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, May 23, 2017

The Monthly “Digital Gaps” Book Tuning May. 2017

Digital Gaps -Bridging Multiple Gaps to Run Cohesive Business” is a guide book to help digital leaders and professionals today identify, analyze, and mind multiple gaps with multidisciplinary insight and holistic understanding. Today’s digital organization simply just can’t stand still. Bridging the 'gap of opportunity' between where you are and want to become is a welcomed challenge and a step-wise approach to making a leap of digital transformation.

Digital Leadership Gaps Digital means hyperconnectivity, fierce competition, and “VUCA” digital normality. Successful companies need to keep growing and innovating, and developing the next generation of leadership is one of the best ways to do that. The variety of management studies shows that there are significant leadership gaps for both innovation management and management innovation, as well as the radical digital transformation. The traditional cookie-cutting matching leadership development approach more possibly lands a homogeneous follower, cannot discover an authentic leader. And traditional talent pool is too static, limited and not dynamic enough to select authentic, creative, and energetic digital leaders who can lead more effectively in today’s complex global business environment. The change needs to come from the top to amplify its influence. If you are not taking steps now to shrink that leadership gaps, you will not be prepared to lead the digital business in the future. But more specifically, how to identify and close digital leadership gaps in order to improve leadership effectiveness and maturity.
How to Fill Three Leadership Gaps? Competition at the leading edge of business is fierce at the age of digitalization and globalization. Successful companies need to grow and innovate, investing in, and developing the next generation of leadership is one of the best ways to do that. Many studies show that there are significant leadership gaps for high potentials who will be tomorrow’s leaders. The cookie-cutting matching approach more possibly lands a homogeneous follower, not discover an authentic leader. And traditional talent pipeline is not sufficient enough to select heterogeneous, creative, and authentic leaders who can lead more effectively in today’s digital dynamic and global business setting. To put simply, there are many multinational companies around, but very few global companies; and there are many multinational business executives, but very few truly global leaders. If you are not taking steps now to shrink that leadership gaps, you will not be prepared to lead the digital business in the future. So what are the significant gaps need to be filled effectively?
Three Traits to Bridge Digital and Global Leadership Gaps? We are at the age of digital dawn, now the physical barriers can no longer be the walls to separate people from communicating and sharing knowledge and insight, are we on the way to recognize the best of the best, or simply blend the variety of perspectives into the new ideas and solutions, and more critically, what are emergent traits to bridge global leadership gaps, and develop the new generation of digital leaders and managers who can gain respect, win hearts and minds not just locally, but globally?
CIOs in the Boardroom: Which Gaps Shall you Bridge??There is no question that businesses need digital leadership in today's boardrooms, as information becomes the life blood of business, digitalization is in every forward-thinking business’s agenda, and globalization turns to be the new normal of business expansion. All of these brings the significant opportunities and responsibilities for the new breed of CIOs: Do you want a seat in the Boardroom, which gaps shall you bridge? Digital gap, information gap, innovation gap or global gap?
How Does a Senior Leader Deal With Blind spots in Decision Making? There’s knowing unknown, there’s unknowing unknown, so it's not a new topic about “Blind Spots,” everyone perhaps has some, but as a senior business leader (or any kind of leader), the blind spots will cloud your vision, trigger your negative emotion, cause your decision ineffectiveness, and screw your leadership competency. So what're the causes of the blind spot, and how to deal with them logically?

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 1.8 million page views with about #3600th blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating the new ideas; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes the time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify diverse voices and deepen digital footprints, and it's the way to harness your innovative spirit.

Setting Digital Principles for Effective Decision-Making

Fundamentally, an organizational management is a decision management and performance management continuum.

A decision is arguably a choice between two or more options. The greater majority of these options are circumstantially provided. Even with the best systems and processes, there are no “magic formula” to guarantee that you will take good decisions. Therefore, it’s crucial to set digital principles that allow different people at different organizational levels to make their own decisions individually to run in the same direction and meet the same objectives in a consistent and rapid manner and improve the decision effectiveness of the business. From the business management perspective, decision principles provide a foundation for decision-making scenario throughout an enterprise and inform how the organization sets about fulfilling its vision and goals.

Decision-making is the discipline across the art and science; gut feeling and information; confidence and humility: There is no magic decision formula. Decision making is an art only until the person understands the science. The science of decision-making is to make sure there is an effective decision process in place. You need to both frame the right issues as well as decides how to deal with them in a structural way. People need to leverage both critical thinking and creative thinking to ask tough questions for framing the real issues behind decision making. If the decision-making process is well designed & well executed, you have the highest probability of getting the best outcome. An effective process does decrease the risk of the wrong choice, not eliminate it. A good process can still get adverse outcomes. The art of decision-making is based on a sound judgment, mixing feelings and reflection, inner wisdom and self-regulation.

Team (with heteregeneous setting) decision works because they bring different perspective and information to the table: Teams decision works because they bring different perspectives and information to the table. They help balance out the biases that from which we all suffer. They help to generate more of everything (viable alternatives, criteria, etc.) all of which is shown to improve the quality of decisions. An effective decision-making scenario takes the good alignment of people, process, and technology. The process organized through the software helps to organize the goals, and stimulate healthy debates. As a result, the debate in the decision-making sessions cut out the bickering about the input and more about expected outcome to meet the goals of the group, and improve decision making effectiveness.

It is often said that a wrong decision taken at the right time is better than a right decision taken at the wrong time: Fast decisions are made of necessity. But a condition of benefiting from considered decisions is having a good decision -making process to use the time effectively.  Potentially, longer time frames allow the creation of more alternatives from which to choose, using both rational and instinctive knowledge. Time also allows a decision-making process to emerge by consent. Do some systematic analysis in order to create more updated processes to smoothie the decision-making scenario. Any decision made needs to be applicable in a timely manner. The decision-making always contains a part of the risk. Deferring decision-making is an essential aspect of human factors, putting off making decisions till tomorrow that are needed today is one of the signs of dysfunctional management. There are quite a few decision-making pitfalls, such as communication/decision bottleneck, out of the dated process, procedure, practice, culture, politics or leadership style, etc. The decision effectiveness is to make sure decisions are being taken neither impulsively nor too late, in order to take actions at the right time for responding to changes.

The blind spots are perhaps inevitable, the point is how today’s decision makers learn to deal with them seamlessly: The reason decision making is often a difficult task because it is contextual and situational; it takes a unique individual to understand a situation and relates it to the present, and there is no magic formula to follow. There is fuzziness in the decision because there is fuzziness in conflicting criteria, and there are hidden barriers on the way. As the matter of fact, there are so many reasons decisions could be bad, the effort should be to focus on the most dangerous causes of bad decision-making. .There is the danger of super specialization, which can deprive people of a holistic understanding of the situation in order to make effective decisions. Many teams still operate with an incomplete and relatively small view of the world. Thus, too often in an effort to keep moving forward, they jump to the wrong conclusion. There are also many senior leaders who fail to deal with blind spots because arrogance clouds their eyes; unconscious bias causes poor judgment, or they have a very homogeneous team who always “think the same.” In reality, many poor decisions are made by very intelligent people. It is the responsibility of each individual to examine themselves and their decision-making scenario to make sure they are open to true understanding for achieving decision maturity.

Decision maturity is to ensure the right decisions have been made by the right people at the right time to solve the right problems: The key decision factor is how you frame the issue (to be decided on), another factor needing more attention is who makes the decision, in particular, why is it that in business decisions are ultimately made by that person. Decisions are still made by people, so the challenge is to get the relevant people communicating with each other more efficiently, and making the best use of the digital tools. And for the same reason, you need a sound process to frame the decision, spec out your options, weigh them appropriately with the right people, to make sure decisions are being executed and not permanently questioned. Collectively, the effective decision can be made when people looked at an organization as a whole rather than single items. That means the effective decision making is based on understanding relationships between activities inside as well as outside an organization, having the right people with the right information, following a systematic decision-making process for making the right choices timely.

One significant effect of digitization is increased velocity, complexity, unpredictability, and a need for a faster response to changes in businesses based on effective and efficient decision making. Either individually or collectively, it takes practice, practice, and practice more to improve decision effectiveness and maturity.

Three Open Questions to Catalyze IT Innovation

The goals to ask open questions are to encourage thinking differently, provoke free discussions and attract the variety of answers for solving complex business problems.

In the considerably static industrial environment, many IT organizations only focus on the commodity level of services to “keep the lights on.” However, with rapidly changes, fast-growing information, and continuous digital disruptions, “Doing more with innovation” is the mantra to run a high-performance digital IT organization. Here are three open questions CIOs should keep asking themselves, their teams, their business partners, to brainstorm better ways to do things, catalyze IT innovation and drive digital transformation proactively.

Why Not: Traditional IT organizations often put emphasis on “HOW” to do the work, without spending sufficient time on the big why. Very fewer IT leaders can boldly ask “WHY NOT” questions to break down that “we always do things like that” mentality and discover more innovative ways to do things. To assess IT organization maturity, the bigger strategic question is what the function of IT in a company is - a value creator, an innovation hub, or a back-office cost center? IT is the only entity in the organization supposed to understand business entirely and oversee organizational processes horizontally, IT needs to be able to provide an innovative solution or supply a differentiated solution that contributes to both top line growth and the bottom line success of the organization. The CIO should primarily be focused on the use of IT to increase sales and the use of information and technology to enhance or transform products/operations. Through asking the “WHY NOT” questions, other business functions would look to IT for better solutions, enforce IT value proposition around the competitive application of technology in a rapidly changing market. Through asking open questions such as “WHY NOT,” IT leaders show the passion about information, technology, innovation, and positive change can do for the success of the entire company, IT can explore the art of possible, lead change and digital transformation innovatively.

What If: An effective CIO’s job is to improve operations to reduce the burden on the company while trying to stay current with ever-changing technologies and fast growing information. That includes optimizing costs, improving information systems, streamlining processes and providing continually expanding business solutions. To lead boldly, an innovative CIO should be inquisitive, to keep asking thought-provoking questions, to overcome challenges and run IT as an innovation engine of the business. “WHAT IF” inquiry encourages IT teams to think “out of the box,” explore the new alternative to solve either old problems or emergent issues creatively.  More often than not, technology is the disruptive innovation to create both significant growth opportunity or to bring potential risk in businesses large or small. From IT leadership/management perspective, it takes vision-based communication for CIOs to both convince and deliver the alternative view of IT, being a profit enabler and value enhancer.  The essential to the future of CIOs should have the capabilities to deliver the vision for their business, industry, and even bigger ecosystem. and to take the organization to the next level of the business growth cycle.

How about: Traditional IT organizations sometimes practice a command & control role with a bit arrogant attitude, thus, the business partners perceive IT as the change laggard and less innovative. Often times the business crowd wrongly equate IT solutions with concerns of expensive technical difficulties and the IT crowd builds more out of its own know-how than the need of the business customers. Until each and both parties transcend to a genuine hope and belief in one another, ‘he said, she said,” argument is still on. To reinvent its reputation, IT needs to become the equal and trustful partner of the business and provide “How About” advice based on “know-how” attitude regarding the business. Information is the lifeblood of an enterprise to capture the business foresight and customer insight. Therefore, the CIO is at a unique position to convey the invaluable perspective to board or business partners, not about bits and bytes of IT, but about the full picture of business and strategy of an organization, and make innovative“How about” suggestions based on in-depth knowledge, business acumen and insightful leadership/communication skills. In fact, today's high-effective CIOs are running their own operations as if they are a business in their own right, balancing costs, scarce resources, explore innovative solutions, and maximize the return on the IT budget and investment.

The CIO's leadership penetration is about the depth of leadership influence as well as the breadth of enterprise knowledge upon understanding business as a whole. The goals to ask those open questions are to encourage thinking differently, provoke free discussions and attract the variety of answers for solving complex business problems. So, an innovative CIO can lead boldly and manage effectively to create the business advantage.

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Structural Elegance of Digital Organization

Digital is the gigantic puzzle with many misplaced pieces, you have to put them all in the right places to discover the true meaning and unleash its full potential.

Digital makes a profound impact from the specific function to the business as a whole and the entire digital ecosystem. Digital transformation is the scalable expansion toward multiple directions. Digital transformation is to optimize the whole, not the separate silos. Digital is the gigantic puzzle with many misplaced pieces, you have to put them all in the right places to discover the true meaning and unleash its full potential. The structural elegance of digital organization can further enforce its strategic responsiveness, operational excellence, and organizational maturity.

Digital organization is an integral business ecosystem with fluid structure and hyper-connected nature: Today’s digital companies need to be organized in running with quantum speed. They need to emphasize communication, participation, relationships, and realize that they will need to renew themselves periodically to cope effectively with change and have a fluid structure that responds effectively to the business dynamic. Digital organization is an integral business system with processes, policies, culture, work climates, people (employees, customers, partners, etc.) The whole business ecosystem needs to communicate, negotiate and cooperate with each other to re-invent. Looking at all business elements (including the human element) as an integrated, systemic 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.' Such a business system has a flexible and elegant structure, appreciate attributes such as 'readiness,’ 'ownership,' ‘integration,’ 'full open communication,’ self-renewal, customized designing as well as developing business 'partnerships.’

Ideally, the conscious recognition and complexity inherent in organizational systems lead to greater simplicity and structural elegance: Going digital has better chance to break down silos with a seamless integration and harness cross-functional collaboration. Collaboration happens in that space in between people in relationship receptively and thoughtfully interacting with interest and cares for one another's needs and activities so information and ideas can flow smoothly. Building and sustaining dynamics in a workforce are about collaboration with everyone at any level. Understanding and recognizing that everyone has a role in performing the digital music. Giving everyone a voice in how the organization and the people in it can prosper and thrive. It helps to build and maintain trust, transparency, respect, and flexibility. The more effortlessly you can align people inside an organization, differentiate products/services, the closer you can get to a stage to reduce of irrelevant complexity, analogy, and noise, and the greater you can execute the strategy with a predictive pathway, increase confidence, position a brand, and leverage resources to accelerate digital transformation.

The structural elegance of digital organization enforces self-adaptation, self-management, and innovation: The digital ecosystem is adaptively rational, it has to strike the balance of ‘keeping the order,’ and sparking the innovation. Consider nature and culture as to self-organized, self-adaptive, but interlaced environments and humans are vehicles of natural and cultural solutions. Self-adaptation is a phenomenon strictly linked to see learning (and knowledge) increases if shared and consumed. From the economic and organizational point of view, people are able to adapt themselves and their organization through a collaborative and peer to peer approach. In the organization scope, the digital flow can strike the right balance between orders (standardization) and ‘chaos’ (innovative organizations and their people learn through their interactions with the environment.) The digital organization should be able to assess to what extent the business has the capability and capacity to change; in terms of people, finances and manageability- the ability for a business to continue operating in the business-as-usual mode, satisfying its customers and continuing to deliver its commitments to shareholders, whilst putting itself under the pressure of substantial change.

The organization should keep tuning its structure and process, to become more adaptable and innovative, take advantage of the latest digital technology platforms & tools, and provide the space for people to exercise their talent and unleash their potential. Organizational maturity is not just about technical excellence or process efficiency, but also about structural elegance, business effectiveness, organizational adaptability, agility, innovation, intelligence, and people-centricity.

The Digital Board’s IT Inquiries

The digital board’s IT inquiries help to clarify the strategic role of IT in maximizing business potential.

As technologies permeate into every corner of the organization and information provides invaluable foresight to enable business growth, IT is no longer just as an isolated function or back office utility only. Nowadays, IT has to add more business value and delight both internal and end customers, and improve both the top line business growth and bottom line efficiency.. Here are a set of digital board's IT inquiries.

How can boards oversee the IT strategy which is an integral component of the business strategy:   Due to the increasing speed of changes and fierce business competitions, many IT organizations are at a cross road to either being transformed into a value-added digital engine for their business growth or being irrelevant as a cost center only. Digital leaders including BoDs today need to show their understanding and interest in technology, never underestimate the power of knowledge. They should gain the strategic insight about IT. They need to become digital fluent as well. Boards should be informed on what benefit is being delivered by IT and aware of constraints and risks. There is no stand-alone IT strategy. There is the only business strategy with IT as a key element. IT is also a key enabler of future organizational capability and a critical aspect of continuing business activity in organizations. IT is business and IT strategy in an integral part of business strategy. Meaningful exchanges and engagement will deliver competitive advantage. So the board has to oversee the business strategy with IT strategy as a sub-component. They have to ensure management and governance are the interdependent and complementary disciplines which are both enabled by high mature digital IT, to build the long-term business advantage.

How can boards help to strengthen the weakest link of the business - either it’s about people or IT, etc? Due to the exponential growth of information and significant opportunities and risk brought by digital technologies. IT becomes a frequent hot topic in the boardroom. The board also spend significant time on brainstorming the technology-enabled business solutions and diagnose the root cause when the business cannot speed up as it should be. Leadership including directorship is crucial to strengthen the business links and weave them to the differentiated business capabilities which enable the digital transformation.  The worst thing to do is just put the policy in place to mandate it. At the dawn of the digital era, these are the days of business users becoming more tech savvy. Without collaborative communication, business goes around IT for new technology. This is always a sign that something is not going right, and business reliability gets compromised. Thus, the IT-friendly board should gain an in-depth understanding of IT, set the right digital principles, leverage technological visions, and pull all necessary resources for strengthening the weakest links, bridge the gaps between IT and business, and improve the overall organizational maturity.

Can the board help IT set up the right priority: Information is the lifeblood, and technology is often the game changer. Many organizations make a significant investment in IT. Because more often IT can either make a leap of the business to the next level of growth cycle or fail the business even overnight. BoDs need to gain the insight on the potential of technology but also the liabilities, to play an important role in making effective decisions on IT investment assessment, IT portfolio prioritization, GRC concerns. When BoDs shift from a 'risk-avoidance' to a 'risk management' & risk intelligence mentality, they weigh in risk, and reward, take prudent risks and find ways to mitigate risk rather than eliminate it and embrace business growth opportunities proactively.

The digital board’s IT inquiries help to clarify the strategic role of IT in maximizing business potential. BoDs can also capture the oversight of the IT plan which is the series of steps required involving technology that enable the business strategy, empower IT leaders to become a strategic business advisors, as well as monitor the IT catalyzed business performance closely.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Monthly Performance Insight: How to Measure Return on Digital Transformation May 2017

Corporate Performance Management is a management control from strategy till shop floor. "If you can't measure, you can't manage," legendary management guru Peter Drucker once asserted. He was right Managing performance means understanding results, setting metrics, fixing plans, and making decisions to ensure it happens. It takes multifaceted approaches from multidimensional perspectives.


  How to Measure Return on 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).?

From Performance Appraisals to Performance Optimization Managing performance is a wonderful idea! But too many companies ignore the difference between doing PA (Performance Appraisal) and actually being proactive in performance management. In fact, in performance management, much less time should be spent on evaluating past performance, but moving to removing barriers to future performance. You can ask yourself some questions to move in the right direction like how frequent feedback will add value to your organization and the employees, what are the organizational goals and what value can performance evaluation add to it? What rewards should be linked to performance evaluation and how these rewards will affect the productivity of your employees and contribute to the organizational goals?

Strategic KPIs vs. Operational KPIs KPIs are indicators to identify if the adopted strategy, operation, and process, etc is working toward the objective. As such, you don't "adopt" a KPI to "achieve an outcome," you adopt a strategy or operational workflow to achieve the outcome, and you define KPIs to monitor the progress and performance. That’s the name KPI –Key Performance Indicators stand for. The provocative question is: is it possible to link operational KPI's to strategic ones to reflect and track the overall progress in achieving the strategic goals?

How to Develop the Performance Measures for Strategy? The strategy will start being more and more dynamic so the consistency and "perennial" guide of the organization will be better represented by company’s identity. Leadership, strategy, and management will build, develop and make that proposed (desired) identity. Going further, the metrics should also be immersed in a sustainable development way of thinking. However, what’s systematic thinking and which approach should you apply to develop the performance measures for your strategy?

Monitor the Digital Pulse of Organizations The multidimensional digital transformation provides impressive advantages in terms of the speed of delivering solutions and ability to adapt to changes. The effects of an increasingly digitalized world are now reaching into every corner of businesses and every aspect of organizations. Digital businesses nowadays are fast, always “on,” highly connected, interdependent, and ultra-competitive. Digital transformation is not a one-time project or a stand-alone initiative; it is a continuous journey to adapt to the new normal of the business world. As the business executive, how can you monitor the digital pulse of your company in order to lead changes steadfastly and manage the business effectively?

The blog is a dynamic book flowing with your thought; growing through your dedication; sharing your knowledge; conveying your wisdom, and making influence through touching the hearts and connecting the minds across the globe. The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 1.8 million page views with about #3500 blog posting. Among 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating the new ideas; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes the time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify diverse voices and deepen digital footprints, and it's the way to harness your innovative spirit.

The Digital Board’s Digital Inquiries

The digital board’s digital inquiries intend to stimulate creativity and brainstorm the breadth and depth of digital transformation.

Corporate Boards have a couple of main functions such as strategy oversight, performance monitoring, leadership advising, governance practices, and resource provision. A high performing board would be performing all those roles in a way appropriate to the best interests of the organization and becoming the mastermind of digital transformation. Here is a set of digital savvy boards’ digital inquiries for leading business change in a structural way.

If the digital capability is dispersed, does it have the depth, resources, and cohesiveness to be effective? Do people work across functions to share best practices and ideas? The dynamic business environment organizations find themselves involving today is especially challenging as compared to years past. Competition is fierce and in many industries, products are becoming more commoditized putting pressure on pricing, margins, and investable budget dollars. And building capabilities becomes a constant process irrespective of the economic conditions. However, the business silos (information silo, structure silo, silo mentality, etc.) inherited from the industrial age are often the barriers to building high mature digital capabilities which are based on cross-functional interaction and process integration. The technological advancement will continue to help develop the integral digital capability. Businesses should leverage the emerging digital technologies to break down silos, in building the new breed of digital capabilities which are rigor, not rigid, standardized, but not lack innovativeness; disperse, but also cohesive. Technology actual shifts the efficient frontier out, rather than reaching an "efficiency" along the curve. Organizations are becoming smarter at reaching consumers, in a targeted and deliberate way, and consumers are becoming smarter at consuming and providing direct feedback to the organization. Hence, the well-run companies can leverage business resources and assets for building and tuning their cohesive set of business capabilities, also share the best and next practices to amplify their effect, for enabling strategy execution and catalyzing business growth and innovation.

Does the business possess the ability, desire, and discipline to cope with change along the way, no matter what happens? We live in a world where change is the norm and if we (either individual or business) don't embrace it, accept it, roll with it or make it happen, we're not going to be successful. Change is inevitable, change is not a one-time isolated initiative, but an ongoing business capability. A digital board with high-changeability can navigate the business toward the uncharted water and drive change more confidently. Digital boards should oversee Change Management because it is an overarching management discipline, and it often goes hand-in-hand with Strategy Management. Change is complex, change/culture management is an interdependent ecosystem that includes many business factors. It encompasses extensive planning, outreach, communications, the discovery of concerns/objections /potential points of failure, addressing fears and resistance, developing a shared vision, communicating valid and compelling reasons for cooperation, recognizing change champions and driving business success. The leadership team such as boards and top executive teams must push the change agenda, but pull the resources to achieve it.
How to discover the talent for the future business growth and business transformation?
It’s very important for any high performing organization to get the best alignment and leverage the great human potential that exists or is needed to achieve great business results and to tap into the passion of the people! Digital boards should set the tone for talent development and management. Corporations must take full responsibility for developing their workforce, creating career growth opportunity, and making their human assets ready for the next business advancement and organizational thriving. The future looks to have more real-time sharing of information and knowledge across industries and professions of the likes we have not seen yet. Social computing provides a convenient platform to engage diverse and intellect minds in brainstorming, co-creating knowledge, sharing insight, and co-solving our common challenges. So, organizations can discover the talent based on their expertise and influence, and explore the alternative digital channels for talent recruiting and development.

The digital board’s digital inquiries intend to stimulate creativity and brainstorm the breadth and depth of digital transformation. In today's work environment, change is happening at a more rapid pace. No one will have all answers, the success of digital transformation is based on open leadership, seamless collaboration and collective effort. And digitalization a journey full of adventure, with planning, innovating and executing.

The Modern CIOs’ Digital Mantra: Go Deeper to Lead Forward

CIOs need to have an in-depth understanding of the organizational interdependence in order to fine tune business structures and improve the strategic responsiveness of the business.

Organizations large or small are stepping into the deep, deep digital new normal with the overwhelming growth of information, continuous technological disruptions, as well as the VUCA” digital characteristics. The pace of changes in IT would force more CIOs to shift into transformation-oriented digital leadership roles because IT plays a significant role in driving the digital transformation of the company. Contemporary CIOs need to have multiple personas, explore the breadth and depth of the role and go deeper in order to lead forward.

CIOs should have the profound understanding about the digital ecosystem of the business: Running IT as the business becomes a new fixture for management in their efforts to substantiate their competitive position, effect market landscape, and drive new revenue growth. Digital IT is not just a service provider, but a business solutionary. The IT department provides guidance, support, assistance and direction in the application and adoption of information technology solutions in support of business objectives! Hence,  CIOs need to be able to recognize the struggles of the company by understanding the business beyond IT. The CIO must be a transformational leader that not only manages the IT group but also work to integrate and lead the integration, not the mere alignment of IT to business processes and present the strategic value proposition. In the end, it is not about technology, but what technology can do when it is enabling and integrating with change management and business processes to deliver strategic differentiation. Profits with ROIs, optimization for improving business efficiency should be the driving force behind IT management.  The breadth of the digital CIO role require IT leaders today to gain a deep understanding of the businesses ecosystem, including customers, employees, business partners, and all other stakeholders, the business's competitive landscape, industries, and leverage their technological visions for trendsetting and leading forward.

CIOs need to have an in-depth understanding of the organizational interdependence in order to fine tune business structures and improve the strategic responsiveness of the business: The “organizational structure design problem” would be to build the “best” mix of organizational elements (the supply side) that enable the organizational interdependence and responsiveness. Some organizations fail to capitalize on their great ideas because there was no structure in place to manage the ideas. What works and what doesn´t, depends on the nature of the organizational interdependence that needs to be enabled. Hence, IT is at the unique position to gain the in-depth understanding of the underlying business functions and processes, IT department is not a silo by itself and it draws its energy from within the organization. IT can be a "pioneering" division to walk the talk and lead the change within the organization. Because the latest digital technologies and collaborative tools provide great opportunities for the business to optimize the organizational design for improving cross-functional communication, mass collaboration, and harness innovation, with the ultimate goals to unlock the collective potential of the business. Structuring organizations to leverage its core and distinctive competencies is an important consideration for business optimization and strategy management.

CIOs should also gain the deep understanding of their talented people because they are the center of changes: Knowing something or somebody is not equal to understanding them well. Gaining deep understanding of people means truly knowing who they are, how they think, and who they want to become, not based on their physical identity, but seeing through their character, strength, thought process, learning agility, and personality. The variety of talent studies shows that the majority of people are not engaged in their jobs because their talent is not being utilized. One of the most challenging job for CIOs or any leaders or managers are to put the right people in the right position with the right capabilities to solve the right problems. The company can unleash its potential only via unlocking and amplifying their collective people potentials. Under awareness of the people-centricity, focus on which delivers the opportunity for increased productivity, greater efficiency, abundant creativity, and better engagement, you give employees the opportunity to thrive and as long as the roles of the functions remains clear, empower the staff to get on and do what they do best in the way that they do it best. When negative thinking and behavior are discouraged, creativity is inspired, change agents are recognized, then people feel supported and empowered, turf wars are less likely and information and wisdom more likely flow.

Due to the complexity of digital organizations and change nature of IT, modern CIOs have to go deeper in order to lead forward. The priority for CIOs is to genuinely position IT as an integral and inseparable part of the business. This is accomplished through establishing strong interdependent relationships, achieving operational excellence, improving staff/customer satisfaction and building superior sets of digital capabilities for making a leap of digital transformation.