Welcome to our blog, the digital brainyard to fine tune "Digital Master," innovate leadership, and reimagine the future of IT.

The magic “I” of CIO sparks many imaginations: Chief information officer, chief infrastructure officer , Chief Integration Officer, chief International officer, Chief Inspiration Officer, Chief Innovation Officer, Chief Influence Office etc. The future of CIO is entrepreneur driven, situation oriented, value-added,she or he will take many paradoxical roles: both as business strategist and technology visionary,talent master and effective communicator,savvy business enabler and relentless cost cutter, and transform the business into "Digital Master"!

The future of CIO is digital strategist, global thought leader, and talent master: leading IT to enlighten the customers; enable business success via influence.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

The Monthly “100 Creativity Ingredients” Book Tuning: Design Competency and Maturity May 2020

Organizational design is the ultimate expression of the organization’s strategy because it reflects the resource allocation and configuration of the value-creating business processes.

All humans are born with raw creativity ability. Creativity has many dimensions, with multi-faceted truth and myth, manifold knowledge, and multidimensional insight. Creativity is the wings of our mind and the tempo of our heartbeat. Creativity is a constructive disruption, not so bad addiction, and a sensational phenomenon.

 The purpose of “100 Creativity Ingredients - Everyone’s Playbook to Unlock Creativityis to classify, scrutinize, articulate, and share insight about one hundred special creativity ingredients, to paint the picture with them, to add colors on them, to embed the music into them, and to make the story via them, in order to unleash our collective creative potential.   


                        Design Competency and Maturity  



The Levels of Design Maturity Design is a set of creative and thoughtful activities that extend over time. Everything has the rule or underlying patterns, either language, art, life itself, or an amazing natural world. The distinctive advantage of being design-centered is that you prioritize in making things likable rather than just making them functioning. There are both scientific and artistic ingredients in design and there are different levels of design maturity.

Shape a High Mature Digital Organization by Leveraging Design Maturity Model Digital means change, choice, innovation, speed, and customer delight. Tuning the organizational design and structure, developing and delivering quality products, services or business models to achieve high performance and unleash high potential is the symbol of digital maturity. Organizational design is the ultimate expression of the organization’s strategy because it reflects the resource allocation and configuration of the value-creating business processes. More and more organizations improve their organizational maturity from functioning to firm to delight by applying design thinking and leveraging design maturity models. Design Maturity Model is defined as the organization’s relationship with design and the extent to which the organization utilizes design in conjunction with the business products/services/ models design or management practices.

Knowledge Architecture and Design Maturity We live in the digital era with knowledge abundance. Knowledge fuels imagination. Knowledge architecture is a useful tool to develop the design competency of the business. The forward-thinking leaders understand how things like design thinking can fundamentally change organizations, build a strong brand, and whether and how they can build knowledge architecture as a practical tool to improve design thinking and maturity.

Attitude, Aptitude, Altitude of Design As our digitized world becomes hyper-connected, over-complex and interdependent, digital leaders should build a design framework with multiple system perspectives, and develop a set of practices to make design a strategic goal and show how your work contributes to defined business goals and KPIs.Design is multidisciplinary in nature. It’s important to leverage flexibility as a design principle to clearly define the future of digital business, and articulate attitude, aptitude, and altitude of design.

Shape a Design-driven and People-centric Digital Organization Digital makes a significant impact on every aspect of the business from people, processes to technology both horizontally and vertically. In reality, different organizations are at different stages of the business maturity life cycle, strive to move up their maturity from functioning to firm to delight. The digital era upon us is about people. Therefore, organizations need to get deeply immersed in designing, developing, and delivering great products or solutions to make their customers smarter, more productive, collaborative, and delightful. Focusing on customers’ needs and what the market is moving toward should be a reasonable path to pursue innovation and shape a design-driven and people-centric digital organization.

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 3 million page views with about #6800th 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 businesses and society. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating the new ideas; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation, and engaging, and therefore, it takes time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify diverse voices and deepen digital footprints, and it's the way to harness your innovative spirit.

The “Ultimate” Quotes of “Digital Master” May 2020

 The performance metrics help drive people (customers, employees) engagement throughout the enterprise for improving business performance ultimately.

"Digital Masteris 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 “Ultimate” quotes in “Digital Master.


1 The ultimate goal of performance management is to implement business strategy effectively through well defining the right set of measures at both strategic and tactical levels, to make a holistic assessment via telling the full story objectively.

2 IT competency directly impacts business competency. The ultimate goal of IT is to help the business improve its responsiveness and profitability by improving its products/services and decreasing cost and redundancy.

3 The performance metrics help drive people (customers, employees) engagement throughout the enterprise for improving business performance ultimately.

4 It is not the measurement that is important; it is what you do with the data obtained from the measurement. If the decisions are not made correctly, the performance metrics do not contribute to set directions for IT or help in improving the ultimate business result.

5 The ultimate goal of Business Architecture is to architect business in the transition to the strategic state defined in the enterprise Strategic Plan and do it within the boundaries of the enterprise business model.

6 There are always two sides to measurement. The measures to motivate teams to achieve more and the measures to distract management from the ultimate business goals. Hence, don’t just play the number game, but connect the contextual dots and focus on the overall business objectives.

7 The ultimate innovation success isn't what you do; it's what you deliver for results, and how being innovative becomes the state of mind.

8 To close the measurement blind spot, the performance measurement setting requires a system with components that all work together, focusing on achieving the ultimate goals of the organization as a whole for the long term business prosperity.




IT Architecture-Driven Portfolio Management

IT management has a strong sense of how to develop customer-centric programs for building an integral and unique set of business capabilities by combining technology and business tactics.

With rapid change and IT consumerization trend, to keep relevant, the CIO and IT function must be contributing to the future business strategy by leveraging technology as a means to an end, not the end itself. IT architecture is the visualization of IT strategy that describes how to encompass organizations from an “as-is” state to future state, and IT portfolio management is the bridge between strategy and execution.

While some organizations may be excellent in the execution of project management, they may not have a mature portfolio management process in place, which causes business-IT misalignment and overall IT management ineffectiveness. IT architecture-driven portfolio management plays a significant role in project delivery, portfolio rationalization, prioritization, and optimization.

IT portfolio rationalization: IT is not just the sum of services or processes, or monolithic hardware only, but a mosaic business solution provider. IT portfolio rationalization is an activity more critical than ever because business economic cycles are getting shorter, and decision cycles are getting shorter as well. IT Architecture provides a framework in which sound strategic planning can happen grounded in present state realities and translates business initiatives to IT projects so a full accounting of the perceived risks and rewards can avail itself to the decision-making process. Portfolio management is essential to successful corporate governance and as such, a comprehensive fusing of a firm's IT-enabled strategic capabilities.

Good business sense suggests that knowing an application's utilization and resource consumption (both admin and infrastructure) are necessary to make good architecture decisions. IT needs to build unique competencies via weaving all necessary hard and soft elements, with continuous deliveries. By applying IT architecture as a practical tool, IT management can identify and blend the ways that information and technology can assist and shape the future of business by taking logical steps and linking all-important business aspects such as goals, objectives, actions, etc, together to enforce IT-enabled digital competency, in reaching high-level maturity.

IT portfolio prioritization: A company has finite resources to apply to get the best yield possible to meet stakeholders’ expectations. IT Architecture deals with business initiatives, derived from strategy, and improves the visibility of IT management. Organizations have limited resources, to survive the long term, IT needs to do more planning and prioritization, bring transparency, and align IT portfolio management with strategic business goals and objectives. IT prioritization helps to focus on the strategic goals of the organization, which has huge benefits in terms of execution.

In practice, there’re always some constraints for businesses to balance a healthy portfolio of “running, growing, and transforming,” exploring the emerging opportunities or deploying new ideas. IT Architecture is a practical tool that helps the organization do pre-planning, planning, prioritizing, and adjusting all the time; partnering with the business to understand entry, exist, risk permanence, and value generation strategy, use of new technology, business process, partner, business model, joint product development, supplier integration, and use of real-time, accurate, predictive information, etc.

IT portfolio optimization:
To keep relevant, the challenge for IT organizations is to manage and optimize its portfolio of relevant cross-border strategic synergies and organizational interdependence. IT becomes seamlessly integrated and aware of the organization as a whole. Companies without an effective project portfolio management may be missing important contextual information. IT optimization is not just about fixing things, but applying IT architecture to leverage trade-off for improving IT efficiency, flexibility, agility, and risk intelligence.

The challenge for IT optimization is to have visibility and traceability between costs and the assets consuming those costs. IT architecture is a practical tool to help the management gain a holistic understanding of IT transition and to advocate for "departmental immersion" and other strategies. Not having the big picture creates a vulnerability to be second-guessed and stonewalled by anyone that might be forced through a transition. It is through this comprehensive understanding, IT management would be able to identify true cost savings, workflow optimizations, and additional revenue opportunities.

IT is an enabler of current and future capability for both the organization and its ecosystem. By leveraging IT architecture as a strategic tool. IT management has a strong sense of how to develop customer-centric programs for building an integral and unique set of business capabilities by combining technology and business tactics. So, IT transformation is on the horizon to improve IT maturity.

Monday, May 25, 2020

The Monthly “Problem-Solving Master” Book Tuning: Strategic & Structural Problem-Solving May 2020

Problem-solving is about seeing a problem and actually finding a solution to that problem, not just the band-aid approach to fix the symptom. 

The purpose of Problem-Solving Master - Frame Problems Systematically and Solve Problems Creatively is to throw some light on how to understand, frame, and solve today’s multilayer, interdependent, and over-complex business problems effortlessly.

Digital leaders and professionals should self-aware of their role in problems, show professional maturity, and develop a good reputation as the problem-solver.



         Strategic & Structural Problem-Solving 




Develop Business Case for Strategic Problems-Solving Fundamentally running a business is an iterative problem-solving continuum. Problem-solving is about seeing a problem and actually delivering a real solution to that problem, not just the band-aid approach to fixing the symptom. Business Case provides the description and reason for starting an initiative to solve business problems, particularly at the strategic level by articulating and aligning with VSSP (Vision-Strategy-Structure-People Process). Business cases should place enough focus on the "why" - understanding, qualifying, and quantifying the problem, also should focus on the "what" - the solution and outcome.

Five Elements (AISDE) in Digital Problem-Solving Framework Running a business is fundamentally an iterative problem-solving continuum. Due to fast-paced change, the exponential growth of information and continuous digital disruptions, the problems facing business also turn to be over-complex and difficult to solve. You need to have deep insight, take a holistic approach to complex problem-solving, and build a comprehensive framework for both defining the right problems and solving them effectively. Otherwise, the temporary fix will cause you to reconsider the problem statement soon after. Here, we introduce a comprehensive digital problem-solving framework with "AISDE" components.

Strategic Problem-Solving at the Board Level We are living in a complex world with continuous changes and disruptions, business problems become over-complex and interconnected, make it impossible to have complete knowledge and understanding of many issues. Fundamentally, every work is to deal with problems big or small both from long-term perspectives or on a daily basis. Corporate boards should bring the outlier’s view, have a multidisciplinary understanding of crucial business problems at the strategic level, propose ideas, and ask great questions to define the right problems and facilitate the optimal solutions.

Three Causes of Getting Stuck at the State of Problem-Solving Impasse? Generally speaking, a problem is a difference between an expectation (vision or intention) and the actual situation (current reality) coupled with a negative feeling. Problem-solving is about seeing a problem and actually finding a solution to that problem, not just the band-aid approach to fix the symptom. In today’s hyper-connected and ever-changing business environment, business problems become over-complex and interdependent. Even though you have a good intention to solve problems, perhaps a lack of the right talent and capabilities to define and resolve the real problems. Here are three causes of getting stuck at the state of problem-solving impasse.

How to Spot Your Problem-Solving Master A problem is a difference between an expectation (vision or intention) and the actual situation (current reality) coupled with a negative feeling. Generally speaking, there are three questions on what is a problem: Is there a deviation from the set expectation? Is the cause of the problem unknown? Do you need to know the cause to take meaningful action? The problem-solving thought process, methodologies, and practices will not be simple for many of today’s complex issues or vexing problems. Fundamentally, running a business is an iterative problem-solving continuum. All digital leaders and professionals develop their reputation as a problem creator or a problem-solver. Some or many solve certain problems in a certain area but create other problems in the other domains. There are small issues and large problems, there are tactical problem-solvers and strategic problem solvers. How to spot and develop problem-solving masters who can diagnose the root cause and solve problems creatively, flexibly, and holistically?

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 3 million page views with about 6800+ blogs 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 take 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 “Connotation” Quotes of “Digital Master” May 2020

 In general, prioritization increases creativity and does not decrease it. But the term has a different semantic connotation, and each situation is different, so there is always going to be lots of different opinions.

"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 “Connotation” quotes in Digital Master.



1 Conventional wisdom usually has a negative connotation about sticking to outdated concepts, traditions, cultures, or the old ways to do things, it’s anti-creativity.

2 Micromanagement generally has a negative connotation. It means the managers put too tight control on their employees or team or insignificant details, more worried about some routines, not laser focus on the top priority. it perhaps causes more damage than benefit.

3 Inclusiveness is the "digital fit" mentality: the prefix ‘in’ has the positive connotation associated with words such as information, intention, or intelligence, etc.

4 A typical brand value-chain includes such activities as identifying what the brand stands for, how the company wants its stakeholders to see and perceive the brand name, the connotation it wants its stakeholders to associate to, and the primary activities through which the brand name gets communicated.

5 Fit or misfit is contextual. People should remember that each one of us is an individual, each is a misfit in some way or the other. So being called misfit is really not alone, or has a negative connotation, even could be a compliment, if the “misfit” mind means forward-thinking and breaking down conventional wisdom.

6 If “IT magic” has certain negative connotations, and then imagination is the right word to convey the sound message on why business executives should learn more about IT, to reimagine the new possibilities for catalyzing business growth or harnessing innovation, to unleash the full business potential.

7 In general, prioritization increases creativity and does not decrease it. But the term has a different semantic connotation, and each situation is different, so there is always going to be lots of different opinions.

8 Often performance review or the umbrella term "Performance Management" has a negative connotation because it tends to label processes that the business sees as, at a minimum, administratively burdensome and at worst simply dreads.




The Components of Governance Framework

The purpose of developing a governance framework is to define the building blocks of governance principles, processes, and practices, improve business performance through the creation of value to shareholders and other stakeholders in a coherent way.

Governance is part of eliminating risk and doing the right thing. Governance as a management tool and even more as a learning tool needs to be well understood and accepted. The best approach for governance has been the one that has aligned the framework approach with the maturity of the organization and the expectations business leaders have from ways of working, political equations among key leaders, and the decision-making approach in the organization. There are two foundational requirements of governance framework - management commitment and discipline and there are four components of the governance framework.

The organizational relationship that defines responsibility and accountability: Business is changing and the need for networking is based on building relationships that are critical to business both internally and externally. In fact, business relationships are undeniably the root of all business and have varying perspectives such as business peer/shareholder relationship, customer relationship, vendor relationship, etc. Trustful relationships are the foundation of open culture, with the intention to build on morale and real productivity. Employees do not appreciate being referred to as assets or resources; therefore, relationships in business need to be considered in a different context. The deeper the trust, the more valuable the relationship, the more mature the organization. Organizations must seek a governance process for harnessing collaboration and enforcing accountability.

In practice, most problems are systemic and require systemic solutions where people take accountability for their part in describing and solving them. Lack of accountability is often one of the biggest obstacles to get things done or cause business stagnation. In fact, accepting responsibility is when we prove our values and build our trust. Roles and responsibilities need to be clearly defined and mutually understood, and business relationships need to be well well established to improve organizational effectiveness. Without good business relationships, every decision becomes an argument. The relationship is one of the critical components of the governance framework and an effective governance approach further harnesses trustful relationships, enhances process transparency, and harmonizes organizational structure and operations.

Operational delivery (managing results): Business operations “keep the lights on.” Daily operational tasks realize strategic value. The digital organization needs to expand the capacity by improving operational efficiency and effectiveness with the KPIs to resolve problems. The operation is refined to the point that they are nimble, and can adapt to changing business demands in a timely fashion. A solid governance approach enables the organization to optimize business operation management capacity with a keen eye to grasp growth opportunities, manage risks, and achieve operational excellence.

The management needs to be in the continuous tuning mode to streamline processes and tighten coordination and collaboration, take the wise steps in doing consolidation, modernization, automation, integration, and optimization for improving its overall digital maturity. Organizational alignment goes beyond conformity and order taking, it needs to include a close partnership with interpersonal and cross-functional communication and flexible governance disciplines. With an effective governance mechanism, those organizations that have a more mature alignment can build strong operational capability to achieve efficiency and reliability in a cohesive way and outperform their competitors and tend to be more responsive to rapid changes.

Commitment compliance (meeting legal, regulatory, corporate requirements): Change is the new normal with increasing speed, it’s critical to share information and common processes to drive business agility, effectiveness, and efficiency. The effective and proactive compliance tool monitors change, alerts the organization to risk conditions, and enables accountability and collaboration around changes impacting each firm. Commitment compliance is not about a single role or reporting structure, as there are separate functions/roles. Neither is GRC about lumping them together but allowing different roles to work together in harmony.

Taking a proactive compliance approach means keeping abreast of standards and auditing to all regulations that may affect the company. It is a continuous process that keeps you current and diminishes the outcomes of not being compliant. Fine-tuning of compliance processes will also become easier and the cost-benefit more transparent. It’s about setting up governance initiatives in an organization for identifying those common risks which various stakeholders and actors in the organization have to deal with and aim to minimize; various rules and regulations the organization has to comply within a holistic way, and all this in a composed fashion.

Risk management assessment and reviews: We live in an era, full of uncertainty, velocity, complexity, and ambiguity. The result is a higher risk of conflicts and inertia. Risk Management is both for top-line business growth and bottom-line efficiency. An objective risk management assessment and review help to clarify: What are the risk management blind spots? Is it because your ERM program is immature and shortsighted? What to do with this risk even when an ERM program is neither immature nor shortsighted? Often a big risk is that the risk management system is detached from the real management of the business.

Nowadays, the “greatest challenge” is how to objectively quantify the complex business system and how to make key processes more resilient. Embed risk identification and assessment in operational processes including project management. Risk management is important but should be handled and prioritized in such a way that it’s inherent in the way we ask our staff to work and doesn’t negatively impact our flexibility to deliver solutions. Effective risk management makes an organization more resilient: not just controlling risk, but failing faster, failing forward, failing cheaper and recovering more promptly, and even becoming stronger than before.

One significant effect of today’s digital economy is increased velocity, complexity, unpredictability, and a need for a faster response to changes in businesses. The purpose of developing a governance framework is to define the building blocks of governance principles, processes, and practices, improve business performance through the creation of value to shareholders and other stakeholders in a coherent way.





Sunday, May 24, 2020

The Monthly Digital Principles/Practices Summary: “Continuous Improvement” as a Digital Principle May 2020

“Continuous Improvement” is the digital mantra and principle to achieve high quality.

A digital workplace is all about people-centricity, empathy, innovation, agility, and high-level business maturity. Digital organizations are always on, inter-dependent, and hyper-connected, people are always the most important asset in any organization before, today, and future. 

In an ideal digital workplace, the organizational structure is solid enough to keep people or things in order; but fluid enough to keep information and ideas flow. Here is a set of blogs to help envision and shape the culture of "continuous improvement. "




       “Continuous Improvement” as a Digital Principle


The “Continuous Improvement” as the Digital Principle to Achieve High-Quality Change is inevitable, it will come by itself. The digital era means the increasing pace of change, the leapfrogging progress, and the collective societal advancement. Not every change is an improvement, but every improvement is definitely a change. For change to be embraced by stakeholders, they ultimately need to understand why it is an improvement and what it will improve for them. “Continuous Improvement” is the digital mantra and principle to achieve high quality.

A Continuous-Improvement Culture All organizations have a culture. That culture is a display of collective behavior. It is influenced and shaped by the interaction between employees, management, and the environment. The result is a set of norms and values that determine how people will behave and relate to one another in a particular setting. Culture is the mindset, attitude, and competency of an organization. Changing the organizational culture, however, is not so easily done because traditions are closely held as norms, values, and beliefs. In addition, the nature of organizational structure—the hierarchy—can slow the process of review and adaptation. We all know the old saying: Culture eats strategy for lunch. Hence, how to shape a continuous-improvement culture, who are the change agents, and what is the best scenario with logic steps in managing such culture transition?

CIOs as “Chief Improvement Officer”: "Continual improvement" as the Digital IT mantra CIOs as “Chief Improvement Officer” is one of the proper titles IT leaders need to play, and "Continual improvement" is the IT mantra in the digital era; there is never an "enough" to optimize IT operations and do more with innovation. Continuous improvement is by tweaks of things in the old fashion way to bring efficiency. But, even a very small improvement leveraging a new way of doing things, bringing an outside view, shifting the paradigm, to get digital ready.

What is your “Digital Taste” to Accelerate the Collective Progress? Many forward-looking organizations are at the inflection point of digital transformation. It implies the full-scale changes in the way the business is conducted, such as mindset, talent, skills, capabilities, processes, and technologies, etc. Improving business maturity means that organizations have to move up from functioning to firm to delight, to achieve both high performance and high quality. Homogeneity, primitiveness, and stagnation are tedious and tasteless. Besides hardcore competency, digital leaders must have a great digital taste to build an ultra-modern digital organization and accelerate the collective human progress.

"Continual improvement" as the Mantra to Run Digital IT Digital transformation is an arduous journey with the long jump and it takes time and commitment to reach a higher level of digital maturity. IT plays a crucial role in the digital paradigm shift because IT can drive and orchestrate transformative changes by integrating to and knowledgeable of the business as well as weaving all-important business factors into differentiated organizational competency. Making continuous improvement is the way how IT should improve itself, the business, the interrelation between IT and business, in order to get digital ready.

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 3 million page views with about #6800th 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 “Visionary Leadership” Quotes of “Digital Master” to Celebrate 6800 Blog Posting May 2020

Visionary leaders transmit energy to a variety of people, giving them a new sense of hope and confidence in achieving a circular and colorful vision with a positive frame.


"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 “Visionary Leadership” quotes in “Digital Master.


1 Visionary leaders see possibilities before others, but they also need to tackle great challenges with grand consequences over long time spans. Visionary leaders are positive and progressive; their vision is different, an outlier embracing a unique set of values.

2 The best visionary leaders embrace the full spectrum of colors, respect the diversified point of view, move energy to a higher level by offering a clear vision of what is possible.

3 Visionary leaders transmit energy to a variety of people, giving them a new sense of hope and confidence in achieving a circular and colorful vision with a positive frame.

4 Visionary leaders anticipate change and are proactive, rather than reactive to events. As they manifest their visions base their leadership on an inspirational, positive picture of the future, as well as a clear sense of direction as to how to get there.

5 A great leader is a visionary because leadership is one’s ability to paint a vivid picture, a vision of a future state, and motivate others to achieve it.

6 Top leaders need to be visionaries - someone who can think strategically, assist in “seeing” and bringing clarity to the future within the business ecosystem and beyond. Because leadership vision is to serve as an enabler of leadership influence.

7 Visionary leaders have better sense to capture the business trend, be genuinely curious about information, knowledge, and future perspective, so they can drive changes more confidently, and lead long-term digital transformation effortlessly.

8 Great leaders can bridge today and tomorrow via their vision. Leadership is about the future, the future is full of uncertainty, leadership vision helps to navigate through and lead into the future more confidently.

9 Visionary leaders are always the rare breed and in strong demand. Because leadership vision is like the light tower to guide the organization to the uncharted water and blurred digital.

The Levels of Design Maturity

Design work has different stages of maturity, from design-by-default to design –by-practice.

Design is a set of creative and thoughtful activities that extend over time. Everything has the rule or underlying patterns, either language, art, life itself, or an amazing natural world.

The distinctive advantage of being design-centered is that you prioritize in making things likable rather than just making them functioning. There are both scientific and artistic ingredients in design and there are different levels of design maturity.





Architectural perspective: The human-centered design begins with deep empathy and an in-depth understanding of the needs and motivations of people from different perspectives. The architecture discipline not only embraces design models, methods, and theories but also embodies the quality of human thoughts and brings up multiple perspectives of design thinking and principles. Architecture decomposes the complexity of design work via effective partitioning, leading to effective decomposition to handle complexity smoothly. Architecture helps to bridge the silos and encourage holistic design principles and structural design practices.

The architectural perspective of design puts the emphasis on the whole, and their purpose is to achieve the goals for the thing being architected, desire to listen to the different viewpoints, understand what your customers need and help the business orient itself towards those needs in pursuit of its objectives, and integrate them into a holistic perspective of design models and disciplines. High mature design activities and design-driven innovation are not spontaneous or serendipitous, but an architectural effort, a managed process, and a cross-disciplinary practice.

Artistic Perspective: Design and art are different, but also interconnected to each other. The art looks inward, more as a type of artist’s self-expression; the design looks outward, with the goal to delight users or customers. The art enters the design project at the beginning as the concept, often arrived at by a brainstorming session, but design evolves the full cycle of prototyping, test, and verification, etc. Design as a creative process could be sophisticated, but creativity is never for making things complicated, the opposite is actually true. Design as an artistic discipline is to advance, but also simplify things. simplicity is an important design principle. Designers as artists keep learning and fine-tuning their craft, and transcending the art to the next level of consciousness and product delight.

Art symbolizes creativity, but the design makes the art functioning. Design concerns itself with aesthetics, intuition, as well as functional. The user interface is not just about wireframes and visual designs. An intuitive interface engages users and improves their productivity and creativity, and us, strategic and people-centric. In essence, the design is not superficial decoration, but a piece of functional art. “There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun.” ― Pablo Picasso. This quote manifests the significant value of imagination and how to turn the art into a great design and achieve its purpose. Further, design thinking can expand into broader business marketing, management disciplines such as branding, positioning, and it’s one of the crucial components of the digital strategy for the contemporary company to achieve the next level of organizational maturity.

Engineering perspective: Design needs to embed art into science to explore the “art of possible.” The engineering perspective of design enables the business to take a logical path to implement ideas as well as to discover scientific formulas and figure out solutions to business problems. A design science or design engineering discipline is developed whenever people start applying the scientific method of observing, creating hypotheses, and proving or disproving those hypotheses. The first concern of design engineering should be meeting the narrower requirements that their aspect of the overall design must meet, and be able to design down to the last detail.

An engineer should always think about the goals. Many perceive engineering as an art because it involves personalized observation and judgment, design thinking, intuition, and innovation. As we enter into a technology-centered modern world, engineering and the application of technology will become a fundamental skill to implement design work and make things work efficiently. The exact architecture/engineering crossover point is a matter for architects and engineers working together. The engineering side of design evolves the full lifecycle of the research-define-design-prototype-iterate-test. It’s the ability to produce design-lead solutions in a problem domain repeatedly and efficiently.

Design work has different stages of maturity, from design-by-default, in which design just happens and design is dictated by status quo policies, procedures, tools, and traditional mindsets to design –by-practice in which design becomes a strategic business activity and management practice. The important thing is to identify the common design principles and the shared body of knowledge that will help to raise design thinking from an inwardly focused semantic argument to the truly recognized set of digital management principles and disciplines.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

The Monthly Organizational Structure Tuning: Organizational Structure & Strategy Tuning May 2020

 Digital organizations are people-centric; they are complex enough to act intelligently and nimble enough to adapt to changes promptly. 

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 dimensions of your organizational development to harness innovation?

 



Organizational Structure & Strategy Tuning 


The Situation, Strategy, and Structure of Digital Organization The business world has shifted from the static industrial age to the exponential digital era, traditional management is often inside out and process-driven, sometimes encouraging silo thinking and stifling innovation. However, the emerging digital business is always on and hyperconnected, expanding into all dimensions of the business ecosystem.

Connecting Relevant Dots of Organizational Strategy, Structure, and Business Performance Traditional management runs in silos; silos introduce lots of delays, waste, queues, and bottlenecks. The linear business system perception needs to be replaced by the adaptive digital system viewpoint. Digital management needs to be holistic and informative for overcoming the challenges brought by “VUCA” new normal.

Leverage Design Thinking to Strategic Alignment and Organizational Structural Tuning Compared to the mechanical nature of the industrial organization, digital organizations are like the living systems that can self-adapt and self-renew in thriving as the high-performance business. Traditional organizations are process-driven, but digital organizations are people-centric; they are complex enough to act intelligently and nimble enough to adapt to changes promptly. Design Thinking needs to be a discipline for enforcing strategic alignment and tuning organizational structure in order to improve organizational maturity from functioning to delight.

The Digital Dimensions of Organizational Structure Digital means change, choice, speed, and customer-centricity. One of the key business competencies is agility, which is the capability to adapt to the changes; and the ability to manage complexity more effectively than competitors provides a competitive advantage. From an organizational structure perspective, how can you fine-tune the digital dimensions of your organizational development?

Is “Structure Following Strategy" still Valid? It is a truism to say that no strategy is valid for all times. On top of this, a globally competitive environment tends to reduce the time span. The strategy needs continuous fine-tuning, periodic updating, and even a new strategy if demanded; Whereas business structures are more stable in organizations, still, the digital technology breaks through the functional silos and cross-functional collaboration becomes new normal. So, in such circumstances, is ‘structure following strategy’ still valid?

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 3 million page views with about #6700+ blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. blog posting. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom, to inspire critical thinking and spur healthy debates. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating 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 “Robust” Quotes of “Digital Master” May 2020

Digital companies advocate self-management. Performance Management should be sustained and monitored at constant intervals to ensure robustness.


"Digital Masteris 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 “Robust” quotes in “Digital Master.


1 Information Management is all about ensuring information robustness, having the right people to have the right information to make the right decisions at the right time.

2 Digital organizations are robust and adaptive living systems that are composed, in part of people, processes, and technologies.

3 Business is a system, antifragility is a property of systems that increase in adaptability, flexibility, resilience, or robustness as a result of stressors, shocks, volatility, disruptions, or faults.

4 PRA (Predictive Risk Analysis) data is merely a data feed and that the KRI (Key Risk Indicator) consists of the historical audit trail of leading indicators with upper and lower tolerances to enforce overall organizational robustness.

5 Either from architectural design, engineering discipline, or management perspectives, simplicity means or is related to too many things such as manageability, availability, scalability, flexibility, reliability, robustness, sensitivity, comprehensiveness, speed, responsiveness, etc.

6 To reach information robustness and knowledge abundance, you need to not only assimilate the existing knowledge, more importantly, but you also have to create the new knowledge, more frequently to replace the out of dated knowledge, build robust, not overly rigid processes to do the work, develop innovative partnership and intimate customer relationships, and leverages flexibility to unlock performance.

7 Digital companies advocate self-management. Performance Management should be sustained and monitored at constant intervals to ensure robustness.

8 To become a digital simplifier, IT has to look at itself, improve its own efficiency, robustness, and effectiveness first.

9 Business competency is a set of organizational core capabilities to implement business strategy. The often described attributes of business competency include such as robustness, adaptability, intelligence, resilience, etc.

The Conceptual Basis of Contextual Intelligence

Connect dots of present, current, and future, converge hindsight, insight, and foresight into holistic perspective and contextual intelligence.

Many think the digital era upon us is about algorism, raw data from machines needs to be processed into information that is further refined into intelligence. There are as many different ways to characterize intelligence as there are different types and forms of information implying on our senses.

Contextual intelligence is crucial in making effective decisions, especially at the strategic level. Because you need to have a big picture thinking to understand the interconnectivity of the parts and the whole, learn from the past, capture insight, envision the future, and leverage multiple variables via analysis and synthesis. The conceptual basis of contextual intelligence involves the convergence of the following three abilities.

An intuitive grasp of relevant past events: Information is one of the most invaluable assets of contemporary digital organizations. The information gained from past experiences or events that can improve future performance is very welcomed. From a strategy management perspective, the hindsight from the rear mirror is the tool to make sure businesses understand where they are, any immediate gaps, or dangers that make the forward view unrealistic. From a performance management perspective, you should have a solid grasp on what has been tried before and analyze why those initiatives didn't succeed, take advantage through re-introducing the past in a new way and build the bridge to effectively connect "lesson-learned" from the past to the future performance and potential.

If we no longer reference the past, then we are likely to repeat the mistakes of the past. So, continue to examine the lessons learned from the project, and consider whether what we learned has been refined into contextual intelligence for improving decision maturity. It is our connectedness to the world around us that makes whatever intelligence we have truly useful to ourselves and to others, learning from the past, and developing towards a new future.

An acute awareness of present contextual variables: The digital revolution manifested, context intelligence is about understanding the interrelationships and correlations that offer access to new perspectives and new insights, and interpreting them in a cohesive way. It’s a construct that involves the ability to recognize and diagnose the plethora of contextual variables inherent in the present circumstances, then intentionally and intuitively adjust behaviors in order to exert influence in that context. The context in and with the human experience provides data with meaning, which leads to information and ultimately supports enhanced insight.

The variation in decisions to be made vary tremendously across the developmental spectrum. Decision-makers have an acute awareness of present contextual variables, try to identify the parts of a system and how those parts are connected, look at things from different angles, evaluate the dynamic circumstances, decide and act, and identify potential unintended consequences of decisions and actions.

Awareness of the preferred future, interact so that the practitioner can exert influence and make appropriate decisions: Connect dots of present, current, and future, converge hindsight, insight, and foresight into holistic perspective and contextual intelligence. Future outcomes or how events open is not in our hands. Information based predictive analytics tries to figure out what will happen, the future trend, and how to act on it by making effective decisions. As a decision support tool, predictive analysis helps the business leaders gain the foresight, suggest the right, best, or optimal actions to take in various circumstances.

Digital organization is complex. It becomes complex if things do interact, particularly in the case of nonlinear interactions, you can't separate things properly or you cannot predict the actual effect of interactions straightforwardly. The speed of change is increasing, the goal of business forecasting is about predicting. The business context reflects both complexity and chaos, each of these contexts requires intelligence into effective decision making. It is the step-wise scenario of information –hindsight/insight/foresight – decision making. Keep in mind though, timing is always critical for decision making effectiveness. No decision in the world outlives the time, place, and person constituents on the basis of which it was made.

Intelligence is the capacity to understand and apply wisdom to the knowledge you are exposed to. The digital ecosystem is complex and volatile, either for making good decisions or complex problem solving, understanding context is often the first and one of the most important steps in making a more lasting solution. Thus, contextual intelligence improves decision effectiveness and develop problem-solving competency.




Friday, May 22, 2020

The Monthly “Digital Fit” Book Tuning: Fit to Compete May 2020

 There are both competitive necessities and competitive differentiators, the unique set of business capabilities is integrated into key business competency. 

The purpose of the book "Digital Fit: Manifest Future of Business with Multidimensional Fit“ is to share insight about multidimensional enterprise fit from digital characteristics, organizational structure, change, knowledge, and talent perspectives; evoke critical and paradoxical thinking about digital “fit vs. misfit,” spark healthy debates on how to define and develop true digital fit, and build a fitting working environment to inspire creativity and accelerate digital transformation.


   Fit to Compete


Transactional vs. Transformational Digital Competency Forward-looking organizations are on the journey of digital transformation, to become more nimble, innovative, and customer-centric and achieve a high-performance business result consistently. To reach the digital vision, businesses have to build a healthy digital capability portfolio with the balance of transactional capabilities for “keeping the lights on,” and the transformative capabilities for lifting the organization to the upper level of maturity. The cohesive set of business capabilities is built into the digital competency of the organization for gaining a long-term business advantage.

Seize Competitive Advantages of Digital Organization Digital disruptions are inevitable, and digital transformation is unstoppable. High mature organizations are moving solidly from doing digital by applying emerging technologies to going digital and being digital by expanding both horizontally and vertically across all business dimensions. To effectively respond to the digital dynamics, companies must begin thinking about ways with strategic planning to broaden their ecosystems, seize competitive advantages of the digital organization, take a holistic approach to integrate all important elements into differentiated business competencies.

Three Aspects IT Can Build Business Competitive Advantage  IT organization is at the crossroad, either take a proactive approach to become a strategic business partner or just react to the business request as a commodity service provider and gradually become irrelevant. History reveals that IT needs to be understood and harnessed by all stakeholders to fulfill its potential and gain strategic importance as a differentiator of companies. Thus, IT leaders should continue to ask themselves: Does IT have the vision necessary for the business to succeed and continuously grow? Is IT system just a commodity with a standardized usage of technologies, or is the IT system the core and key differentiator of your business? Here are three aspects IT can help to build a business competitive advantage.

What are the Truly Competitive Advantages of Inclusiveness Contemporary organizations are diversified with a multigenerational, multicultural workforce using multidevice to do multitasking? Competitive advantage can be created by bringing together diverse groups of people whose mindsets, experiences, preferences, skills, and capabilities are additive to one another. We are stronger through diversity, it allows us to explore options that one individual or a homogeneous group might not have uncovered; we are idea-rich and vision clear through inclusiveness. Diversity is the engine for creativity and a facilitator for merging building blocks of new ideas, fresh insights, and ultimate wisdom. But how to embrace the diversity of thoughts and achieve such competitive advantages of inclusiveness?

The Logical Steps to Build Business Capability and Develop Key Business Competency Capability is the ability to do certain things. Business capabilities are typically expressed in general and high-level terms and typically require a combination of people, processes, structure, technology, and resources, to achieve certain business results. There are both competitive necessities and competitive differentiators, the unique set of business capabilities is integrated into key business competency. But more specifically, which logical steps should you take to build business capabilities and develop key business competency?

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 3 million page views with about #6700+ blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. blog posting. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom, to inspire critical thinking and spur healthy debates. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating 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 take 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 “Cultivate” Quotes of “Digital Master” May 2020

To cultivate zest and become people-centric, it’s important to keep communication open and creative and make all individuals feel responsible for the success of the business.

"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 “Cultivate” quotes in “Digital Master.



1 It takes time and generations of changes within a company to embrace fresh thinking and cultivate a culture of innovation, especially breakthrough innovation.

2 The digital era upon us is the age of people and options. It provides great opportunities to think of better ways to do things, engage employees, delight customers, cultivate zest, and develop an intensive and effective working environment for improving business performance and accelerating organizational speed.

3 To cultivate zest and become people-centric, it’s important to keep communication open and creative and make all individuals feel responsible for the success of the business.

4 It is important for IT to cultivate healthy digital habits for becoming a real problem solver, innovator, and change agent.

5 Organizations need to awaken the ecosystem consciousness, start thinking about ways to innovate, influence, and cultivate a dynamic innovation ecosystem.

6 Innovation leaders are the digital adventurists who can practice bold leadership for capturing business opportunities, foster breakthrough innovations, cultivate business model innovation as a living thing, focus on the strategic business goals and navigate the path of business transformation skillfully.

7 After developing the mind for the change, it is important to cultivate a good change attitude. Attitude is a vibration, a frequency our human personality carries within it that it exudes around and then affects the world outside through the frequency of this vibration.

8 Progressive boards make sound judgments based on their in-depth understanding and multidimensional intelligence. The further-looking board’s progressive view helps to cultivate the culture of innovation and improve leadership maturity.

9 It is important to cultivate the learning culture that has awareness and understanding the importance of learning in order to build a high-innovative and high-mature digital organization.

Applying the diverse BA-Driven Views to Shape the Digital Organization

The multiple BA driven views are useful for company management in bringing a systematic business perspective and managing a seamless digital transformation of the company. 

With “VUCA” digital new normal, businesses have been faced with increasingly more complex and pressing problem-situations, they should adapt to dynamically changing environments. Thus, the Business Architecture role in designing and planning future enterprise will be both interesting and challenging; from inside-out to outside-in, and from industrial-segregation to digital modularization.

Enterprise Architects will decide what concepts need to be captured and how to frame the diverse views via multidimensional lenses in order to understand the essence of the business and improve organizational maturity?

A Business Strategy View: Strategy is about “keeping the end in mind.” At a higher level, a business strategy view helps you understand where you are, where you want to be, and how to identify the key business problems or issues in order to solve them with fewer side effects. It’s about getting the most relevant information you could and continuously update, uncovering options, gaining the long term strategic-choreography perspectives, not just a snapshot of the current business circumstances. With a strategic view, an organization has a vision of what it will achieve, that is broken down to a goal to reach in different time frames, understand business complexity and its dynamic ecosystem via different lenses, and have a better chance to create a blue ocean for providing a competitive advantage.

A Business Process View: A process view is about the “ executable knowing “How.” At a tactical level, a process view is completely repeatable, single-truth processes should probably be automated to the greatest extent possible. However, at the logic level with a role-based process view, the answer is not about “Single Version of Truth” because nobody can agree on what the truth looks like, it's a matter of perspective from which angle of the process you are looking from. The broader the reach of the process, the more diffuse the truth becomes, and the more important it is to commit the time and energy required to reach a holistic view of the process in order to improve its effectiveness and efficiency.

A Business Capability View: Capabilities are processes and competencies viewed strategically. The capability provides a level of abstraction that allows more open consideration. Corporate capability is the collective ability to implement strategy, innovation, and make changes. The organization’s capabilities can be categorized into both competitive necessity and competitive uniqueness. A capability view is for the strategic re-think of ‘What.” A capability view of enterprise helps businesses identify “actuality, capability, and potentiality.” By applying a capability view, the business management readily considers service, people, process, information, asset, etc, dimensions of the adequacy of the capability to fulfill their business strategy.

An Organizational Structure View: Due to rapid changes and hyper-connectivity, increasingly, enterprises find themselves enmeshed in the digital "eco-systems," whether they like it or not, and the business complexity has increased exponentially. The organizational structure and its impact on efficiency and innovation could play either a positive or negative impact. Organizations need to have a structural view- what it consists of, and what is the future of the organizational structure, as well as an in-depth understanding of gains and pains of organizational structural development. They have to keep tuning the organizational structure and striking the delicate balance between solid and flow, control, and autonomy for adapting to the digital new normal.

A Business Value Stream View: Businesses value view is multi-faceted and it’s interesting to see how business value is in the eye of the beholder. As 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. with a clear business value stream view, all parties can agree on the common value proposition. A "Business Value Model" is used for assessing the value of an investment objectively in order to achieve high ROI.

A Business Operating Model View: The Business Model is concerned with “what,” and the Operating Model with “how.” Effective Operation management means understanding every island of business operation and critical bits and bytes of information. A Business Operating Model View helps to increase business transparency through a comprehensive understanding of the business, identify true cost savings, 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.

An Organizational GRC View: GRC is and remains the purview of top organization management. GRC view can be used to raise visibility and awareness for many things that are captured at the different levels of the organization, and bring them in front of top leadership. In a well-aligned and architected organization, governance must be viewed and assessed at the enterprise level. Corporate GRC discipline can fulfill its purpose as a high-level corporate enabler by providing a structured view and communication bridge between shareholders/investors and top business leaders such as corporate directors.

The multiple BA driven views are useful for company management in bringing a systematic business perspective and managing a seamless digital transformation of the company. Which to use depends on the purpose you have in mind, you will also need to tailor the communication of these views to different stakeholders, and apply holistic management to both improving business performance and maximizing its potential.