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.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

The Monthly Communication Brief: Creative Communication July 2019

Effective communication needs to be creative and convey contextual intelligence.
The great communicators are the high-quality leaders or professionals who can communicate objectively with strong logic, clarity, and understanding; the great communicators are the great artists who are fluent in creative expression or metaphorical description. Communication is both art and science. How to bridge gaps and improve communication effectiveness.

 
                                   

      Creative Communication  



Three Principles for Communication Effectiveness Communication is always important, although it is the means to the end, not the end itself. The end is for problem solving and idea brainstorming. A great communicator doesn’t need to be “the everyone’s cup of tea,” but in order to communicate effectively and avoid the miscommunication symptoms such as “lost in translation,” you have to follow the right set of principles and deliver the messages persuasively and creatively.

Practicing Creative Communication to Bridge IT-Business Gaps? 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??

How to Communicate Effectively in Digital Dynamic? The speed of change is significantly increasing. Decentralization, globalization, and diversified workforce can all be practical reasons for communicating barriers. How do you communicate a common message across the globe with empathy, and, in particular, make sure the message you want to communicate resonates effectively?

How to Convey Strategy via Effective Communication? Crafting a good strategy is difficult, and executing strategy is challenging, the linchpin between strategy and execution is the effective communication to convey the messages across the organization, how can you do it right?

CIOs as "Chief Instrument Officer": Embracing the Creative Side of IT to Make Digital Leap Many traditional IT organizations are perceived as a support center or an isolated function with “geeky image,” equipped with monolithic hardware, led via command and control management style, suffered from overloading tasks and even experienced the “brain drain.” Nowadays, IT is impacting every business unit and is becoming the driver of the business change and digital transformation. Besides scientific nature, how to embrace the creative side of IT to reinvent its contemporary image and make the digital leap?

"Digital Master is a series of guidebooks (28+ 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, advice on how to run a digital IT 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. 

The Best “Criticism” Quotes of “Digital Master” July 2019

 The flavors of criticism (constructive vs. destructive; open vs. back-biting) well reflect the culture of the organization.

"Digital Master” is the series of guidebooks (28 + 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 “Criticism” quotes inDigital Master.


1 The complimentary words test leaders’ gravitas, but constructive criticism is the building block of great leadership.

2 The criticism with positive intention is that it calls to make a person much more self-aware and can fuel professional progress and personal growth.

3 Constructive critics are like a mirror: It not only shows our lacuna but also gives an alert of forthcoming challenges we are facing.

4 Criticism comes from a well-wisher to be construed as "constructive," and then you need to seriously "consider" it. From a wrong person via unprofessional manner, it becomes "destructive," so you may "ignore" it.

5 The flavors of criticism (constructive vs. destructive; open vs. back-biting) well reflect the culture of the organization.

6 The true critical thinking and constructive criticism are very important for either individuals or the business’s improvement continuum.

7 Constructive criticism shows portrayal of ideas, concerns, directions, and attitudes. However, pay more attention to those destructive criticism with negative intentions, and applying wisdom to handle them in a positive and intelligent way.

8 Constructive criticism is like the medicine tastes bitter, but good for your leadership wellness.

9 Well-wishers and constructive critics at the same time are most likely your friends. But you need to stay away from those who are jealous of your potential success, or simply just release negative energy around you.

Search for Disruptive Innovation to Build Long Term Business Advantages

Managing disruptive innovation demands insightful understanding, patience, persistence, and courage, among other things.

Innovation is the core activity of human evolution to changing the environment for making collective progress. In the business setting, innovation is what differentiates the leader from followers. Often, innovation is disruptive and risky. It’s no surprise to know that many organizations avoid risks, the immediate pressure from shareholders or “keeping the lights on” bottom line mentality is making them look inward to make incremental improvement by optimizing what they know. But from the long term perspective, the strategic concern is that they perhaps do not invest enough to craft a great innovation strategy with a harmonized vision about building innovation competency. The challenge is about how to proactively search for disruptive or breakthrough innovation to build long term business advantages?

To disrupt, you must hear the whispers of customers, business contexts, inner worlds, or outside worlds: The disruptive innovation often evolves exploring the new market territories or attracting new customers by designing and delivering new products/services or new business models. Thus, one of the critical issues is to focus on end-user need gaps even by looking beyond your current products/services categories. People should be the center of innovation. One of the tests for whether it’s a disruptive innovation or not is about how significant of the value proposition it brings to the company, how impactful the problem it helps to solve, as well as how it makes any difference to dimensions that is valued by customers. Therefore, to disrupt, it’s important to practice deep listening skills, engage and empower customers for innovating, to gain insight and empathy. To implement innovation successfully, it’s also critical to build a strong team by maintaining their motivation and focus. Collectively, they have a good understanding and appreciation of the business processes, fully aware of the organizational structure and who is responsible for what - both infrastructure and application for truly delivering innovative products or services.

It’s also important to have the objective attitude to understand innovation cycles thoroughly: Many disruptive opportunities are brought to life with new thinking on how to monetize them. A disruptive innovation is a breakthrough in the existing solutions, something that has a potential to disruptively challenge all existing solution. At the early stage of the explorement, these innovations can be defined as offering an initially lower performance while at the same time bringing some new attributes to the market. Thus, it requires fresh thinking on how to monetize them. Although there is no one size fits all scenario, they almost always deliver some combination of the benefits of affordability, convenience, and ease-of-use compared to higher-performance existing solutions. To improve the innovation success rate, study success stories across the industrial sectors or global territories about disruptive innovation or gain “lessons learned” by avoiding others’ mistakes. After ideation, companies need to filter, prototype and validate their ideas, and ultimately deliver innovative solutions. Also be aware of innovation cycle, A disruptive product over time weakens as it moves towards the eventual commodity status. So companies have to keep searching for new opportunities to disrupt, rather than being disrupted.

Leverage ecosystem viewpoint and create a road-map for disruptive innovation: Digital dynamic enables companies to leverage their various environments or ecosystems, to chase innovation and accelerate performance. Variety, complexity, diversification, and collaboration are the very characteristics of the digital ecosystem. It’s great to create a roadmap for disruptive innovation because they are macro trends and patterns that give clues and there are unmet needs. Being digital fluent with ecosystem perspective aids the management in understanding what’s relevant and what’s not. Try to digitally connect key assets or context to the resource-rich innovation hubs and cluster across enterprise ecosystems. In doing so, you can create a shared context for learning and co-creating. That, in turn, will further fuel broader collaboration in generating fresh ideas. How successful that the organization can manage “disruptive ideas” and product innovative products or services depends on how those ideas are recognized, filtered and dealt with. Innovation leaders should fill their innovation toolbox with tailored frameworks, processes, technologies, and various problem-solving tools, as well as the metrics to evaluate innovation performance. A structural innovation management requires laying out different thought processes, structures, or cultures for bringing ideas into full fruity.

Managing disruptive innovation demands insightful understanding, patience, persistence, and courage, among other things. It’s important to set a good innovation agendas and start new conversations that galvanize inspiration and gain traction on a powerful theme of business renewal and growth.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

The Monthly CIO Debates Collection & “Digital IT” Book Tuning: How to Set Digital IT Change Agenda July 2019

Debating is not for stimulating conflicts, but for brainstorming better ways to do things.
Due to the changing nature of technology, IT leadership role also continues to involve & shift the focus, to move up the maturity level. More and more CIOs are requested to take more responsibility and many CIOs present the breadth of leadership competency. The proactive IT debates help IT leaders to brainstorm better ways to do things and improve management capabilities. Here are the monthly CIO debates collections about envisioning digital IT leadership and running high-performance digital IT organizations.


           How to Set Digital IT Change Agenda 


How to Set Digital IT Change Agenda? Digital businesses become more dynamic and hyperconnected, change is the new normal with faster pace and velocity. IT faces an unprecedented opportunity to refine its reputation, also needs to take more responsibility as a true business partner. CIOs have to get the IT change agenda ready, have access to both internal and external resources for achieving the desired ROI and running high-performance digital IT organization. IT needs to proactively participate in business conversations. Change is not for its own sake, every change needs to have a noble business purpose and a well-set business agenda. Change is a dance between the top management and the affected parts of the organization, and change is an ongoing business capability.

Can CIOs Create “Blue Ocean” to Run a Digital Business Now, Information is permeating into every corner of the business and IT is impacting so many business activities at the organization, CIOs can no longer hide in the corner to run an isolated organization, they need to have a holistic view of the business from a senior business leader’s perspectives and to provide the added value of abundance of information and emerging business technologies. More importantly, they should create or explore the “blue ocean” to run a highly innovative digital business.

Are You Running a Stable Business or a Stagnant Organization With the exponential growth of information, businesses need to grasp opportunities for growth but also manage risks effectively. With the increasing pace of change and fierce competition. Organizations must keep the lights on and also make strategic movements all the time. Stability is not equal to stagnation. Like running up to the string, you have to strike the right balance.

Why is So Critical for Running IT as a Change Agent In the industrial age, IT is often perceived as the department which is slow to change, acts as a controller only, and gets stuck at the lower level of maturity. However, nowadays, with increasing speed of change and exponential growth of information, IT is like the business's digital engine, CIOs are accountable for critical part of the business that is constantly changing and evolving and IT is also in a position to dig through underlying functions and processes of the businesses. Therefore, it is imperative to speed up IT and run it as a change organization of the business for accelerating digital transformation.

Are you Running IT Organization as a “Magic” or a Trendsetter? IT plays a critical role in modern businesses today, however, most business leaders and professionals lack the in-depth understanding of IT organizations, often time, the “magic” thinking of IT is one of the root causes to divide business and IT and create gaps for the digital transformation. In practice, digital IT organization needs to become an integral part of the high mature digital company, to gain competitive advantage or differentiated capability for the business’s growth. To improve IT maturity, CIOs should ask themselves: Are you running IT organization as a “Magic,” or a “trendsetter”?

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 3 million page views with 5900+ blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. blog posting. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating 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 “Accountability” Quotes of “Digital Master” July 2019

Accountability needs to be well embedded in the business culture, for individuals taking responsibility for what they DO and what they SAY!

"Digital Master is a series of guidebooks (28+ 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, provides advice 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 “Accountability” quotes in “Digital Master."


1 Accountability is not only to accept the responsibility for what you DO - the actions or behaviors, but also what you SAY - the knowledge sharing or feedback giving, 


2 Accountability needs to be well embedded in the business culture, for individuals taking responsibility for what they DO and what they SAY!

3 Shared accountability or collective accountability involves shared ownership, empathetic communication, the true measure of accountability is about resilience, consistency, and autonomy.

4 Accountability can be harnessed by motivating employees to achieve higher than expected result and building the culture of learning.

5 Accountability can be harnessed via motivating your employees to achieve higher than expected result and build a culture of learning, trust, and professionalism.

6 Accountability is to be wise and brave enough as a leader to remove and change in time before the problem becomes overwhelming. A mind with accountability is learning agile, wise, courageous, resilient and high-mature.

7 To improve accountability, it’s the management ability to communicate the extent to which it wants to take on risk relative to a specific objective.

8 The leaders and managers should be more interested in finding "causes," not interested in assigning blame, in order to build a culture of accountability.

9 A hyperconnected organization can approach the flow zone when the positions in its hierarchy have clear and accountable tasks.

Digital Playbook vs. Cookbook: What’s your Hand Book to Make a Leap of Digital Transformation

Digital transformation takes a holistic management discipline which is fundamentally an iterative cycle to design, build, scale, and optimize business competency.

The purpose of going digital is to make a significant difference in achieving high performance and unlocking the full potential of the business. It is a long journey full of uncertainty, velocity, complexity, and ambiguity. Generally speaking, transformation leaders have two jobs - to play their functional management role well and to be accountable for leading the cross-functional initiatives that drive business transformation. Digital playbook vs. cookbook: what’s your hand book to make a seamless digital transformation?


The digital playbook envisions the future and highlights the transformative changes; the cookbook instructs transactional activities: To navigate through the large scale digital transformation, it’s important for companies to craft their own version of digital playbook to focus on doing more with innovation and manage radical changes in a structural way. The playbook usually articulates the digital strategy and perhaps introduces a framework approach with a set of digital principles, methodologies and a holistic management discipline. "Being transformational" means redesigning existing transactions to something new with a strategy that serves the organization well. A supplementary cookbook provides detailed instructions of new types of transactions to improve productivity.

A digital playbook inspires changes and provides a nonlinear perspective of business interconnectivity, interrelationship, interaction, and innovation, as well as how to develop the differentiated business competencies to focus on the high horizon and elevate the business up to the next level of maturity; while a business cookbook offers linear step-by-step manual to follow for tuning the enterprise machine and ensuring it keeps spinning and improves business efficiency.

The digital playbook sets the updated principles and makes good policies with clarity; the business cookbook articulates operating rules and procedures comprehensively: The transformative leaders have to set fair principles, or if necessary, rewrite the rules for guiding radical changes, generating and implementing novel ideas. Thus, they should craft their own playbook with well-defined digital rules to guide through the journey of going digital. The digital rules are not some out-of-date cliche, complex theories, or overly rigid processes, they are strategic guidelines and policies to shape digital mindsets behind actions, encourage autonomy and innovation. At the operational level, the business cook book or manual helps to describe standard operating procedures to take transactional activities for improving workforce productivity. Either led by the guidelines from the playbook or following the procedure on the cookbook, it’s about people being willing to be held accountable, following the good rules for their own benefit, making the workplace more productive and safer to improve bottom line, and developing an innovative and inspiring workforce to expand their horizon.


The digital playbook suggests the well-designed next practices to experiment with; while the business cookbook describes and shares the industry best practice: Technologies and markets are constantly morphing under pressure from the waves of creative destruction, the practices that are "best" today are almost always not "best" in the future. One size doesn't fit all. and for each forward-thinking company attempting to deal with the large scale of changes, there is a different path to follow and they should develop their own set of tailored next practices by leveraging effective tools or methodologies and apply them wisely with the expertise to really add value or build competencies. Besides setting principles to follow, a well-crafted digital playbook helps to identify patterns, shares lessons learned, suggests a set of next practices to experiment with, scale up, develop unique competencies, and amplify change effect. As far as for improving business efficiency, the business cookbook perhaps list some standardized industrial practices to follow. The real challenge is to understand where and how you can and should improve to get the biggest effect, strike the right balance of innovation and standardization, and drive a smooth business transformation with accelerated speed.

Digital transformation takes a holistic management discipline which is fundamentally an iterative cycle to design, build, scale, and optimize business competency and achieve the desired business results under specified performance standards and conditions. Develop your own version of handbooks, apply them accordingly to manage a seamless digital transformation and elevate the business up to the next level of business maturity.

Monday, July 29, 2019

The Monthly “Change Agent CIO” Book Tuning: Running IT as Digital Catalyst July 2019

Forward-looking organizations are empowering their IT leaders to lead proactively and take advantage of lightweight digital technology to catalyze digital transformation.

Change is inevitable, organizational change has become a common practice within an organization, but too often changes are made as a reaction to outer impulses, crisis, and demands. This is the bureaucracy’s way of meeting the challenges. A digital transformation is achieved via dynamic Strategy-Execution-Change life cycle management, though it is not all linear steps, but an iterative, ongoing and up-going change continuum. What are digital CIO’s profiles and how to reboot IT to get digital ready and cultivate the culture of learning and innovating?
      

 Running IT as Digital Catalyst 



Running IT as Digital Catalyst Digital is the new normal with “VUCA” characteristics. Digital transformation represents a break from the past, with a high level of impact and complexity. Digital transformation efforts need to be undertaken as the means of digging into the underlying functions and processes and building a differentiated set of capabilities to accomplish well-defined strategic goals. Otherwise, they cannot have a clear focus and business rationale that is essential to gaining any traction in changing an embedded culture. With information as the lifeblood of the business, and technology is often the disruptive force behind changes. IT can no longer just hide in the corner to play the background music only, IT needs to catalyze changes and orchestrate the digital transformation, and help the company move up to the next level of business maturity.

Running Lightweight Digital IT to Catalyze Digital Transformation Organizations large or small are on the journey of digital transformation. Literally, digital transformation is to radically change the nature of something. So digital transformation is a radical change of business, leverage digital technologies to renovate business processes, innovate organizational culture, reinvent digital leadership, reimagine the new possibilities and unleash the full business potential of the company. Forward-looking organizations are also empowering their IT leaders to lead proactively and take advantage of lightweight digital technology to catalyze digital transformation.

Can CIOs Become Digital Catalyst With faster-paced changes, the exponential growth of information, and continuous disruptions often caused by technologies, the businesses are looking to IT for leadership around the competitive application of information & technology in a rapidly changing market. The role of modern CIO as the digital catalyst is to identify and blend the ways that information and technology can assist and shape the high-performance business by linking all digital aspects together to create business synergy.

Is your IT Organization a Digital Catalyst or Digital Laggard? IT is on the big shift to transform from a cost center to a business value creator, from a help desk to a growth engine; IT should devote more attention to what organizations really care about - managing information to capture insight and foresight, putting technology to business advantage. However, there is a gap between the aspirations of what IT could do to the business versus what the current IT “mentality” and capability within the respective IT department is capable of providing and enabling. How can IT close communication and capability gaps, and what is the focal point to run IT as the digital catalyst and improve its effectiveness, agility, and innovativeness?

CIOs as Chief Insight Officer: How to Run IT from a Controller to a Digital Catalyst Due to the accelerating speed of changes and exponential growth of information, IT running in an industrial mode as a business controller or a restraint only no longer fits in the dynamic business circumstances or volatile digital new normal. Forward-looking companies are empowering their IT organization to lead changes and drive digital transformation. But more specifically, how to run IT with the growth mentality and digital speed? How to improve IT organization's maturity from a support function to a digital catalyst?

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 3 million page views with about #5800 blog posting. Among 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating the new ideas; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes the time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify diverse voices and deepen digital footprints, and it's the way to harness your innovative spirit.



Refining Top Talent from Innovative and Progressive Lens

At today’s digital dynamic, top talent are both “experts” and “explorers.”

As our society has continually taken an evolutionary journey from agricultural to industrial to digital-techno-logical-social era, the masses of workers have progressed from being farmers, then factory workers to being knowledge workers, where the primary skill needed to conduct work is their brain power. In fact, we are on the advancing journey moving from information scarcity to knowledge abundance to creative economy. People are always the center of changes. it’s important to refine the competency model, assess the talent's overall capability to solve problems, demonstrate learning capability, character, skills, communication, and energy. To put simply, refine top talent from the creative and progressive lens.

Scrutinize mindset: We are what we think, Mindset differentiates top talent from mediocrity. There is no doubt we live in the digital era with advanced technology and the rapid speed of changes. However, most of the mindset of contemporary leaders today shaped a couple of decades ago, haven’t got updated enough yet. The one thing to differentiate talented people (either high performance or high potential) from mediocrity is MINDSET, which further drives attitude. The advanced mind is the brainpower and driving force behind any kind of societal progress. Thus, top talent today needs to  have sufficient skill set, but more importantly, they should be selected by the most advanced mindset. Many say we are still in the era of information-rich and insight poor. Real societal progress is made through the work of progressive and foreseeable minds and responsible behaviors.

Top talent is often the leader in their profession or industry. Only the most advanced mindset can accelerate change and fuel innovation. Generally speaking, advanced mindsets are positive, forward-thinking, creative, and inclusive, etc. People with positive thinking convey a strong will to make changes and have a future orientation that make them more prone to overcome barriers and handle adversities. Top talent is creative because creativity as high-level thinking evolving different thought processes for thinking differently and solving problems innovatively. The power of the mind is the force to change the business or even the world for better. Therefore, the big leap of advancement can be accelerated when we follow the most advanced mindset and participate in advanced activities and movement in a consistent way.

Break the rules, not just follow the rules: To be truly creative, it's important to challenge the status quo, conventional wisdom, and outdated beliefs, Top talent is not just the one who can perfectly follow the rule; top talent today needs to change the rules or co-create new rules to make collective progress. There are good rules and bad rules, visible rules and hidden rules, local rules or global rules. Therefore, it take leadership, vision, courage, and character to break down the old rules and make progressive leadership influence. Due to the creative and progressive human nature, from one generation to the next generation, the outdated rules have to be broken down, and the new “rules” should get updated to reflect the new normal. High talented people are creative “disruptors” who can think outside the traditional box, and do something outside of the confines of the traditional construct.

To quote Peter Drucker, knowledge is the most valuable commodity. Top talent keeps learning, innovating, adapting, and evolving. They do not work within the box, but across the boxes, broaden their perspectives, and connect wider dots to spur creativity. Identify top talent who love the clash of ideas, love listening, love being wrong, and love learning. An individual that over time through learning and practicing has become an ”T-shaped” expert and build creative problem-solving skills.


Recognize top talent based on unique competency, quality, and maturity, not stereotype or conventional fit: Being unique means to be authentic. Being authentic is defined as being real or genuine. Through authenticity lens, it is much clearer to discover an individual’s capabilities and potential to innovate and assess his/her professional quality and maturity. The quality of a person is often decided by the quality of his/her thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors. Maturity is the combination of capability and potentiality. Top talent has the positive mental attitude to build strengths, capture opportunities, and take inspired actions. They build their own set of unique competencies which are the combination of cohesive professional capabilities with a focus. Each of these same capabilities may be combined in different fashions to yield multiple competencies.They are proactively exploring, innovating and evolving by driving progressive changes and bringing new digital paradigms.

At today’s digital dynamic, top talent are both “experts” and “explorers.” The forward-looking organizations across industrial sectors and geographical boundaries are now looking for top talent that have the growth mindset, strong characters, positive attitudes, and unique competency, They can demonstrate the ability to drive change forward, catalyze creative climate, do the work innovatively, not just based on the previous experience, but through recombinant capability and integral talent competency.

Three Pitfalls of Business Model Innovation

A business model should not only be used for describing, analyzing, and predicting the evolution of a business system, but also provide a framework for managing its performance throughout the business growth life cycle.

The business Model describes the rationale of how an organization creates, delivers, and captures the multidimensional value. Look at the business model as the “what” the business is all about or what it will do for customers. It’s an entire frame of elements that describe the intents and constraints of a business. The digital business world nowadays is so information oriented and change-intensive, tuning business model is all about foreseeing and applying emerging trends, that’s where you win the competitive advantage. But business innovation overall has very low success rate. How to avoid the following pitfalls to lead successful business model innovation?

Either too abstract or lack of focus: Business models should be simple, intuitive, but it doesn’t mean it should be too abstract to come up with a step-wised approach. At the high level of abstraction, it could be a sentence long or many paragraphs, but behind the scenes, there’s a lot of “homework” to be done for getting the executive sponsorship and buy-in. At the detailed level, the management needs to emphasize analytic information or it requires that there would be any formal analysis of the business model practicability. Too abstract or lack of focus means that the business model innovation is not goal-congruent with the business strategy; there is a lack of alignment of people, process or technology; lack of resources or lack of expertise to truly deliver it. A real business model is an analytical model that lists all of the sources of value, cost, and risk, and contains formulas to interconnect them. Business models can be holistically evolved through feedback and probes, subjectively and objective evolved, refined, changed, measured, and then repeated. The challenging part of the real business model is to model a particular business growth scenario by capturing the business trends and evolving the emerging events; also be careful of what cost optimization/restructuring/performance measures need to be considered, and focus on delivering the business results in a consistent way.

Business model designers may speak in different languages: Business model innovation usually involves different departments of the company to build cohesive business competency for creating differentiated business value and benefit for the entire company. One of the many paths to attempt to avoid innovation pitfall is the mindset, words, and concept descriptions used, which often cause misinterpretation because each functional executive or manager speaks in their own dialect without the common understanding. For example, people from IT tend to want to create taxonomies all the time. People in business care more about the actual concepts and the numbers. People from different departments usually have different perspectives and some of them perhaps don't realize how extremely important a quantitative model is. It is important to speak the common business language, facilitate the digital dialogues between organizational decision makers, enhance cross-functional business coordination, develop knowledge & expertise to make business model innovation really working and ensure the business as a whole is superior to the sum of pieces.


Culture eats business model innovation for lunch: No matter where you start your business model from (customer needs, technological leaps, market gaps, etc.) will mean very little unless you can simultaneously build a culture that can execute and support new business model. The business model is not static, but a living thing, to enable organizations renewing themselves for generating new revenue stream and business value. Keep in mind, there are tensions between old and new business model, and there is the culture inertia existing in may well-established companies. Thus, strategizing process of business model innovation should start with understanding the style of the leadership, what the leadership preaches, and what it actually promotes. It’s also important to design structural or nonstructural processes which enable business model innovation, as well as hire and promote people with growth mindset to learn the new way of delighting customers or exploring the new marketing territories. The business model needs to allow space for innovation and explore the varying possibilities. Strategy, structure, and culture must be developed in tandem for real sustainability.

A business model should not only be used for describing, analyzing, and predicting the evolution of a business system, but also provide a framework for managing its performance throughout the business growth life cycle. A strong business model is difficult to copy and it is differentiated in the marketplace. But there are also numerous barriers or pitfalls to make it work and sustain its value. Organizations just have to overcome the challenge to improve business profitability and renew the business competitiveness.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

The Monthly “12 CIO Personas” Book Turning: CIOs as “Chief Interaction Officer” July 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 re-imagine 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 Interaction Officer.

            Chief Interaction Officer

CIOs as Chief Interaction Officer: Three Questions at the Big Table to Accelerate Digital Transformation Traditional IT organization is often perceived as the support function and a cost center and traditional CIOs are perceived as tactical IT managers and tech geeks. To really be considered an equal peer with other top business executives and board directors. CIOs have needed to both convince and deliver the alternative view of IT being a profit enabler and innovation engine. IT leaders have to communicate effectively to advocate IT as the strategic partner of the business. Because miscommunication or “lost in translation” is the key issue to separate IT from the business, it is worth the effort to take better communication approaches and be both creative and critical in enforcing business and IT collaboration. At the big table, which questions CIOs should ponder in order to enforce communication and accelerate digital transformation?

CIOs as “Chief Interaction Officer”: Can your Words Carry Weight in making the Digital Paradigm shift The pace of changes in IT would force more CIOs to shift into transformation-oriented digital leadership roles because IT plays a significant role in leading innovation and driving the digitalization of the company. However, in many organizations, CIOs have been perceived as tactical managers or even geeky technicians for so long, all forward-looking CIOs should ask themselves: “Can my words carry weight in making the digital paradigm shift?” How to become the “Chief Interaction Officer,” and “Chief Interpretation Officer,” and ultimately "Chief Influence Officer," for improving IT management effectiveness, building a strong IT brand, and amplifying digital leadership influence?

Practicing Creative Communication to Bridge IT-Business Gaps 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?

CIO as Chief Interaction Officer: How to Build Trust Business Relationships Modern CIOs have many titles, from ‘Chief Innovation Officer’ to ‘Chief Influence Officer’; from ‘Chief Insight Officer’ to ‘Chief Improvement Officer’, etc, but keep in mind CIOs also need to become ‘Chief Interaction Officer’ to build a solid business relationship, because nowadays, IT touches every key process of business and every digital point of customer experience.

The New Book “12 CIO Personas” Chapter 8 Introduction: The CIO as “Chief Interaction Officer” Traditional IT organizations are often perceived as the support function or the cost center, and traditional CIOs are perceived as tactical IT managers and tech geeks who often have the poor reputation of business communication. Thus, to reimagine IT with the art of the possible and reinvent IT to get digital ready, CIOs are the “Chief Interaction Office,” to envision, communicate, connect, and innovate in order to build a solid business relationship and improve organizational management maturity.

Modern organizations have their own sophistication with silo functions, the sea of information, and the pool of talent. 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 “Creative Leadership” Quotes of “Digital Master” to Celebrate #5900 Blog Posting July 2019

Creative Leadership is when you think, act and enable others with a creative spirit that drives positive change.

"Digital Master” is a series of guidebooks (28+ 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, provides advice 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  “Creative Leadership” quotes.

1 Creative leadership can be described as "Adaptability meets Agility" and "Innovation meets Principles."

2 Creative leaders are the ones who are capable of predicting future trends, managing the presence and delegating the past.

3 Creative Leadership is when you think, act and enable others with a creative spirit that drives positive change.

4 Leadership is a mindset. LEADERSHIP + CREATIVITY = MANIFESTATION.

5 The way a person lives with the authentic leadership style is ultimately a form of creative expression.

6 An innovation leader is not only a dreamer and a strategist but also a practitioner.

7 Creative leadership is a unique combination of leadership behaviors that develops and achieves high-quality results over a sustained period of time and risk tolerance.

8 Being a leader and being creative are not job titles, rather, they are being human, a creature who can not only adapt to change but also make advancement proactively.

9 Great leaders are pioneers, innovators, and creators of a better context. Creativity becomes significantly important in the age with the advanced technologies because the leaders of the future will not be mere automatons, but continue to discover, explore, and improve the surroundings.

Three Aspects of Building a Digital Savvy Organization

Going digital and running an intensive, effective, and cohesive organization takes dynamic planning, dedicated execution, and holistic digital management disciplines.

Digital reality is a flexible blend of the physical and virtual world. Many organizations are moving from doing digital by experimenting with some emerging technologies to going digital by expanding to all dimensions of the business transformation. Organizations have to keep evolving, improving, collaborating, and innovating for becoming digital savvy and reaching the next level of organizational maturity.





IT savvy: Given how applying IT is becoming so intrinsically critical to all sorts of different enterprises across industrial sectors due to abundant information and continuous disruptions, organizations need to break down silos, create information savvy environment that encourages information flow and data utilization. Digital IT is not only faster and lighter but also smarter and influential. IT enables a business to access, consume and generate information necessary to perform a range of business tasks/functions, to make sure the right people getting the right information at the right time to make the right decisions. To become IT savvy, companies need to honestly assess their company’s IT driven business performance and potential, as technological capabilities have little value without the market insight that determine their application. Market insight left unexploited by IT will create vulnerability and decrease the speed of business for adapting to the ever-changing business dynamic. An information savvy organization can capture business insight or customer foresight to rise above the waves of the emergent digital trends and improve business responsiveness and effectiveness. Therefore, senior management team should understand the critical role of IT in the future of business, make wise IT investment which is often costly and risky, and improve digital maturity via the harmonization of strategy, information technology, structure, and business performance.

Innovation savvy: The digital era upon us is about innovation with accelerated speed. Without innovation, companies will become irrelevant sooner or later because of fierce competitions and unprecedented level of risks facing businesses today. Innovation happens at the intersection of people and technology; customers and business. Innovation today is increasingly technology-dependent. Thus, to build an innovation-savvy organization, creativity should be embedded into every aspect of the organization, including strategy. Innovation simply benefits from being developed in and subsequently commercialized in an open ecosystem. Highly innovative organizations can build a smart system that can “smell” the right ideas at the right time and place, deploy a range of different management methodologies and technologies, and tailored their own circumstances for developing the fitting innovation models and portfolios. There are many components such as leadership, culture, capability, practices, tools, recognition system, measurements, risk control, etc, for shaping innovation competency. Each component by itself may not cause a good environment to innovate, but collectively they can build an innovation-savvy organization.


Culture savvy: Culture is collective mindset, attitude, and behavior. Culture and brand are the most important "soft" element that a company will make since they will define how the company interacts with its various stakeholders and build the differentiated business advantage. Culture eats strategy for breakfast! It means the way things are done and allowed to be done every day. Culture shouldn’t be seen as some superficial phenomenon such as business slogan or holiday celebration, but rather, more profoundly, what are the ideas within the walls that create fresh ideas, keep creative energy flow, derive profitable actions, make positive influence, and build collective confidence. Culture is reflected and influenced by policies, practices, rewards and incentives. Building a culture-savvy organization is important for the long term success of the business. Because if the corporate culture is toxic, expect high employee turnover, an organization faced with ethical issues that detract from a positive public image, and a total disregard of stakeholders. In a culture savvy digital organization, self-motivated leaders, teams, and employees have a passion for challenging themselves, advancing their thinking ability, making amazing things happen. People have to be given the opportunity to be creative, they have to become empowered and discover the innovative way to do things. The right culture is the invisible but critical success factor and the very fabric to keep the system running smoothly, with the goal to build a digital-savvy organization.

Organizations today across the industrial sectors aim to become digital savvy, move into a more advanced stage of digital deployment by tailoring their own unique strength and business competency. Going digital and running an intensive, effective, and cohesive organization takes dynamic planning, dedicated execution, and holistic digital management disciplines.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

The Monthly “Performance Master’ Book Tuning: The Multi-faceted IT Performance Measurement July 2019

 IT performance has to be clearly linked with business performance and IT should work with stakeholders to develop the right set of measurements. 

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

  
                     

The Multi-faceted IT Performance Measurement 


Three Levels of IT Performance Management IT is an enabler of current and future business capability for both the organization and its ecosystem, It should be framed in respect of the organizational activities and practices, contribute both strategically and operationally to capture both short-term gain and long-term win of the business. As there are different target audiences who are interested in IT value presentation such as IT staff, business leaders or customers, and each has a different focus. It is a very good idea to make IT metrics transparent to the varying departments. It’s also important to develop a systematic measurement approach to assess its multi-dimensional value beyond just monetary benefit. Here are three levels of IT performance management.

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.

CIOs as “Chief Improvement Office”: IT Performance Quadrants Forward-looking IT organizations are transforming from a cost center to a value creator, from a support desk to the “digital brain” of the business, and from a back office function to an innovation engine. IT should also shift from inside-out IT lens to measure performance to an outside-in business and customer lens to manage the stakeholders’ expectation which is the key to the success of IT. So, depending on which stakeholder and what the role of the CIO is to your organization, metrics can be created that show effectiveness, efficiency, and maturity of IT. Plus, IT measurement should be focused on what is relevant to the target audience with a clear purpose as to what is being measured and why. Here are the IT performance Quadrants which help IT move up its maturity and demonstrate multidimensional business values.

Measure Things Matter to Drive IT Digital Transformation Forward-thinking IT organizations reach the inflection point of digital transformation. A strategic inflection point is a time when the business fundamentals such as people, process, technology, or cultures are about to change with accelerated speed. A measurement system is a necessary foundation for continuous improvement. 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.

CIOs as "Chief Investment Officer": Three Aspects of IT Performance Measurement IT organizations today intend to reinvent the tarnished image since traditional IT is still being labeled as a cost center and support desk only. Because its business value hasn’t been conveyed in a structured or quantified way yet. And it only focuses on measuring internal value (cost efficiency, internal customer satisfaction), or the things only internal IT is interested in. The measures often do not reflect the full set of value IT can bring to accelerate business growth or delight end customers. If we can only manage what we measure, the issue here is how to measure IT performance effectively?

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