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, March 31, 2015

The Art and Science of Pattern Language

A Pattern Language is an attempt to express the deeper wisdom of what brings aliveness within a particular field of human endeavor.

Pattern has a few meanings, it’s usually about repeating artistic or decorative design: a paisley pattern; or a natural or accidental arrangement or sequence. A plan, diagram, or model to be followed in making things. A consistent, characteristic form, style, or method. Or a composite of traits or features characteristic of an individual or a group., etc. (freedictionary.com) When patterns work together to solve problems in a particular area, these patterns are called a pattern language. The people learn a set of languages, and then apply several synergistically to produce a solution.

A pattern language is "about" the relationships between patterns - particularly the way you can navigate from pattern to pattern to learn about a problem space and to apply different solutions in combination. In particular, the pattern language tells you how one pattern "leads to" another, in the same way that one clause in a natural language might lead to another. But the person who reads and understands the pattern language still needs to decide how to apply that language to describe a set of problems and solutions. There are two approaches to patterns that are suited to different people.
- Learning a growing set of patterns so you can select one when it is useful.
- Learning what makes a good pattern good so you can derive your own solutions in each new situation.

Pattern language is an extension of the notion of ubiquitous language. Pattern Language would apply to a set of patterns implemented in a framework that you don't have to leave when creating your project. In other words, if the framework implements a set of patterns well enough that you can stay in the framework and concentrate on your business logic. Pattern language is an extension of the notion of ubiquitous language. As much as developers and users need a common vocabulary for getting domain, solution architects, developers and SMEs need a common vocabulary in the solution domain. Patterns map that vocabulary to the corresponding technical design and implementation. A pattern language provides an even-more (not less) meta level of work. In a pattern language, patterns often reference each other and using one pattern may add or remove applicability to another - they may interoperate. The patterns are grouped and sometimes pathed within an area of expertise (multiprocessing, GUI design, organizing people in a company) so that people without extensive experience can pick up the language and sometimes solve problems in unsurprisingly wise ways.

While frameworks are useful, the existence of a framework is independent of patterns and pattern languages. You can often describe a well-designed framework in terms of the patterns that are embodied in its implementation, and the patterns that might help you understand how to use and adapt it. It's possible that a pattern language might help you understand the framework. Meanwhile, a framework might capture certain paths through a pattern language, but if the language is truly generative, then it should be capable of describing multiple possible frameworks that respond to the same domain. An implementation of a pattern is not the pattern, and a framework of pattern implementations is not a pattern language. Programming languages evolve towards handling business objects (customer data and order data) more directly than dealing with setting a property on the customer object or serializing it and sending to a process for storing. The frameworks are useful, because they tend to abstract towards dealing with business logic directly.

Each pattern is useful to address some specific problem around fault tolerance / resilience; but resilience is a pretty broad topic and there's plenty of room to get lost in the details. Patterns are good in practice and definitely intellectually stimulating, someone ties the patterns together so you can navigate among them. But keep an eye on getting too bogged down in the minutiae, especially if it starts to hinder delivering valuable working software. The completeness of the language would take multiple patterns and the introduction of a framework would be a way to accomplish this. Language is what being used when seeing a pattern frequently enough to assign it words.

The language is the system of rules that say how patterns can be combined in ways that "make sense" syntactically and add insight semantically. A pattern language is a set of patterns that work together to solve the conflicting forces within a system. A human language is a system of rules: syntax, semantics, grammar, that allows us to generate meaningful statements, such that multiple people can understand that meaning in ways that are sufficiently similar, that we have communicated with one another. More abstractly, a language is generative in the sense that we can use the language to generate meaningful sentences, paragraphs, and books. If we have a set of patterns that bear some relationship to one another - usually because they are in some common domain, then we can compose those patterns to generate a larger design or architecture, in much the same way that human languages can generate sentences or paragraphs.

A Pattern Language is an attempt to express the deeper wisdom of what brings aliveness within a particular field of human endeavor, through a set of interconnected expressions arising from that wisdom. A pattern language can generate different solutions, for a given solution is the combination of the inner forces acting on the system with the pattern language applied to solve that particular combination of forces.  Aliveness is one placeholder term for the quality, a sense of wholeness, spirit, or grace, while of varying form, is precise and empirically verifiable.

Leadership Vision: Do you have one?

Leadership vision is built on leaders’ authenticity.

Leadership is about the future, leadership vision is not just about zooming in, but also stepping into the future, to bridge the gap between today and tomorrow; local and global, industrial age and digital era, the mind and the behavior. More specifically, what is leadership vision, do you have one?

Leadership vision is built on leaders’ authenticity: Leadership is fundamentally about telling the truth of who we are as individuals and in relationship to each other. When we can create a space where trust is a foregone conclusion, then individuals and teams will take ownership of their own work. In this way, we begin to see ourselves as the authors of our own experience & life stories and enter into collaboration with the co-workers, the organization and the communities it serves, not because we are told to, but because that is how we create meaning, sometimes even bigger than ourselves. This process is fundamentally an act of trust, mutual respect, and cooperation to achieve the organizational vision.

Leadership vision is to serve as an enabler: To clear the path, whether that be the elimination of obstacles or to provide coaching and guidance - so that the talent employees are limited only by their imagination. So the intention of such leadership vision is to clearly define, through actions and deeds, the difference between management and leadership, to model self-awareness, courage and humility in such a way that others can begin to understand the power of committed curiosity, managed vulnerability and a clear sense of purpose that keep you focus and spark your creativity.

Leadership vision is being great by making positive influence; without affecting anyone in any negative way. Being a leader takes one to have a desire to do better than others in certain domains, to practice thought leadership, while creating themselves a platform of influence in wherever they are. So the vision and intention of becoming a leader are to facilitate and encourage, as change is often an uncomfortable, yet necessary part of reaching and maintaining success.

Leadership vision is to be guiding light: Being a leader means giving people confidence on where to go and how to get there, supporting them and also stretching them to live to their full potential, both individually and as members of a high performing team. To support effectiveness and achievement of final results, to ensure positive and inspiring working culture, to motivate, to be confident and trustworthy working with the people, communication with stakeholders, and transform vision into the reality.

An organizational vision: A leader's vision is coherent with his/her organization's vision. An organization prepared to effectively and efficiently absorb and accept change in all its forms; an organization in which change does not disrupt and interfere with business as usual, an organization for which the ability to evolve, adapt and innovate is business as usual. The intention is to enable a leadership culture at all levels across the organizations.

Leadership is about future, future is full of uncertainty, leadership vision helps navigate through and lead into the future more confidently.

Digital Master Tuning #68: The Golden Rules of Analytics

Analytics is the means to end, not the end.
Data Analytics is a golden mine every organization is digging now. However, analytics is both art and science at the same time, perhaps not so many businesses understand these golden rules of analytics, shall you follow them?

  1. Question is more important than answers. Accurately defining the problem is half the game won.
  2. The analysis has to tell a story people understand and is relative to the problem.
  3. Follow the “KISS” Principle: Keep it simple, stupid. The end users must see, understand and follow it. 
  4. Don’t expect automated tools to provide an optimal solution. There is no substitute for an experienced data analyst.
  5. Correlation does not imply causation. Right order of navigation: “Why” precedes “What” precedes “How.”
  6. Fighting for clean and the right data never ends, and understand your data quality and accuracy.
  7. Your model should be as simple as possible, but no simpler.
  8. The continuous learning and improvement is available for all involved in the process from the data collectors to the analysts to the decision makers.
  9. “Not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted.” – Albert Einstein

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

Digital Master Kindle Version Book Order URL

Digital Master Book URL

Digital Master Author URL

Digital Master Video Clip on YouTube

Digital Master Fun Quiz

Monday, March 30, 2015

A Board Beyond Compliance

"Compliance" is just a subset of "governance" and not the other way around.

Corporate governance is the system by which business corporations are directed and controlled. Compliance is the management discipline of designing and implementing effective steps to ensure that the company actually complies with the laws and regulations relating to its operations. There is a strong compliance element to corporate governance but corporate governance is about practice as well as policies. As one of the most important governance bodies, how can Corporate Board go beyond compliance?  

There is a strong ethos element to corporate governance which cannot be measured by check-box compliance methodologies: For example, board effectiveness depends on good governance, board members need to be well prepared for meetings, they need to read, understand and ingest their board packs and reflect meaningfully on these so as to ask intelligent questions and contribute meaningfully to board meeting discussions.The emergence of a compliance mentality among U.S. corporations has been one of the strongest deterrents to genuinely constructive corporate governance known. Complying with regulations and guidelines is not only just the beginning, such a perspective upon the "legality" of past practice can be inimical to the development of forward-looking, risk control-oriented mechanisms of management and control. A forward- looking, risk-management approach to governance can improve the functioning of the corporation and make its long-term survival and profitability more likely.

The real BoD’s dilemma is that driving the business forward is extremely difficult: This means looking into an unknown future and attempting to define the landscape with its risks and opportunities. It also means taking control of the softer issues, such as CEO succession, setting policy, strategic thinking, setting risk appetite, etc. In mathematical terms, compliance is necessary but not nearly sufficient. In practice, it is not that difficult (although costly) to outsource a large part of compliance, as it is relatively easy to measure through processes, systems, audits, etc. Of course, it remains the accountability of the Board, therefore, they should spend enough time on it, and start questioning: What compliance element measures a chairman's effectiveness or the skill level of board members? What compliance measure tests the level of integrity of directors to ensure that they will make full disclosure when conflicts of interest arise? What of the uncomfortable situation when a director feels the board is not making an optimal decision but is afraid s/he is the only one to feel that way and doesn't speak out not wanting to rock the boat? All these matters are real corporate governance issues.

Board time management: It is an almost universal finding that the Board spends too much time on compliance or operational issues at the expense of the future. Some suggestion Board should spend 20% of their time in the past (compliance), 20% on the present (operational and tactical) and 60% in the future. Boards find it very difficult to implement, simply because it deals with a lot of uncertainty and unknowns, but that is exactly what a senior executive team does. For example, while the Board needs to focus on landscapes, technologies, and uncertainties, the C-suites can translate that into competitiveness, products and risks. Corporate Governance has to be about all of the above.

“Do you see corporate governance as a compliance matter?" The question itself reflects the need for a paradigm shift. "Compliance" is just a subset of "governance" and not the other way around. To perhaps go one step further, not only is compliance part of governance, in fact, depending on the industry and company situation, a well-governed organization might go "beyond" that compliance which is necessary and appropriate, to a state of compliance that creates competitive advantage. This is also the real board's dilemma, that of driving the business forward with adequate control and balance them just right.

Critical thinking vs. debate

Critical thinking, like systems thinking, allows for more expansive thinking.

Critical thinking is the mental process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information to reach an answer or conclusion; while the debate is a discussion, as of a public question in an assembly, involving opposing viewpoints (dictionary.com). Critical thinking vs. debate: how to leverage them in decision making and culture shaping?

Debating is a style of critical thinking activity: In order to win the debate, you would need to know more about your opponent and you would need to plan tactics and strategies to win the debate which would require applied critical thinking in order to discover and execute these things. Similarly “performance reviews” are a style of critical thinking activity or “risk assessments” are a style of critical thinking activity. Critical thinking is a basic form of organized thought specifically used to discover concrete solutions or implement concrete actions. Whether it is a debate, argument, interview, investigation or chess game, critical thinking will apply. The deb ate,when used properly, can be a way to explore critical thinking from a non-biased perspective.

Critical thinking, like systems thinking, allows for more expansive thinking: Because we "steer away from falsehoods," question individual, collective, social assumptions and reframe the inquiry. There are two sides to this, at least in terms of our basic epistemic goals. One is getting to the truth, the other is avoiding falsehood. So critical thinking is associated with the metacognitive disciplines that steer one away from believing falsehoods, more so than steering one toward the truth. The latter is more associated with the special sciences - physics, mathematics, philosophy, etc. The debate is a critical thinking activity which helps to build the culture of openness. We all bring our own biases and judgment to arguments. Having a debate where people are forced to uphold a view or belief that isn't necessarily their own, forces some critical thinking principles - increased perspective, less prejudgement and looking at another belief from a little less emotional perspective.
Critical thinking, logic, empathy, emotions etc are all properties of the mind: Truth brings us together, and starts with the ‘mind’ existing in space and time separated from all the other minds, which we think are there and interact with us every day. In every respect, our experiences, consciousness, social interactions are merely properties of the mind we use or are comprised of. Critical thinking, logic, empathy, emotions etc are all properties of the mind, therefore, is largely based on human social interaction, science and philosophy, and is always under the umbrella of relativity- a mind cannot decide something is absolutely true because it is relative by nature. That is the philosophical problem. It is all relative to the observer, there are no absolute objective truths because the decision would be made from a relative place ‘THE MIND.”

Some say, the difference between debating and critical thinking is that the whole purpose of debate is to win it, the purpose of critical thinking is to get to the better understanding of things. Still, the mantra of debating is to “winning with purpose.” The principle of critical thinking is correlated with the purpose of education: “education is not the learning of fact, but the training of the mind to think.” (Einstein)

What Would you Consider to be Key Features of a Successful Portfolio Management Tool

Either managing portfolio or other activities, build a framework which allows movement along the process path.
Organizations today have to manage the large quantity of projects in order to beat competition and delight customers. In reality, many businesses still manage portfolio decisions on good old excel spreadsheets where each item carries importance based on a selection of criteria, new revenue, strategic fit, etc. Progressively, with many management tools handy, how to take more advanced approach, by applying a portfolio management software tool to drive the key decisions that result in a strategically aligned change portfolio to bring efficiency and effectiveness?

Think about how a portfolio platform might look: It includes innovation management, portfolio management, enterprise architecture, business process, the planning aspects of a portfolio, all should make up a platform. They all offer extensive configurability to reflect the way you like to see the portfolio sliced and projects run (flexible or formal process with "forks"), with links to business strategy alignment, scenario planning, program and project life cycles, project initiation, requirements management, risk management, resource management, project controls (progress, finance, quality and change), comprehensive dashboard reporting and tracking of benefit realization. A layered approach with data feeding up so the portfolio owner can advise the board etc, and they can make strategic decisions without digging in the detail. Down below can be suitable tools for purpose on the projects which align and support the project methodologies and requirements.

The portfolio management tools are necessary to work in two distinct modes: The first of these is at the operational level where practitioners can use a system as a collaborative environment to collate information and as a repository for their key data. This starts with the ability to capture ideas beginning with input from the business or customer quickly followed by input from those who shape ideas and those turn ideas into reality. Scenario planning would be a key feature to support this idealization process. The second is the strategic planning of the potential portfolio, "what if" situations showing potential scale of business benefit to be driven from the portfolio based on different mixes of programs and projects. It provides an “executive” view including impact analysis, reporting and alignment to strategy. All of the above should be supported by a robust, flexible and comprehensive set of tools to report and provide performance metrics, which allow the portfolio to be fine-tuned over time so that it delivers maximum strategic advantage to the organization. Operational data should only be published to the executive level through a control mechanism to avoid wildly variable information affecting decision making. And all product development should follow a prescribed process (or processes to cater for differently sized activities) monitored and regulated by the system. And an effective portfolio management tool is flexible, it can slice and dice the portfolio in a variety of ways - by geography; by line of business; by sponsoring executive; by delivery unit; strategic theme; and so on.  
Execution Management includes varying management perspective: Requirements Management of the specific needs of each component of the portfolio; Resource Management of the resources that are committed to the portfolio; Project Management of elements in the portfolio such as project definition, project planning, risk and issue management, change control, time capture, progress reporting, operational management of business unit, and its impact on the active portfolio; financial management of actual / re-forecasts of the active portfolio to ensure costs are controlled and the delivery of benefits stays on track. Value Management means the P&L of the active portfolio; the strategic ROI of the portfolio; the TCO of the portfolio. The final level of planning at this level is the creation of the agreed road-map which illustrates the final version of the portfolio that will become the active portfolio.

Portfolio management processes are important, but it doesn't mean all product development should follow a prescribed process, that stifles innovation. There are many tools around, but lack of a “perfect” one. Rather, build a framework which allows movement along the process path. There are not many strong portfolio management options that truly facilitate the full reporting, sensitivity/scenario features and calculations that would enable better and faster decision making. So the key factors are executive sponsorship, effective change management, and a pragmatic deployment plan - all focused on driving business value.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Are your Future Leaders Prepared?

The leadership is complex; the future of leaders have to deal with opposing views, cultures, constraints and competitions.

Business competition is fierce at digital age. Successful companies need to grow and innovate; investing in and developing the next generation of leaders and talent is one of the best ways to do that. Businesses, are your future leaders prepared though?

Leadership development is strategic imperative: Leadership development, especially for large corporations is not only a continuous process but also one which has a high focus on the top management. There is a surging demand for training future leaders, the current need is related to the realization that the gap is widening between boomers and the next group of workers. Whether this is related to just the generation gap or because companies are still being impacted by the no-hire policies of the recession, they are now recognizing the need to prepare employees for the not so distant future. Until there is enough sponsorship from the top most echelon the organizations cannot get the desired results. Succession planning, reviewing the current talent and talent pipeline, building very clear time-bound action plans for the current and pipeline is extremely important. Goes without saying, this has to be reviewed at regular intervals.

Bridging the leadership mindset gap: Organizations not only need good managers to take care of today’s business; but also have to grow the future leaders to leapfrog their companies for long-term prosperity. But what are those leadership development gaps and how to mind them? Typically, candidates for leadership roles have come from the ranks of function. While this may contribute to the mantra of 'promoting from within,' it is decidedly narrow-minded. When promotion opportunities occur, those whose performance is excellent are signaled out as the next supervisor, manager, director, or above. The problem is that their performance was based on their ability to execute the things; not based on their strategizing potential to move the business to the next level. Further, of these people are termed 'high potential' or 'hipo' by senior leaders and put on a fast track to senior leadership. These programs can be noticeably lacking. Lacking because most 'leaders' develop their skill sets over years of experience, trial and error, making mistakes, and then, perhaps they have a 'book of knowledge' that is rooted in the right mind setting.

Leadership development has to be integrated with all other policies and procedures: The key to organizational success is to integrate next generation of leaders, tap into their way of looking at the world, solving problems in very collaborative working style. By tapping into this next generation of leaders, supporting them in leading projects and giving them responsibilities early on our organizations will have a better chance to stay relevant. In addition, leadership development has to be integrated with all other policies and procedures. It starts at the hiring process, needs to be linked to company culture, mission, vision, and values, and of course, there is a direct link to performance management.

The business is complex, the world is complex, and leadership is complex, the future of leaders have to deal with opposing views, cultures, constraints and competition. They are able to influence perception into a positive movement of the followership to reach a shared vision, make a positive impact on their organizations and beyond. Organizations, are your future leaders ready?

Digital Master Tuning #67: What’s your PoV of Digital Paradigm Shift?

We are at the dawn of the digital transformation - the change from one era to another is often called, "PARADIGM SHIFT." 

We are experiencing the major societal TRANSFORMATION from the industrial machine age to the post-industrial information/ knowledge /insight/ digital age. These changes and transformations are reshaping our thinking and recasting the way we view ourselves, the systems of which we are the part, the environments in which we live, and the way we view the world.

This "view of the world" (world-view) has many dimensions: The socio-cultural, the socio-technical, the socio-economic, the organizational, the scientific, and the philosophical, just to name a few. A world-view (window to the world) is like a lens through which we perceive the landscape of life that becomes our reality. Those who look through the lens of the previous era see their own reality very differently from those who use the lens that the new era has crafted. These dimensions interact and mutually influence each other expressing that interaction as an emergence of a new worldview very different from the previous era - the era of the industrial society. Because Digital means flow: the energy flow, the information flow, the idea flow and the mind flow, so the view of the world needs to become more dynamic, more adjustable and more colorful.

The world is a holistic ecosystem: Nature, World, or the ecosystem sometimes are used interchangeably. It is all the products of a physically, chemically, biologically, cognologically, linguistically, technologically evolving Nature, in that sequence. In the ancient human history, the wholeness was the focal point of either Eastern or Western philosophy; in the modern era, the pendulum swung toward scientific analysis and reductionistic separations throughout the scientific era until as recently as the early 1920s, when the notion of wholeness and organism was talked about again. By 1933, Holism, the whole greater than the sum of the parts, was entered into the Encyclopedia. The transformations of a system are located in its environment, observed initially from the classic developmental rates of change over time, identifying varying directions of regular proportional change. That succession begins with proportionally increasing and then decreasing steps of positive change, followed by the same increasing and decreasing progression of rates of change in a negative direction. Hence, the progression of human society is not linear straight up, but a cursive spiral.

Framing the new mind to see the ever changing world via the multi-dimensional lenses: Over the last couple of decades, we have been faced with increasingly more complex and pressing problem-situations, embedded in interconnected systems operating in dynamically changing environments. In addressing these problem situations and working with their relevant systems, we have learned to recognize the limitations of the perspectives, methods, and tools of the traditional scientific orientation. Every serious problem we face today as a species has been caused by human dysfunction or destructiveness. And human dysfunction and destructiveness are caused by the interaction of hidden (intangible and invisible) human affective, cognitive, imaginative and connotative functions and content. In other words, the wrong focus, the wrong values, the wrong assumptions, the wrong ends, and the wrong means. When these hidden human functions and content are wrong, humans do the wrong things, and this impacts the rest of nature in ways that put our survival at ever increasing risk. When a new stage emerges in the progression of society and advance of the technology, the continued use of the old paradigm, the old-world-view-lens, creates ever-increasing problems. So people have to frame a new mindset, learn to use the new lens of the new era, and acquire a new thinking, knowing, and doing based on the new worldview.

Insight is the most wanted vision to see the world holistically and intimately. From the new systems point of view, knowledge is a part of the process of life, of a dialogue between subject and object. Classical science defined complexity in terms of the multiple parts of a system while systems science defines it based on multiple interactions with the environment and the interactions among parts within the viewed system. The social system can be perceived through the lenses of sociology, psychology, the economics of education, the anthropology of cultures, economics, organizational and communication sciences, poetical science, and so on. And such knowledge insight should lead us not only understanding, but also predicting; not just managing problems, but also pursuing solution and purpose seeking, as a mode of thinking and action. So with such digital paradigm shift, knowledge is not less important, but more important, but knowledge alone is not sufficient, the insight is the most wanted vision to see the world in the holistic and intimate way.

So the digital paradigm shift is inevitable. The world view implied by modern physics is inconsistent with today’s hyper-connected, over-complex and interdependent society, it does not reflect the interrelatedness we observe in nature. To achieve such a state of dynamic balance, a radically different social and economic structure will be needed; a digital revolution in the true sense of the word. The survival of our whole civilization may depend on whether we can bring about such a shift -from mind shift to structure shift to behavior shift. It will depend ultimately, on our ability to experience the wholeness of nature and the art of living in harmony.

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

Creativity vs. Consciousness

While an average adult gets about 70,000 random thoughts in a day, the brain can maintain only one thought at the same moment. 

All living beings are creative and we, humans, like to think that we are the most creative beings of all, not too sure about that. But speaking of humans, our creativity fluctuates, seems to disappear at times, get blocked, or sparkle in abundance and flow out of us some other times. So what’s the correlation between creativity and consciousness?

Creativity is coupled to consciousness through control: Consciousness is the living being, and with its senses active and deliver something useful to itself or others. Creativity is a combination of something currently non-existent, thoughts, acts and with or without constraints. To be creative, you need to be conscious, curious about things that surround you. To be conscious is to be aware and engaged with both the inner world of thought, feeling, choice, and the exterior world of experience and relationship. The interaction between these two parts of our existence is the home of our creativity. It is the grist for our creative mill. It enables to connect seemingly unconnected items to build something new.

Creativity and consciousness are interlinked, like the two strands of the same DNA: One cannot exist without the other. Creativity is born from conscious awareness and its complexity is given by the level of consciousness that is reached. Creativity is about listening to the silence for whatever wants to be revealed and expressed, emptying oneself from what is known, entering the unknown, trusting the mystery that invites us into a self-discovery journey that encompasses body-mind-heart-soul. Creativity is consciousness. It's such desire that sends a true spark through, allowing one to see how all things can be both connected and or disconnected to create completely new forms, systems, and ideas.

What fuels creativity? It is a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic factors: On one hand, we have the level of curiosity, desire to learn and natural ability to maintain an open and inquisitive mind, and on the other hand, we have the conditions of the environment in which we operate, with all the restrictions, the needs, the gaps and pressures that might push our creative minds to soar. And then, of course, it is the ability to tap into the universal consciousness, a state of pure awareness where our mind is completely open to receive new ideas from the collective pool. Creativity comes into play when we call upon our conscious mind with the intention to bring forth solutions from our unconscious. As human beings consciousness is at the heart of who we are. Our minds have access to both conscious thoughts and at times unconscious thought. It is a conscious mind we call with some unconscious activities of allowing creativity flow, as many creatives or inventors may tell you, ideas tend to come when you stop thinking about the problem, and they would also say that it involves that allowing to be part of a process of trial and error. We all have this ability and it can be developed so we should encourage people, particularly young children to consciously use their creative imagination to create a better world.

Creativity is not a "thing," it´s a process that happens as a proactive mental activity to a problem: Creativity is as much defined by the problem as by the capacity of the individual to connect things to resolve that problem in new and sometimes unexpected ways. The nature of consciousness is important in creativity. To be truly creative requires the suppression of many of the parts of our consciousness which we rely on most heavily in everyday life. If creativity is the process of assembling previously disparate or unconnected ideas into a new whole, then it can only be a conscious act to do so. That process may start with a 'what if' or 'if only' moment or a direct challenge to find a solution. Inspiration, on the other hand, may arrive from the unlikeliest of sources or disconnected thoughts and almost invariably when the conscious effort to be creative has been suspended.

Creativeness might also be the minds expansion into freedom. Creativity involves birthing something into existence which was not there before. This involves consciousness of a high order. To the extent that spirituality encourages you to think beyond visible limits, it cannot help but aid in the creative birthing process. Creativeness derives from one's ability to let go. Let go of assumptions and stigmas we place on objects, ideas, function, and has a vision of purpose besides what is already obvious. The willingness to fail and try again in order to one day succeed. The creative people should have a high level of intelligence so that this longing can be converted to thought which has the capacity to explore unusual pathways. The person should have the capacity to enter into moments of reverie during which his/her frustrated thoughts, unanswered problems etc. reorder them and receive an insight. The creativity can be sparked in an epiphany or it might be a work in progress. Once we start to formulate an idea, it can lead us to make connections with other experiences we have had in our lives until we finally have a final product we are satisfied with.

A combination of conscious and unconscious factors allow us to follow through our initial creative impulse; idea generation process is also the capacity to focus. Focus gains clarity. Clarity increases awareness and awareness taps into new, creative and innovative views of the world.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Fixed vs. Growth Minds

Human’s mind is the most valuable thing to shape every progress, but also the root cause of all mankind problems.

At traditional organizational setting, people are hired to do their job with compliance; and managers are hired to manage projects or people with control. However, businesses large or small are faced with rapid changes and digital dynamic. Such static management practice based on the fixed mindset is no longer sufficient to adapt to the changes or lift business up to the next level. Which shift is needed for smooth digital transformation?

From fixed mind to growth mind: Fixed mindset refers to those who approach the work with fixed mindset-the assumption that their abilities were innate and not subject to change; while accelerated or growth mindset refers to those who solve problems or target the goals with growth mindset- the belief that their ability level was nothing more than a snapshot in time and eminently changeable as they continued to learn and develop. In industrial era, fixed mindset is OK to survive, even get rewarded as the business and the world are slow to change, and businesses avoid risks and stay in their "comfort zone" with culture of mediocre; however, at age of digitalization, knowledge is only a click away, growth mindset is strategic imperative to adapt to the changes, and accelerated mind is needed to match the digital speed and leapfrog their businesses. The speed in organizations is determined by:
-The speed of transactions
-The speed of decision making
-The speed with which new ideas are created
-How fast ideas are brought to market
-The velocity of capital flows
-The speed which information and knowledge flow through the economic system.

Growth leadership mind is the key to driving business growth: What inspiring leaders want to cultivate a ‘growth mindset’? With this mindset, you believe that you can change things through the result into great output and vise verse. Growth leadership mindset must believe - all dreams have the potential to be translated into fulfillment. The key here is BELIEF. Even harder than changing behavior, it is changing beliefs. And, when your effort doesn't translate into desired results trying to understand why. Were you focusing on the wrong things? What can you learn? What would you do differently next time? What can you change? Beats the 'beating myself up' option every time!  A growth leadership mind can inspire more growth mind by making the story VIVID. Research has shown that when you do a presentation follow these three principles: Tell the Truth, Tell a Story, Tell the Story with Pictures. Extraordinary Presentations CHANGE people. Demonstrate a challenge and how obstacles were overcome - a Hero's Journey. Then instead of perceiving information from your HEAD because you THINK it, the information is in your HEART and you BELIEVE it.

Growth mindset wanted: There are some basic fundamental characteristics will separate a right candidate from a wrong candidate in digital talent recruiting. For example, would you prefer hiring a person who has a graduate (know it all) attitude vs. somebody who is passionate about lifelong learning? Would you hire somebody who demonstrates the ability to execute vs. somebody who lacks the capacity to break down a strategy into execution? Would you hire a person who is constant negative vs. somebody have the positive attitude? Would you hire a candidate for a leadership position who is strong in keeping hands full, but lack of thinking and strategy formulation skills? Would you hire a person for coaching position who understand the subject inside out, but not a great communicator? Would you hire one who only follows the command, but lack of creativity to do things differently, to fit a key position? In a business setting, the philosophy, work ethic and values of an organization are established in recruiting people to the company. Then through training and closely monitoring results and ethics, you develop your talent so that they have the growth mind to deliver business results effectively and efficiently in an ethical manner while exhibiting the vision and guts required to lead the organization’s next level of growth.

Mindset is everything. Human’s mind is the most valuable thing to shape every progress, but also the root cause of all mankind problems. And a growth leadership mindset is audacious, adaptive, aggressive when necessary—these leaders are stepping out of their own comfort zone, walking the talk and leading changes more confidently.

How to Set Workforce Metrics Linked to Customer Satisfaction

The nutshell version is you need to think about the employee behaviors, knowledge and expertise that is potentially linked to the performance outcomes of interest. 

Being a customer-centric business is a digital mantra for many forward-thinking organizations. How to translate such vision into business logic and step-by-step action scenario, how to set up a reporting-assessment-monitoring process; and how to measure the result? Is there any workforce metrics linked to the quality of the products and customer satisfaction?

Build a “behavioral value chain” map: The overall idea is to build a "business logic" or "behavioral value chain" between the inputs - intermediate steps - outcomes. Unpack the employee inputs - product quality - customer satisfaction chain to determine what constitutes each of the parts and the strength, and direction of the various links in the chain. Identify, understand and potentially take account of various contextual factors or environmental factors in case there is more to the story as well. On another side, do not assume product quality is actually the best predictor of customer satisfaction either... but a very important one, if you actually want something that will be predictive of actual behavior.

A reporting-assessment-monitoring process: Once you have your map, look at what data you have to test or support your new theoretical model, and building the evidence that indeed you have found actual predictive pathways. By this stage you will now be able to determine the workforce attitudes, behaviors, and expertise, you need to shape appropriate workforce strategies that will actually ensure these things happen and put in place a reporting-assessment-monitoring process to act as a feedback loop as things change. The nutshell version is you need to think about the employee behaviors, knowledge and expertise that is potentially linked to the performance outcomes of interest - it would be product quality and through this to customer satisfaction.

Tailored metrics: Any of the prior attempts that have failed have usually been the result of an approach of linking aggregate employee satisfaction with aggregate customer satisfaction. This is far too macro and introduces too many variables. The challenge is that the former is only one driver of the latter, and therefore other ancillary factors such as capital investment, customer expectations, often can impact customer satisfaction and prevent a meaningful trend from emerging. Rather than using standard metrics, you can build your own custom metrics that suit your organization. If you have quality of product data and customer satisfaction data, map them out and start to overlay some HR data over. If you're more maths oriented then start mashing them together and see what correlations you can draw. The caution is: don't necessarily see a correlation as causation, keep asking why until you have it.

Either mapping the behavior value chain or linking the workforce metrics to customer satisfaction, more often, it is not the linear steps, you have to apply system thinking, take account of various contextual factors, make balance of customer satisfaction and business profitability, engage employees and focus on long term business prosperity.

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