Monday, March 19, 2018

CIOs as “Chief Insight Officer”: Do you Have “Appreciative Eyes”

To sharpen critical thinking mind and open the appreciative eyes, digital leaders today must gain a deep understanding of the businesses ecosystem. 

Digital CIO is not a static management role, but a dynamic leadership role that needs to continually practice, experience, learn and adjust. Digital CIOs are leading one of the most complex and dynamic functions of the business, and managing one of the most intelligent groups of digital professionals in the organization. The CIO leadership effectiveness is based on the power of knowledge and the profundity of multidisciplinary understanding, and their leadership maturity is based on the art of persuasion and the science of disciplines. Forward-looking businesses empower their CIOs to drive changes and digitalization. IT leaders -besides critical mind, do you have "appreciative eyes" to encourage positive changes and inspire innovation?

Appreciate systems with digital readiness: With faster pace of changes, there is an inherent conflict if IT views its primary objective as standardization, rationalization, and consolidation. To keep IT relevant, CIOs must make a bold move for running IT as the change organization of the company. Change readiness can be determined via a validated instrument, the change profile-scan. That includes the readiness of systems, hardware/software/process/people/training, etc. IT leaders should have the adaptive mindset and “appreciative eyes” to see and understand the change momentum. Because lack of change review, reflection, and recognition often makes changes not sustainable. Digital IT should focus on integration, improvement, and innovation. IT leaders with “appreciative eyes” know the value of anticipated benefits and deliverables from changes. From a finance perspective, the better the quality of change management program, the more anticipated benefits, and deliverables will be achieved. Subtracting cost from anticipated value gives them a net anticipated value of the change if fully and successfully implemented. Traditional organizations are mechanistic, control and command hierarchies, they are often the sum of pieces, not yet being a cohesive whole. But digital organizations are organic living things, keep growing. The digital leaders with “appreciative eyes” can read both hard numbers and digital sentiments with accuracy, build the expectation for the next step of change and commitment that will follow.

Appreciate teams with trust relationship:
The management and staff need to be working as high performing and creative teams, have both internal and external beliefs around how the business is a movement for empowerment and improvement. Transparency is critical to bridge IT and business gaps, as well as developing a trustful relationship between the business and IT. One of the biggest change barriers, also the cause of the most conflicts or miscommunication is lack of trust. Why isn't there trust? There’re a lot of reasons cognitively, technically, economically, and politically. Thus, digital leaders today need to have “appreciative eyes” to encourage frank communication and collaboration. An organization's DNA is visible from the collective attitudes - how employees behave at the workplace with co-workers, interaction with customers, adapt to changes and contribute to the organization brand and reputation building. Fortunately, there's a fundamental shift happening with the emergence of converging technologies that impact the business through cross-departmental collaboration. IT offers data, the sheer volume of data individuals are flooded with requires more cognitive abilities, not less, being able to understand and interpret the data. as well as develop sustainable business practices. Digital leaders with “appreciative eyes” invite people to consider that 'engendering trust' is a complex process in and of itself, because it requires that the individual has a level of maturity and awareness - an ability to 'see' if you will - that can lead to productive and creative team dynamics and trust.

Appreciate innovators and change agents: To improve business adaptability and keep innovation alive in the organization, digital leaders must have “appreciative eyes” to inspire creativity and recognize their change agents and innovators. Business innovation is bravery practices. It’s important to create an environment where people want to work, encourage brainstorming, and the top leaders inspire and respect of sharing ideas and collective insight. It’s necessary first assure your think tank that you are willing to make an investment with calculated risks. Encourage employees to do things and problem-solving in their own way to bring good results; inspire people to get out of the “comfort zone,” and initiate positive changes. It’s important to develop creative leadership and cultivate a culture that nurtures creativity and innovation. So, people will dare to be innovative as long as they know they won’t get penalized for a bad idea and get rewarded for a good one. They can shape a bigger box of thinking, think outside of the company, industry and even societal impacts.

To sharpen critical thinking mind and open the appreciative eyes, digital leaders today must gain a deep understanding of the businesses ecosystem, including customers, employees, business partners, and all other stakeholders, the business's competitive landscape, industries, in order to shape their vision and deepen their leadership. Their appreciation can touch the hearts and connect the minds, and inspire changes. It is the time to better understand digital evolution and harness its power to make a leap of human progress.

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