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

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

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

Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Popular Innovation Quotes Collection IV of “Digital Master” Book Series

Digital has the hybrid nature; it’s about mixing something old and new, the best practices and the next practices.

“Digital Master” is the series of guidebooks (19+ books) is to perceive the multifaceted impact digital is making to the business and our society, help forward-thinking organizations navigate through the digital journey in a systematic way, and avoid “rogue digital.” Here is the set of popular quotes for conveying the digital vision and sharing the unique insight about the digital transformation.

Innovation is about moving forward. In any business, if you are not moving forward, you are moving backward.

The goal of innovation measurement is to not only do things right but do the right things and continuously improve doing that.

Make the innovation process as visible, company-wide, as possible, but not too rigid.

Innovation must be part of the organization’s DNA - Culture.

Innovation = Idea executed to produce value.

Digital fit IT means being hyperconnected with less wire and hyper-competitive with better capabilities.

Digital premium means a lot, such as business effectiveness, agility, innovation, intelligence, and people-centricity.

To unleash the digital potential of IT, organizations need to understand that IT is not just technical or scientific, but also artistic and delightful.

IT is being used more and more around the globe for revenue generating initiatives and business is becoming IT.

IT is the catalyzer of digital innovation and multiplier of the digital capability.

Self-realization is a desire to experience ever deeper fulfillment by realizing and actualizing more of own potential.

Digital has the hybrid nature; it’s about mixing something old and new, the best practices and the next practices.

The exercise of blending people’s cognitive differences and problem-solving abilities to produce the desired outcome is a worthwhile thing to do.

To succeed in driving innovation, it is essential for empowering people to push ideas forward, and the entire company to be pulling in the right direction.

Intrapreneurialism is a constructive emotion that drives positive value creation in a well-established organization.

CIOs as Digital Leaders: How to Manage a Seamless Digital Continuum?

IT leaders should remember that IT is about the information and innovation, and focus on being a solution-driven organization and a digital engine to manage a seamless digital transformation.

Digital is about the rapid change and continuous business flow, IT becomes a changing organization to driving business transformation. CIOs as digital leaders are expected to constantly propose new ideas and drive the digital paradigm shift in strategic-making, role, responsibility, and attitude. Digital transformation is more as a journey than a destination. Digital transformation efforts need to be undertaken as the means of getting to a designated different capability to accomplish a defined goal and manage a seamless digital continuum.

Intelligent preparedness: With increasing pace of changes and “VUCA” digital new normal, CIOs have to well prepare for continuous digital disruptions. IT strategic planning as a cohesive component of the business strategy needs to identify where the organization wants to be at some point in the future and how it’s going to get there. To make intelligent preparedness, CIOs need to understand every aspect of the business and connect all effective dots between IT and business as well as across the digital ecosystem. The "strategic" part of this digital transformation planning process is the continual attention to current changes in the organization and its external environment, and how this affects the future of the organization. IT plays a pivotal role in leading a digital transformation in their organization because IT is at the unique position to oversee business processes, manage business information to capture the real-time business insight for grasping business opportunities and predicting risks. The transformative digital IT is no longer just the background music, it has to pay its own music sheet as well as conduct the digital symphony. The point is that the intelligent preparedness process is never “done,” it is a continuous business cycle which is a part of management process itself. It is important to make strategic planning dynamic to embrace changes, enforce iterative communication and dynamic execution.

Prioritizing right: There are so many things going on, and IT is always overloaded and understaffed. Setting the right priority is critical to managing a seamless digital continuum because a company has finite resources to apply to get the best yield possible to meet stakeholders’ expectation. And there are always some constraints for IT to run a balanced portfolio of “run, grow, and transform,” to explore new opportunities, deploy new ideas or explore the different path for changes and digital transformation. Therefore, evaluation and prioritization are taken place to leverage resources in management, bring transparency to the organization, and create internal competitions among new ideas and business initiatives. It takes commitment and discipline to stay focused on the real priorities of the business instead of being distracted by what seems to be more urgent on any given moment. IT has to oversee the full set of the business requirements to ensure the business cohesiveness and to determine all the customers, users, and stakeholders, and obtain their involvement. Continuously try to improve, develop, or change everything in a prioritized order as long as it creates a more long-term business advantage and solves the critical business challenges. That said, the CIOs must be the business strategist first, and tactical IT manager second, with information available to them for making effective decisions, proactively understand business and customers, in order to set the right priority, and run a high performance IT with full speed.

A renewed sense of vigor: Traditional IT organizations are often lack of personality, being perceived as a cost center and a support desk. Forward-looking companies must empower their IT to become a change agent organization with a renewed sense of vigor. The digital IT paints an excellent picture of the business interaction and independence of the expanded digital ecosystem. Make digital IT more shared, energetic, integrated, flexible, versatile, nimble, reliable, and fast. In order to survive and thrive amid rapid changes, companies must reclaim the right balance of standardization and innovation, process and flexibility; stability and change, competition and collaboration, etc. And the common element of a proactive IT is business engagement, whatever and wherever the business needs are. Digital IT organizations have to enable desirable emergent property, either being called synergy or differentiated competency such as innovation, to not just support or enable business, but more critically, to catalyze business growth and strive vigorously in leading digital transformation.  

Systematic approach: Digital IT has to run both in the business as well as on the business, in order to break down silo mentality, close blindspots, and connect all necessary puzzle pieces together to manage a seamless digital continuum via a structural approach. At today’s information-driven business dynamic, there’s no shortage of problems to tackle. It's about being able to get all the way around the task, to see it from all interests. Digital Paradigm means holism, hyper-connectivity, interdependence, and integration. CIOs need to be bold and innovative, scaling the power of information is about creating a structure that continually delivers what the business needs and takes further steps for maximizing business potential. It is also critical to apply a holistic management discipline which can break through the industrial constraints and limitations, solving the problems via digging into the root causes and shifting the business from doing digital to going digital systematically.

“SMART” measurement: Managing a seamless digital continuum means to make a progressive journey to improve performance and expedite changes. Managing performance and improving business achievement means setting metrics, adjusting plans, understanding results, and making decisions to ensure the strategic goals are on the right track to achieve. Ensure these measures are both quantitative and qualitative, follow the “SMART” principle - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound,  and implement whatever mechanisms you need to be able to gather information. Measures are not just numbers, but stories. Every measure selected should be part of a link of cause-and-effect relationships, and ultimately affect the growth and long-term perspectives of the organization. Good metrics help to track the business progress in a tangible way and help to improve the overall business manageability and effectiveness.

IT leaders should remember that IT is about the information and innovation, and focus on being a solution-driven organization and a digital engine to manage a seamless digital transformation. Digital transformation is worth its weight because of its high impact on optimizing business performance and driving the business’s long-term prosperity.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Monthly "Digital IT: 100 Q&As" Book Tuning: How to Gauge the Success of IT Digital Transformation Oct. 2017

Debating is not for stimulating conflicts, but for brainstorming better ways to do things.

Due to the changing nature of technology, IT leadership role also continues to involve & shift the focus, to move up the maturity level. More and more CIOs are requested to take more responsibility and many CIOs present the breadth of leadership competency. The proactive IT debates help IT leaders to brainstorm innovative and better ways to do things and improve management capabilities. Here is the monthly “Digital IT: 100 Q&As” book tuning with a set of blogs to brainstorm how to bridge IT-business gaps.

How to Gauge the Success of IT Digital Transformation

  • How to Gauge the Success of IT Digital Transformation? As businesses embark on the “Digital Era” of computing and managing, the digital has become ’normality,’ and almost everyone now feels at ease with digital technology, but also feels a bit overwhelming about the exponential growth of information. As the steward of information and technology in the organization, IT is always in the changing environment creating unexpected situations and requiring quick and appropriate responses based on the conditions. So how to shift IT from the reactive support function to a proactive digital engine of the company? And How to gauge the success of IT digital transformation?

  • How to Set Performance Indicators to Measure Return on Digital Transformation? Change is inevitable, and the speed of change is increasing. The digital transformation is now spreading rapidly to enable organizations of all shapes and sizes to reinvent themselves, but it is the thorny journey with many bumps and curves on the way. How do you measure return on digital transformation in order to make the timely adjustment and improve its success rate? A well-defined set of measurement for digital transformation should contain a good mix of outcome measures or the long-term strategic value along with performance drivers to track the progress in the short term (operational measures).

  • What’re on your Digital Transformation Scoreboard? Forward-looking organizations are on the journey of digital transformation. How would you calculate the digital maturity score of your organization? Which management metrics should you apply to measure the progress of changes? Proactive or reactive? On the track or too slow? Healthy or sick? The balanced scorecard is a strategic performance management tool that can be used by managers to keep track of the execution of activities by the staff to monitor the consequences arising from these actions. So, what is on your digital transformation scoreboard?

  • How to Measure Changes? At We can only manage what we measure. Is change so hard because it’s so hard to measure Changes? Organizations have so much difficulty measuring change for a variety of reasons such as miscommunication, hidden agendas, unclear goals and mission, poor leadership, "doing the same things over and over and expecting different results." Change is a process with known/ controllable and unpredictable/unknowable variables. Change is ALWAYS happening around us at work and outside work. Perhaps the difficulty in measuring change management is that the very thing we are measuring is changing. There is an inherent oxymoron in the term change management. We want people to change, and manage or control at the same time. That's like trying to drive with your foot on the brake and the accelerator at the same time. So to put it simply, how to measure changes, or more precisely?

  • How to Build and Measure Workplace Creativity? Tn recent years, creativity has become a very highly valued skill. Creative people combine existing possibilities to reach more often unexpected solutions. Creativity is an essential building block for innovation in business. Everyone possesses a certain level of creativity; some just have more than others. How does creativity manifest itself in the workplace? What's the best work environment for creativity? What products (tangible or otherwise) are creative? Where that creativity arises from. And what acts, behaviors etc. may be examples of the organizational creative process? What risks are associated with creativity not being manifested in the workplace? How might you see a creative employee?
The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2 million page views with 4100+ blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. blog posting. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating the new ideas; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify diverse voices and deepen digital footprints, and it's the way to harness your innovative spirit.

How to Spot your Innovators?

Innovators are among us and within us, spot them via how they think and do things differently.

Creativity is an essential building block for innovation in business. And innovation is the light every business is pursuing. Everyone possesses a certain level of creativity, but how does creativity manifest itself in the workplace? What's the best work environment to stimulate creativity? And how can digital leaders spot their true innovators and improve innovation success rate?

Think differently: Being a digital innovator means you need to break down the silo thinking, breakthrough conventional wisdom and challenge the status quo. Being innovative is less about thinking alike, more about thinking differently, to ignite creativity and bridge blind spots in decision-making. Creativity is a multidimensional thought process, higher level thinking, and often multidisciplinary association. Innovators have abilities to connect unusual dots to stimulate creativity. Innovators do not just reactively wait for the Eureka moment, they have insight and transdisciplinarity to think and work across discipline and discover better solutions to complex problems. They can shape a bigger box of thinking, think outside of the company, industry and even societal impacts. They can ask open questions, identify blind spots or mind gaps, in order to identify the issues behind the scenes. Thus, spot your innovators based on how they think, their inquisitiveness, their ability to connect the dots, and their learning agility,

Break the rules: As the old saying goes, “you can’t make the omelet without breaking a few eggs.” Innovation is all about breaking the old way and search for the better ways to do things. Innovators are rebels, and rule breakers, the one who can step out of a conventional thinking box, or linear patterns. Innovators are not just fresh thinkers, but also creative problem-solvers. Though at the traditional organizational setting, innovators are often perceived as troublemakers. Being perceived as the troublemaker is not a bad thing when it comes to innovation. Since being innovative is a state of mind which disrupts legacy thinking or the old way to do things. True innovation always spurs certain disruptions otherwise it is not innovation. Thus, organizations should appreciate their innovators because they can lift the business out of the stagnation and lift the company toward the next level of the growth cycle. Still, it doesn't mean that innovators are "ruleless." Breaking outdated rules is an integral part of innovation, replace the operative word “rules” with principles that allow thinking room, and set guidelines to keep enforcing innovation and making progress.

Play the odds: Innovators are the rare breed who not only think but also do things differently. Spotting and scoring individual as an innovator needs to focus on individual capabilities and potential to innovate. Business evolution requires innovation, innovation requires fresh ideas, and fresh ideas require Mavericks. Innovators play the odd which involves both opportunities and risks. Creativity relates to intelligence, empathy, idealism, process understanding. Hence, businesses today should spot and recognize their innovators who can rise above the status quo and take on a new set of activities that have them involved in the strategy development process, and maximize the full potential of the digital organization.

Innovators are among us and within us, spot them via how they think and do things differently. Empower them to build the culture of innovation. Encourage people to be creative, foster a creative environment in which people can unlock their creativity, build creative teams that can bring all sorts of strengths and capabilities together to amplify creativity effect and run a highly innovative organization.

How Can Digital Characteristics Brighten the Shadow of Bureaucracy

Organizations today must take the holistic digital management practices to keep the business flow, increase business flexibility, accelerate the speed and run a high-responsive and high-innovative digital organization.

Traditional organizations have a pyramidal hierarchy and overly rigid organizational structure and processes, which often enforce silo thinking and business bureaucracy. Generally speaking, bureaucracy is a system based on a hierarchy of authority and division of workforce functioning in a routine manner. Bureaucracy is criticized by its inflexibility, inefficiency, silo, stagnation, unresponsiveness, lack of creativity, etc. It is correlated with a mechanistic view of the organization and reductionistic management discipline. With increasing rate of changes and fast growing information, the organization needs to be adapted in a digital way that it can respond effectively to the dynamic changes and to the variety in the environment. But more specifically, how can emergent digital characteristics brighten the shadow of bureaucracy to improve management effectiveness and organizational maturity?

Fluidity: Bureaucracy causes stagnation. Organizations, like individuals, need to be in flow to operate smoothly. Digital means flow, information flow, mind flow, knowledge flow, and business flow. Fluidity streamlines innovation process. How these ideas are recognized, filtered and dealt with will become a crucial factor in producing innovative products or services, build business competency, and expand its influence with the ability to co-create in a digital ecosystem. In today's volatile economy, nothing impedes progress more than protective silos which are simply a form of bureaucratic management hierarchy designed to preserve the status quo. An organization achieves the state of digital equilibrium through its management layers. Thus, delayering becomes a lens through which it is possible to examine and fix many other issues including bureaucracy. An organization can approach the flow zone when the positions in its hierarchy have clear, accountable tasks, ideas are shared and managed effectively, and processes are streamlined to improve organizational performance seamlessly.

Hyperconnectivity: Bureaucracy causes silo thinking. Digital is about connectivity, it means to have the better ability for dots connection across the geographical, functional, organizational, industrial, or generational boundaries. However, breaking down silos and being intentional about developing processes that encourage collaboration is a great first step in bringing about cultural change and accelerate digital transformation. Organizations and their people learn through their interaction with the environment. They act, observe the consequences of their action, make inferences about those consequences and draw implications for future action. The dynamic and enrich interaction can accelerate performance and talent multiplication to harness innovation capability.

High flexibility: Bureaucracy is often caused by overly rigid structure and business processes. The digital organizations should be a complex, but flexible social system starting to appreciate business attributes such as readiness, ownership, integration, open communication, customized structuring and multifaceted partnerships. The flexible digital organizational structure is implemented via the virtual team setting well mixing with the physical structure. These democratic processes will overtake hierarchical control, and that culture will become a more fundamental organizational asset. Looking at all the elements (including the human element) as an integrated and dynamic system that, functions as an organic living thing. 'Individual' work and 'group' work cannot be done as a segregated form but within a 'framework' of an entire system or 'frame of reference,' systems, processes, policies, culture, work climates, customers, and the whole business ecosystem. Digital leaders or managers are also flexible and comfortable with ambiguity and respectful of processes, without being slaves to them. They do not focus on hierarchy but on ideas, information, creativity, flexibility, openness, and curiosity. They can lead the flexible team with extensive experience and expertise to figure out alternative ways to do things and improve the overall business manageability.

High responsiveness: Bureaucracy decelerates the speed. Running a real-time digital organization means high-responsiveness and high speed. The reality is that organizations that do not respond to external environmental changes will quickly outcompete as more nimble enterprises take their customers. Digital organizations must have strategic responsiveness to process business information almost real-time, break down silos and communicate and collaborate with business counterparts. Even the speed of change is increasing, businesses still do have contexts of relative certainty, while simultaneously have contexts reflecting both complexity and chaos. Companies across sectors should be flexible to leverage tailored management approaches to fit specific circumstances, ultimately respond to the external environment as geopolitics, rapid innovation, and social expectations change the business landscape and blur the digital territories.

High innovativeness: Bureaucracy stifles innovation. But digital is the age of innovation. For many organizations with bureaucratic cultures, innovation is perhaps just a buzzword, very few people, especially leaders live with it. Because innovation is utilizing what you already have in a unique and creative way that has not been done before and using that thing to MAKE PROFIT, it takes risks, the organization must step out of the “comfort zone,” battle bureaucracy, and understand innovation as a process, a management discipline, and capable of delivering the organization-wide capability. At today’s digital dynamic, innovation is a matter of survival in the long term for any organization, and lead to the creative economy at the macro level.

Though organizational bureaucracy inherited from the traditional management discipline brings a certain level of business efficiency. With hyperconnectivity and increasing speed of changes, it becomes the barrier to digital transformation. Organizations today must take the holistic digital management practices to harness cross-functional communication and collaboration, increase business flexibility, accelerate the speed and run a high-responsive and high-innovative digital organization.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Digital Innovation Manifesto

Innovation is the art in the eyes of the artist; innovation is the science in the mind of the scientist; innovation is the bridge between the art and science.

Digital era opens the new chapter of innovation. Today, at the hyper-connected digital ecosystem, innovation can happen anywhere, anytime, it expands both horizontally and vertically. Innovation comes in many flavors and there are many opportunities in an enterprise to do so. Digital innovation is the journey -

From incremental to evolutionary to Breakthrough Innovation.
From idea creation to Implementation to the “Full Spectrum of Innovation.”      
From doing innovation to Being Innovative as a State of Mind.

Innovation is about moving forward. In any business, if you are not moving forward, you are moving backward.
    Take a Structural Discipline over serendipity.
    Encourage Imagination over static mindset.
     Build Heterogeneous Team over Homogeneous setting.
     Embed Creativity into Culture over bureaucracy.
       Make Meaningful Dots Connection over linear logic.
   Take the Path Less Traveled over follow blindly.
From idea generation to innovation implementation, plan, do, check, act, and measure are not linear steps, but an iterative continuum.
Run a Balanced Innovation Portfolio over take the random innovative initiative.
Build an Open Platform for Idea Sharing over management control.
 Foster Cross-Functional Collaboration over silo thinking.
  Take Iterative and Integrative Approach over the rigid process.
 Raise Awareness of Innovation Failure over “Just do it.”
 Select Right Innovation Measurement over finance metrics only.
   Build a Deep Innovation Ecosystem to
    Make a Leap of Digital Transformation.

There must be an appreciation for the organization of the sources of creativity as well as the structures and cultures, the practices and lessons learned that will harness innovation and grow innovators.