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, April 30, 2019

The Monthly Quality Master Book Tuning: IT Management Quality Apr. 2019

Quality management ensures that an organization, product or service is consistent, effective, and meet customers’ expectation. 

Digital organizations arise when the scale of the interrelations, interactions, or inter-relational interactions surpasses the silo-based organizational capacity. Quality management ensures that in an organization, products or services are consistent to meet customers’ satisfaction. This book “Quality Master: The World Class Insight about Quality” is not about discussing specific quality standards or techniques well adopted in different industries, but for sharing some insight on how to understand the multitude of quality attributes from different perspectives, recognize quality champions to inspire quality culture, set digital principles and develop the best and next digital quality management practices. Slideshare Presentation


IT Management Quality


IT Management Quality Check in Digital Transformation Quality is defined by a number of factors such as innovation, effectiveness, flexibility, or maturity, etc., and to effectively lead an organization into good practices to focus on quality attributes takes work and a level of credibility within the organization. IT plays a significant role in digital transformation, as more often than not, technology is a major digital disruptor today, the purpose of digital transformation is to embed digital technology into key business processes, to improve business capability and competency to compete for the future. Hence, CIOs should do the periodic IT management quality check to ensure its effectiveness, efficiency, and maturity.

Three Quality Aspects of Digital IT As Drucker wisely put: you can only manage what you measure. The quantitative measurement helps management continue improving IT efficiency. Quality management ensures that an organization, product or service is consistent, effective, and meet customers’ expectation. Modern IT organizations are the complex business system, and the quality of IT management has multiple aspects.

Three Aspects of Digital Management Precision Digital management is responsible for designing, enabling, and enforcing a collaborative, innovative, intelligent, and inclusive working environment for engaging employees, delighting customers, unlocking business performance, and improve overall organizational quality and maturity. Quality management ensures that an organization, product or service is consistent, and business competency is cohesive. Digital precision is one of the most important characteristics of digital quality. Here are three aspects of digital management precision.

The CIO as “Chief Inspection Officer” IT plays a significant role in digitalization, as more often technology is a major digital disruptor and information is the lifeblood of the digital organization. The purpose of digitalization is to embed digital technology into key business processes, to improve the business capability and compete for the future. CIOs as “Chief Inspection Officer,” should do the periodic IT management quality check to ensure its effectiveness, efficiency, performance, and maturity.

How do you Define Quality Data: Corporate IT is the steward of the business information system. And information System (IS) is "a system" that deals with Information Management: collecting, storing, and processing data and delivering information, knowledge, and digital products. Too many businesses are data rich but information poor. Or they spend so much time and energy collecting data for that "just in case" scenario. Information Management quality means quality data, quality management, and quality measurement. What are further perspectives about Data Quality??

Quality is about doing the right things right the first time. High-quality enterprise is comprised of high-quality people, products, or services; business capabilities and processes, etc. To effectively lead the organization reaching the next level of business maturity, it’s important to shape quality as the mindset and quality as the management discipline.

The Corporate Board Director’s Digital profile III

The path to leadership mastery is something that unfolds day by day, it takes mental tenacity, innate strength, fair temperament, in-depth business understanding, and solid expertise to develop strong digital leadership profiles.

Leadership is about the future and direction. The corporate board as one of the most critical top leadership pillars needs to be future-oriented, able to steer the organization in the right direction. It’s difficult challenges because there are uncharted water and blurred digital territories on the journey of going digital. The board directors should convey their “outlier’s vision and have to leverage the different points of views to truly become the strategic advisor of the business, conduct changes, monitor business performance and maximize business potential. Here is a set of board director’s digital profiles to bridge the multitude of leadership gaps and develop a high-effective and high-performance corporate board.



Business critic: Leadership is the state of the mind. Constructive critics are like a mirror; it not only shows lacuna but also gives an alert of forthcoming challenges the business management is facing. Many organizations are still run as a sum of pieces, not a holistic whole due to the tunnel vision or silo mentalities of business management. Thus, true critical thinking and constructive criticism are very important for the business’s improvement continuum. Criticism comes from a well-wisher to be construed as "constructive." The excellent feedback and constructive criticism from the board offers management the clue to see things they might ignore; provides keen insight to close strategic blind spots; gives them invaluable information to improve, triggers great questions to check the health status of business; also provides them good intention to understand varying shareholders’ interest with empathy. Many board directors are independent “outlier”; constructive skepticism at the board level often challenges the conventional thinking of management as a sole path; adds the new perspective via intuition; removes reactive thinking and negative self-talk, and adds proactive interactions no matter what is the situation. To put simply, criticism is like medicine, tastes bitter, but good for leadership wellness. The wise business leaders look at criticism as a way to eliminate stereotypical thinking and unconscious bias, lead to creative problem-solving and innovative solutions for improving their leadership maturity.

Policy-maker: Policies are communication from the top. The board of directors plays a critical role in setting policies and principles for changes and digital transformation. Often, large corporations have varying levels of maturity. Some of the mixed levels of maturity are the result of acquiring and merging organizations and cultures. The policy and principles as a compass will guide all levels of the organization to operate more as the human body operates with the cells and organs in a cohesive way. The organization is able to make decisions in a very organic relationship with its environment, to run in the same direction for meeting the same objectives in a rapid manner and achieving common business goals collaboratively. Policies and principles provide a robust foundation that makes it possible to straightforwardly derive solution-level governance and ensure the effectiveness of business management practices. There are some organizations out there that have a plethora of policies and many of them are nothing more than that, just a policy. Policies need to serve a purpose. The good policies make the right things easy to do by everyone and the wrong things hard to do by everyone because everyone is on the same playing field despite differences in roles/job titles and such. In the end, policy-making is not about models and theories, slogans or the business cliche. It’s about people being willing to be held accountable, following the good policies voluntarily for their own benefit, and making the workplace highly productive, autonomous, innovative, and delightful.


Digital conductor: As we all know the only "constant" now is "change." The rate of change has accelerated, The digital transformation is now spreading rapidly to enable organizations of all shapes and sizes to reinvent themselves. Don’t embrace every trend or fad though. Sound judgment is a hardcore leadership competency which often does not just come from “gut feeling,” but based on updated information, solid knowledge, decision wisdom, as well as the humble attitude. The corporate board as a digital conductor should harmonize the business symphony by taking effective governing approaches. Learning the business is a must for the BoD leaders to come up with experiential knowledge coupled with information for enabling and empowering the enterprise. Due to the complexity, uncertainty, interdependence, and ever-changing business dynamic, it’s a collective responsibility for both the senior leadership team and BoDs to lead business transformation and orchestrate a harmonious digital symphony. You need to have a holistic view of the organization because dealing with the significant challenge of digital transformation requires accelerated mindsets, leveraging multidisciplinary knowledge and insight, taking an end-to-end response and a structural approach.

The modern digital board has many responsibilities such as leadership advising, strategy oversight, governance practices, performance monitoring, and resource provision. Top directorship roles such as board directors are supposed to be the guiding force in the enterprise, envision and steer the business towards its future, strike a balance between dealing with complex issues today and forecasting the uncertain issues of tomorrow. The path to leadership mastery is something that unfolds day by day, it takes mental tenacity, innate strength, fair temperament, in-depth business understanding, and solid expertise to develop strong digital leadership profiles, in order to lead changes and digital transformation confidently and effortlessly.

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

Running IT as “Digital Explorer”

The progressive role of IT today for many organizations is an information steward, a business solutionary, an innovation hub, and a digital transformer.

IT has expanded its impact in every organizational dimension to improve the company’s operational excellence, business responsiveness, performance, flexibility, and Innovation. IT leaders sense the urgency to spend a significant portion of resources and time on strategic business initiatives and put diligent efforts on innovation management. It is in some synthesized sense that IT can knit all important business elements into differentiative business competency; IT can integrate different business functions to ensure that the company as a whole is superior to the sum of pieces. Visionary IT leaders are running IT as “digital explorer” to pursue the “art of possibilities.” Classic information technology strategy as an integrated component of the business strategy can be divided into the following three areas:

Information and technology as product, service, or artifact: Besides providing standardized IT services, IT can lead to the design of products and services that actually create a return. The ultimate success of IT should be evaluated on how IT is able to deliver innovative products or services or reinvent business models that are profitable to your business while being exciting to customers. To explore the digital new normal, it’s necessary to rethink the fundamental way to run IT - from “aligning IT with the business,” to “integrating IT into the business," and "aligning IT with customers.“ Ask users, customers, and different stakeholders what their expectations are of IT and whether or not IT meets those expectations. Exploring the potential of IT won’t happen with “old thinking”; old thinking just leads to a burden of support for regular operations whereas the true potential is about getting involved in building great products, services or business models by relying less on silo functions and more on cross-functional collaboration. It’s also not about reinventing the wheel; sometimes when one business area has a new product or service that can be used by another, IT leaders can connect the dots promptly to come up with innovative solutions timely.

Information & technology as a business process or method: The business needs for IT are rooted in the business processes and where the IT services and systems touch these processes. The amount of waste tied up in business processes these days is astounding. It’s important to leverage IT to optimize the business system that streamlines business processes and improve organizational maturity. Businesses are looking for IT to come up with innovative processes or methodologies to deal with complexity, improve quality, investigate innovative business solutions, or optimize business capabilities, etc. Because the robust systems and tools that enable the business to generate a winning concept on the consistent base is the prerequisite for sustainable business advantage and growth. IT is able to bring out technology-enabled methodologies, processes or solutions, driving adoption of applications, and become the spinal cord for running a digital business. In practice, running IT as a “digital explorer” is not always exciting or flashing. There are many difficult “grunt” work need to be done. IT organizations have to map IT services or systems to related business processes, IT also needs to keep consolidation, integration, modernization, and optimization to improve process efficiency and business competency.

Information & technology as knowledge: IT is the custodian of data assets of the company, data can be refined to information and knowledge which can be applied in new and different ways to generate massive business value that far exceeds what other functions can incrementally bring to the table. Thus, information & technology is knowledge; and knowledge is power. Philosophically, data is physical, and the information is ‘mental.’ Leading organizations are digging into the gold mine of information to explore business opportunities as organizations need IT to provide better information for achieving improved profitability. IT enables the business to access, consume and generate the necessary information to perform a range of business tasks. IT provides a nervous system to the business by managing data-information-knowledge-insight cycle smoothly. If intelligence built is poor or not managed effectively, it perhaps leads to wrong decision-making and poor performance results. There is a sense in which information from or about the business or the world is incorporated into the very DNA over time by the processes of evolution.

IT needs to be a digital explorer for unlocking business performance and maximizing business potential. IT is an integrator to blend different elements of the organization to unique business competencies. Aristotle asserted when it is rational, the whole of all those that participate is greater than the sum of its parts. That is to say, something surplus becomes added in reasoning through issues together, which makes a whole more effective than the sum of all its pieces. IT needs to be value-added, the progressive role of IT today for many organizations is an information steward, a business solutionary, innovation hub, and a digital transformer.

Monday, April 29, 2019

The Monthly “12 CIO Personas” Book Turning: CIOs as “Chief Investment Officer” Apr. 2019

The digital CIOs have to wear different colors of hats and master multiple leadership personas and management roles effortlessly.

This book “12 CIO Personas: The Digital CIO’s Situational Leadership Practices” is the extensive brainstorming and logical content expansion of my book “CIO Master: Unleash the Digital Potential of IT,” to reimagine and reinvent CIO leadership via practicing multitudes of digital influence. The important thing is that CIOs as the top leadership role must have a strong mindset, a unique personality, and a clear idea of what needs to be done, yet creative enough to not hold the company back from growth. Regardless of which personality they have, digital CIOs need to be both transformational and situational, innovative and tactical, business savvy and technology insightful, communication-effective and operation-efficient. Here is a set of blogs to brainstorm CIO as “Chief Investment Officer.”

CIOs as “Chief Investment Officer”
CIOs as "Chief Investment Officer": Improve IT Investment and Visibility? With the exponential growth of information and emerging digital technologies, IT faces an unprecedented opportunity to refine its reputation, also needs to take more responsibilities as a true business partner. IT has to catalyze change, focus on innovation, and enable business growth. Digital CIOs should understand business outside-in, help the organization generate revenue, improve IT visibility, investment transparency, as well as the overall organizational maturity.

CIO as "Chief Investment Officer": Running Digital IT with Pragmatic Advancement:
With the increasing pace of changes and emerging on-demand IT service models, many IT organizations are at the crossroad to either transform themselves as the strategic business partner or gradually turn to be irrelevant. When IT becomes only the mechanism for realizing a vision described by other C-level executives, it becomes a commodity. An effective CIO is a true business partner! Leading CIOs must be able to convey the technological vision, run a high-performance digital IT organization with pragmatic advancement and drive changes proactively.

CIOs as “Chief Investment Officer”: How to Manage IT “Yield On Return”? The digital mantra for IT leaders is to run IT as a business. Statistically, Information Management investment represents one of the largest categories in the business budget. Thus, for many CIOs, they need to be able to support the essential investment with sound Return On Investment reasoning. It tells business management how well IT investment repays the company. When CIOs can present the measurable business value of IT investment, they are on the right way to reinvent IT from a cost center to the value generator.

CIOs as Chief Investment Officer: Three Aspects to Unleash IT Enabled Digital Potential All ambitious businesses strive to unlock their business potential. Performance keeps the business lights on, the potential could enable the organization to reach the next level of business growth cycle and maturity. Nowadays, technology is the disruptive force behind digital transformation and information is the gold mine all forward-thinking businesses are digging in, and companies across the industrial sectors claim they are in the information management business. CIOs as “Chief Investment Officer”: How to unleash IT-enabled digital potential?

CIO as "Chief Investment Officer": How to Present IT Value to the Business Successful CIOs know not only know the IT side but also understand the business, as the CIO is not just the guy/gal running the PC help desk anymore. There are far larger, business-oriented responsibilities on the horizon, the skill set of the CIO is going to transition from running IT infrastructure to best applying IT to business problems. Thus, on one side, the CIO is a Chief "Intrapreneur" Officer to run IT as a startup, on the other hand, the CIO acts as a “Chief Investment Officer” to scrutinize business case, master business language, and well prepare what if you have a seat at big table, how do you present effectively.

Modern organizations have their own sophistication with silo functions, the sea of information, and the pool of talents. The CIO is an inherently cross-functional role, to bridge the business and IT; the data and insight, the business’s today and tomorrow. The digital CIOs have to wear different personas and master multiple leadership and management roles effortlessly. They need to lead at the strategic level for conducting a complex digital orchestra; they should be handy managers to plumbing information and keep it flow smoothly; they also have to be like the diligent gardeners, to build a unique IT landscape via tuning technology, removing waste, nurturing culture, and empowering people.

The Best “Holism” Quotes of “Digital Master” Apr. 2019

Being holistic suggests a genuine sense of exploration and innovation or simply creative problem-solving.

"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 “Holism” quotes in Digital Master.

1 Holism refers to something that transcends an adding or combination of thinking ways, to understand things as the whole, with interconnected parts and interdependent relationships.

2 A holistic perspective can fix the misperception by exploring multiple thought processes, zooming out to capture the bigger pictures, and seeing both the forest and the trees.

3 Holistic thinking requires a very open mind and ability to transcend conventional wisdom. Holistic thinking is more than a combination of those three ways of thinking: analytical, systems, and critical thinking.

4 Being holistic suggests a genuine sense of exploration and innovation or simply creative problem-solving.

5 The goal of holistic problem-solving is to ensure the real problems have been fixed and cause the least side effect as possible

6 Digital ecosystem explicitly seeks to create a holistic and creative environment where people can grow, innovate, and businesses focus on dynamic resources, long-term perspective, scalable performance and harmonized relationship.

7 A holistic digital management approach is about leveraging nonlinear processes and interconnectivity between problems in a managerial context, to ensure that the business as a whole is superior to the sum of pieces.

8 Behind every problem is a relationship dynamic out of alignment, the digital ecosystem is complex and volatile, it's important to leverage holistic thinking to understand the variety of business relationship and manage business systematically.

9 Taking a holistic view of business helps the management understand business as a living system with a set of interdisciplinary practices for moving the business to a dynamic, iterative, integral and interactive digital flow.

Practicing Creative Communication to Bridge IT-Business Gaps

Creative communication is the bridge between abstract and concrete; vision and reality; art and science.

Due to an unprecedented level of uncertainty, velocity, ambiguity, and complexity, misunderstanding, misinterpretation or miscommunication are the big causes of many business issues and human problem in our society. Usually, IT-business gap is caused by miscommunication, communication clarity directly impacts on the business effectiveness and organizational maturity. Besides technical dialect or finance language, should IT leaders practice creative communication to close IT-business chasm, enforce business relationship and promote IT as a trustful business partner?

Communicate via visual presentations, either by showing data-supported charts or telling vivid stories: As the saying goes, the picture is worth a thousand words. The visual presentation or vivid stories are interesting enough to engage others, meaningful enough to touch the hearts, logical enough to connect the minds, and persuasive enough to get the audience’s buy-in. IT leaders often play the role of a translator between the business and IT; they need to demonstrate in very tangible ways that IT understands the business, and fortunately, there are ways for doing so. They must straddle concepts and translate language between the business and technical jargon to avoid “lost in translation” symptom. To harness communication effectiveness, they even need to take further steps, experiments with a more creative way to communicate, in order to demonstrate either abstract thoughts or technical concepts vividly and persuasively. As a matter of fact, the best way to promote IT is to leverage critical thinking and creative thinking, communicate frequently and proactively, convey clear messages and build trustful relationships and co-solve common business problems collaboratively.

Analogies are also a powerful tool for communicating with technical IT professionals and non-technical business functions: Language is the tool to express thoughts. Language and its expression of the thinking process change because of its relativity of context. Psychologically, creative, metaphorical, and poetic impulses and language congeal over time into systems of thought for provoking imagination and deepening understanding. Metaphorical communication helps to articulate complex concepts through creative expression or telling a vivid story, to clarify abstract concepts and connect with heterogeneous audience closely. Today’s digital workforce is multigenerational, multi-talented and multicultural, practicing creative communication can share insight by bridging cognitive gaps, and being institutionalized, systematized, and professionalized.



The vital business communication should embrace creativity, context, cascade, and tailor varying business audience: Running a highly responsive IT organization needs to get support from boardrooms, varying business functions, and customers. IT leaders need to be creative and persuasive in order to get their ideas approved and funded. They shouldn’t just use a single communication methodology but practice creative communication and persuasive skills to amplify their leadership voice. They should participate in varying business dialogs either for exchanging great ideas or marketing IT value proposition, engage in communication and changes. IT oversees business functions and structure, it’s important to have open door time for people to come and discuss their concerns and show the openness via the open-ended questioning, creative problem-solving brainstorming, or innovative communicating. All functions in the business enjoy working with IT and IT can build a solid reputation as a strategic business partner.

Creative communication is the bridge between abstract and concrete; vision and reality; art and science. The digital transformation is now spreading rapidly to enable organizations of all shapes and sizes to reinvent themselves. To reinvent IT from a support function to an innovation hub and digital engine of the digital organization, CIOs need to be a great communicator for bridging the gap between IT and business by conveying technological vision at the boardroom, practicing creative communication to get “buy-in” from the business, having empathetic conversations with customers, and listening to technical issues addressed by IT staff. Communication is both art and science, creative communication is inspiring and persuasive. The very goal of communication is to convey, connect, inspire and motivate people to achieve the well-set goals and improve the organizational performance and maturity.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

The Monthly Digital Principles/Practices Summary: A Set of “Going Digital” Practices Apr. 2019

The way of going digital and being digital" 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, work and solve problems. 

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. Here is a set of "going digital" practices to improve business changeability and maturity.

  


A Set of “Going Digital” Practices


Three Practices to Drive Digital Transformation? Going digital implies the full-scale changes in the way the business is conducted and expand business transformation to multiple directions. There is no one size fits all formula to pursue it. Understanding that digital business development is multifaceted. It has to permeate into business vision, strategy, functions, communication, processes, and culture. etc. 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, work and solve problems. Here are three practices to adapt to the new normal of the business world, make change proactively and drive digitalization effortlessly.

Five Practices to Bridge Digital Maturity Chasm Digital is the new paradigm associated with deep ecology. The digital organization is more like living things with self-adaptable and self-renewal capability. Doing digital is perhaps about taking a few actions, but going digital and running an intensive, effective, and cohesive digital organization takes dynamic planning, dedicated execution, and holistic digital management disciplines. Here are five practices to bridge multiple chasms and improve organizational effectiveness and maturity.

Three Fresh Twists to Deepen Digital Impact: Organizations of the future are increasingly exhibiting digital characteristics such as hyperconnectivity, fierce competition, and interdependence in various shades, extensiveness, and intensity. Organizations today across the industrial sectors aim to move into a more advanced stage of digital deployment by tailoring their own unique strength and business competency. They need to keep making fresh twists, fine-tune methods and processes, and stretch out in every business dimension for deepening their digital impact and driving a seamless business transformation.

The Digital CIOs’ Digital Practices? Uncertainty and ambiguity are key challenges for business leaders today, it implies that digital leaders must leverage information and technology to capture the business insight and adapt to changes, learn how to strike a balance between managing complex issues today and predicting uncertain issues of tomorrow. To keep IT relevant, IT organizations must move from a technology-driven back-office function to become an information-oriented digital engine. IT should focus on doing things matter today for its business, also lift the vision on the horizon for long-term business prosperity. Digital CIOs need to follow digital principles and develop the best and next practices to improve digital fluency and overall business maturity.?

Digital Reinforcement Management Practices Many organizations are on the journey of digital transformation which represents the next stage of business maturity and will improve how the enterprise works and interacts with its digital ecosystem, with people at the center of its focus. However, every business evolves digital with varying speed. There are stresses in business leadership because organizations must respond to continuous digital disruptions and the increasing pace of changes proactively. Businesses need to become more adaptive, innovative and resilient. Here are three digital reinforcement management practices they should take in order to get digital ready psychologically, technologically, sociologically.

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.

Five Determinant Speed Factors of Digital IT

Running digital IT with accelerated speed evolves planning, designing, building, operating, modernizing, integrating, optimizing and maturing.

In the industrial age, IT is often perceived as a controller and it’s too slow to adapt to the "VUCA" digital new normal in the majority of organizations. With the increasing speed of changes and exponential growth of information, how successfully organizations can handle digital disruptions and win the competition depends on how fast and capable they can adapt to the ever-changing environment to deliver high-performance business results. In fact, nowadays IT has to speed up, drive changes and play a pivotal role in digital transformation. Here are five determinant speed factors of digital IT.

The speed of transactions: The fundamental responsibility of IT is to “keep the lights on” of the business. “Transactional" refers to operational transactions, taking input at one end and churning it out at the other with processes in between. The transactional side of IT seeks continuity. From IT transactional lens, following standard operating procedures is important to improve IT productivity and efficiency. With the high velocity of change in the business environment today, IT has to improve its speed of transactions either for providing technical services or fixing technology-related business problems. The root cause of speed issues often comes from gaps created between IT and the rest of the company. To mind the gap, IT leaders and staffs need to work closely with the business, simplify operations, optimize business processes, and find better solutions to the business problems at the premium speed in order to become the better partners with the rest of the organizations. To strike the balance of acceleration and stability, some IT organizations run with a hybrid speed, separate the exploitation of the existing technologies, methods, and practices from the exploration of new ways to do things. On one side, IT strives to achieve operational excellence by taking a structural approach with solid pace; on the other side, IT needs to accelerate the speed of adopting new technologies or practices and focus on the fastest speed available because that is where the main threat to competitiveness.

The speed of information flow and decision-making:
In the digital era, information is one of the most invaluable assets in organizations across vertical sectors. The speed of information flow directly impacts the speed of the business because smart businesses leverage information to make better decisions, capture market foresight and customer insight for grasping growth opportunities or managing risks timely. Information is permeating into everywhere in the organization, thus, the value of information is not isolated, and the speed of processing information matters as well. Information Management is all about having the right people access the right information to make the right decisions at the right time to make the right decisions for solving the right problems timely.  Information and decision-making are intimately connected and interdependent. IT needs to manage a data-information-knowledge-insight life cycle efficiently at the premium speed to maximize information value and improve decision-making effectiveness. Some highly intelligent leading organizations can manage information excellently to capture business insight almost at the real-time, in order to respond to changes promptly and deliver high-performance business results.

The speed with which new ideas are created and how fast well-selected ideas are brought to market: Information is one of the most time-intensive pieces of innovation puzzle, from idea generation to idea implementation, speed matters for winning customers and gaining market shares. One of the real challenges to innovation management is how to accelerate idea validation and streamline innovation process. IT can help to reframe business innovation processes to keep ideas flow and evaluated effectively because there are some critical pieces of information needed for accelerating idea validation such as facts about ideas, benefits, and shortcomings, etc. Ideas are built on other ideas and that idea combination is a powerful technique. Information flow can further streamline the idea flow and stimulate collective creativity which will catalyze business growth and improve organizational viability. Having a large number of ideas is a good thing as long as you can leverage information & technology, try and get the best attributes of the ones you like and combine them into the solid implementation and outcome, accelerate the speed for bringing ideas to market and achieving their commercial business value.

The velocity of business capital flows:
There are both tangible and intangible business capitals need to be managed well in today’s organzations. Besides financial capital flow, there are human capital including all the talent, competencies, and experience of employees and managers; there are information capital including all data which can be refined into business knowledge and insight; there are organizational structural capital including knowledge, processes, software and intellectual property; and there are relationship capital including all key external relationships that drive business growth with customers, suppliers, partners, to name a few, etc. The velocity of capital flow directly impacts the performance and changeability of the company. With emerging digital technology trend and the importance of information capital, forward-thinking industrial leaders empower and invest IT boldly to as a strategic differentiator. Digital IT can shorten the products/services delivery cycle, take minimum time to market, and improve the return on IT capital investment with a solid velocity.

The speed which knowledge flows through the economic system: Knowledge is power. Knowledge does not stand still! It flows into the company, it flows out of it, it erodes; it gets created, and hopefully, it flows to the customers of that company in terms of products and services delivery at its own pace. Thus, it's critical to create an environment that encourages the utilization and the flow of knowledge because the speed of knowledge flows and the maturity of knowledge management will directly impact the business responsiveness, innovation capacity, and organizational performance. Speed matters because it doesn’t take long for the knowledge to become a commodity due to the rapid changes and overwhelming growth of information. There is a shift from static knowledge management approaches to techniques that enhance the knowledge flow within an organization to improve its access and use either for solving critical business problems or developing unique business competencies.

IT organizations are at the digital frontier to drive changes, optimize business processes, build organizational capabilities, and catalyze business growth. Speed matters for businesses’ surviving and thriving. Running digital IT with accelerated speed evolves planning, designing, building, operating, modernizing, integrating, optimizing and maturing.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

The Monthly “Digital Gaps” Book Tuning: Minding Cognitive Gaps Apr. 2019

Cognitive gaps cause innovation gaps which disconnect many things that are supposed to be interconnected, it becomes the barrier for connecting the dots to stimulate creativity. 

"Digital Gaps -Bridging Multiple Gaps to Run Cohesive Business” is a guidebook to help digital leaders and professionals today identify, analyze, and mind multiple gaps with the 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, it is important to identify and strengthen the weakest link and take a stepwise approach to make a leap of digital transformation.

Minding Cognitive Gaps


The Cognitive Gap Cause and Effect? Cognition is the mental process of acquiring knowledge through thought, experience, and senses. The "mind" represents our consciousness and awareness. It is the software that promotes and regulates each function and each action of our body, from the reproduction and reconstruction of our cells to the food process and distribution, to our voluntary and involuntary movements, and to all our behaviors, etc. However, the brain activities function for survival instincts are still primitive, what are the further aspect of human sophistication in regards to vision, communication, and innovation for problem-solving or overcoming challenges? And what are further problems caused by cognitive gaps and how to bridge them effectively?

Bridging Digital Cognitive Gap: From Being Bi-Polar Judgmental to Having Multidimensional Discernment Both businesses and the world become hyper-connected and overly complex, either for leaders or digital professionals today, to survive and thrive in such the digital “VUCA” new normal, you need to keep growth mindset, updating knowledge, enforcing cognitive understanding, and move up to the next level of discernment and intellectual maturity.

The New Book “Digital Gaps” Chapter 1 Introduction: Cognitive Gaps Cognition is the mental process of acquiring knowledge through thoughts, experiences, and senses. It is a perception, sensation, and insight. People are different, not because we look different, but because we think differently. Cognitive gaps enlarge problem-solving gaps because it will cause the blind spots for either defining the real problem or solving it. Cognitive gaps cause innovation gaps which disconnect many things that are supposed to be interconnected, it becomes the barrier for connecting the dots to stimulate creativity. There is a multitude of perspectives on the cognitive gaps, as well as how to close them.

Critical Thinking Gaps Critical Thinking is the mental process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information to reach an answer or conclusion. There are very few real critical thinkers because it is a complex type of thinking with the multitude of thought process, at the deeper level, critical thinking has creativity embedded in it. The critical Thinking technique can be taught, but Critical Thinking skills can only be developed via practicing independent thinking, insightful observation, and conscious and even superconscious reasoning. There are critical thinking gaps existing which cause leadership blind spots and poor decision making, how to identify and fill them to improve the leadership maturity and digital professionalism?

The Gaps between Linear Thinking and Nonlinear Thinking The digital business and the world has become over-complex and hyper-connected; in the industrial setting, business management often practices linear thinking with a set of linear skills; it perhaps works in the considerably static and silo business environment. However, digital means the increasing speed of changes and the high degree of uncertainty, hyperconnectivity and fierce competition. The nature of digital is nonlinear and dynamic, How to close the gap between linear vs. nonlinear thinking in order to drive a smooth transformation?


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 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.



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The Best “Emotional Intelligence” Quotes of “Digital Master” Apr. 2019

 People with high EQ mind is more mature, maturity often refers to having a sound understanding of basics and making a fair judgment.

"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 “Emotional Intelligence” quotes in “Digital Master.

1 Emotional Intelligence in its simplest form is being aware of our emotions and managing them to get best out of the situation.

2 Emotional Intelligence is a tool to live life with a balance. People with high EQ can take tough decisions and keep their sensitivity intact.

3 Emotional Intelligence helps us open mind, minimize biases, be cautiously optimistic, be an effective listener and be more creative. EQ directly decides one’s adaptability, empathy, and maturity.

4 The importance of EQ gets prominence as seniority increases - working with people and getting more complicated tasks done becomes more relevant as you grow.

5 Emotional Intelligence as a human quality has elements such as self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy motivation, and social skills.

6 People with high EQ mind is more mature, maturity often refers to having a sound understanding of basics and making a fair judgment.

7 People with high EQ often have better self-discipline because self-discipline is nothing but self-consciousness.

8 Decision Maker with emotional excellence has the ability to dispassionately" examine alternatives via fact-finding, analysis, structured planning, objective evaluations & comparison.


9 Perhaps a better measurement of Emotional Intelligence is the person's overall healthiness - how healthy are they emotionally, mentally, physically.

Five Practices to Bridge Digital Maturity Chasm

Digital organizations are all about information savvy, people-centricity, high-performance, innovation, and speed.

Digital is the new paradigm associated with deep ecology. The digital organization is more like living things with self-adaptable and self-renewal capability. Doing digital is perhaps about taking a few actions, but going digital and running an intensive, effective, and cohesive digital organization takes dynamic planning, dedicated execution, and holistic digital management disciplines. Here are five practices to bridge multiple chasms and improve organizational effectiveness and maturity.

Ability to collaborate with business counterparts: Many organizations are still run with overly rigid hierarchy and bureaucratic management style. To streamline information, idea and business flow, scale change, accelerate business speed, and bridge digital maturity, companies must break down silos and enable cross-functional communication and collaboration. Collaboration is at its essence, the intellectual harmony between humans. Collaboration is a fundamental part of what ultimately fuels inspiration, imagination, and innovation, and create a sense of belonging. The powerful digital platforms and tools enable social behaviors to take place online, endowing those interactions with scale, speed, and disruptive economics of the internet, and encourage mass collaboration to co-solve difficult problems facing businesses or human society. Collaboration in the business circumstances require a much higher degree of innovative thinking, the business management must be supportive of collaboration thrust, and teams must own their goals. As every collaborative team has its own unique “aura” and practices, thus, each team is different and produce varying results. It is perhaps not so easy to scale up. Business management needs to find the right balance, with the goal to improve employee engagement, business relationships, and the overall organizational maturity.

Understanding of end customers’ expectations and experiences:
Many traditional organizations are operated inside-out, focus on efficiency and productivity, but often lack an in-depth understanding of end customers’ expectations and experiences. The digital era upon us is about customer-centricity. It is a significant task that demands a great amount of proactive leadership and many dedicated practices. It’s about developing a culture of customer-centricity, also aligning your culture to your brand, and empowering staffs to deliver remarkable customer experience. It is the secret sauce of being customer-centric There is a mentality shift behind transformative changes. To think outside yourself in a customer-centric way requires knowing yourself as a customer first; as knowing your inner customer help to build an empathetic bridge to understand customers and their expectations. Build great relationships with the end users that personalize the customer experience. There are many tough decisions need to be made in order to run a customer-centric organization. The real debate is whether a business should choose to achieve its financial outcomes a the cost of a customer; when should business pursue quick win, when does it need to focus on long-term prosperity? Keep improving products/services quality to delight customers because a product is a manifestation of customer centricity.

Organizational structure (hierarchy, existing roles, and skillsets) optimization: Organizational design is the structure and sometimes the strategies themselves that facilitate the customer-centric priority. In fact, unless the appropriate organizational structure is continuously implemented and optimized, otherwise, customer-centricity is just a buzzword. With emerging digital technologies and platforms, the physical organizational structure and relationship structure can wrap around and enforce each other to improve business maturity by bridging functional divides or culture chasm. In practices, the customer-centric organizational design has to become much more organic in the sense that it’s melded with business processes, structures, functions, etc, to make the business more dynamic. Structural changes are perhaps also necessitated based on the extent and spread of re-design of business processes. Organizational design is an ultimate expression of the organization’s strategy and structural optimization is one of the important practices to bridge digital maturity chasm.

Business competency development and improvement: Business competency is a set of organizational core capabilities to implement business strategy. The often described attributes of business competency include such as robustness, adaptability, intelligence, resilience, etc. An organization or company may be in business for many years but has not matured its management practices due to lack of well-defined sets of business principles and differentiated business competencies. There are both necessary competency to run the business as others do and the differentiated business competency to stand out as the industry leader with a strong business brand. Thus, to bridge digital maturity chasm, forward-look companies must address their common and unique skill requirements and map that out through sort of skill or competency matrix within their organization and develop them systematically. The matter is that the dynamic digital organization needs to get away from letting things fall through and start creating an “integrated wholes” by utilizing correct processes to deal with complexities and underpin business capabilities.


Agility to move quickly and achieve digital synchronization: Because the speed of change is accelerating and the information is growing exponentially, the digital strategy needs to be very dynamic and companies today have to become highly responsive in order to grasp business opportunities and manage risks timely. Too often transformational change is acted on the basis of improving one part of an organization at the expense of other parts of the organization. Breaking down silo thinking and digitizing the management disciplines and practices is the first step for running a high-responsive digital organization. With the fast pace of changes, the demand for information will only intensify. The synchronicity of the information management cycle can help to improve the business responsiveness and run a real-time organization. That means the organization can manage its information excellently so that the business is able to ride the learning curve with speed and adapt to changes intelligently.

To bridge digital maturity chasm, the business must steer the organizations in the right direction; the management should take a holistic approach, develop the best and next practices to going digital in a structural way. People have to be ready for moving to a fluid structure, hyper-connected & dynamic state and get used to the complex digital ecosystem. Digital organizations are all about information savvy, people-centricity, high-performance, innovation, and speed.

Friday, April 26, 2019

The Monthly “Digital Hybridity” Book Tuning: The Hybrid Digital Management Discipline Apr. 2019

Digital transformation is the journey for solving problems caused by "conflict," "out of balance," and “lack of logic.”

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 Digital Management Discipline


The Hybrid Digital Management Disciplines? Digital transformation is the journey for solving problems caused by "conflict," "out of balance," and “lack of logic.” It has to expand into every dimension of the organization with a structural approach. Thus, digital management is a hybrid and holistic discipline with mixed management styles for managing everything that is necessary to get people to adopt new ways of working such as cross-functional communication and collaboration, organizational structure design, change management, talent development, digital business readiness, and stakeholder management, etc.

A Hybrid Organization With the fast pace of change and emerging digital technologies such as social, mobile and cloud, companies large or small are brainstorming the next generation of organizational design, how to take advantage of the new digital tools, how to improve productivity and enforce creativity & collaboration cross-enterprise ecosystem?

The New Book “Digital Hybridity” Chapter IV Introduction: The Hybrid Digital Management
The digital paradigm has many dimensional, it is like to solve a jigsaw puzzle with thousands of pieces, easy to get lost when trying to capture the big picture. Digital Management is a hybrid and holistic discipline with mixed management styles for managing everything that is necessary to get people to adopt new ways of working and running a high performance and high mature digital organization.

Three Aspects of Running a Hybrid IT and Digital Organization
We live in the world with both “old” and “new,” embracing digital is inevitable as that is now part of the reality. In order to lead change and drive digital transformation, IT should combine the old way to do things, and the new way to explore, the next practices and the best practices, take the balance of traditional hierarchy and flatter structure; keep the lights on,” and “doing more with innovation.” Either from management, technology or talent perspective, Is HYBRIDITY the right way to move forward with the right speed?

Digital Workforce Hybridity? As our digitized world becomes hyper-connected, over-complex and interdependent, digital system themes with all the aggregates-spanning business challenges, paradoxes and opportunities bring organizations further towards the challenges of constructing and enacting "hybrid realities" across individuals, teams, looser groups, organizations, network-enterprises, and holistic digital ecosystems. The digital paradigm that is emerging is the sociological organization which is alive, holistic, vibrant, energetic, responsive, fluid, innovative and resilient with the hybridity of knowledge, processes, workforce, and competencies.

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2.8 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 “Discovery” Quotes of “Digital Master” Apr. 2019

Discovery is the trait of innovators because innovation is all about discovering the new way to do things.

"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 “Discovery” quotes in “Digital Master.

1 Discovery is the choice to look at something differently and by that choice never look at anything the same.

2 Discovery is a process of revealing unknown facts. Discovery is the perception and awareness of the uniqueness in the field of the ordinary.

3 Discovery is realizing something or having the experience of something that therefore has not been known to you or known only as a concept, but now is alive to you.

4 Discovery is the trait of innovators because innovation is all about discovering the new way to do things.

5 The word "discovery" refers to "knowledge" because the more you read and learn, the more you will realize that there are more you don’t know yet.

6 Discovery starts with an open mind and fresh eyes; it is a new way to see and perceive the things; it is a life experience and adventure.

7 Insightful digital leaders with “discovery eyes” can discover the “diamond in the rough, “see through character, discover potential, capture substance, and abstract quintessential.

8 Human potential is limitless; the best way to go on discovering what we are capable of doing is by following our insights, intuitions, and imagination while at the same time keeping our feet firmly on the ground.

9 Discovery is 'the journey of life,' as each day we discover something previously unknown to us; discover something others ignore or take the path without just following others’ footsteps.

Reimagine Digital Organization - Design for Harmony

Digital organizations are dynamic and hyperconnected, with business attributes such as responsiveness, engagement, adaptability, flexibility, innovativeness, and resilience, etc. 

We slowly, but steadily move to the era with an abundance of knowledge, endless information, and abundance of ideas. Digital organizations today increasingly exhibit sophisticated characteristics such as hyperconnectivity, nonlinearity, interdependence, etc, in various shades, extensiveness, and intensity. There are competitions, conflicts, and controversies all over the places, which bring both opportunities and risks, unique scenes and hidden pitfalls. Digital dynamism doesn’t just mean volatility or uncertainty. With effective leadership and masterful design and orchestration, digital organizations can be operated as high-performance and high mature business catalyzed by diversification, versatility, and intelligence. It’s important to create a business context in which people are empowered and respected to create the business synergy that is the essence of the business harmonization.

Harmonizing working relationships: Many organizations are slowly but steadily moving from an overly rigid organizational hierarchy to a more flexible and flatter structure. Gone are the days where organizations can dictate the parameters of the working relationship via top-down command and control style. Management has become an art out of necessity to address the current business relationship between the employee and organization by working as high performing and creative teams, having a common understanding of business strategy, clarifying both internal and external beliefs around how the business is a movement for the business enablement and improvement, and giving everyone a voice in how the organization and the people in it can prosper and thrive. Create a harmonized working environment by communicating smoothly to make collective decisions and taking a collaboration road to achieve strategic goals and make continuous deliveries. Further, The dynamic path of going digital should provide a holistic business management view, allow for the review of workplace design, decision-making structure tuning, and talent performance management improvement. The design of a digital organization will have a significant impact on how to enforce cross-functional communication and collaboration in order to reach a state of harmony.

Harmonizing organizational processes and speed: Business transformation often means you need to fine-tune the underlying organizational structures, optimize organizational processes and adjust business speed to streamline information flow, idea flow, and business flow. If the strategic intent of organizational design can be understood across the organization, the business strategic alignment process could become an analytical “e-harmony” process in which the actual configuration of organizational strategy is a consequence of design and implementation. In reality, many organizations today are operated between the mix of old and new; different departments or divisions within the company are run at varying speed. Plus, there’s a pendulum swinging between people and process, engagement and efficiency; innovation and standardization, etc, the business frictions seem to be inevitable. To improve organizational responsiveness and performance, the digital platforms enabled by emerging technologies, efficient communication & collaboration apps or tools can help to lubricate business processes, flatten organizational hierarchies, and keep the business harmonized to reach the next level of organizational maturity.

Harmonize business leadership and management: If the business management in the industrial age is based on “command and control” style to build a certain order from chaos, survive from the scarcity of resources and fierce competitions; and then, digital leadership is more about influencing, mentoring, harmonizing and orchestrating toward the next level of the organizational maturity. Pursuing digital business maturity is an evolutionary journey, with the phases of blueprinting, designing, and optimizing the business architecture, fine-tuning the key factors of the organizations such as people, process, and technology, to achieve business harmony, reach high-performance results and unleash the organizational potential. With rapid changes, the exponential growth of information and shortened knowledge cycle, to lead the journey effortlessly, digital leaders and managers today should have open nature and learning agility, indefatigably absorb fresh knowledge, embrace diversified viewpoint, leverage systems thinking to overcome silo mentality, and gain an in-depth business understanding across the spectrum of a local/specific to global/holistic/systemic/ interdisciplinary elaboration.

Digital organizations are dynamic and hyperconnected, with business attributes such as responsiveness, engagement, adaptability, flexibility, innovativeness, and resilience, etc. They have to adapt to the continuous changes and frequent disruptions and are able to reconfigure the organizational structure and change their own behaviors for their adaptation to environmental changes and ecosystem dynamics to achieve business harmony.