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, May 19, 2019

The Monthly Digital Principles/Practices Summary: “Keep it Simple” Principle May 2019

Digital makes a significant impact on every aspect of the business from people, process to technology, both horizontally and vertically. Digital becomes the very fabric of high performing business, being outside-in and customer-centric is the new mantra for forward-looking and high mature digital organizations today.

  

  “Keep it Simple” Principle 


Simplicity as a Principle? People are complex by nature, but to dwell on complexity is to complicate an implicate order that is naturally simple. Getting to simple is not easy for most people because they rather follow the traditions and set rules and regulations in society. They don't bother to remove the dust around them or want to question the unknown, or challenge the status quo, out of fear. So how to address complexity, and what's the advantage to set simplicity as a principle and live with it?

How to Apply Simplicity Principle in Change Management Simplicity is a behavioral attitude to see things as and what and where they are and be content and cool as it is. Philosophically, simplicity is the source of complication, and complications are the source of simplicity. Often human cannot live life with simplicity and keep making it complicated. So does Change Management. Can we make change simpler? A successful change requires three things; dissatisfaction with the current state, clear vision and clear process for getting towards the vision. How to apply the “simplicity principle” in Change Management?

Digital Management Principle: "Less is More": Modern businesses become over-complex every day, they also add to such eco-system complexity! If we accept it is complex, somewhat unpredictable or not completely predictable, we have to accept uncertainty. Uncertainty comes with complexity. Simplicity vs complexity is an age-old dilemma even in English Grammar! Logically, simplifying the complicated thing is an optimal and smart choice either for running the business or solving a problem. "Less is more." So, what are the principles to follow in pursuit of just the right simplicity?

Following the "BASIC” Principles in Problem-Solving and Digital Transformation The digital transformation is now spreading rapidly to enable organizations of all shapes and sizes to reinvent themselves. It is the transformation that is reshaping our thinking and recasting the way we view ourselves, the systems of which we are the part of the environments in which we live, and the way we think and solve problems. To make a seamless digital transformation, it’s important to set guidelines and make updated rules for navigating through changes and steering the journey of digital transformation. Here are the “BASIC” principles in problem-solving and digital transformation.

Simplicity as an Agile Principle Agile principle: "Simplicity--the art of maximizing the amount of work not done--is essential." Agile becomes the major software management methodology, Agile principles are also the management philosophy to run the business today. "Simplicity--the art of maximizing the amount of work not done--is essential." What is it all about, and how does it affect team performance and IT delivery.

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2.8 million page views with about #5500th blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The “Digital Master” book series includes 27 books to share insight from the multidimensional digital lens and perceive the multi-faceted impact the digital era upon us is making to the businesses and society. 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.

The Best “Motivation” Quotes of “Digital Master” to Celebrate 5700 Blog Posting May 2019

Digital Masteris the series of guidebooks (27+ books) to perceive the multi-faceted impact digital is making to the businesses and society, help forward-thinking organizations navigate through the journey in a systematic way, and avoid “rogue digital.” It perceives the emergent trends of digital leadership, advises on how to run a digital organization to unleash its full potential and improve agility, maturity, and provide insight about Change Management. It also instructs the digital workforce on how to shape a game-changing digital mindset and build the right set of digital capabilities to compete for the future. Here is a set of “Motivation” quotes in “Digital Master.


1 Motivation should be heart desire, true passion, and authentic expression.

2 All motivation is a form of consciousness. It gives you the energy to do everything that you must do. True motivation always has to come from within. It works more as inspiration.

3 Motivation is the "cognitive momentum" that comes from consistently applying the habits congruent with the achievement of the goal.

4 Motivation is the force to guide our behaviors. (about.com) Motivation makes a difference to everything we do. It infuses a different kind of energy which opens up our mind to possibilities that were not apparent before.

5 Let people explore where their energy is and then, align the energy to work at hand, and motivate them to think and do things innovatively.

6 Motivated has two elements of push and pull factor. Fear is an effective motivator but only for a short run. As soon as you remove the threat the motivation is removed as well.

7 Motivation is not a feeling but describes the trajectory of a behavior. As such, motivation can be understood and influenced using behavioral principles.

8 Focus provides motivation and demolishes negative emotion. The only one who can truly motivate you is you. You have to have the desire and be willing to challenge yourself to be all you can be.

9 Motivation is moving forward, taking action. Assessing a person’s motivational potential is how well he/she can adapt personal drive and focus on performing well in new and changing context (self-motivation).

Managing Innovation in a Structural Way

Innovation is a managed process, or more precisely, a dynamic system of transforming novel ideas to achieve its business value. It’s a journey and is therefore not possible to pre-describe how it will work out. It involves luck, trial, experimentation, research, and practice by using structured methods, tools, reviews, systematic analysis, or debugging. Managing innovation in a structural way is all about leveraging systems thinking and taking a scientific approach to problem identifying and solving, embracing uncertainty, identifying interconnections and interdependencies, encouraging learning and understanding flows, in order to decode innovation serendipity and improve its success rate.

Assessing the innovation capability of any organization requires a systematic approach: Innovation is one of the differentiated business competencies which underpinned by varying business elements. A systematic innovation management process helps business recognize challenges, understand boundaries, and deal with constraints. Innovation process effectiveness can be assessed by asking a set of structural questions such as: How will it break through the bottlenecks and increasing innovation speed? How could it identify and manage risks in innovation management? How to leverage “the diversity of thoughts” for creating meaningfully fresh ideas? How to manage the emotion cycle behind innovation such as reducing fear in the organization. Innovation can be viewed as consisting of many different stages. Some processes are more structured than others in innovation management. From instance, creativity is generally accepted to be less structured than development. Innovation prototyping and implementation are far more “process driven” than idea generation plot. Innovation also often has a lot to do with external circumstances while people tend to focus on internal circumstances. Still, it doesn’t mean that the innovation systems and processes are unstructured. The systematic structure provides the shell within which individuals can collaborate to create transparency to manage innovation. Assessing innovation capability maturity is important because it helps the organization identify innovation bottlenecks and pitfalls in order to improve their innovation management success rate.

The robust processes and tools enable the organization to generate winning concepts on a consistent basis and manage innovation in a structural way: There are many areas within a company where the innovation process can be applied to create value. The systematic innovation is based on the in-depth understanding of business issues. The ability to innovate is ultimately dictated by the depth of understanding of the business problems or issues to be resolved. The companies who get the most from innovation effort have the right ambition, good leadership, effective process, and open culture. A systematic approach is to depict innovation as a system (rather than a traditional process) whose performance depends on the alignment of its various components such as people, process, technology, actions, controls, or resources, etc. Systematic innovation is a structured process and set of practical tools used to design, build or improve products/services/processes that deliver new value to customers or satisfy employees consistently. Innovation is fundamentally a creative problem-solving scenario. Innovation process could be very loose on purpose. What’s very rigorous and systematic is the analysis of business issues, opportunities, or marketing dilemmas, etc. The key elements in systematic innovation include people, strategy, process, tool, and culture, missing any one of them will severely impact the sustainability of intentional innovation management effort.

It is important to be able to co-create and nurture an innovation ecosystem:
An innovation ecosystem is a systematic innovation methodological environment with a set of professional innovation principles and philosophy. The best viewpoint about innovation is to see innovation as a system which is able to deliver the organization-wide innovation capability. It involves tunning organizational structures, processes and the ecosystem to match current stack rank of areas in which innovation will reap the most significant benefit and accelerate innovation performance by taking a structural approach. A well-defined innovation strategy should describe “what” the organization innovates and “where” it should innovate to support the overall business strategy. If you want to build a highly innovative organization, you should enhance the core business competency and develop a culture of creativity because the evolution of innovation only exists in a more open environment or ecosystem that creates unique insight, take advantage of all sources of creativity in a more open way and manage a balanced innovation portfolio with a right mix of incremental innovations and breakthrough innovations.

Serendipity can be planned into innovation management. Today’s information technology enables companies to leverage their various environments or ecosystems to chase innovation opportunities and manage innovation risks. Innovation management can be structured by aligning talented people, robust processes and powerful technology platforms and tools. Still, innovation per se is like composing a symphony, a lot of planning, but the music comes from the musicians, not the conductor. Innovation is both art and science.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

The Monthly “Dot Connections”: Simplicity Dot Connection May 2019

 Effective innovation requires dots connection and a suitable process as part of the wider holistic 'system.'

The effects of an increasingly digitalized world are now reaching into every corner of businesses and every aspect of organizations. Organization of the Future is an organization designed openly for anyone with ideas on how human organizations ought to be contrived in the face of the strategic imperatives of the digital era. The work is not the place you go, but a live organization and an experiment lab you can connect the future dots.


    

     Simplicity Dot Connection May 2019


Innovation & Simplicity Innovation is the light every forward-looking organization is pursuing now; however, very few companies can well articulate their innovation process. Effective innovation requires a suitable process as part of the wider holistic 'system' for innovation, encompassing other key aspects such as culture, leadership, and strategy, but how to follow the "simplicity" principle when managing innovation. The following five quotes may bring certain insight.

Simplicity vs. Complexity Simplicity vs complexity is an age-old dilemma even in English Grammar! The simplicity and complexity are just opposite ends of the same spectrum. That compounds all "problems." You need complexity to understand and appreciate the simplicity and vice versa. It's all about balance and perception.

Intelligence vs. Complexity "Intelligence" is from Latin word “intellego” -Inter-lego: Bind together, read between the lines, or connect the dots. Intelligence has been defined in many different ways such as in terms of one's capacity for logic, abstract thought, understanding, self-awareness, communication, learning, emotional knowledge, memory, planning, creativity and problem-solving. Complexity is generally used to characterize something with many parts where those parts interact with each other in multiple ways. (Wikipedia)

Complexity Thinking vs. Systems Thinking In today’s digital dynamic with VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) characteristics, both system thinking and complexity thinking are crucial for crafting business strategy and solving business problems, complexity thinking vs. system thinking, are they the same, or the different thinking processes?

Complexity vs. Innovation
Complexity is like energy. In the biosphere, for example, the "life potential" of a species is proportional to its complexity. Its fitness is proportional to its complexity. This is why the biological evolution is equivalent to an increase in complexity because this means an increase in functionality, which, in turn, means the ability to better cope with the uncertainties of a constantly changing environment, however, simplicity is ultimate sophistication, does complexity drive or hinder innovation?

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2.8 million page views with about #5500th blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The “Digital Master” book series includes 27 books to share insight from the multidimensional digital lens and perceive the multi-faceted impact the digital era upon us is making to the businesses and society. 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.

The Best “Inspiration” Quotes of “Digital Master” May 2019

Inspiration awakens us to new possibilities by allowing us to transcend our ordinary experiences and limitations.

"Digital Master” is the series of guidebooks (27+ books) to perceive the multi-faceted impact digital is making to the businesses and society, help forward-thinking organizations navigate through the journey in a systematic way, and avoid “rogue digital.” It perceives the emergent trends of digital leadership, advises on how to run a digital organization to unleash its full potential and improve agility, maturity, and provide insight about Change Management. It also instructs the digital workforce on how to shape a game-changing digital mindset and build the right set of digital capabilities to compete for the future. Here is a set of “Inspiration” quotes in “Digital Master.


1 Inspiration shapes a high-level view; it involves a bigger perspective and a longer range view. It perceives the future.

2 Inspiration awakens us to new possibilities by allowing us to transcend our ordinary experiences and limitations.

3 Inspiration propels a person from apathy to possibility; from sympathy to empathy, and transforms the way we perceive one’s unleashed potential and better future of human society.

4 Inspiration is to provoke deep thinking. Nothing truly great can happen without it. It is the critical catalyst which drives us.

5 Inspiration matters because it is the glue to make talent, hard work, ideas, and dreams to become reality and make all that count!

6 Inspiration is the key driver of creativity. It means that we are at the most creative status when we get inspired.

7 Inspiration is best thought of as a surprising interaction between your current knowledge and the information you receive from the world. There are things you can do to increase the likelihood of inspiration occurring.

8 Inspiration is a feeling that is more transient and much harder to influence. Inspiration creates synergy in strengthening positive thinking and influencing.

9 Inspiration is to provoke deep thinking first; Motivation is to drive action; motivation may take incentive; while inspiration takes vision. While inspiration is not the same as effort, the effort is an essential condition for inspiration.

Demystify IT Investment Puzzle

The success of IT investment is usually based on how they enable business growth and support the business objectives by delivering services and solutions in time to the market perspective. 

The ambitious companies across the vertical sectors empower their IT because digital IT can drive all sorts of innovations, proactively push ideas forward and leverage technology to accelerate revenue growth, increase business productivity, flexibility and maturity. To keep relevant, IT is also working hard to transform from a cost center to a value center by demystifying the IT investment puzzle and presenting the measurable IT-driven business value.

IT leaders need to be able to support the essential IT investment with sound Return On Investment reasoning: From the variety of IT industry surveys, the investments companies make in IT increase profitability more than investments in advertising or R&D do. Forward-thinking industrial leaders empower and invest their IT boldly to be the strategic differentiator for pursuing business growth. Return on Investment tells the business management how well an IT investment repays the company. IT leaders should convey a data-based presentation to the board and top executive teams in looking and appreciating IT strategic value to the business; they should convey a persuasive message with a calculated estimation of the loss if IT was not used to achieve the strategy. Often, the business management wrongly equates IT solutions with concerns of expensive technical difficulties while IT sometimes builds things not meeting the needs of the business clients; thereby, not serving its wise to earn that seat at the big table. Thus, CIOs must learn how to leverage reliable information for helping business leaders demystify IT investment puzzle and assist them in deciding whether or not a tech investment is worth making.

Focus on the most critical business initiatives to weave the “golden thread” of IT investment: From IT investment perspective, there is a concept of the “golden thread” that can link the business strategy to investment goals or business benefit, enabling business change and strategy implementation. With the fast pace of changes, there is a danger of not having a proper management process to "develop and nurture" business potential and performance. In reality, many IT organizations spend most of their resources and budget on “keeping the lights on” without providing differentiated business capabilities to compete for the future. The logical investment scenario helps an organization assess whether the business improvement associated technology is the right investment to be done in the first place, and ensure the expected return on investment. From the IT management perspective, the structure of budget estimating for big IT projects will tend to under-estimate the time and cost. You should estimate the time and cost for all the project activities that you can think of and include a consideration of the interconnections. IT is now the threshold of running a digital organization. Demystifying IT investment puzzle is critical because IT investment in the business can often become the decisive factor to run a high-performance organization with a long-term perspective.

Analyze total cost, total value, and total impact in order to improve IT organizational maturity as a business value generator: To reinvent IT as a value creator, IT management should learn and explore different methodologies to measure and present IT performance and potential. Total IT impact and total value should get more attention rather than just cost. When people speak about an IT initiative generating new revenue, visibility of costs measured against the visibility of quantifiable benefits is a way to show how IT contributes to the top business growth and bottom line efficiency improvement, to justify IT performance premium. In IT management meeting, instead of spending all the time on total IT expense discussion, the focus point should shift to which IT-led business initiatives provide the greatest return; and which should be invested in the future. Return on Investment should be expanded into the broader perspective which usually cannot be measured fully in time and dollars such as employee satisfaction, creativity, teamwork or culture evolution, etc. CIOs need to play the number game wisely and help business leaders demystify the puzzle of tech investment in order to make the right decisions. IT measurement and performance have to evolve from being a cost center to becoming a revenue generator and strategic business partner.

The success of IT investment is usually based on how they enable business growth and support the business objectives by delivering services and solutions in time to the market perspective. As organizations are at a different stage of the business lifecycle, and they should have their own set of specific and measurable goals and objectives they have to hit through in IT. When I leaders can help the business demystify IT investment puzzle and demonstrate the measurable business value to the board and the top executive teams, they are on the right way to reinvent IT as a strategic business partner and improve IT organizational maturity from functioning to delight.

Friday, May 17, 2019

The Monthly “Digital Hybridity” Book Tuning: The Hybrid Forces to Drive Digital Transformation May 2019

With the digital paradigm shift, forward-looking organizations are reimagining how to run and grow a dynamic or a "liquid" digital organization via both "hard push," and "soft pull." 

The purpose of the book “Digital Hybridity: How to Strike the Right Balance for Digital Paradigm Shift” is to shed some light on how to strike the right balance of stability and changes; being transactional to keep spinning and being transformational to leap forward for making a seamless digital paradigm shift. Digital organizations should apply the hybrid management approach, focus on building a diverse, networked, and extended modern working environment in which the powerful digital platforms and computing technologies enable seamless conversations, delayer overly rigid organizational hierarchy, inspire idea sharing and brainstorming, and engage employees and partners to achieve the high-performance result.




The Hybrid Forces to Drive Digital Transformation

Accelerate Digital Transformation via both Hard and Soft Forces? Organizations large or small are on their digital transformation journey, although there is no one size fits all solutions to ensure the change success, it is important to take a systematic approach, strike the right balance of “push” and “pull” from multiple directions, and accelerate digital transformation via both hard and soft way.

Three Forces to Drive Digital Transformation Digital transformation or digital shift means change. It represents the next stage of business maturity which will improve how the enterprise works and interacts with its ecosystem, with the customer at the center of its focus, and innovation as its major theme. More specifically, what are those visible and invisible forces to drive changes, and how to make such a large-scale transformation go more smoothly

Making a Leap in Digital Transformation via Mixing Hard & Soft Elements Right With the digital paradigm shift, forward-looking organizations are reimagining how to run and grow a dynamic or a "liquid" digital organization via both "hard push," and "soft pull." Hence, business management needs to make the proper adjustment as well to run an organic business with “living cells,” not just the mechanic firm composed of “hard nuts and knots.” Digital organizations as a whole are agile, flexible, dynamic and innovative. So how to make a leap in Digital Transformation via mixing hard & soft element right, and how to run, grow and transform your business effortlessly?

The Toughness and Softness of Digital CIOs With the exponential growth of information and continuously technology-driven disruptions, Information and Technology become the key differentiator of the business long-term success. IT has become “softer” because it shifts from monolithic hardware oriented to mosaic information-driven. Digital is the era for the rise of the CIO role. However, IT leadership is a tough journey. The digital CIOs need to demonstrate mental toughness and hardcore competencies to run one of the most sophisticated organizations, as well as present the soft touch to capture the minds and hearts of people, with the goal to achieve the high-performance business result, build the people-centric organization, and maximize the collective digital potential.

The Endogenous and Exogenous drivers of Digitalization? With the increasing pace of change and unprecedented uncertainty, enterprises of the future are increasingly exhibiting “VUCA” characteristics in various shades, intensity, and extensiveness. Companies have to stretch out in every business dimension for driving the full-fledged digital transformation, in order to adapt to the new business dynamic. Organizations need to have both endogenous and exogenous drivers, both internal and external focus when it comes to lead digitalization.

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 3 million page views with about #5500+ 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, to inspire critical thinking and spur healthy debates. 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.

The Best “Ego” Quotes of “Digital Master” May 2019

We need a well-developed ego but we have to keep it under control. When healthy, ego helps us succeed via our own unique strength in a professional way. 

"Digital Master” is the series of guidebooks (27+ books) to perceive the multi-faceted impact digital is making to the businesses and society, help forward-thinking organizations navigate through the journey in a systematic way, and avoid “rogue digital.” It perceives the emergent trends of digital leadership, advises on how to run a digital organization to unleash its full potential and improve agility, maturity, and provide insight about Change Management. It also instructs the digital workforce on how to shape a game-changing digital mindset and build the right set of digital capabilities to compete for the future. Here is a set of “Ego” quotes in “Digital Master.

1 The word ego means a 'sense of self' which means that you are aware of your physical, mental and emotional presences.

2 Understanding what ego is is a state of awareness. The ego is in a dissociative position that gets interpreted as an effect of the reflection, rather than being the cause and effect of it.

3 Ego helps one organize the thoughts and make sense of them and the world around us; egotism is the over-estimation of the importance of one's ego; ego-centricity is behavior that is motivated by a belief that one's ego is of greater importance than others' are.

4 Everyone needs to have some ego for a sense of self-worth. But too much of everything is bad including the big headed ego.

5 We all have an ego - an ambitious sense of self that drives us to accomplish things. However, some have an unhealthy ego - an inflated, pompous, selfish drive that fights to win at all costs.

6 The suggested categories of healthy ego are self-awareness, self-esteem, self-confidence, self-valued capability, and self-actualization,

7 We need a well-developed ego but we have to keep it under control. When healthy, ego helps us succeed via our own unique strength in a professional way.

8 It is good to be confident in a natural way and there is no ego in that. However, if your confidence is based on trying to cover up your inner weakness or fear of being seen for who you really are, that is definitely ego.

9 Ego is tied to self-esteem and balance. Too much ego has one thinking too much of oneself--minimizing, marginalizing and dismissing the perspectives of others. Too little ego has one not believing in oneself.

Taking a Logical Scenario for Measuring IT Performance


Organizations rely more and more on information and technology. IT is a key enabler to build almost all differentiated business digital capabilities nowadays. IT needs to be run as a business in the business. IT performance has to be clearly linked with business performance and IT should work with stakeholders to develop the right set of measurements that shows how IT is improving business execution and enforcing business capabilities. It’s important to take a logical scenario for managing IT performance by measuring right, adjusting plans, understanding results dynamic, and making business decisions to ensure the strategic goals are on the right track to achieve.


Establish a good root question - Do you know why you are collecting the metrics: As the saying goes: You can only manage what you measure. Metrics help you get some objective perspectives on what you are trying to manage, also help various stakeholders understand what is going on in IT from the outside-in business lens. The right metric is requested in the right context, clarify the big why of the performance measurement is requested, and discover whether there is a better or easier way to gather metric that achieves the business goals. IT metrics need to evolve to something that matters to the business audience. Without well-defined measurement, it’s hard to tell whether attempted improvements make the situation better or worse. IT value needs to be measured by the optimization and consumption of IT assets in delivering business products or services that are identified within the organization’s producing revenue streams. Ensure that IT performance measures are quantitative and implement the necessary mechanisms you need to be able to gather the data. These metrics should increasingly put emphasis on measuring things the business care and making IT function as a clear value-adding partner in the company, in addition to an ever greater strategic element to the business.

Identify the purpose of the information and the stakeholders who will use it: The well-selected set of metrics are those used to inform the business of multidimensional IT performance and value. In order to demonstrate IT value, organizations need to first know wherein lies the IT value. The best way to demonstrate the value of IT is to know who you are showing the value to. Ask whether the metrics can reveal anything meaningful for the identified business purpose and the stakeholders who will use the metrics. If you understand upfront by doing the right strategic questioning, you can later go back and ask if you achieved the purpose of the information that had been set out to attain. To improve IT maturity, it’s important to show a clear link to the top executives between IT performance and business productivity/top-line business growth includes improving IT system effectiveness, efficiency and ROIs of those business services or solutions delivered by IT. IT metrics have to evolve from being a cost center to becoming a revenue generator. Thus, it’s important to select the right set of business indicators and leverage metrics to demonstrate business results that the business care.

Ensure management buy-in for the metrics collection process: Executive management needs to make data-based decisions, thus, senior management should always respond to “data.” Contextually, the measurement management is to persuade the management of the progress of strategy execution. Consequently, the most effective way to confirm senior management buy-in is to show how the pieces of measurement data directly or indirectly affect business productivity, performance, and profitability. IT should continue to review the ROI of existing IT investment, whether the depreciated life cycle is completed or not; or whether new technologies/products mature enough in the business market to adopt. Keep in mind, IT performance is part of the overall business performance; one of the biggest pitfalls for IT performance measurement is about measuring the “part,” but ignoring the “whole.” For example, the board or business management will buy-in when the metrics can clearly present the tangible business result from IT investment and persuade them that IT is a strategic asset and differentiated business advantage.

Use metrics as pointers to areas requiring further investigation: The goal of performance measurement is to diagnose problems and make continuous improvement. Thus, it’s not the measurement that is important; it’s what you do with the data obtained from that measurement. With tangible data, there are quantifiable elements such as process inefficiencies which can be brought to light and qualitative elements such as ineffectiveness caused by IT- business disconnect which can draw some attention. The data-oriented metrics-wise engagement is leading IT to become much more proactive in problem-solving (both diagnosing the problems and coming up with premium solutions), proposing, as opposed to responding to ideas, accelerating the business speed and improving customer satisfaction. The right metrics can be helpful to track progress in business improvement initiatives or the digital transformation.


Don't collect metrics for the sake of collecting metrics: Measurement is the means to the end, not the end itself. Performance measurement can easily go wrong. Irrelevant measurement indicator will waste time, add the other layer of management complexity, and decrease the business effectiveness. In practice, there are people obsessed with metrics who end up creating a large and complicated set of meanless metrics which perhaps waste business resources and time without bringing up data-based performance result with clarity. In the other case, the incomplete assessment of measurement variables would mislead the management making ineffective decisions or focus on short-term business results only. Therefore, the management should make the right choice for picking the right metrics by asking themselves and others: Why are you choosing them? How will you use them and, do you have enough resources to manage data and present them persuasively. In fact, selecting the Key Performance Indicators is one of the most important steps in IT measurement and performance management.

To improve IT management maturity, IT metrics have to evolve from being a cost center to becoming a revenue generator. A measurement system is a necessary foundation for continuous improvement. To refine IT reputation, "business sentiment" needs to get put into something more tangible, such as optimizing processes, increasing productivity, or improving customer retention/satisfaction. "Measuring up" is intriguing but it is crucial for IT to be perceived as a strategic business partner. CIOs need to understand how to measure IT performance with the right reasons, identify the right measurement and measure them in the right way to drive IT transformation smoothly.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

The Weekly Insight of the “Future of CIO” 5/17/2019

Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking, brainstorming, innovating and sharing.

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2.8 million page views with 5500+ blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The “Digital Master” book series includes 27 books to share insight from the multidimensional digital lens and perceive the multi-faceted impact the digital era upon us is making to the businesses and society. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom. Here is the weekly insight of digital leadership, IT Management, and Talent Management.






Harmonizing IT via Alignment, Integration, and OptimizationThe dawn of the digital era means the increasing pace of changes, the exponential growth of information, the continuous disruptions often led by digital technologies and the fierce competitions. Digital IT is no longer that isolated support function or a business controller to maintain the "status quo" only. The IT organization today should be integral to and knowledgeable of the business, aligned with enterprise objectives, and optimize the organizational structures and functions, as an enabler, a facilitator, and a harmonizer.

The Board Director’s Digital Profile V Digital means rapid change, abundant information, the era of options, expanded spectrum of innovation, and people centricity. Digital board leadership is the adventure to explore unknown, have confidence and insight for steering the business in the right direction, and taking the right path of reaching the business destination. The ever-changing business dynamic brings significant opportunities and responsibilities for the new breed of digital BoDs who drive changes and lead by envisioning, global influencing, innovating, and multidimensional intelligence with their distinctive digital leadership profiles.

The Monthly Insight of Information Management: Leverage Information to Solve Business Problems May 2019 The aim of modern Information Management has often been described as getting the right information to the right person, in the right format and medium, at the right time, in order to make the right decisions and solve right problems. The value of information is qualitative, measurable, and defined uniquely by an organization. Here is a set of blogs to brainstorm how to leverage information to solve varying business problems.

Seeing is Believing: Three Visualization Practices to Lead Digital Transformation "Digital transformation is a long journey, the path to digital can be iterative, evolutionary, revolutionary, or disruptive. Seeing is believing, one picture is worth a thousand words, all being said, the digital organization needs to be painted into the big picture, capture big insight, create effective visualization in order to enforce communication and improve manageability to catalyze large scale of changes such as digital transformation.

The Best “Grit” Quotes of “Digital Master” May 2019 "Digital Master is the series of guidebooks (27+ books) to perceive the multi-faceted impact digital is making to the businesses and society, help forward-thinking organizations navigate through the journey in a systematic way, and avoid “rogue digital.” It perceives the emergent trends of digital leadership, advises on how to run a digital organization to unleash its full potential and improve agility, maturity, and provide insight about Change Management. It also instructs the digital workforce on how to shape a game-changing digital mindset and build the right set of digital capabilities to compete for the future. Here is a set of “Grit” quotes in “Digital Master.

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 Best “Influence” Quotes of “Digital Master” May 2019

Insightful leaders can make a deep influence because their unique observation and clear discernment can both touch the heart and shape the mindset.

"Digital Master” is the series of guidebooks (27+ books) to perceive the multi-faceted impact digital is making to the businesses and society, help forward-thinking organizations navigate through the journey in a systematic way, and avoid “rogue digital.” It perceives the emergent trends of digital leadership, advises on how to run a digital organization to unleash its full potential and improve agility, maturity, and provide insight about Change Management. It also instructs the digital workforce on how to shape a game-changing digital mindset and build the right set of digital capabilities to compete for the future. Here is a set of “Influence” quotes in “Digital Master.


1 A high-influential person is positive, full of insight, to convey and sustain influence with continuum.

2 Digital leaders need to have the ability to “calibrate their impact,” being able to lead through influence, not by brute forces.

3 Influence without trustworthiness is like a book cover without context & content. Trustworthiness without influence is like an activity report, not an insightful book.

4 Every human being will make influences on the surrounding via his/her aura which is the distinctive atmosphere or quality that seems to surround and be generated by a person, thing, or place.

5 People tend to make leadership very complex, but in its most simple form, leadership is an influence.

6 Metaphorically, influence is like water, permeating into where it flows; influence is like light, brightening up the surrounding; influence is like a bee, pollinating flowers and becoming ambassadors in the natural world; Influence is like the butterfly effect, a minor change in circumstances can cause a large change in outcome...

7 Insightful leaders can make a deep influence because their unique observation and clear discernment can both touch the heart and shape the mindset.

8 Influence and persuasion begin with trust, but influence does not necessarily come as a giving to a person with a high trust index. It’s a skill to be learned, a persuasive communication, exemplary leadership, personal sacrifice, all held together by a collection of confidence.

9 Amplifying digital leadership is not about how loud you can speak, but how profound you can think and how deep you can influence.

Five Aspects of Digital Workforce Readiness

Evaluating the digital readiness of the business is important to allow room for adjustments and keeping the organization dynamic and informative. 


Today’s digital workforces are multigenerational, multicultural, multi-geographical, multitasking, and multi-devicing. One of the key determinants of whether an organization can move up to the new digital structure for improving its business adaptability and strategic flexibility is the development level of the people. People are often the weakest link but one of the most critical success factors of the organization. Therefore, part of the digital transformation journey is to prepare people to get digital ready psychologically and professionally. Developing high mature digital workforce won’t happen overnight, it takes planning, adapting, and innovating. Here are five aspects of digital workforce readiness.



Performance and potential: Digital workforce is a technology savvy new breed. People are the human asset and capital need to be invested wisely. Performance keeps the business running and potential moves the business to the next level of growth. Therefore, workforce performance improvement must take the long term view and manage both performance and potential accordingly. Workforce management is an important process which underpins the organization’s collective human capability and differentiated business competency. Due to the increasing pace of changes, performance evaluation shouldn’t be just an annual event, it needs to happen more frequently in order to make the timely adjustment and adapt to changes effortlessly. The measures for performance should meaningful tie to the company’s strategy; the performance goal, roles, and responsibilities that specifically result in the outcomes required for competitive business advantage. Either individually or collectively, the potential is an investment. Digital workforce management encourages autonomy and self-discovery, well align the employee’s career goals with the strategic goal of the business.

Employee feedback & feedforward: With overwhelming growth of information and rapid changes, feedback on performance and outcomes help the business management catch the workforce readiness and make the timely adjustment for making continuous improvement. If you want your team to create a great future, they need to be responsive to feedback. The content of feedback is oriented towards behavior, and behavior is an extension of the individual’s mindset, attitude, and personality. From a management perspective, if you want to nurture a great culture to accelerate performance and unlock collective potential, you need to be responsive to feedback either individually or collectively. Feedback and feedforward are important for the business’s success in the long term as we all need to learn from the past and improve towards a brighter future.

The degree of process transparency: Transparency in a social context implies openness, communication, and accountability. Organizational transparency will enable effective two-way communication, built trust, enforce collaboration and harness changes. It is in fact, a fundamental factor for performance achievement. A prerequisite for transparency is trust. An organization can have all the recognition, celebrations and such it wants, but unless the relationship is a trustworthy one, all those activities will be of limited value in enhancing engagement and boosting employee performance. Trust can only be built in an open organizational environment conducive to communication flow, ideal-seeking behavior, and healthy business culture. The transparent organizational processes and loosely coupled functions can be integrated into business competency which underpins the seamless strategy management.

The degree of empowerment: The business management needs to accomplish the goals through their people. therefore, employee engagement and empowerment is important to drive competitive business advantage. It’s about employees willing to give discretionary effort, always looking for ways to improve their own and team performance. Although the responsibility to maintain and grow one’s expertise has always largely fallen on the individual employee; albeit it is great when the organization provides support and empower their staff by showing respect and offering talented people opportunities and efficient tools to achieve more. Digital organizations today need to redefine themselves where talent can develop and learn more rapidly than anywhere else. Psychology, sociology, technology, and philosophy multidisciplinary must be applied for improving talent management effectiveness. The organization with the culture of empowerment will reap the benefits of high productivity, high performance and even drive creative energy flow.

Creativity and innovativeness: Digital management is responsible for enabling a collaborative, innovative, and productive working environment. You cannot command innovation, but it’s always important to cultivate an open environment to inspire and encourage creativity. Managing an innovative digital workforce is both art and science. Business management needs to pay attention to creating shared and admirable goals, and then, develop an inclusive and innovative team to compete and collaborate as they deem fit. Also, you can't command someone to be creative or adaptive. People must have some intangible performance drivers that get them motivated every day to exercise their “creative muscle,” and let their creativity flow.

The digital workforce is a hyper-connected generation with a multitude of varieties. Technically, there is no single initiative or the “theme of year” program that will suffice to raise the business performance overnight, it takes deliberate planning and dedicated effort for developing high-performance and high-innovative workforce. Therefore, evaluating the digital readiness of the business is important to allow room for adjustments and keeping the organization dynamic and informative. Different organizations must tread on their own path of the quest to understand the symbolic language of nature contributing to evolutionary processes for building a high mature business.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The Monthly “IT Innovation” Book Tuning: The Multiple Aspects of IT Innovation May 2019

 More often than not, information technology is the disruptive force behind digital innovations, and thus, forward-thinking IT organizations strive to become the innovation hub of the business. 

Within abundant information and emergent digital technologies, IT is a key component of holistic business mindset to re-imagine “what is possible” - unleashing business potentials and improving business efficiency, effectiveness, agility, and maturity. The art of possible to reinvent IT in the digital age is to deliver the value of information in helping businesses grow, delight customers and doing more with innovation.



  The Multiple Aspects of IT Innovation


Three Aspects to Enforce IT Innovation? Innovation, as an individual process or collective processes, is about figuring out the better way to do things; it helps us adapt, improve, grow and integrate. From the business perspective, innovation is the mechanism through which you grow and evolve something to something great with higher value-add or ever breakthrough or something new or better based on a combination or modification of previous attributes or approaches. Businesses, especially the well-established large corporations and within that environment, innovations can range from small to game changers. As more often than not, information technology is the disruptive force behind digital innovations, and thus, forward-thinking IT organizations strive to become the innovation hub of the business. Here are three aspects of enforcing IT innovation and building it into the business competency.

Three Aspects to Understand the Creative Side of IT? IT is well known as an engineering discipline and an isolated back-office function with a set of mysterious hardware boxes to keep the business wheel spinning. With emergent lightweight digital technologies and overwhelming growth of information, IT management shouldn't just practices some transactional activities, it has to discover both the art and science of digital management discipline. Because technology is often the disruptive force of digital transformation, and information could be one of the most time intensive pieces to innovation puzzles.

Explore a Unique Path to Innovate IT? Many companies are at the tipping point for the digital transformation journey, more and more businesses empower their IT to lead changes and catalyze business growth. Due to the overwhelming growth of information and disruptive nature of technologies, IT is at the crossroad, either ride the learning curve and explore a unique path to build differentiated competency, or just keep the lights on only, react to the business’s requests and become irrelevant. Some high-performing IT organizations have moved up its maturity to become the innovation hub and game changer in their companies, how can they make it?

Running IT as Innovative Achiever: Businesses today face numerous challenges, fiery competitions and rapid changes either technologically or economically. Companies across the industrial sector are on the journey of significant transformation. Many IT organizations are at the crossroad to either reinvent themselves or become irrelevant. Every forward-thinking CIO needs to ask themselves and others: Shall we continually be operated as a support center or become a business differentiator? Do we have a harmonized vision about overall IT competency and organizational maturity? Which role should or can IT play in the digital organization to keep it relevant and lift up the organization to the next growth cycle and accelerate business performance?

Running Creative, Persuasive, and Logical IT Digital transformation represents a break from the past and presents a high level of impact and complexity. With the exponential growth of information and often technology-led digital disruptions, IT is being elevated to the “light power” of the business for identifying business opportunities and obstacles, navigating changes, and climbing the learning curve ahead of the rest of organization. In reality, IT organizations have come a long way from being pure technical specialists to being critical strategic partners for leading business growth and transformation. In fact, it is at the tipping point that top performing companies see IT as an asset, capital, innovation catalyzer and source of business competitive advantage. It’s a strategic imperative for CIOs to run creative, persuasive and logical IT organizations.


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 2.8 million page views with 5500+ blogs 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 Best “Self-awareness” Quotes of “Digital Master” May 2019

Self-awareness mind helps you build on your strengths and improve on your weaknesses. The strength is not equal to linear skills, it's the good combination of character, talent, mindset, knowledge, and expertise.

"Digital Master is the series of guidebooks (27+ books) to perceive the multi-faceted impact digital is making to the businesses and society, help forward-thinking organizations navigate through the journey in a systematic way, and avoid “rogue digital.” It perceives the emergent trends of digital leadership, advises on how to run a digital organization to unleash its full potential and improve agility, maturity, and provide insight about Change Management. It also instructs the digital workforce on how to shape a game-changing digital mindset and build the right set of digital capabilities to compete for the future. Here is a set of “Self-awareness” quotes in “Digital Master.

1 Knowing who you are and how you react and respond in different situations can help you understand and improve the cognitive, relational and assertive actions you take on a day to day basis.

2 Knowing oneself comes from the practice of actively and intentionally being present to relate to, see all the different parts of oneself and how they operate.

3 Self-awareness mind helps you build on your strengths and improve on your weaknesses. The strength is not equal to linear skills, it's the good combination of character, talent, mindset, knowledge, and expertise.

4 To create a positive change tomorrow, you need to start today understanding self. Self-awareness provides clarity, versatility, gives you directional opportunities for personal growth and helps you avoid pitfalls.

5 Knowing who you are or being self-aware, allows you to become the better human being.

6 Self-awareness mind helps you build on your strengths and find energy is released from one steady state to another, and from your outer realities attempting to change to the steady state of your inner self.

7 Ask yourself questions that focus on know thyself and continuously practice on how to strengthen your strength, also not make your weakness become the obstacle to stop you from moving forward.

8 Be aware of your strengths and weaknesses, and be aware of how you impact others and your environment.

9 We are all on the journey to self-awareness; some simply have a greater recognition of being on that road.

Make Stride Toward Digital Transformation by Avoiding Three Traps

Change is functional. Transformation is structural. Both are manageable. 

Change is overwhelming. There are all sorts of changes - positive changes, negative changes, incremental changes and disruptive changes, change as a response to changing external conditions and changes that are initiated because of internal factors. Change you want and change that is forced upon you. Some change is inevitable and another change is elective. Sometimes change is the problem, sometimes lack of change is the problem, sometimes the lack of clarity to discern the difference is the problem. Therefore, change is complex and overall speaking, change management has a very low success rate. Forward-looking organizations across the vertical sectors are on the journey of strategy-driven digital transformation; it means that the company needs to reinvent itself, change to the fundamental business model, culture, or other critical business factors for reaching the next level of organizational growth and maturity.  It's a thorny journey, how to make a stride toward the seamless transformative change by avoiding traps and pitfalls on the way?

Tunnel vision trap: Change is never for its own sake; it’s important to set a clear vision about what you want to achieve. Digital transformation starts with the realization that you are currently can no longer deliver the business goals and reach the long-term vision of success for your company and your shareholders. Thus, the forward-looking view of transformative change is to determine what the future needs to look like, what the business transformation must look like, how to overcome barriers, close blind spots and deal with change inertia. Digital leaders today need to be constantly visible by sharing a clear vision and enabling others to share it as well. Because lack of vision, tunnel vision or “vision existing on the paper only” are all sorts of traps which mislead management, disable changeability, and decelerate business speed. When jumping into the “VUCA” digital new normal, by envisioning and focusing forward, business leaders are able to accurately judge the upcoming curves and obstacles on the path to go digital. In many organizations, tunnel vision is often caused by silo thinking, business leaders and decision-makers fail to fully grasp or perceive holistically about what leads to problems or difficulties. Often, they try to fix symptoms, not the real issues. No wonder their change efforts fail and their companies get stuck in the middle of going nowhere. The other vision-related trap is that business executives think vision is what their job is all about, and think that somehow if they have a vision, magically it will become a reality by those under them; unfortunately, in this case, vision becomes a mirage. The point is that leaders have to live and be the vision, it follows the wise saying: “ We must be the change we wish to see in the world.” Change is constant, there is always something to learn anytime, but one must be present at the place and at the right position to improve vision every day.

Linear process trap: There is a multitude of changes such as organizational change, technological change, and behavioral change. There are various approaches to change such as planned change, unplanned change, imposed change, negotiated change, and participative change. Transformative changes are nonlinear and multidimensional, often take a holistic approach with iterative continuum. The more complex the change is, the more complex the solution could be. Taking a linear process to handle dynamic transformative change often won’t work, even becomes a trap of improving one part of an organization at the expense of other parts of the company; or winning the battle but losing the war. For the large scale transformative change, apply a well-designed framework, take an iteratively strategic planning process and be cognizant of change from the beginning. The management should incorporate some of the core change management principles into its approach by involving those responsible/needing to support the initiative in creating the desired changes. Fundamentally, change large or small is about solving problems. The ultimate goal of change and improvement should look beyond immediate problem resolution. The focus should include actions designed to sustain performance improvement and anchor change as a new opportunity. The highly changeable businesses are the ones that have learned “why” should change, “when” change is called for, "how" to decide “what” to change, “who” takes charge of changes, as well as “how” to measure the change outcome. Those are not some linear steps, but an iterative business continuum.

Mediocre culture trap: People are creatures of habit and change is stressful. They get used to the “comfort zone”; “change” is perhaps the last thing on their minds regardless of how enthusiastic the leadership team is. People often resist changing also because they don't understand how it is relevant to them and they are simply not ready for change psychologically. Thus, transformative changes must dig into the mindset level, overcome “the good enough mindset” or mediocre culture (the collective mindset) trap. Organizations today are a huge melting pot of employees with the very characteristics of hyper-diversity (multigeneration, multiculture, and multidevicing, multitasking, etc.). To drive change effectively, communication, exemplification, and amplification of the best practices are all crucial step in overcoming mediocrity and building a change-enabling culture. Because the transformative change needs to deprogram outdated mindset, let go of the “voice from the past,” reprogram people’s mind with digital thinking, norms, and attitudes, establish a new blueprint for how you want to co-create a brighter digital future collaboratively. Sustainable change success depends on professional qualities such as positive attitude, trust, teamwork, creativity, empathy, and learning agility, etc. Innovative leaders and change agents are in demand because they can think outside the box, stimulate creativity, drive changes, and nurture the culture of learning and innovation. Improvement is a form of change, change can also be leapfrogged into business transformation. A culture that enables constant improvement is the most valuable change engine you can build.

 It is nevertheless true that the change itself has become unpredictable and evolutionary. Closer to reality is that 'change' is continuously happening in such a dynamic environment of a company. The inevitable range, breadth, depth, and pace of uncontrollable factors acting on any organizations mean constant fine-tuning is essential. Change is functional. Transformation is structural. Both are manageable. With the right change leaders are in place at the right time in a business life cycle or condition, the digital transformation is natural and smooth. Change management needs to assess and evaluate every specific scenario to create the change program success without falling into those disastrous traps. Ultimately, the success of the transformative change program is measured by results that are important values to the organization - and the cultural adoption of these goals is part of that measure.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The Board Director’s Digital Profile V

Leadership is complex and situational and there are numerous variables need to be leveraged in assessing leadership effectiveness.

Digital means rapid change, abundant information, the era of options, expanded spectrum of innovation, and people centricity. Digital board leadership is the adventure to explore unknown, have confidence and insight for steering the business in the right direction, and taking the right path of reaching the business destination. The ever-changing business dynamic brings significant opportunities and responsibilities for the new breed of digital BoDs who drive changes and lead by envisioning, global influencing, innovating, and multidimensional intelligence with their distinctive digital leadership profiles.

Insightful mentor: Corporate directorship as one of the strongest leadership pillars should exemplify digital leadership all the time, advise and mentor the management for achieving the next level of leadership maturity. Great leadership includes the mentoring capability. The digital leader today is more as a great mentor than an entitled commander. Coaching or mentoring is going to be increasingly important now because the "command & control" style of management is gradually losing its steam in the digital era of abundant knowledge and hyperconnected business normality. Mentorship is about guiding, advising, interpreting, and influencing. that’s why expert power can truly win the minds and gain respects. The mentor style leaders have both interpersonal (understand others with empathy) and intrapersonal (deeply understand oneself) communication skills to enforce their leadership influence. Digital boards advocate open leadership, provide constructive feedback to the management and each other and set the tone for building the culture of learning and continuous improvement. To mentor well, the board directors need to keep improving their own leadership quality, show learning plasticity, continuously seek new knowledge, solicit direct feedback and constructive criticism to improve their leadership maturity. Excellent mentorship is both art and science. Board directors have the ability to listen and observe; the ability to ask probing open questions; and show a degree of imagination and empathy. The mentor style board directors play a critical role in developing next-generation leaders and help the current leadership stay attuned to the realities of their industry and business ecosystem.

Digital Guardian: The Board provides an “outside-in” view of businesses and multi-dimensional lenses to oversee strategy management and digital transformation. It needs to be remembered that governance as a discipline is a living breathing thing which continually requires stroking and attention. Otherwise, it will stagnate and lose its ability to be one of the prime enablers contributing to above average board performance. Digital encourages autonomy and innovation. It is important to understand that digital transformation is multifaceted, business optimization and integration need to be done with a “big picture.” The board works closely with management to set good policies for enabling changes and encouraging innovation. It presents there is a very real risk that governance as a discipline will begin to lose focus of its prime purpose if it does not address strategically important emerging issues. That means the guiding principle and management oversight, in fact, become more crucial to lead change at a steadfast pace. More specifically, the BoDs need to capture the oversight of assessment - gauging business conditions and choices which impact the business growth and competency; the oversight of matching business priorities and resources to ensure that management can see and agree on what has been done and what should be done next ; and the oversight of accountability - scoring activity and net business results. Good governance is less about structures and rules than being focused, effective and accountable. The ability of boards to oversee and advise management as a digital guardian is to ensure the best fit between (short term) profitability (shareholders) and long-term sustainability (stakeholders: employees, government, society).



World-class leadership practitioner: Companies don’t exist in silos but within systems, especially global businesses. Being global is about crossing not just borders but also cultural divides between business, government, and social sectors. The world-class board of directors demonstrates leadership traits such as self-awareness, critical/independent thinking, inquisitiveness, creativity, influence, optimism, ethics, global perspective, and cultural intelligence, etc, to deepen board directorship effectiveness and maturity. A board leader needs to be able to gain the world-class insight which is based on the update global view that looks at problems or issues in such a way that a solution emerges through a collaboratively interdisciplinary and multicultural approach involving global psychological capital, intellectual capital, and social capital. The world-class leadership competencies at the board level also include such as self-regulation, social judgment skills, abstract thinking, empathy, motivation to work in a global environment, cognitive skills, acceptance of complexity and its contradictions, the tolerance of ambiguity, cultural flexibility, learning agility, and handling complexity. The global organizational leadership is shifting toward grooming digital leadership skills embodying effective communication and collaboration in networks of global conversations that inspire creativity in diverse domains of expertise. The board directors as the world-class global leaders should become "creative flat world communicators" or “round global ambassadors,” who can appreciate, facilitate and orchestrate the multitude of differences in global context, connect global dots, inspire and nurture the evolution of businesses, walk the talk when it comes to innovation as well as fosters the global-scope digital transformation. Allow the difference to exist and leverage on the difference. From the board composition perspective, the board is responsible for ensuring an appropriate mix of skills, knowledge, and experience are present or available for it to fulfill its judiciary function.

Digital Paradigm means holism, hyper-connectivity, interdependence, and integration. Leadership is complex and situational and there are numerous variables need to be leveraged in assessing leadership effectiveness. One of the most important traits for any senior leaders is self-awareness which is about understanding your impact on others and the surrounding.  Like any type of leadership, BoD leadership needs to be future-oriented, steer the organization towards the digital journey with a clear vision, a solid strategic roadmap, and effective feedback system, build a high-performance top-tier leadership team with complementary skills and experience to reach the next level of leadership maturity.

The Corporate Board Director's Digital Profile Blog Series

The Corporate Board Director’s Digital Profiles 

The Corporate Board Director’s Digital Profile II

The Corporate Board Director’s Digital profile III 

The Corporate Board Director’s Digital Profile IV

The Corporate Board Director’s Digital Profile V