming outside forces. But people rarely talk about self-awareness as part of this process, the fact is that a self-identification with the problem and the recognition of the value of mathematics to solve some of them is truly a self-realization process that generates an internal drive, no external force could create on its own. That is, all the elements of change (1) Answers, (2) Ideas, (3) Solutions, plus (4) Technology that will ever be materialized, are embedded within, even like rare gemstone carefully excavated from a mine. The central idea is that one must first become "integrated with oneself." Only then will you become effective leaders. Only then will you transform into digital master, literally at all levels of society- locally, regionally, nationally, and perhaps even globally.

Helping others recognize the power of self-realization from their vantage point: Contextualization and other practices may help lend toward broader adoption of changes. People and organizations can and do change, and they can also choose to resist change. Change comes from within the hearts and minds of the people, not from the outside in. Leaders are equally, if not more responsible for the thoughts, feelings, and actions to impact the environment of trust. The major source of mistrust is when leaders expect others to display integrity, respect, and gratitude to foster the environment of trust, and yourself shows passivity in these areas. On the contrary, if you take the lead and honestly display these qualities in every environment where you live, function, interact, and aspire, you will facilitate the building of genuine trust and speed up the annihilation of mistrust. The sad part is that these (integrity, respect, and gratitude) are the most inexpensive resources at your disposal and often be wasted due to the ego and poor understanding.We all have walked in the shoes and seen the problem or situation from the others’ point of view. At times, we may only want to see things from our own point of view- see what we want to see, or, hear-what-we-want-to-hear.

It is part of the learning process in becoming a "self-actualized" person, which has everything to do in becoming an integrated leader. It addresses our internal 'hot buttons' what we call as reaction to what happens around us. This helps in acknowledging different or contrasting view and share the thoughts as to how it can address the issue under consideration without berating anyone for their views. Since fostering change is always a collaborative endeavor, this dimension of network diversity is indeed needed to provide more teeth and speed to the change initiative in the rapidly changing times. However, having these attributes alone is not adequate for success to materialize. These attributes must be applied in a conducive environment of success which is the environment of trust. Continually creating and nurturing an environment of trust through Integrity (transparency), Respect (esteem for the worth and capability of others), and Gratitude (expression of appreciation for the good act of others) leads to a fertile ground in which the success attributes can be successfully planted.

For humans to move to higher ground, we must have a different view, but share the common ground as well. Leadership is certainly challenging and requires diverse thinking and high “PQ” - Paradoxical Intelligence: The people who can think simultaneously the opposite poles of thought process, can be angry and calm at the same time, provoking change and also requiring compliance too. It sounds confusing upfront, but it is not. Both agility and stability, creativity and standard, management and governance are needed to strike the right balance in digital transformation journey. To anticipate change and having the courage to leave the nostalgic past and take a leap of faith into the future are well known attributes of successful leaders at all times. It takes humility to accept these golden gems, wisdom to capitalize on their colossal power, and a relentless obsession to propagate them can go a long way in creating or nurturing the true environment of trust so vital for digital leadership to flourish.

Digital Master Tuning #90: Is HR Sustainable

There is never one piece that makes the wheels of an organization spin. HR has to be more connected to the business needs.
In the industrial era, both IT and HR operated as a support function only, and struggle at the surviving mode with reputation as a cost center; at digital age, this two functions are the “steward” of the most invaluable assets of organizations, people and information. They both have opportunity to play a pivotal role in organization's digital transformation. From talent management perspective, is HR sustainable, to become an investment center of Human Capital?

HR is an integral and sustainable part of every organization. Despite the increasing move to technology based recruiting methods, training programs, human beings still work for organizations. Human beings still need managing, training, meditation, coaching, counseling, benefits administration and a myriad of other functions coming from the HR office. It is the one department that upholds the ethics, integrity and values of the company. There will always be a need for an engaged and productive workforce that creates paths for true leadership. In this sense, HR is sustainable. Technology can not duplicate the efforts. HR's role is transforming to maintain sustainability by providing a great voice at the C level. It helps its employees through personal and work related issues. It celebrates its successes and helps to build a company up through its downfalls. Technology cannot replace the personal touch that an HR associate brings to the table.

HR has been led with the same level of robustness expected of other functional leaders: Either being strategic, technical and engaging, HR has to capture the digital trends and become more innovative. However, some HRs don’t feel like it had a voice, or believed there was room for a voice, whether part of the answer layed in the personal effectiveness, or potency, of the head of HR - no matter how strategic or technical they were, there are other factors, ranging from culture to individual personalities and mixed perceptions of HR that exist in a business. But if the head of HR struggles to engage their manager, or connect with their peers, then it's likely there will always be speculation about the effectiveness, impact or sustainability of HR.

The transactional piece of HR vs. the  transformational part -the"art of HR": Although the transactional pieces can be a nuisance, it also provides an intuitive HR person with insight to what is going on in the organization; commonalities amongst groups or individuals, analytical data that helps you spot trends within the organization. Most HR professionals began in the transactional role, and the reason for it is because it provides a person with a good background in understanding the organization and its employees. It then allows one to begin providing strategic insights and understanding workforce planning, talent management and organizational development. 

Forward thinking organizations already have HR at the table; to all HR professionals who continue to struggle to validate their worth - you need to keep learning, keep achieving, and keep solving problems. You can't crawl into a corner and feel sorry for ourselves; you must take responsibility for the professional value and earn respect. HR has to be more connected to the business needs. There is never one piece that makes the wheels of an organization spin. Utilizing the available resources, people, technology, consulting partners, etc. to provide for the business current and future needs to be part of a systematic process. All companies are profit driven; HR must understand this to influence the decision makers. HR must be presented a source of human capital investment, and then happy and better informed employees will produce more efficiently, not being fragile of change, but be a champion of change for the advancement of the organization.

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

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