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.

Monday, September 30, 2019

The Monthly CIO Debates Collection & “Digital IT” Book Tuning: The CIO’s Innovation Inquiries Sep. 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.


                 The CIO’s Innovation Inquiries  



Innovating by Questioning Innovation is the new way to do things; innovation creates change to the next level of performance. However, innovation management cannot be a one person challenge and needs careful planning, recruitment, and support to cover everything from fundamental research through experimentation, evaluation, and exploitation. Failure to understand both the extent of these services and the likely timescales for real success can undermine the whole proposition around innovation. People who innovate are pro-change and not afraid to challenge the status quo and they have the unlimited curiosity to ask questions. What are the most important questions a leader who is focused on innovation should ask him/herself?

The CIO as “Chief Innovation Officer”: How to Build a Highly Innovative Team The Digital Era upon us is the age of innovation. Innovation involves new ways of bringing together ideas and resources to create something novel and then transform those novel ideas to achieve the business value. Identification of the novel is only the beginning, the heavy lifting starts as the company starts leveraging talented people, aligns resources and executes these novel ideas effectively. From innovation management perspective, how to build highly innovative teams, inspire creativity and improve the success rate of innovation?

How to Run an Innovative IT Modern IT continues to move up its maturity from a reactive helpdesk, back-office function into a proactive business partner and innovation engine. What are the tips and stories to create a culture of innovation? What are the innovation implications when IT leverages the Cloud model? How shall IT assess their partners for delivering innovative business solutions, should the business pay IT for being innovative thereby enabling business proactively?

Can Employees Learn to Be Innovative? Innovation is the light every forward-looking organization is pursuing; however, business’s innovation capability depends on its people, the team of talent who can transform novel idea to achieve its commercial value. How should organizations train their staff to become more creative? And can employees learn to be innovative?

How does IT handle investigations of innovative business solutions? IT plays a critical role in building business competency. IT has itself transformed to create a new competitive advantage via building new products, new services and delivering tailored business solutions. But many of today’s C-suites are unaware of what is technologically possible now or in the future. Digital is the age of options, it provides the opportunity to think the new way to do things, so it forces IT leaders to get really creative on how they architect and implement change, and how IT handles investigation of innovative business solutions, to change the business’s perception, reinvent its tarnished reputation and improve the overall business maturity.

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 3 million page views with 6000+ 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 “Bottleneck” Quotes of “Digital Master” Sep. 2019

The business needs to define strategy, profitability, and relevance at any given time to break through bottlenecks and avoid pitfalls on the path to innovation.

"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 “Bottleneck” quotes in “Digital Master.

1 Homogeneity is the bottleneck of idea generation, and silo setting will stifle idea creating and flowing.

2 The strategy implementation bottleneck exists because objectives are not actionable or they have not been communicated properly to the people who are responsible for their delivery.

3 The business needs to define strategy, profitability, and relevance at any given time to break through bottlenecks and avoid pitfalls on the path to innovation.

4 It is important for creating both internal and external beliefs around how business management is a movement for enablement and improvement, break through the bottleneck and increase the speed of changes.

5 Breaking the bottlenecks for improving organizational responsiveness and changeability is a strategic imperative.

6 To identify and break business performance bottlenecks, the management needs to understand the whole story behind the scene, and ensure the business as a whole is superior to the sum of pieces.

7 The business needs to define strategy, profitability, and relevance at any given time to break through bottlenecks and avoid pitfalls on the path to innovation.

8 It is important to identify the choke points- the decision bottlenecks when the responsibilities are being created and help to improve decision effectiveness by understanding the interrelationship of timing, group, and decision making.

9 Decisions are necessary as a result of limited resources in time, knowledge, capital, and people. Decision bottlenecks are related to management systems and governance discipline.

Incorporate Both Ends and Means to Build a High Mature Digital Organization

The journey of digital transformation is a bumpy journey with many ups and downs. It could be misled because of the wrong focus, the wrong assumptions, the wrong ends, and the wrong means.

The digital paradigm shift is multidimensional expansion and interdisciplinary management practice. The information technology, process, capability and culture tuning, etc, are all tactics to expand both horizontally and vertically, get the organization from here to there for managing a seamless digital transformation. High mature organizations are incorporating both ends and means, moving solidly from doing digital by applying digital technologies to going digital and being digital confidently.

Information systems incorporate both means and ends: Information-technology is solely about means. Information-technology is a specific subset of information management system that emphasizes the various tools, techniques and other means via which organizations can achieve the aims of that information-system. Information Systems are business oriented, designed to integrate crucial IT components for processing and refining information to improve decision effectiveness and problem-solving, and help users accomplish ultimate business goals and objectives. It incorporates both means and ends. Information Systems are logically independent of technology - in the context of information defined by information flows and stores, which are logically independent of technology although commonly implemented with technology. The key point is to make sure the “system-of-interest” is defined to establish the flexible business boundary and the properties that interact with the environment dynamically and ensure information system is purposeful and functional. The systematic view of Information Management helps the management understand information management as a system for shaping high-responsive and high-intelligent digital organizations.

Innovation management systems incorporate both means and ends: Innovation is production, assimilation, and exploration of a value-added novelty in business, economic and social spheres; renewal and enlargement of products, services, and markets; development of new methodologies of production. Innovation management system include many critical business elements such as framework, people, system, process, culture, tools, etc, to manage “systematic innovation” and develop business-wide innovation capabilities. It is both a process and an outcome. The traditional organizations can become more innovative if they can consciously break down the bureaucratic management style and proactively develop the resource-rich innovation hubs and hyperconnected cluster across enterprise ecosystems for enabling idea flow and creating business synergy. Only at the macroeconomic level, innovation starts becoming visible, that's also why clustering is becoming more and more important for creating a creative atmosphere. In practice, participation and people engagement is both means and end for building a highly innovative people-centric digital organization.

Enterprise performance management incorporates both means and ends: Performance Management is about how organizations manage performance at both strategic and operational level to achieve the well-set strategic business goals and objectives. It is important to track the right metrics and know what to do with them to see the performance improvement. The performance metrics incorporate both means and end. Because performance metrics are not just number but tell stories, and the good measurement aids setting direction for the digital transformation journey. At the strategic level, the performance measurement setting should focus on achieving the ultimate goals of the organization as a whole for the long term. It needs to connect multidisciplinary management dots to involve development, enablement, and enhancement, tell the full story with the business context, and ensure the business  is superior to the sum of pieces.

Dealing with the challenge of digital transformation requires accelerated digital mindsets, as well as leveraging multidisciplinary knowledge and practices. The journey of digital transformation is a bumpy journey with many ups and downs. It could be misled because of the wrong focus, the wrong assumptions, the wrong ends, and the wrong means. Digital organizations are living systems keep evolving. By incorporating means and ends of business systems seamlessly, organizations can take a logical step and navigate through the right direction, harmonize a hyperconnected and interactive digital ecosystem in which the business can grow organically and people can unleash their potential completely.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

The Monthly “12 CIO Personas” Book Turning: The CIO as “Chief Insight Officer” Sep. 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 the CIO as “Chief Insight Officer.


   The CIO as “Chief Insight Officer”


CIO as Chief Insight Officer: How to Become a Trusted Advisor for Business The digital CIO is the information steward at the enterprise today, however, data or information is a means to the end, not the end itself; more importantly, the CIO needs to capture business & customer insight from the abundance of information in foreseeing the future of business and continuously driving operational excellence. Therefore, the CIO plays a crucial role as ‘Chief Insight Officer’ to provide data-based advice for business executive peers and corporate board.

The New Book “12 CIO Personas” Chapter 3 Introduction: The CIO as “Chief Insight Officer” Organizations across the industry sectors are stepping into the deep “VUCA” new normal with the exponential growth of information and continuous technological disruptions. The pace of changes and complex nature of technologies force more CIOs to shift to the insightful digital leadership role to understand the organizational interdependence and bridge IT-business gaps seamlessly.

The Digital CIO’s Breadth of Vision and Depth of Insight Organizations no matter large or small, all face unprecedented changes, uncertainty, and accelerated business dynamic. With abundant information and continuous disruptions, business initiatives today nearly always involve some form of technology implementation or information processing. However, many IT organizations still get stuck at the low maturity which stems from the prevailing cultural norm that accepts IT as a tactical function, but not as a strategic partner. Until this changes, IT will continue being perceived as a cost center and support desk. To keep IT relevant, digital CIOs must share the breadth of vision and the depth of insight and reinvent IT as a strategic business partner.

Three Digital Insight to Be a “Total CIO” Nowadays, digital organizations are so technology-driven and information-intensive, IT is one of the most significant elements of any differentiated business competencies and the defining factor of business success. While IT success has something to do with the definitions of the role that CIOs are playing and scopes of responsibilities they are taking. IT leadership totality (from whole, full, or the holistic perspective) is important for shaping digital CIO as the strategic business leader and reinventing IT to reach the next level of enterprise maturity.

CIOs as “Chief insight Officer” How to Unlock business Insight from Different Angles The world is becoming hyper-connected & interdependent every day, and as a consequence, every successful business is exploring the digital way to do things for making the leap forward. At the same time, the business dynamic is only becoming more complex, uncertain, and ambiguous. IT plays a significant role in leading change and orchestrating digital transformation. As a leadership role, rather than just an IT manager, CIOs need to become the business strategists to have a seat at the big table and become the “Chief Insight Officer,” to unlock and share business insight by thinking critically, creatively, and systematically.

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.

Learn from Failures

The value is how you respond to failure; and how you respond is dependent upon what you learn from it.

No one likes failures, but failures knock our door sometimes. Either individually or at the organizational level, there are some failures perhaps you can control. But others seem completely out of control. The reality of failure is that it is also a way to learn. You can make a transition from failing bitter to failing better only if you learn from the failures, and then failing is something that prompts you to move ahead.

Keep positive attitude: You can only get better from one's mistakes if you take it with a positive attitude, learn from them, and leap forward. When you re-frame the word "failure" to be more positive, you open the door to learning. When you are ready and willing to ask questions as to what was the source of failure, what worked, what didn't, why, etc, you are on the path to gain value. Learning is the key to move forward, address any future potential challenges and issues with more confidence, and the knowledge that you "know" what to do to avoid failures. When someone fails, try to ask them what they’ve learned instead of focusing on what didn’t work or chastising them for overlooking something or making mistakes. It’s important to gain a balanced viewpoint about failures and risks. Be positive and cautious at the same time. Otherwise, you will go too far one way and become risk-averse, or go too far the other and fail to make use of the learning or grasp the learning opportunities to fail forward. 

Strengthen human resilience: Resilience is about a "system" being able to maintain its recognizable essential characteristics. It is about bounce. It’s about regaining one's footing which could be bouncing back, bouncing forward, or restructuring your life to integrate the change in some way that works or grows around obstacles. Modern leaders and professionals must have a resilient mindset for adapting to the continuous digital disruptions. Either individuals or organizations, to survive and thrive, they must present resilience to fail fast and fail forward, with the capability to manage risks intelligently. Part of the issue of resiliency is how significant the adverse situation is to the person or an organization. It could be a relatively minor event or it could be a “breaking moment.” Resilience helps individuals or organizations bounce back from all these difficult experiences. It's about being able to keep working and focusing, even during stress and disturbances, rather than reacting to stressful situations. To put simply, with resilience, you can fall down and stand up again.

Learning is a constant process: Failure comes to you, you need to overcome it, using it as a launch point for improvement. All failures should be a learning experience. when a failure is detected, ask wise questions and learn from it: 
(1) What's the problem, what's the root cause of the problem?
(2) Can you turn this into a success? 
(3) Could you have detected the problem sooner?

The amount you learn is closely related to the amount of risk we take, failure or otherwise. Being learning agile means to learn from different channels. Learning is a constant process, to be better and better. When you do any mistakes inadvertently, it is more than an ordinary, an ongoing learning opportunity, you have already paid for your mistake, so it is all the more important learning that you should never repeat the same mistakes in the future,

You can only improve learning from your own errors or others’ mistakes. Technically, failures should be avoided. However, in reality, failure sometimes is inevitable. Thus, one should not be paralyzed fearless if there is a possible failure and one should learn to embrace it. The value is how you respond to failure; and how you respond is dependent upon what you learn from it. Only then, can "failing fast and failing forward" be utilized as a professional competency and tactical advantage.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

The Monthly Best Practice Summary: Innovation Principles Sep. 2019

It's important to set principles and manage innovation in a structured way across the organizational scope and digital ecosystem.

Generally speaking, principles are general rules and guidelines, intended to be enduring and seldom amended. It is important to develop a set of principles to inspire creativity, encourage positive attitude and innovation to generate winning concepts for digital transformation on a consistent basis. Here is a set of innovation principles to improve innovation management maturity.



          Innovation Principles  



Setting Principles for Managing Digital Innovation The blurring border of the digital organization and its business ecosystem make the world hyper-connected, but also over-complex. Organizations today can no longer rely on a single individual or team to drive innovation, or still think innovation as a serendipity. Digital is the age of innovation, and innovation is what leads to differentiation. There are many ways to differentiate and, therefore, there are many ways to pursue innovation. But it’s also important to set principles and manage innovation in a structured way across the organizational scope and digital ecosystem.

Five Digital Principles of Managing Innovation  The blurring border of the digital organization and its business ecosystem make the world hyper-connected, but also over-complex. Organizations today can no longer rely on a single individual or team to drive innovation, or still think innovation as serendipity. Digital is the age of innovation, and innovation is what leads to differentiation. There are many ways to differentiate and, therefore, there are many ways to pursue innovation. But it’s also important to set principles and manage innovation in a structured way across the organizational scope and digital ecosystem.

Setting Principles to Run an Innovative IT Creativity is becoming increasingly crucial in today’s business environment because it breeds innovation. But it’s common that many IT companies tend to focus more on their core competencies and often forget about the value of innovation management. Without innovation, organizations would be upstaged by the competitors that are creative because disruptive innovation will happen no matter if you prepare well or not. IT needs to become a business’s innovation engine because the intersection of IT and people is where innovation happens. So how to set principles to encourage creativity and run an innovative IT in a systematic way?

The New Book “Unpuzzling Innovation” Introduction Chapter 2 Innovation Principles? We are approaching the digital world with complexity, hyper-connectivity, and the highest level of education ever, and as a result, more people are competing in an increasingly competitive global arena. We also see much more innovation in more and more areas of the business landscapes as a result of an increasingly well-educated population across the globe. So setting principles to manage innovation in a structural way becomes more strategic important. The purpose of Innovation Management is just so simple: If you work hard, have a good idea, and deliver to your customers, you will be rewarded. But it takes principle, strategy, discipline, and daily practices to flex your innovation muscle.

Three “Do Not” in Digital Innovation Innovation involves new ways of bringing together ideas and resources to create something novel and then transform those novel ideas to achieve the business value. It's obvious that innovation is being pursued now more than ever, and in fact, we see much more innovation in more and more areas of the business landscapes. Digital innovation has an expanded scope and innovation is benefiting the widest audience of the digital ecosystem. Still, there is a high percentage of failure rate for innovation management, and the innovation success rate is not always proportional to how much money you pour in. Innovation is more science than art in the digital era though. Here are three “Do Not” in digital innovation.

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 3 million page views with about #6000th blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The “Digital Master” book series includes 28 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 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 “Originality” Quotes of “Digital Master” Sep. 2019

Original thinking is independent, creative, original, special or different. This world needs more of an original thinker than ever to handle the ever-increasing complexities,

"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 “Originality” quotes in “Digital Master.


1 Originality is valuable as authenticity. It takes the courage to be original, be different. Be true to one's own personality, spirit, or character.

2 Originality perhaps needs a driver, such as desire on the one hand, or adversity, on the other side, to provide a motive force for seeing new connections or understanding the new paradigm, to spark creativity.

3 Original thinkers are those come up with conclusions and solutions for problems with their own unique brain processes.

4 Original thinking is independent, creative, original, special or different. This world needs more of an original thinker than ever to handle the ever-increasing complexities,

5 It is not easy to recognize "original thinker," and it becomes more difficult as most of the modern people are too busy to even think and observe.

6 Original thinking is a tough job and recognizes original thinking is equally tough if not less.

7 With originality, the creation bears its own signature of truth which is communicated in time from mind flow.

8 Being original is about having the courage to use your own intelligence! It can be done if someone remains conscious, alert, and has the inclination to search for meaning and excellence.

9 Originality is the expression of authenticity; authenticity keeps the original thoughts flowing seamlessly and tap the fountain of creativity effortlessly.

Build Digitally Competent Organization

It takes a structural procedure to drill down the critical success factors and develops differentiated business competency to unlock business full potential.

With “VUCA” digital new normal, organizations today have to adapt to continuous changes, exponential growth of information and frequent disruptions. Digital management is fundamentally an iterative cycle to design, develop, scale, and optimize business competency for integrating, optimizing, innovating, and achieving the desired effect under specified performance standards and conditions, and build digitally competent organization.

Strategically competent: With rapid changes and fierce competitions, organizational strategic management is both system and process to deal with dynamic and iterative planning and execution continuum. Strategic planning navigates through the dynamic business ecosystem, deals with horizontal scanning environmental and social monitoring, diagnoses key business issues, and knows what to look for, how to set guidelines, when to make choices, and when to take wise actions. A good strategy articulates the differentiated competencies you should build for gaining the long-term business advantage, and a capability-based strategy has much higher opportunities to be implemented successfully. The digital strategy management is an iterative business continuum. A strategically competent organization has a deliberately close alignment among the company’s strategic direction, its most distinctive capabilities, to create synergies in making strategy everyone’s everyday job and a continual process mobilizing change and driving digital transformation.

Technically competent: The digital world is so data-driven and information-intensive, technology needs will only expand. Businesses today not just use Information Technology as a digital extension, but leverage it across their organization to attain the enterprise-wide digital competency. In fact, Information & Technology are the backbones of the modern business. The digital era upon us is the era of information. Besides people, information is the most invaluable asset in businesses today. It has become more obvious that information stored and processed in the IT boxes is the real source of business innovation. Thus, companies across the vertical sectors need to manage their information excellently so that the company can capture business insight almost real time in order to ride change curves and accelerate business growth continuously. From the ecosystem perspective, Information Management has an expansive impact on the economy, politics, culture, and human behavior. Technology has played a large role in “gluing” both hard and soft business elements to build a digitally competent modern organization. Information Technology becomes so critically, many times, it is a determining success factor for the long-term business strategy to achieve fast growth and business sustainability.

Culturally competent: Culture is collective mindset, attitude, and behavior. Culture is certainly part of the environment in which an organization operates, it represents the 'box' in which decisions and actions occur. In order for organizations to reach the new horizons, it is imperative for improving the organization's culture to the one that inspires creativity and catalyze strategy exeuction. Culture is a competitive differentiator, and differentiation may be facilitated by a culture encouraging innovation individuality and collectively. At the organizational scope, it’s important to build an inclusive working environment as a melting pot to inspire creativity. That means you should reward taking risks, failing fast & forward, to innovate effectively. Culture of innovation is the key to the long-term success and thriving of a company. In practice though, building a highly innovative workplace and workforce is challenging because most businesses are interested in short-term visible results, but building innovation competency takes a good strategy put in place that targets the areas identified as “lacking” in creativity. Thus, to catalyze innovation, the strong level of business collaboration should entail effective communication, build trustful business partnerships, amplify collective potential, set cultural adjustment and understanding within the organization, and create a blue ocean for providing competitive advantages.

Digital transformation is a thorny journey full of uncertainty, velocity, complexity, and ambiguity, with many curves and bumps on the way. A digitally competent organization is a system which is able to reconfigure its own structure and change its own behavior during the execution of its adaptation to environmental changes. It takes a structural procedure to drill down the critical success factors and develops differentiated business competency to unlock business full potential and achieve long-term organizational growth and maturity.

Friday, September 27, 2019

The Monthly “Digital Boardroom” Book Tuning: Adaptability Sep. 2019

What makes a board adaptive and effective has to do with cognition, skills, and attributes of BoDs.

Modern corporate boards play significant roles in guiding businesses in the right direction and achieve expected business results. Due to the “VUCA” characteristics -Complexity, Uncertainty, Ambiguity, and Velocity of the Digital Era, the directorship in any organization must have the agility to adapt to changes and build abilities to advise, inspire and motivate a group of people toward accomplishing shared visions and goals. Here are the multiple perspectives of shaping a strategic boardroom.


             Adaptability 




Three Perspectives to Improve Corporate Board Adaptability Digital means rapid change, the unprecedented level of uncertainty and ambiguity, the expanded spectrum of innovation, and the theme of people centricity. All of these changes bring significant opportunities and responsibilities for the new breed of digital BoDs to lead differently. The digital corporate board leadership today needs to be future-oriented, highly adaptive, steer the organization towards the digital journey with a clear vision, a highly effective board agenda and a set of best and next practices.

An Adaptive Board Corporate Board plays a significant role in over-sighting strategy and practicing governance discipline. The board needs to retain the ability to capture immediate and future opportunities which will enhance its shareholders’ benefit. What makes a board adaptive and effective has to do with cognition, skills, and attributes of BoDs, and that is the most difficult to access. With the increasing speed of changes and unprecedented business velocity and uncertainty, what the composition of the board in terms of minds, skills, and experience needs to be in order to add value to achieving the shareholders' expectations? And how to build an adaptive board with learning agility and complementary capabilities and skills to lead through the ongoing changes and radical digital transformation?

The Digital Traits of Board Directors At today’s digital dynamic, as businesses change shape, size, expansion, and transformations, they need conditioning, improvement, and navigation. Board directors are the directorship and leadership role, to help the organization steer in the right direction, to explore the unknown, and have the confidence and insight to take the right path for reaching the destination. Digital boards as the strategic advising role are also the “mastermind” behind digital transformation to oversee strategies, set policies, catalyze changes, and monitor performance. The real BoD’s dilemma is that driving the business forward is extremely difficult, it means looking into an unknown future and attempting to define the landscape with its risks and opportunities. What are the digital traits of contemporary board directors, and how to improve the digital boardroom effectiveness and maturity?

The Game-Changing Board With the increasing speed of changes and unprecedented business velocity and uncertainty, the modern corporate board becomes one of the most important leadership pillars and plays an important role to inspire, improve, interact, interpret, exemplify, influence, innovate, and orchestrate change and digitalization. There are quite a lot of things digital boards need to shape up, and there are so many issues the boards have to deal with. How to break down conventional wisdom and routine activities, refresh processes and practices, for building a game-changing digital board?

Three Perspectives of Shaping Up the Digital Ready Boardroom Digital era is volatile, complex, uncertain and ambiguous, organizations today are hyper-connected and interdependent. However, many say that the multitude of gaps, such as thinking, knowledge, innovation, strategy execution, etc, are enlarged because different industries, organizations, functions, and individuals evolve change with varying speed. The modern corporate board as one of the most important leadership pillars in the business, plays an important role to inspire, innovate, improve, interact, interpret, influence, exemplify, and orchestrate change and digitalization. Here are three perspectives to shape up the digital ready boardroom.

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 3 million page views with 6000+ 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; 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 your voice, deepen your digital footprints, and match your way for human progression.























The Best “Problem-Framing” Quotes of “Digital Master” Sep. 2019

Framing the right problem more often needs to step back or get out of the box, in order to look at the problem from a different angle or understand the issues holistically.

"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 “Problem-framing” quotes in “Digital Master.

1 It’s important to first frame the problems, fixing the wrong cause of a problem is creating gaps, wasting time and energy.

2 Problem-solving includes both framing the right problem and solve it in the right way. A solution is nothing if the problem is not perceived comprehensively.

3 Framing the right problem more often needs to step back or get out of the box, in order to look at the problem from a different angle or understand the issues holistically.

4 There are often multiple and inter-related dynamics behind complex problems and it’s critical to leverage effective tools, methodologies, or practices to frame the right problems.

5 The point is, framing the right problem is equally or even more important than solving it.

6 When you are able to frame the right problem, you already did half the job of solving it.

7 To frame the right problems, it’s the importance of framing the multidimensional thinking mindset first to identify critical business issues or spot emerging problems via interdisciplinary ecosystem lens.

8 It is a critical stage and it’s worthwhile considering why things are the way they are for, in doing so, you are challenging automatic assumptions that something needs 'fixing.'

9 For solving complex problems, leveraging Systems Thinking for problem framing helps to see a larger system with interactive pieces and “conflict” goals.

Three Aspects of Shaping a “Self-Driving” Digital Organization

Digital organizations have to adapt to the continuous changes via self-adaptability, self-renewal, and maintaining the digital balance.

Digital organizations are like living systems keep evolving. Living systems are self-organizing, self-organization allows you to adapt to current circumstances and emerge the next most useful evolutionary change to get where you think you need to go next. Therefore, organizations today need to keep improving how the enterprise works and interacts with its ecosystem in order to shape a self-driving organization for unlocking business performance and improving organizational maturity.

Be self- conscious of the organizational strength and weakness: Gaining the business consciousness is not so easy because the real-world development is multifaceted. The enterprise consists of an amalgam of socio-systems, techno-systems, bio-systems, and econo-systems. Digital means abundant information. Either individually or the business as a complex adaptive system, the information-based “incremental consciousness” helps us understand the way we see ourselves, our role into a team or a company, how things have come together, be built, as well as why the improvement is needed. Being self-conscious is easier to say than do. Especially when you have been in a position for a long period of time and get stuck in the “comfort zone,” you are afraid to know the “actual state,” it’s so hard to look inward and make an objective assessment. But be self-conscious is the first step in  making trans formative change. The business leaders and professionals can gain digital consciousness by applying multidimensional thinking to understand business context and leverage “SWOT” analysis, to make sound judgment of their strengths and weaknesses, remove any bias or tunnel vision from internal staff members, identify what is right and wrong in their environment and how they can keep optimizing processes and improving management discipline.

Self-organize around core digital principles, shared purposes and strategic goals: Digital encourages discovery, autonomy and mastering. That means the guiding principles, in fact, become more crucial to be defined as core decision criteria and behavior guideline to practice multifaceted digital management discipline. Digital guiding principles as statements of belief that reflect the values, culture and real-world concerns of the organization, should cover people, process, performance, and quality from a holistic business management perspective. The principle is like the light to guide you through. When organizations can self-organize around core digital principle either for decision-making or problem-solving, the business life cycle could be viewed as resulting in emergent means of self-driving, self-adjusting, and self-renewing by focusing on solving top prioritized issues, balancing resources, and directing people to understand the whole, in terms of its inner processes, its interactions with external systems, its components, and the specific interaction among them, etc, to ultimately achieve the seamless digital flow.

Self-adaptive via rich information and collective learning experience: Self-adaptation is a phenomenon strictly linked to see learning or knowledge increases if shared and consumed. It is the capability to adapt to the change and make "conscious" business choices seamlessly. Digital organization is a self-regulating and self-adaptive system which is able to reconfigure its own structure and change its own behavior based on rich information and collective learning experience for responding to environmental changes proactively. It is possible to see what enables a self-adaptive organism is an information-driven process feeding and sustaining it. Either an individual or the organization as a system reacts to environmental changes with behaviors that are strictly linked to the information they have and with the way others (people or organizations) collaborate with them. Self-adaptation is faster if made with the full involvement of people in organizational changes. People are able to adapt themselves and their organization through a collaborative and peer to peer approach.

Digital organizations have to adapt to the continuous changes via self-adaptability, self-renewal, and maintaining the digital balance. Self-management encourages continuous improvement which means continuing to discover that there is always a better way, catalyzes enterprise-wide transformation via self-aware leadership, self-adaptive systems, self-disciplined and self-motivated people. High level of autonomy is the symbol of digital maturity.





Thursday, September 26, 2019

The Weekly Insight of the “Future of CIO” 9/27/2019

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


The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 3 million page views with 6000+ blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The “Digital Master” book series includes 28 books to share insight from the multidimensional digital lens and perceive the multi-faceted impact the digital era upon us is making to the businesses and society. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom. Here is the weekly insight of digital leadership, IT Management, and Talent Management.

Take a Platform Innovation Approach The rapid changes,exponential growth of information, emerging digital technologies, and many other factors are creating new challenges and opportunities for enterprises to grow and mature. Forward-looking organizations take an evolutionary approach to manage innovation in a structural way. A platform innovation approach involves an external ecosystem of customers, business partners, or different stakeholders for generating novel ideas and creating unique business value.

An Influential Corporate Board People tend to make leadership very complex, but in its most simple form, leadership is an influence. With rapid changes and exponential growth of information, the command control style of management is gradually losing its steam. Digital leadership needs to be highly intelligent and influential, to lead through influence, but brute force. The corporate board as one of the top leadership pillars must influence and exemplify progressive leadership and help to shape an ultra-modern digital organization effortlessly.

The Monthly Organizational Structure Tuning: Fine-Tuning a Vital Digital Organization Sep. 2019 Digital makes a significant impact on every aspect of the business from people, process to technology, both horizontally and vertically. Digital becomes the very fabric of high performing business, being outside-in and customer-centric is the new mantra for forward-looking and high mature digital organizations today. From an organizational structure perspective, how can you fine-tune the digital dimension of your organizational development to harness innovation and build a vital digital organization?

Create Digital Indexes to Improve IT Management Maturity IT is the business. The management of IT is the integral management discipline to ensure that the business as a whole is superior to the sum of pieces. IT leaders need to manage various conflicts between classic style and digital style of management. The Digital Index is a collection of digital policies and initiatives to enforce digital management disciplines. IT leaders can create digital management indexes to improve the management maturity and reinvent IT as an energetic business partner to delight customers and lead digital transformation seamlessly.

The Monthly “Change Agent CIO” Book Tuning: IT Led Digital Transformation Sep. 2019 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 lifecycle management, though it is not all linear steps, but an iterative, ongoing and upgoing 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?

Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking about 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 “Growth Mind” Quotes of “Digital Master” Sep. 2019

To deal with fast-paced changes and continuous disruptions, growth mindset and cognitive intelligence are in strong demand to ride learning curves and make the progressive movement.


"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 “Growth Mind” quotes in “Digital Master.

1 Growth mindset refers to those who solve problems or target the goals with growth mindset- the belief that their ability level was nothing more than a snapshot in time and eminently changeable as they continued to learn and develop.

2 To deal with fast-paced changes and continuous disruptions, growth mindset and cognitive intelligence are in strong demand to ride learning curves and make the progressive movement.

3 With growth mind, you believe that you can change things through the result into the great output and vice versa.

4 Growth leadership mindset must believe - all dreams have the potential to be translated into fulfillment.

5 The talented employees with growth mind continue their journey to pursue autonomy, purpose, and mastery.

6 A growth leadership mindset is audacious, adaptive, aggressive when necessary. These leaders with a growth mindset can step out of their own comfort zone, walk the talk and lead changes more confidently.

7 Digital professionals with a growth mind today can build an enriched digital portfolio by reinventing themselves, continuous building new skills and competency, seeking unconventional wisdom, developing and doing the next “digital fitness” practices, etc.

8 By identifying growth mind and digging in how people think, why they think that way, how they approach problems and solve problems, you can easily and consistently differentiate high potential-the future high performers from mediocre mindset in your organization.

9 The rapid change and information growth requires that we move from mindset to mind flow; from fixed to growth mind, from thinking conventionally and convenience to thinking consequence, thinking forward with the long-term perspective.


Take a Logical Scenario to Drive IT Change Management

Leading evolutionary changes and driving business growth is the never-ending journey which takes planning, methodologies, and practices.

Digital transformation isn’t just an extension of continuous improvement of the current business, but a quantum leap with radical change. It requires a unique vision and the tremendous courage to pursue it. Due to the exponential growth of information and “disruptive power” of digital technologies, IT needs to become a “Change Department” because it is in a unique position to manage business information and capture the oversight of the entire company. Organizations reach the turning point when their top business leaders can think outside the current constraints and comfort zones, empower IT to break down silos, and take the bold move to drive changes in a structural way.

Accomplish change by identifying the pain points and fixing problems through well-developed processes and company-based collaboration: The business journey of moving forward will not always be smooth. There are growth pains, chronicle business downturn pains, as well as unnecessary pains caused by silo mentality or bureaucratic culture. IT needs to engage with the business units to find out what the pain points really are, identify opportunities for developing new products/services or improving/optimizing current ones. More specifically, there should have strong interactions between operations leaders and IT leaders and their teams with feedback mechanisms and willingness to find solutions that can support both the business need and build any ROI required to justify the business case.

To overcome growth pains, people are encouraged to break down outdated rule or silos, brainstorm fresh ideas, and co-solve existing or emerging business problems cohesively and constantly. To deal with chronic business/economic downturn, it’s also important to manage the business balance cycle well by consolidating, integrating, modernizing, and optimizing, To avoid unnecessary pain caused by bureaucratic management style , remove cultural, organizational or systemic obstacles. Few communication activities don’t create that awareness, change management has to become the day to day activities, make continuous communication and deliveries. Sustaining long-term collaboration allows participants to develop subject knowledge over time, focus on fixing existing or emerging problems, and drive digitally enabled innovation and transformation.

IT implementation with change management best practices should aim at improving customer experience: Highly adaptive IT will focus on IT-customer alignment to improve both internal users' and end customers’ overall satisfaction. IT implementation with change management needs to not only empower and engage internal users with powerful digital platforms and efficient tools to enforce productivity and collaboration; but also make a seamless alignment with end customers by understanding their pains and needs; as well as digitizing touch point of customer experience.

The focus always remains on technicalities of preparedness and implementation of business/user community, deploy a range of technologies that focus purely on improving the customer's experience, showing customers that you are making significant investments in delivering the products or services meeting their needs. There are no IT projects, only business initiatives, gain a clear understanding of the monetary benefits the customer is going to realize the intended change. Also, take a serious awareness of the adverse impact (monetary or brand value) due to the failed change. You are doing so to a greater extent than your competitors, you are gaining market share and improve the long-term business advantage.

Outline the implementation process to change with assignments, timelines, and deliverable: The digital ready roadmap of IT Change Management with the step-wise processes from here to there should include the goal clarification, the resources and talent needed, rough timeline and measurable deliverable. Each interim state provides the current state of processes, artifacts, staffing, etc. IT capacity planning needs to be part of the corporate initiatives around continuous business improvement.

 IT resource is limited, resource allocation is critical to IT management prioritization. The resource allocation scenario needs to be transparent, helps IT management take advantage of resources effectively. Keep in mind, due to high business velocity, it’s critical to meet the business’s needs timely, eliminate delayed or missed business opportunities and solutions. Making on-time delivery and continuous improvement are much more critical than discovering elegant solutions.

Organizations large or small are living in the digital sea today, they have to change with the "tide." IT is impacting every business unit and is becoming the driver of business change and digital transformation. They have to lead boldly but manage the change scenario in a structural and cautious way. Leading evolutionary changes and driving business growth is the never-ending journey which takes planning, methodologies, and practices.