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.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

The Monthly CIO Debates Collection & “Digital IT” Book Tuning: Is IT Viewed as an Inhibitor or the Driver of Change Mar. 2020

Debating is not for stimulating conflicts, but for brainstorming better ways to do things.

Due to the changing nature of technology, IT leadership roles also continue 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.


    Is IT Viewed as an Inhibitor or the Driver of Change




Is IT Viewed as an Inhibitor or the Driver of Change We live in a technological world and every day more and more technology affects the way we live and work. Great opportunity, danger, and disruption are around every corner. However, many IT organizations are still perceived by business as a support function, slow to change. Forward-looking CIOs need to ask themselves: Is IT viewed as an inhibitor or the driver of change? What’re the best and next practices to reinvent IT for getting digital ready?

Can CIOs Become Digital Catalyst CIOs today need to play a different role and wear multiple hats, therefore, they come from different backgrounds, take diverse career path, there’s no one size fitting all skill or stereotypical image to portray a modern CIO, however, there are certain leadership qualities and desired skill set to fill the role?

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.

Why Is so Hard for Running IT “Out of the Comfort Zone”? Technology is pervasive, information is growing exponentially. Business transformation or change initiatives today nearly always involves some form of information and technology. All forward-thinking organizations across the industries claim they are in the information management business. To adapt to the increasing speed of changes, organizations have to be more nimble about updating technology and managing information effectively. Hence, IT organizations today can no longer get stuck at the lower level of maturity to keep the lights on only or get struggling to make an alignment with the business. Digital IT organization must get “out of the comfort zone,” to explore better ways of running IT as a trusted business partner, proactive change agent, and hyper-connected innovation hub. "Continual improvement" is the IT mantra in the digital era.

Is IT a Building Block or a Roadblock of Digital Transformation Nowadays technologies make impacts on every vertical industry sector and information permeates into every corner of the organization. IT is becoming more critical strategically, and the building blocks of the business competency. But still, there are discrepancies between how IT evaluates its own influence & performance and how IT is perceived by business partners and customers. Sometimes, business partners think IT is lagging behind the change curve, and they see IT as a drag on innovation. Even IT should be the irreplaceable building block of differentiated organizational capabilities, businesses perceive IT as the roadblock. So, how can IT turn around these negative perceptions and build a strong reputation as a change agent, innovation engine and driving force of digital transformation?

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 3 million page views with 6500+ 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 “Granularity” Quotes of “Digital Master” Mar. 2020


Re-usability and simplicity complement each other to a certain level of granularity within the organization.


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 “Granularity” quotes in “Digital Master.”







1 The tricky bit with information is that, depending on the level of granularity and aggregation, you can use it for multiple purposes.

2 An organization can focus on the deliverables of business solutions by which the scope and granularity of the models are created and improve problem-solving effectiveness and maturity.

3 It leads to splitting of digital strategy into multiple layers with different levels of information granularity in which upper layers are holistic and lower layers are comprehensive - covering all attributes needed but for selected concepts only.

4 Capability can "contain" many services, processes, and functionality, but there is a 1:1 correspondence between service and functionality and a process, whatever the granularity level. A capability can be decomposed to finer grain capabilities.

5 Re-usability and simplicity complement each other to a certain level of granularity within the organization.

6 Lenses, frames, paradigms, theories, and modeling--each is appreciated as well and may access insights depending on perspective and distinction as well as granularity.

7 Take the combination of approaches to evaluate processes independently. There are many considerations - granularity being one which is almost so and procedural composition or decomposition.


Change Management Steering Instruments and Methodologies

There is no panacea, no magic bullet with regards to change management. Steering Instrument Tools are capable of increasing speed and consistency of change. 

Change is the new normal with increasing pace. It is nevertheless true that change itself has become unpredictable and evolutionary. If you are not clear on why you are changing or If change is implemented with no clarity then you are doing a change just for change's sake.

Statistically, about 70% of change initiatives fail, rather, they fail to meet stakeholders’ expectations. Forward-looking organizations should have a set of changing steering instruments, systems, and structures in place prior to implementation in order to improve the change management success rate and build the differentiated business competencies.


The change profile-scan: Too many organizations are mechanistic, reactive, control and command hierarchies. Lack of change review, reflection, and recognition often make changes not sustainable. Successful organizations see changes coming and with pre-planning to overcome the resistance before it even manifests. Change profile-scan is one of the important instruments to help diagnose the root cause of problems, the psychology behind the change, or the technique needed for changes.

When employee morale is low and the business gets stagnant, trace down the “unfit” mindset, poor behaviors or lower-than-expected performances, understand the causes behind it, and get out fast or initiate change within. Dynamic and changing organizations cannot operate with unchanging people. Recognize and empower change agents, update change methodology and technology. Sometimes, it's not the change that needs management. It's management that has to change. Pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance, etc, are the logical steps in managing change scenarios.

The architecture (business or solution, IT architecture, etc.) as a change steering instrument: Because organizational change becomes common practice within an organization, it turns to be one of the ongoing strategic capabilities which underpin successful execution and move an organization from “keeping the lights on” to strategic responsiveness. To actually facilitate change or movement in a company, you need a business steering instrument such as business architecture that gives you a holistic view (business steering) so that the business problem can be seen from every relevant perspective and every perspective has a whole world behind itself to be described (architecture). From the organizational capability perspective, organizational change management has a strong role in business transformation, benefits realization, and strategy execution.

Change Management should be an adequate, logical, and systematic effort to any environmental shift. Strategically, what you actually need is a business steering instrument such as architecture tool that starts from the top of an organization (mission, vision, goals, and strategy) and handles every new business problem from all the relevant perspectives (IT, Finance, HR, Operations, etc.). Methodologically, the alignment with organizational design, architecture, and functions is ultimately where you need to be to really make a difference. Change cannot be just another thing that needs to be accomplished, it has to be woven into the collective communication, mentality, process, and action of the organization to bring up business value continuously.

The well-designed scorecard as a change steering instrument: The balanced scorecard enables the management to accurately judge the coming curves and obstacles on the path of change management and drive changes proactively. Scorecards help greatly with prioritization, allowing you to focus on the most important things and tailor the needs of varying business stakeholders.

It is also important to provide a “balanced” view of tradeoff variables. The scorecard helps to understand results, setting metrics, fixing plans, and making decisions to improve change management effectiveness. Through a well-designed Executive Scoreboard, business leaders can capture both quantitative hard numbers about cost savings and qualitative perspective of Change Management health.

There is no panacea, no magic bullet with regards to change management. Steering Instrument Tools are capable of increasing speed and consistency of change. The high mature digital organizations are highly conscious about what’s happening in their environment, with the ability to adapt to change timely, grasp opportunities, and prevent risks effectively.





Friday, March 27, 2020

The Monthly Communication Brief: Communication Practices Mar. 2020

Communication is the mechanism that we use to think and learn.

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 set principles and develop best practices to improve communication effectiveness and build communication competency?.
                               

  Communication Practices



How to Leverage Systems Thinking in Persuasion rather than Reasoning? Systems Thinking is to see the interconnected relationship between parts and the whole, it’s the ability to study the forest for understanding the context of trees. It’s an important reasoning tool for strategy crafting and decision making. From a communication perspective, what is the role of tools such as Systems Thinking in persuasion rather than reasoning?

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 problems 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 relationships and promote IT as a trustful business partner?

How to Master Different Dialogues to Enforce Communication Digital CIOs are “Chief Interpretation Officers,” “Chief Interaction Officers,” and “Chief Influence Officers,” today, etc. They are able to initiate communication in the different levels of the organization with clarity. There are different types of dialogues. Each kind of dialogue has its context or "initial situation," the participant's goal, or the goals of the dialogue. Digital CIOs need to be excellent communicators, who are business aware and only finally, technically aware, translate from one conversation to the other seamlessly. But more specifically, how can CIO master different dialogues to enforce communication and leadership effectiveness?

How to Communicate Effectively in Digital Dynamic The speed of change is significantly increasing. Decentralization, globalization, and diversified workforces 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 Leverage Communication in Harnessing Innovation Digital is the age of co-creation. Communication is the mechanism that we use to think and learn - without others to communicate with, learning doesn't happen. When we think alone, we are using internalized speech and thus talking to ourselves. When we communicate with others, we are talking to each other to shape our ideas around problem-solving. However, there are no one-size-fits-all communication styles. In some, talking will be important - and talking at the right time in the process. In others, visuals might be more important. In some language, in some symbols, in some silence; in some solitude in other crowds. To dig through, why is communication crucial to idea development, and how to leverage communication by harnessing 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, 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 “Multifaceted” Quotes of “Digital Master” Mar. 2020

 The strategy is not about solving a single problem, but rather a concerted solution to a multi-faceted strategic set of problems.

"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 “Multifaceted” quotes in “Digital Master.”


1 Creativity has many dimensions, with multi-faceted truth and myth, manifold knowledge and incredible imagination.

2 Creativity is multi-faceted and Creative Thinker is unique. Creativeness derives from one’s ability to let go, let go of assumptions and stigmas we place on objects, ideas, functions, and has a vision of purpose besides what is already obvious.

3 Digital CIOs need to have “multi-faceted personas,” to practice the situational leadership accordingly by communicating with varying shareholders, taking multiple management responsibilities, and developing a balanced “running, growing, and transforming” portfolio with adjusted speed.

4 From mind shift to culture fit, Agile suitability is the multi-faceted assessment and multi-dimensional conversation.

5 The strategy is not about solving a single problem, but rather a concerted solution to a multi-faceted strategic set of problems.

6 Analytics is a multifaceted discipline that attracts individuals from many backgrounds, with many skill-sets and psychological preferences.

7 It’s now more relevant than ever to have versatile CIOs with “multi-faceted personas” to enforce IT influence across the digital ecosystem and practice situational leadership accordingly.

8 Governance is a sophisticated multi-faceted process that if well executed, will lead to better decisions.

Design Principles and Disciplines

Design is multidisciplinary in nature via scientific, artistic, philosophical, psychological, sociocultural, sociotechnical, or socioeconomic lenses,

Fundamentally, design thinking is the problem-solving scenario that evolves a lot of ground and irrespective of different professional domains. The strategic objective of design is to understand what your customers need and to help the business orient itself towards those needs in pursuit of its goals. Here is a set of design principles to enforce digital management disciplines.

Less is more: Designers prefer validity and get the right results. Keep things simple, but not simpler, grasp the essence of design philosophy and follow the "simplicity" principle for developing intuitive products or services on an ongoing basis to see how their goals are achieved. Simplicity means fewer layers and high fluidity from an organizational structural perspective; Less is more” needs to become the digital principle for modern enterprise structure design and tuning.

With simplicity, what you are adding is clarity and purpose. Simplicity is a behavioral attitude to see things as and what and where they are and be content and cool as it is. Simplicity is also the design principle of looking for what is common for maximum reuse, decoding complexity, keeping things simple and optimizing the products/services/ business structure from functioning to delight.

Create for tomorrow: Forward-thinking leaders today believe that tomorrow will be better or at least as good as today. From a design perspective, figure out what will be considered aesthetically pleasing tomorrow rather than today. Fashion will fade away, but the trend could turn into reality. The leaders today need to gain “digital awareness” and be able to look ahead and identify certain trends in their industry and create premium products/services for tomorrow. Keep an open mind and learn more. Focus on ideas, information, flexibility, openness, and curiosity.

Keep mindfully insatiable curiosity. Capture great ideas, spark creativity but always remember to share yours. Try to see different perspectives without pushing toward the one that you think is the truth. Keep in mind how much you can affect the environment and co-design a better future. Then, have a good plan in place, follow the “creating for tomorrow” design principle and leverage the effective technological tools for whatever you wish to accomplish. The good design supports the business strategy. As a matter of fact, those highly scalable digital organizations can expand and amplify their influence with the ability to co-create in a digital ecosystem, build new experiences and expand its impact with the future perspective.

Break the rules: Design is a type of innovation. One innovation “rule” is to break the rules that bind you. Thinking outside the box is all about "rule-breaking." To disrupt, you must hear the whispers of customers, contexts, inner worlds, or outside worlds. The outside-in view stimulates design thinking. From a design perspective, you don't do certain things in a certain order; you just look at things from a non-business-standard point of view until the form emerges. One of the most important things about design is to focus on end-users' need gaps - even looking beyond your product category. It's about what's going on in the consumer's mind, that's the key.

If you look at the history of market disruptions, disruptive innovation is often something that has the potential to disruptively challenge existing solutions and to explore alternative ways to the problem. Constructive disruption is a healthy cycle as the rule might be outdated, disruptive product over time weakens and becomes either an extensional or incremental innovation as it moves towards the eventual commodity status. Thus, you have to keep updating the rules and continue designing innovative solutions to existing or emerging problems.

Design is multidisciplinary in nature via scientific, artistic, philosophical, psychological, sociocultural, sociotechnical, or socioeconomic lenses, and these dimensions interact and mutually influence each other to fit the marketing needs. It’s important to leverage a well-defined set of design principles to clearly articulate attitude, aptitude, and altitude of design, for shaping great products, services or digital businesses effortlessly.







Thursday, March 26, 2020

The Monthly “Digital Boardroom” Book Tuning: The Progressive Corporate Board Mar. 2020

Progress represents change. Without change, one cannot even stagnate. The corporate board must exemplify progressive leadership to help build an ultra-modern digital organization. 

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 with digital acumen.


Progressive Corporate Board  



The Progressive View of the Corporate Board The modern society is a dynamic continuum with collective human progress. Progress represents change. Without change, one cannot even stagnate. The corporate board must exemplify progressive leadership to help build an ultra-modern digital organization. The progressive view of the corporate board in a collective setting can sustain a balance of diversified perspectives, creativity, discipline; opportunities and risk; individualism and teamwork, democracy and unification; science and art, intuition and of course, forward-thinking and situational leadership.

The “Good to Great” Journey of the Corporate Board
Most organizations today are looking for the strategic direction of driving transformative changes. The open digital paradigm is not just about opening technology, becoming transparent. It's a new paradigm shift.

"Digitizing Boardroom" Book Tuning: A Progressive Board -Setting the Top Leadership Tone to Drive Digital Transformation At today’s “VUCA” digital dynamic, organizations face both unprecedented opportunities to grow and hyper-competition or great risks to survive. Therefore, the corporate board plays a more significant role in overseeing business strategy, setting principles and policies, and making the judgment on and assurance of corporate action within a framework of practical knowledge. The digital fitting BoD is about mental toughness, progressive perspective, and in-depth business understanding in order to set the right digital leadership tone and lead change effortlessly. Leadership is all about future and progression, so how to build a progressive board to catalyze digital transformation?

Is your Board too Backward-looking Digital means the increasing speed of changes, the exponential growth of information, hyperconnectivity, and always-on business dynamic? How successful organizations can handle continuous digital disruptions depends on how capable the board and business management can lead effectively across the ever-changing environment and how fast people can adapt to changes. When change does not meet the shareholders' expectations, the boardroom will feel the pain. The BoDs need to make an objective assessment of their own performance, changeability, and maturity: Is the board too backward-looking, compliance-driven, or internal focus? And how to build the high-performance digital board with a clear vision to drive progressive change effortlessly?

Three “P”s to Digitize Boardroom The Corporate Board is one of the most crucial leadership pillars in modern businesses. Because they have a significantly broad effect on setting business policy, overseeing strategy, tuning business mentality and personality, driving motivation, defining the appetite of innovation, sharpening leadership skills, advocating learning, pulling teams, and improving risk intelligence, etc. However, many boards today still get stuck with a view of the rear mirror mindset and focus on compliance-driven agendas. Digital board directors exemplify leadership influence. Digitalization starts from the top down, here are three “P” words to innovate boards for achieving directorship excellence.

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 3 million page views with 6500+ 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 “Reciprocity” Quotes of “Digital Master” Mar, 2020

Everyone has a voice and every voice carries weight. To have this happen reliably requires a bidirectional and reciprocal cycle of questions and answers.

"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 “Reciprocity” quotes in “Digital Master.


1 Reciprocity is an important part of building trust and allows predictability and stability in the relationship.

2 Reciprocity works because of shared goals, which create less stress on the relationship.

3 Everyone has a voice and every voice carries weight. To have this happen reliably requires a bidirectional and reciprocal cycle of questions and answers.

4 IT should also shift the management style from command and control to become more reciprocal, collaborative, and holistic.

5 Asking questions, besides telling, is an important tool to practice reciprocal management and make a positive change.

6 Building a reciprocal digital IT organization is all about enforcing communication, enhancing collaboration, building trust, and bridging gaps.

7 Business agility is the reciprocal of the lag time between recognizing an emerging business opportunity and being able to act on that opportunity.

8 The architecture and design are locked in a reciprocal feedback loop, and therefore co-evolve and actual designs have a large emergent aspect.


Innovation Architecture and Competency

 It requires an Innovation Architecture and some degree of a “hard-wired” innovation system with interdisciplinary knowledge to build innovation competency.

Innovation is a managed process of transforming novel ideas to achieve its business value and it is the development of a new combination of available resources in a way that solves real-world problems in a suitable way. This is especially true if you are looking at new sources of value that haven't been tapped before. Managing innovation to fit the market often requires strategies, architecture designs and product introductions that build towards the long-term perspective. You have to manage it in the right way with the right elements strategically and systematically to achieve consistent business results.

Innovation rules: Innovation follows fundamental principles or basic rules, which are adapted depending on the company's situation and ambition. Setting rules to keep the focus on managing innovation effectively is important to ensure that innovation efforts are steered in the right direction and reaping profit. The right set of rules is not for limiting your imagination, but for framing a structural management system to identify opportunities and mitigate risks. On the other side, innovation is about figuring out better ways to do things, often it has to break some outdated rule, but needs a level of guidance. Rule-breaking or rule-making demands insight, understanding, courage, persistence, among other things.

Innovation strategy: Highly innovative organizations usually have a good innovation strategy to frame effective constraints and facilitate digital communications to diagnose problems and generate fresh ideas by tapping the business ecosystem. A good innovation strategy allows you a number of things such as identifying interconnections and interdependencies, understanding flows or the lack of them, spotting business opportunities or risks, prioritizing and making choices, and formulating creative or unconventional solutions to solve problems. A well-defined innovation strategy helps to clarify: What should the innovation effort focus on - defending the core, penetrating the adjacencies, or entering the white space and how the resources will be balanced across these domains? How can the company make it - through internal development or organic growth?

Innovation process: The “hard” issues to stifle innovation is that the systems, processes or technology many organizations are using to capture innovation value are becoming inefficient in this rapidly changing world. An organization that has a lightweight innovation process which allows ideas to flow, get protected, channeled and nurtured; shields innovation teams from the organization’s dominant logic and established standard or operating procedures, supports both widespread incremental innovation as well as the rarer “step-change” innovation in products/services, will succeed more often than an organization that does not have such a process.

Innovation capability: Innovation happens at the intersection of market insight and technological know-how. Digital innovation has a broader spectrum with hybrid nature including incremental innovation, evolutionary innovation, and radical innovation. Often, organizations can no longer rely on a single individual or team to drive innovation. Build a focused but balanced innovation portfolio that maximizes the output from the innovation team, in terms of adding value to the organization by delivering solutions to the aforementioned attribute and building differentiated innovation capabilities. It is a strategic imperative to develop the organizational level innovation competency.

Innovation governance: Innovation cannot be separated from a specific business purpose and in a broad context, governance is critical for meaningful innovation to deliver business value. However, the problem with governance is that the people enforce governance normally have a frame of reference based on their own experiences, sometimes traditional governance restricts and even actively discourages innovation. Or sometimes governance "standards" can be taken too far and become their own bureaucracy. Innovation needs a level of guidance and the right kind of governance to thrive. Look at innovation and governance as a continuum. Governance isn’t just about putting restrictions on what you can do, it is also about monitoring and knowing when things are not going to plan so that you can take appropriate action at the right time to improve the innovation success rate.

Innovation is the essence of evolution. It takes vision, empathy, and understanding to drive innovation effort. It’s critical to look deeply into the future which can have a profound effect on where you go, and how you get there. Looking uphill can help to identify the real problems that matter, and on a scale that can make a difference. It requires an Innovation Architecture that involves strategy view, process view, capability view, governance view, etc, and some degree of a “hard-wired” innovation system with interdisciplinary knowledge such as technology, economy, psychology, sociology, law, etc, to build innovation competency and achieve sustainable innovation results.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The Monthly Keyword Summary: Adaptability Mar. 2020

Adaptability is to be understood as the ability of systems or people to adapt themselves smoothly and fast to changed circumstances. 

From one generation to the next, the substance of leadership does not change, it’s about the future, change, and influence. However, digital leadership trends will continue to emerge. Here is a set of featured blogs to dig into the “keywords” of the 21st century to brainstorm the future of digital leadership and business transformation.

    


 Adaptability



Design for Adaptability Digital means fast-paced changes, continuous disruptions, overwhelming growth of information, and shortened business life cycle. Companies need to have an in-depth understanding of organizational design and development to improve business maturity. Compared to traditional organizations with an overly rigid hierarchy or strictly pyramidal structure, digital organizations today are flatter, hybrid and more responsive to changes. Organizational adaptation is the ability to be highly responsive to the fast-changing business environment. High mature companies are designed for change and designed for innovating.

Adaptability is not just a soft skill, but a hard Capability Self-adaptation is faster if made with the full involvement of people in organizational flow with the consciousness to change. While turbulence is not new, and uncertainty is the new normal. Adaptability is to be understood as the ability of systems or people to adapt themselves smoothly and fast to changed circumstances. Adaptation is an inherent characteristic of humans to survive.

Building a Self-adaptive Digital Organization? Structure and behavior are two elements co-working in every organism in nature and in every system designed by human culture. Digital means flow; digital organizations have to adapt to the continuous changes and business dynamic in striving as a digital master. Within system engineering, self-adaptive concepts are applied in order to control system risks that evolve due to dynamics and variation

Three Aspects of Running Highly Adaptive Digital Organization The shift to digital cuts across sectors, geographies and leadership roles and the digital transformation is now spreading rapidly to enable organizations of all shapes and sizes to reinvent themselves. But dealing with challenges and tough problems facing today’s business requires an accelerated digital mindset and open leadership style. To thrive in the exponential digital era, business leaders can see possibilities before others, and they can also tackle great challenges with grand consequences over long time spans. Here are digital leadership psychology, philosophy, and methodology.

Which is Better Strategy: Adapt to Change or Mitigate the Change? Change is inevitable,the speed of change is expedited. There are too many different types of change management initiatives, so there is no one size fits all approach to successfully managing change. Organizations today are more dynamic than ever, there are Big’C’ changes such as digital transformation, merging organizations with overlapping or duplicate functions, and little ‘c’changes such as implementing a new software tool, reorganizing a department, improving a new process to do things more efficiently. But too often changes are made as a reaction to outer impulses, crises, and demands. Which one is the better strategy: Adapting to a changing climate, or taking logical steps to mitigate the changes that are already underway?

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 minds across the globe. The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 3 million page views with about #6500 blog posting. Among 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. 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 “Impartial” Quotes of “Digital Master” Mar. 2020

Set common principles for looking beyond the surface, and continue to improve your ability to lead with an impartial mind.

"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 “Impartial” quotes in “Digital Master.”


1 Learning to be impartial means adjective neutral, objective, detached, just, fair, equal, open-minded, equitable, disinterested, unbiased, even-handed, nonpartisan, unprejudiced, without fear or favor.

2 An impartial and holistic perspective can help business leaders identify and close blind spots by looking around the corner and beneath the surface, solve real problems, not just fix symptoms.

3 Set common principles for looking beyond the surface, and continue to improve your ability to lead with an impartial mind.

4 What is needed are lots more impartial and independent hybrid talents (either specialized generalists or generalized specialists) who can help businesses define a robust and rigorous set of needs, and work with technologists to deliver innovative solutions.

5 Sometimes the board directors receive information from the company executives who do not have an impartial view on their function and, therefore, cannot be seen to be objective.

6 Wisdom in the workplace means to have work ethics and a positive mindset, dealing with the situation intelligently, wisely and be impartial.

7 From inner transformation via contemplation and reflection to intercommunication via empathy and understanding, you can consciously discover and change your unconscious bias, to set common principles for looking beyond the surface, and continue to improve your ability to lead with an impartial mind or with such positive bias to doing more fair things for the people and human society.


The Development Sequence and Cycle of Digital Business

To avoid fast obsolescence and gain long term business advantage, business management needs to have a very clear understanding of their organizational strengths and weaknesses, the business development sequence and cycle.

With frequent disruptions and unprecedented levels of complexity and uncertainty, organizations need to switch from the classic management style to the digital management flavor by having an in-depth understanding of gains and pains of business development sequence:

Value Proposition -> Business Model -> Business Strategy -> Business Architecture -> Operating Model. 



Value Proposition: Businesses value is multi-faceted and it’s interesting to see how business value is in the eye of the beholder. Not all business value is directly related to ROI. It expands the concept of the value of the firm beyond economic value or shareholder value, to include other forms of value such as employee value, customer value, supplier value, channel partner value, alliance partner value, managerial value, and societal value, etc.

Some business development activities may deliver little to no ROI financial value for the short term, but it helps to build a strong business reputation or brand in the long run. Identify stories on the basis of the "strategic" or "tactical" value, as opposed to the "business" or "customer" value components. In order to show value, first, all parties need to agree on the common value proposition, then, you need to be able to measure it.

Business Model: Business Model is a model of how the business intends to make a profit, creates and delivers “customer value.” More specifically, it is a construct of value proposition, products and services, customer channels, partnerships, cost structures, revenue structures, and required capabilities. Business Model is not a strategy, but a simulation of different strategy scenarios. It is an entire frame of elements that describe the intents and constraints of an organization. The business designers should methodologically review a list of levers for business model components, and generate a list of potential business model options systematically

Organizations exist to enable one or more business models to function. Central to a business model is the ‘value proposition’ which describes the ‘business value’ being offered. There are mapping relationships between the business model and capability model, between the capability model and process model. A strong business model is hard to copy because it focuses attention on how all the critical internal and external business elements of the system fit into a working whole to make it differentiated in the marketplace.

Business Strategy: Most businesses start with a vision and establish a set of strategies to achieve it. A business strategy is conceptual and usually consists of a set of choices about what to do. The strategy is nothing but the answer to the questions such as what are critical business issues or top organizational priorities, where should the capital and resources be allocated to get the max leverage for the business advancement.

Any organization that develops a strategy at the function level independent of direct and specific dependencies on corporate strategy perhaps does a disservice to the entire company. The executive team needs to co-develop a clear vision and cohesive corporate strategy, share the differentiating recipe for how their strategic approach will accomplish strategic goals that exceed those of their competitors, allocate capital and resources scientifically, and implement the strategy smoothly.

Business Architecture: Business Architecture contains the organizational context and is strategic in that it gives direction to the business design and transformation via gaining a systematic understanding of relationships, ecosystems, market dynamics, and the organizational interrelationship between people and processes.

Business Architecture has the visual ability to see an idea and express it in visual terms via interactive ways. It keeps the priorities in balance and facilitates the strategic planning and communicating of business initiatives, translating the abstract concept back into the real world example. It helps to blueprint the future of business and highlight changes with standardization, coherence, and visualization of business improvement initiatives.

Operating Model: The Business Model is concerned with “what,” and the Operating Model with “how.” Generally speaking, the Business Model and Operating Model are at different ends of the business development sequence; business model creation is close to the start of the process, and the operating model is at the end of the process. The business management should understand every island of operation and every workflow process to keep optimizing the business capacity, operational model, and overall organizational competency.

With today’s business dynamic, the business operation should be refined to the point that it can adapt to changing business demands in a timely fashion, it can be adjusted to meet the business priority, and be effective with the little down curve, fine-tune the premium operational model and ensure that operational business ecosystems not only function as expected but also achieve operation proficiency via continuous consolidation, modernization, rationalization, integration, and optimization.

Organizations across industrial sectors face hyper-competition and shortened business life cycles. To avoid fast obsolescence and gain long term business advantage, business management needs to have a very clear understanding of their organizational strengths and weaknesses, the business development sequence and cycle, practice entrepreneurship, explore different paths and take the alternative value creation approach to accelerate performance and unleash business potential.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

The Monthly “Digital Gaps” Book Tuning: Identify and Close Problem-Solving Gap Mar. 2020

Many business managers today still apply old silo management mindsets to new ways of organizing, creating a multitude of gaps blocking the way of the radical digital transformation.
"Digital Gaps -Bridging Multiple Gaps to Run Cohesive Business” is a guidebook to help digital leaders and professionals today identify, analyze, and mind multiple gaps with multidisciplinary insight and a holistic understanding. Today’s digital organization simply just can’t stand still., bridging the gap of opportunity between where you are and want to become is a welcomed challenge, it is important to identify and strengthen the weakest link and take a stepwise approach to make a leap of digital transformation.

             Identify and Close Problem-Solving Gap



Closing the Multitude of Digital Gaps? We are at the age of digital dawn, hyper-connectivity is the most critical digital characteristic. Digitalization implies the full-scale changes in the way business is conducted so that simply adopting new digital technology may be insufficient. You have to transform the company's underlying functions and organization as a whole with adjusted digital speed. Otherwise, companies may begin a decline from its previous good performance. However, many business managers today still apply old silo management mindsets to new ways of organizing, creating a multitude of gaps blocking the way of the radical digital transformation. Being divided by so many gaps across leadership, management, and innovation, etc, organizations lose their collaborative advantage as they are being over-managed and under led, remain disconnected, hoard knowledge, decrease effectiveness, and do not have the competence to collaborate in the long term.

Minding Gaps for Building Superior Problem-Solving Capability? "To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks the real advance in science." — Albert Einstein  Problem-solving is both art and science. Fundamentally, every job is to deal with problems big or small both from a long term perspective or on a daily basis. We all develop reputations for being problem creators, problem definers or problem solvers.

The Gaps Between Knowledge and Insight Insight is perception through multidimensional cognizance. If knowledge is manpower, wisdom is nature power, then insight is perhaps the bridge between manpower and nature power. There are multi-layer meanings upon insight. The gaps between knowledge and insight are existing, and how to dive into the depth of the knowledge sea and climb the insight-wisdom pyramid?

Bridging the Gaps of Accountability Digital transformation is all about shaping highly performing and highly innovative organizations. Lack of accountability is often one of the biggest obstacles to getting things done, or cause change inertia. Because people don’t feel “safe,” or run away from accountability because they had a personal experience or they have observed others being treated poorly or unfairly when being held accountable for results. So, how to bridge the accountability gaps and improve the business manageability to encourage responsible communication, decision-making, and action, with the intention to build on morale and real productivity? In detail, how do you drive workforce performance, whilst bridging gaps, and generating accountability for that performance?

Do we Handle Problems at the Level of the Mindset, or Shall We? We live in the rapidly changing digital era full of paradox: on the one side, the human world is running at internet speed, the physical distance is no longer the barrier to separate the world, the information is only a click away, the knowledge cycle is significantly shortened; on the other hand, people’s minds, mainly shaped in their early age, with change inertia, are far lagging behind the era we live in, they turn to be the true obstacle to distance the heart and stop human progress. And it is also the deep root cause for many business and societal problems. So would it be possible to handle the problems at the level of the mindset, but how?

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 3 million page views with about #6500th blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating 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 “Boundary” Quotes of “Digital Master” Mar. 2020

Boundaries are indeed a very broad term that encompasses all sorts of things, strict or fluid; boundaries can be good, bad, or indifferent depending on the application.

"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 “Boundary” quotes in “Digital Master.


1 Digital boundaries are not "sharp" lines; they are fluid to adapt to changes

2 To inspire creativity and drive change, digital organizations need to harness the cross-functional collaboration by expanding business boundaries and playing innovation oddball skillfully.

3 The expanded boundaries encourage open mind, open space and open leadership. The harmony is priceless.

4 Boundaries are indeed a very broad term that encompasses all sorts of things, strict or fluid; boundaries can be good, bad, or indifferent depending on the application.

5 The point is that too restrictive boundary setting will cause silo thinking, overly rigid business processes, and negative internal competition for limited resources, with ignorance of ultimate organizational goals as a whole.

6 From the management perspective, expand boundaries to allow cross-pollination of ideas, offer people ownership and responsibilities in what they do, with the ultimate goals of transforming ideas to achieve the business value.

7 Being creative is not just about "being knowledgeable" - because they are often at the edge of things and able to expand the boundaries of knowledge or conventional thinking, and through such expansions, the new knowledge is developed. So the expanded boundary amplifies the collective potential to innovate.

8 Anywhere in the world, the systems and procedures apply and impose boundaries between those who teach and those who learn, those who lead and those who follow, those who have power and those who are powerless.

9 The black and white boundaries continue to diminish in the 21st century due to the occurrence of increased economic integration among nations, characterized by the movement of people cultures across national and international borders, and the advanced digital technologies.

A Customer Centric Architecture

The role of customer-centric Architecture in designing and planning future enterprise is both interesting and challenging for helping the organization make the transition from inside-out to outside-in.

The digital era upon us is about people-centricity. Being customer-centric is a transcendent digital trait and the core of corporate strategy in today’s digital organizations. To build the customer-centric business, the organization needs to think in terms of breaking down the functional silo and building business capabilities. Customer Centricity should always get reflected in organizational design or architecture.



Business requirements centric: Without customers, an organization cannot survive, and without profitability, an organization cannot grow. The organization has to continuously understand its customer needs and business requirements, develop a customer-centric architecture, and have a clear understanding of how customer-centric approaches enhance the business model and extend profitability. It starts with the business requirements definition and requirements. A formal business requirements initiative led by a capable architect performing (1) enterprise mission and stakeholder needs analysis, and (2) enterprise system requirements development and management, with the initiative backed up by executive sponsorship and commitment.

More specifically, what are the most effective vehicles for understanding business requirements? What are effective ways to ensure that varying stakeholders are engaged and performing their appropriate roles? Define the business requirements in a business language describing the organizational goals, customer needs, and personas, competitor offers current product “SWOT” and all identified opportunities. The customers, users and all stakeholders including suppliers, partners, and all internal functions hold a stake in the requirements. Facilitating requirements negotiations is very beneficial to keep everyone involved. As requirements are gathered and managed and discussed with executives and teams, focus on those requirements whose improvement has the most benefit to the business. Ensure the "traceability" of the transformation of these business requirements to make them handled by the proper functions (of processes) and its related information systems..

Simplification around silos: Despite the mountain of evidence pointing to the detrimental effects of silos, they still seem to be quite common in organizations. Are silos a mere product of organizational design? Or is their nature tied to a deeper level - the humankind's nature? A silo and disconnected organization could not deliver value effectively to its customers. People over time have created complexity by dividing functions and now need to get them back within the whole. The solution to breaking down silos is to apply architect thinking, follow the simplicity principle, implement an effective cross-silo strategy, better integral process, and collaborative communication.

Simplicity may either refer to an architectural constraint or to a business requirement. When people use the word "simplicity," they are really talking about a kind of transparency or clarity. Simplicity is the design of looking for what is common for maximum reuse. With simplicity, what you are adding is clarity and purpose. Removing complexity (assumptions & dependencies) more clearly reveals the intentions of the architecture and its purpose.

Organizational interrelationship orchestration: Customer-Centric Architecture is a great tool for business leaders to orchestrate the organizational interrelationship between people and process, customer and technology, etc. It brings the system's understanding of relationships, ecosystems, market dynamics, and the connections between related business units. It helps to figure out how you make structures, processes and strategy alignment around excellent customer experience to result in a profitable and evolving business; how you model different value propositions to different customer segments: as well as how you build recombinant business capabilities to develop and offer the quality product and services to delight customers.

Digital organizations need to manage multi-layer and multi-dimensional business relationships such as cross-functional relationships, customer relationships, vendor relationships, etc, effectively. By understanding customer goals, the digital organization could develop better interaction capabilities to enhance the customer experience. Guarantee the proper integration of the result of the transformation and the full consistency defined in the customer-centric architecture.

A customer-centric digital business is fluid, flexible and resilient in knitting all necessary elements together into great customer experience and drive a seamless paradigm shift. The role of customer-centric Architecture in designing and planning future enterprise is both interesting and challenging for helping the organization make the transition from inside-out to outside-in, from static to dynamic; from industrial-segregation to digital modularization and from functioning to delight.