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, July 21, 2018

The Monthly “12 CIO Personas” Book Tuning: CIOs as “Chief Insight Officer” July 2018


Comparing to the other executive positions, the CIO role continues to be shaken up, refined, reinvented and reenergized. The magic “I” of the CIO title sparks many imaginations and modern CIOs need to wear different hats and play multiple roles. Here are a set of blogs to brainstorm digital CIOs as “Chief Insight Officers.

                 



Chief Insight Officer


CIOs as “Chief Insight Officer”: Are You a Digital Shaper or a Follower? Nowadays, the unprecedented opportunities brought by digital technologies and increasing the speed of change can lift up a fast growing business promptly. It can also reinvent a well-established organization to reach the next level of the business growth cycle. IT is no longer just a reactive support function only, but a change organization that keeps information flowing and enables business growing and drive digital paradigm shift. CIOs as the top digital leader and “Chief Insight Officer” should do the self-reflection: Are you a digital shaper, digital adapter or just a laggard?

CIOs as “Chief Insight Officer” How to Overcome IT Leadership Challenges Forward-looking organizations are empowering CIOs to the big table for co-creating strategy and lead digitalization. The increasing speed of changes forces IT leaders to get really creative on how they architect and implement change, to ensuring IT is strategically positioned to be ahead of where the business is moving next. The IT leaders of the future and the exemplars of today must move away from pure IT managers, to overcome IT leadership challenges and thrive to become the digital master.

CIOs as “Chief Insight Officer”: How Deeply Can you Lead Due to the exponential growth of information, fast-paced changes, and continuous disruptions often caused by emerging technologies, IT plays a critical role in navigating the journey of the business's digital transformation. To lead effectively, CIOs need to deal with constant ambiguity and unprecedented uncertainty, overwhelming information and multigenerational workforce. Thus, IT leaders today should become the “Chief Insight Officers,” to gain an in-depth understanding of their organizations both inside-out and outside in order to drive change and lead digitalization. In-depth understanding of either problem you intend to solve or the people you try to get knowing has become an important quality for digital leaders and professionals. CIOs as “Chief Insight Officers,” need to ask themselves: How fluently can you speak the digital dialect? How deeply can you lead? Which leadership strengths do you have and what are the obstacles you should overcome in order to improve IT and overall organizational maturity?

The CIO as “Chief Insight Officer”: Deepening the Organizational Understanding to Improve Leadership Effectiveness? Organizations across the sectors are on the journey of digitalization, stepping into the deep, deep digital new normal with the overwhelming growth of information, continuous technological disruptions, and increasing business velocity. Thus, IT leaders today need to be “Chief Insight Officer,” to gain an in-depth understanding of their organization both inside-out and outside in. Because the true understanding is a life-changing for making sound judgments and improving leadership effectiveness. When you truly understand, you know the real issues are, you’ll know what you need, and how to get what you need to fix them. And then leadership can be applied concretely by steering IT organization in the right direction with steadfast speed.

The CIO as “Chief Insight Officer”: When should IT Lead at the Front, When should IT lead from the behind? Forward-looking organizations empower their IT organization to drive digital transformation. Because IT is in a unique position to oversee underlying business processes and weave all hard and soft elements to orchestrate digital transformation. IT needs to attribute business value to its company in building close companionship with the business peers, customers, and partners, Nowadays IT has a lot of things to leverage. IT and business need to develop a true partnership and work to pursue the desired outcomes. IT needs to work both in IT and on IT, IT has to shift from “IT vs. business” to “IT as the business.” The CIO as a mindful “Chief Insight Offer”: Do you know when IT should lead at the front, and when IT should lead from the behind?

The blog is a dynamic book flowing with your thought; growing through your dedication; sharing your knowledge; conveying your wisdom, and making influence through touching the hearts and connecting the minds across the globe. The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2.5 million page views with about #4600 blog posting. Among 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating the new ideas; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes the time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify diverse voices and deepen digital footprints, and it's the way to harness your innovative spirit.




The Popular “Digital Thinking” Quotes of “Digital Master” Book Series

Learning is the way to keep your mind flowing, and hence your life flowing.

"Digital Master” is the series of guidebooks (23+ books) to perceive the multi-faceted impact digital is making to the businesses and society, help forward-thinking organizations navigate through the journey in a systematic way, and avoid “rogue digital.” It perceives the emergent trends of digital leadership, advises on how to run a digital IT organization to unleash its full potential and improve agility, maturity, and provide the insight about Change Management. It also instructs digital workforce on how to shape game-changing digital mindset and build the right set of digital capabilities to compete for the future.

1 “Clarity is a perception; it’s an emotional alignment of thoughts, intuitions, inclinations, expression and expectations.”

Pearl Zhu, Thinkingaire: 100 Game Changing Digital Mindsets to Compete for the Future


2 “A mind is not profound by itself, just like a tree without a root.”

Pearl Zhu, Thinkingaire: 100 Game Changing Digital Mindsets to Compete for the Future


3 “Learning is the way to keep your mind flowing, and hence your life flowing.”

Pearl Zhu, Thinkingaire: 100 Game Changing Digital Mindsets to Compete for the Future


4 “Open the mind to be on a path to a better version of yourself.”

Pearl Zhu, Thinkingaire: 100 Game Changing Digital Mindsets to Compete for the Future


5 “The brain is to mind as the eye is to sight.”

Pearl Zhu, Thinkingaire: 100 Game Changing Digital Mindsets to Compete for the Future


6 “Insight is vision through the ‘mind’s eyes.”

Pearl Zhu, Thinkingaire: 100 Game Changing Digital Mindsets to Compete for the Future


7 “Anti-digital mindsets are those “status quo” types of thinking, authoritarian attitude, and bureaucratic decision-making.”

Pearl Zhu, Thinkingaire: 100 Game Changing Digital Mindsets to Compete for the Future


8 “Learning to think beyond a single dimension, look beyond the surface, love more than one color and enjoy the world of differences.”

Pearl Zhu, Thinkingaire: 100 Game Changing Digital Mindsets to Compete for the Future


9 “The problem of “Command-Control is that you can control people’s behavior, but not their mind.”

Pearl Zhu, Thinkingaire: 100 Game Changing Digital Mindsets to Compete for the Future


10 “An excellence mind pursues perfecting, not perfection.”

Pearl Zhu, Thinkingaire: 100 Game Changing Digital Mindsets to Compete for the Future


11 “The mindset (perspective) is the consequence of “rules.”

Pearl Zhu, Thinkingaire: 100 Game Changing Digital Mindsets to Compete for the Future


12 “Critical Thinking narrows and creative thinking expands, but they must work in tandem for problem-solving and decision making.”

Pearl Zhu, Thinkingaire: 100 Game Changing Digital Mindsets to Compete for the Future
Digital Master refers to those high-performing, highly innovative and high-mature (less than 15%) digital organizations; they have both clear digital vision and well-crafted digital strategy; they are courageous to be in the vanguard of digital transformation with a quantum lead. But they also proactively develop more advanced and unique digital capabilities step-by-step and build a digital premium into their very foundation of business, such as digital thinking, culture, agility, intelligence, and structure, and they achieve high performing results through strong digital governance discipline and reach its zenith as the digital world continues to expand and diversify. At the individual level, Digital Masters are those cross-generational digital professionals who are equipped with the advanced digital minds and build a unique set of digital capabilities, climb to the top of Maslow’s Pyramid 2.0.

The Five Pairs of Key Elements in Organizational Quality Management

Quality is doing the right thing right, the first time. Quality management ensures that an organization, product or service is consistent. In order to get quality out of anything whether it is people, process, or technology, organizations need to cultivate a climate that is conducive to growth rather than using catch-phrases that make things look good. Quality is not the job of one individual department, it is the responsibility of the entire company. Here are five pairs of key elements in organizational quality management. 



Effectiveness & efficiency: Quality (Q= Efficiency + Effectiveness) is doing the right thing right, the first time, with no backlog and wastage and highest customer satisfaction rate. More specifically, effectiveness is about doing the right things and qualifying the business result; efficiency is to do what is effective, achieve productivity and high customer satisfaction with less operating cost, and keep the business running efficiently. That said, where there are ineffectiveness and inefficiency in business management, there are quality gaps existing. High quality refers to simplicity, increase transparency of the business environment through eliminating something which is not used for improving business efficiency. Quality management needs to be a cross-functional collaborative effort, not something one team does alone in a corner, in order to improve the entire digital business effectiveness and maturity.

Performance & profitability: Quality management is the process through which certain characteristics of an object (product/service or a process) are achieved or attempted to being achieved. One of the ultimate goals for making high-quality products/services/solutions, or running a high-quality business is to improve organizational performance and increase business profitability. Often performance management and quality management need to go hand-in-hand, to tell the full story with the business context, and ensure the business as a whole is superior to the sum of pieces. Managing digital performance and improving business quality is an iterative continuum; it means the logical scenario of setting metrics, adjusting plans, implementing the strategy; inspecting the quality of products/services, measuring performance, and understanding results holistically. The core of quality management is about delivering the high-performance result, optimizing business operation management capacity with a keen eye to grasp growth opportunities, manage risks, and build the differentiated business capabilities.

Interaction and influence: Without human interactions, quality is not possible. Quality Management is the capacity to approach the change of system or process creatively and inspire support to develop and achieve milestones and goals across teams. Every business system is like three sides of a con, this side, that side and the integrative relationship between them. Quality Management is basically the fundamental purpose of serving the customer and meeting or exceeding their expectations, fulfilling employee satisfaction/engagement, and improving customer satisfaction. Quality management like “change management,” needs to be embedded into the corporate culture, it requires engaging all the people involved in working together as a team to excel in quality products/services delivery.

Reliability and responsiveness: Quality is to ensure that the organization’s systems are reliable and run when needed and when the users expect them to run, meets the needs of the business, doesn't waste time or has critical defects. Reliability is one of the significant quality aspects of the business. With a faster pace of change and continuous disruptions, today’s digital dynamic enables companies to leverage their various environment or ecosystems, to change growth opportunities and accelerate business peed. Responsiveness is another important quality element because how successful organizations can handle digital disruption depends on how fast and capable they can adapt to the ever-changing environment.


Maintainability & maturity:
Getting fundamental is still critical to “keep the lights on” with efficiency, make sure systems running and following the preplanned schedule and performance standards. Most systems cost more to maintain than build, thus, maintainability is an important element of quality management. More specifically, to improve business maintainability, it is about automation and optimization, and monitor which will eventually enhance and improve organizational efficiency, increase productivity and achieve high business maturity. At the high level of maturity, it’s about putting profound knowledge, processes, and tools actually used in actions and delivered it, and the most important thing is that you need to define quality as management and quality as leadership.

High-quality enterprise is comprised of high-quality people, high-quality products/services, and high-quality business capabilities/processes, etc. In practice, quality management should be the holistic management discipline with the variety of elements to build differentiated business competency. Quality is crucial for the business to reach the next level of digital maturity.

Friday, July 20, 2018

The Monthly “Problem-Solving Master” Book Tuning: The Problem-Solving Methodologies and Practices July 2018

Problem-solving has a very wide scope and takes the interdisciplinary approach which involves multifaceted disciplines such as engineering, art, principles, condition, social norms and group behavior.

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.  

      The Problem-Solving Methodologies and Practices


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.

The New Book “Problem-Solving Master” Introduction Chapter 2: Problem-Solving Methodologies and Practices? Many complex business problems today are like the gigantic puzzles with many misplaced pieces, you have to put them all in the right places to discover the real solution. Problem-solving is about understanding a problem and actually discovering or designing a solution to that problem, not just finding the band-aid approach to fix the symptom. Problem-solving has a very wide scope and takes the interdisciplinary approach which involves multifaceted disciplines such as engineering, art, principles, condition, social norms and group behavior.

Change as a Problem-Solving Scenario? With today’s “VUCA” new normal, to survive the fierce competitions and thrive with the long-term business advantage involve more planning, adjustment, problem-solving, and speed. The digital business dynamic allows the organization to morph as the business conditions and organizational capacities for change to allow a better fit. But change is never for its own sake, one of the great reasons for the change is to solve large or small problems either at daily basis or the long-term perspective, to push collective human progress forward.


Running IT as a Systematic Problem-Solver? With overwhelming growth of information and fierce competitions, IT becomes the decisive factor for the business’s long-term success. Fundamentally, running a business is an iterative problem-solving continuum. Nowadays, Information Management is not just about information or process, but a systematic management discipline for problem-solving. Organizations today have to aggressively leverage digital technologies, platforms, and tools as the enabler of communication, collaboration, social interaction, and brainstorming, for proactively engaging in problem-solving.

Tailor Solutions to the Real Problem People have to deal with large or small problems on the daily basis. Especially at today’s “VUCA” digital dynamic, problems have become over-complex and interdependent. Can you diagnose the real problem? Does every problem have solutions? What is the best way to handle a problem? How can you tailor the best solution to the real problem?

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2.5 million page views with about 4800+ 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 Five Phases of Digital Exploration

The journey of improving business maturity is more evolutionary than revolutionary.

 Digital exploration is all about assessing, planning, investing, designing, developing, operating, consolidating, integrating, securing, modernizing, optimizing, accelerating, balancing, and orchestrating. Digitalization is a continuous journey with logical but iterative steps for reaching the next stage of business maturity which means high effectiveness, responsiveness, performance, intelligence, innovativeness, and people-centricity.




Assessing: The goal of digital management assessment is to understand “where you are,” and “where you want to be.” It needs to make an assessment both qualitatively and quantitatively. A high-mature organization can quickly and objectively assess all of the consequences of a possible change and devise effective plans, including techniques such as pure healthy check techniques, customers feedback, business partner relationship analysis, etc., and those can be applied to give a holistic picture of what is working or not. The business maturity assessment also includes such as cost estimation - the operation cost, financials, the varying cost of optimizing organizational structure, redundant processes, or technology update. It is important to take a critical look at the organizational strength and weakness, with the goal to improve the overall business performance and unleash its full potential. Make an assessment on business responsiveness as well - how the organization meets the needs of customers and doesn’t waste time doing things doesn’t matter; deliver the high quality products/services/solutions to build the differentiated organizational competency - how the business can do something that competitors cannot imitate so easily, to create differentiated business advantage and strong brand. Through the objective assessment, the quantifiable business inefficiency such as overlapping roles/dysfunctions can also be brought to light for making the improvement.

Planning: As the old saying goes, the plan is nothing, but planning is everything. In today's world, the business context keeps changing constantly, so plans will need to be revised constantly. Strategic planning deals with both horizontal scanning environmental and business monitoring, so the management knows what to look for, and sets guidelines to fix the issues diagnosed at the assessment phase. Digitalization is the large-scale transformative changes. Thus, well planned Change Management with the comprehensive understanding of the business in and out will greatly reduce the pain and practically eliminate the fear of change that typically derails good or even great intentions, and have a better opportunity to achieve expectation for changes. The point is to figure out the “right level” of planning. It is important to get you off the ground and running, also ensure that there is the sufficient time to prepare the stakeholders for the changes on the way.

Experimenting: Digital is the age of innovation, experimenting is one of the most critical steps in innovation. It means trying something that has never done before. In fact, the emergence of potential opportunities for exploring digitalization is likely to follow a nonlinear pattern with the faster speed as the pervasiveness of the organization’s digitalization journey increases. Organizations are in the state of introducing new business concepts, experimenting with something new or exploring the better opportunities to grow the business. It shouldn’t be just some random effort but needs to take a structural approach. More fundamentally, it is about how to apply out-of-the-box thinking, cultivate the risk-taking attitude, develop cross-functional platforms, systems, and procedures for efficient use of natural and human resources, enforce communication and collaboration, with the goals to improve innovation success rate, and build the culture of creativity.

Scaling: To scale up either digital practices or innovation effect, organizations must begin thinking about ways with digital planning to broaden their ecosystems and revenue streams and become more responsive and flexible. The highly scalable digital organizations can expand its influence with the ability to co-create and amplify innovation effort in a dynamic digital ecosystem -treats customers, channel partners, suppliers, and industry ecosystem participants as active agents. The digital era means increasing speed of changes, hyperconnectivity, interdependence, and people-centricity. The challenge for business management is to understand where and how you can improve to scale for getting the biggest effect and improving business competency. it’s also important to develop a series of best/next practice to scale up and amplify digital effects.


Accelerating: Up to the next level, organizations not only need to adapt faster but needs to accelerate, innovate and speed up digital transformation. However, in the dynamic digital business ecosystem where change is significantly speeding up, business leaders couldn’t predict the future with a certain degree of accuracy, it is a tough journey for leading the organization toward to uncharted water or blurred business territories. Technically, some leading organizations separate the exploitation of the existing methods and best practices from the exploration of the new way to do things by leveraging the emerging trends. Strategically, running a business is an iterative problem-solving continuum. When businesses can identify problems really matter, and dig into the root cause, they reach the moment to not only fix individual issues but take a holistic view for speeding up the entire business vehicle. In the dynamic digital business ecosystem where the pace of change is significantly speeding up, businesses just have to improve their strategic responsiveness for moving quickly and adapting to changes promptly.

Digital transformation is a long and thorny journey, and the path for digital transformation can be iterative, evolutionary, revolutionary, or disruptive, it's important to gain an in-depth understanding of the variety of business issues, walk through the different phases of exploration, and lead digital transformation in a structural way.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

The Weekly Insight of the “Future of CIO” 7/19/2018

Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking, brainstorming, innovating and sharing.
The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2.5 million page views with 4800+ 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. Here is the weekly insight of digital leadership, IT Management, and Talent Management.



The Digital CIO’s Journey: How to Manage IT in the RIGHT Way The exponential growth of information and emerging lightweight technologies provide the new opportunities for the business to pursue innovation and catalyze business growth. The business must begin to see IT, not just a business enabler, but a digital accelerator and game changer. Digital CIOs will need to deal with the dramatically increasing complexity, the multidimensional diversity, and multifaceted change. It is the thorny journey to manage IT in the RIGHT way and leap the business to the next growth cycle for getting digital ready.

The Monthly “Digital Boardroom: 100 Q&As” Book Tuning: The Vision Inquiries in the Boardroom July 2018 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 is the monthly “Digital Boardroom” summary of the digital board’s leadership inquiries.

Three Perspectives for CIOs to Stand out as the Top Digital Leader? As we all know that the only "Certainty" or a "Constant" is "CHANGE." Business is only an extended part of our life and all businesses have to accept change to survive. Organizations rely more and more on technologies; the IT department has more to overcome in streamlining information flow and running at digital speed. Thus, CIOs generally have greater opportunities to stand out as the top business executive and take the digital leadership role in creating business value across their companies and drive digitalization steadfastly.

Running a High-Performance Digital Organization with High Accountability? The digital transformation is now spreading rapidly to enable organizations of all shapes and sizes to reinvent themselves. It blurs the geographical, functional, organizational, and even industrial borders nowadays. Traditional hierarchical lines will phase out and a collective of business partners will emerge working collaboratively to set digital strategy and achieve organizational goals collaboratively. Digital organizations inspire learning and encourage autonomy. It is important to run a high-performance business with shared accountability or collective accountability that involves shared ownership, empathetic communication, and continuous improvement.

Retrosynthesis: Lead Innovation Forward and Manage Innovation Backward Innovation is the management process of converting novel ideas to achieve their business value. In the digital era, innovation is more science than art and should be managed systematically. What defines science from chance is the ability to repeat a process with the same resultant solution every time, through the application of known facts. Due to the complex business dynamic today, digital innovation management is the cross-management discipline which stands in between management, economy, psychology, sociology, entrepreneurship, and law, not speaking about disciplines that are related to knowledge transfer or technologies implemented by the particular innovation. Innovation is about making progress or advancement, but innovation management sometimes needs to trace backward. There are both innovation paradox and dilemmas that innovation leaders must deal with in order to overcome the challenges.

Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating the new ideas; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes the time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify diverse voices and deepen digital footprints, and it's the way to harness your innovative spirit.

The Monthly “Digital Boardroom: 100 Q&As” Book Tuning: The Vision Inquiries in the Boardroom July 2018

When we jump into the digital future of “VUCA” new normal –Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity, the digital leadership today must be able to steer the organization in the right direction. 


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 is the monthly “Digital Boardroom” summary of the digital board’s leadership inquiries.

             

The Vision Inquiries in the Boardroom


The Further-Looking Board The digital enterprise consists of an amalgam of socio-systems, techno-systems, bio-systems, and Econo-systems. BoDs as the top business advisor role need to have sufficient knowledge to understand the business ecosystem and sense that the digital transformation is multifaceted; they should have the business vision to predict the emergent trend of business, technology or industry. Therefore, to make the role highly effective, digital BoDs not only need to be forward-thinking, they have to be further looking, thinking longer term, guide the executive team toward the right direction and play the management advising role effortlessly.

Digital Boards with Vision Inquiries The contemporary corporate board as the top leadership team plays a directorial role in envisioning the future of the business and overseeing corporate strategy. Because leadership is about future and change. Vision is not the “Nice to have,” but “Must have” quality for top leaders in order to direct the organization toward the uncharted water or blurred territories in today’s “VUCA” digital dynamic. Vision is basically a qualitative statement defining the "perception" of the organization, and the effective board provides the guidance on what core to preserve and what future to stimulate progress toward. Here are a few vision inquiries of digital boards.

A Visionary Board The corporate board plays a significant leadership role in modern businesses, with multidimensional responsibilities, such as strategy oversight, policy setting, corporate governance, and monitoring - accountability of the environment - regulatory, shareholder, etc. Not only do today’s BoDs need to have sufficient knowledge to understand the business ecosystem, but also they should have the business vision to predict the emergent trend of business, technology or industry, so they can guide the executive team toward the right direction and play the management advising role effortlessly.

The “Futuristic” Digital Board? When we jump into the digital future of “VUCA” new normal –Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity, the digital leadership today must be able to steer the organization in the right direction. Corporate boards today mostly composed of seasoned business executives are no longer just the controller to ensure business compliance, they should have a clear business vision to predict emerging trends in the business, technology or industry. So, they can guide the executive team in the right direction and play the management advising role effortlessly. To discuss further: What is the profile of the “futuristic” digital boards, what’s the business insight those boards can offer and what are the great benefits they can provide for the business’s long-term prosperity?


The “Vision” Thing in the Digital Boardroom Vision is a future state of being. The vision needs to be a good metaphor - 'the guiding light' so that people can see themselves and their work reflected in it. BoDs and C-level roles are supposed to be the guiding force in the enterprise, possess sufficient knowledge to understand the business ecosystem, develop the business vision to predict the emergent trends of business, technology or industry, so they can guide the executive team to the right direction and lead the organization towards its future confidently.

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2 million page views with 4800+ 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 to human progression.

The "Digital Boardroom: 100 Q&As" Slideshare Presentation















The "Digital Boardroom: 100 Q&As" Chapter V Introduction: The Digital Board's Leadership Inquiries

How to Set Digital IT Change Agenda

Crafting an IT change agenda is important to ensure that IT is strategically positioned to be ahead of where the business is moving next.

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.

IT needs to well engage in business conversations, to get as many people pulling in the same direction: IT change agenda, needs to get support from front desks to the boardroom. CIOs should be able to talk with business unit leaders, share the technological vision and get the business buy-in. Most of the business changes, especially the large-scale transformation definitely need technology to make it happen as today no business is independent of IT or rather IT has become now business technology. IT leaders need to involve the executives across functions to make sure that all of the management is on board and educated well on the change objectives and how to carry them out effectively.

Take the logical scenario to gain change curve awareness: To improve the change success rate, understanding the learning curve needs to be the prerequisite that comes before change can actually take place. The learning curve is applicable to everyone even those who planned and conceived the vision for change. Digital leaders should motivate people to acquire the relevant knowledge, develop change competency, and truly make change happening. Be prepared, be flexible and be skillful to ride the learning curve. For IT-driven changes, CIOs with the technology awareness should understand how to capture digital technology trends and well apply the right technology to meet the business’s need. Change Management is a journey, not just a one-time business initiate, riding ahead of the change curve takes both principles and practices, strategy and methodology.

Take multi-step iterative processes for change management: Nowadays, change happened in a nonlinear way with the faster pace. Different IT organizations and enterprise as a whole are at the different stage of the business maturity. All stages must be handled with attention and proficiency to ensure change success. One of the biggest pitfalls for managing the large-scale of changes is that the change managers don’t have the big picture business oversight, sometimes, they focus on improving one part of an organization at the expense of other parts of the organization. To make effective organizational scope changes, you have to maintain and fix any imbalance in key business elements such as people, process, and technology, by establishing a cross-functional change team to involve the management of different business functions. It is also critical to take multi-step iterative processes for change management. For example, interrelational management processes are developed to help reduce tensions, frictions, and conflict that arise; and cross-functional interactive management processes helps to communicate concepts with clarity and encourage two-way feedback. Without taking the systematic processes, change will become much harder and uncontrolled, with the high possibility to fail.

Make change deliverables continually:
There are both incremental changes and radical changes, change management is a journey with continuous delivery. Change requires tools, training, and practices in order for the participants to feel comfortable that the service level they provide will continue to improve with the same or reduced effort. To adapt to the increasing speed of changes and manage a smooth IT change continuum, organizations have to be more nimble about updating technology and make change deliverables continually. There are significant change deliverables that must be tied to all change plans, try to improve, develop, and change everything in a prioritized order as long as it creates the long-term value than it costs to achieve. IT-driven digital transformation is the journey of continuous delivery and improvement.

Manage the “End-to-end” Change Management Performance: In today's work environment, change indeed is difficult to measure unless all parties involved in the change take ownership of the change and see why and what the change is about. When the need for change becomes apparent, the management should turn the spotlight on measures and incentives as drivers of behavior, creators of sub-optimal decisions and the eventual poor outcomes. Change Management shouldn’t be a conundrum, to make change sustain, the important thing is "end-to-end" performance. Ultimately, the success of the change program is measured by results that are important values to the organization, and the cultural adoption of these goals is part of that measure. A change manager needs to assess and evaluate every specific scenario to create the change program success.

The increasing speed of changes forces IT leaders to get really creative on how they architect and implement change. Crafting an IT change agenda is important to ensure that IT is strategically positioned to be ahead of where the business is moving next, change also becomes an ongoing business capability; changing is easier than maintaining the status quo, and people ensure learning, changing, and innovation. All of those are fundamental to run a dynamic digital business to radiate the positive energy and unlock the collective potential.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Monthly “Digital Fit” Book Tuning: The Change Fit July 2018

In order to improve changeability, it is important to build a healthy change habit. 
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. But what are digital organizational traits, how to define digital change fit and take a structural approach for digitalization?

                                

The Change Fit


How to Spot Your Change Champions? The increasing speed, velocity, as well as the fast pace of technological advances have clearly impacted the nature and scope of opportunity as well as the risk involved. When you stop changing, you've already lost. A changeable organization is to creating organizations where change is the norm and happens the whole time. Change the game is a mindset, people are always the center of changes. Change Agent has the ability to play the right role and know which to play, and when. To expedite change, "put the right people in the right positions to lead change seamlessly,” needs to become the mantra. But can you spot change champions and empower change agents in order to develop the culture of change and build change as the business competency?


The New Book “Digital Fit: Manifest Future of Business with Multidimensional Fit” Chapter 3 Introduction: Change Fit Closer to reality is that change is continuously happening in the dynamic environment of a company. Change is inevitable, and the speed of change is accelerating. The desires of stakeholders, clients, and employees are evolving naturally. However, changeability and resourcefulness - the response to change are woefully underrated by many businesses as keys to success. How do you assess an organization that is ready for change? How can you engage with today’s management and make them change themselves into the role needed today for modern Change Management? What is needed to be done in order to execute a successful change? And what are the further aspects of managing change successfully?


Change Habit: Do you Have One? Change, big or small is inevitable. You can’t step into the same river twice, meaning that everything is always in a state of flow with increasing speed. Change is becoming the new normal, people present different personalities for changes, such as Pathfinder, Listener, Organizer, Follower, and Resistor. Are change agents born or created? In order to improve changeability, it is important to build a healthy change habit. We all know how challenging would be to change a bad habit and cultivate a good habit. It takes practices, disciplines, and persistence. Change is not for its own sake, but for improvement and advancement. So, change habit: Do you have one?

Can you “Move out of your Comfort Zone” Change is the new normal. Change is situational. It happens when something starts or stops, or when something that used to happen in one way starts happening in another. But acceptance of change is transitional, and “moving out of your comfort zone" can be used at all levels and as a starting point for change. It might sound like a cliche, the trick is understanding that moving out of a comfort zone leads to the creation of a new comfort zone which in turn will require you to move out "of" it again. This continuous moving "out" of your comfort zone is complemented by the cycle of self-development. There is a classic fable about a lion and a gazelle to analogize such a "surviving and thriving cycles": The lion wakes up and starts running otherwise it will not catch lunch. The gazelle does the same but, in this case, to avoid becoming lunch. Either way, you have to move to survive. This principle can be applied in a physical sense as well. The human body is designed for motion and physical effort.

Cultivate Healthy Habits to Adapt to Changes Change - big or small is inevitable. You can’t step into the same river twice, meaning that everything is always in a state of flow with increasing speed. Change agents are the leaders, change champions, change specialists, team players who orchestrate and collaborate to accomplish the desired changes and transformations. The change agent is not a title, but the game-changing mindset and the fine-tuned skillsets. More specifically, how to cultivate healthy habits to adapt to changes?

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2.5+million page views with about #4800+ blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. blog posting. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom, to inspire critical thinking and spur healthy debates. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating the new ideas; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify diverse voices and deepen digital footprints, and it's the way to harness your innovative spirit.

Running Digital IT as both a Progressive Journey and Cautious Tale

CIOs need to know how to balance the seemly opposite forces for running a high-mature digital organization both confidently and cautiously.

Digital disruptions are inevitable, and digital transformation is unstoppable. The dawn of the digital era means the increasing pace of change, the abundance of information, the emerging opportunities, and fierce competition, The multidimensional digital effects provide impressive advantages in term of the speed of delivery and unprecedented business convenience. IT is the threshold to knit all important business elements into a unique set of business competencies. Nowadays running digital IT is both art and science, a progressive journey and a cautious tale.



IT management must get a feeler of the business view with progressive thinking and critical thinking: If traditional IT organization is only a business enabler, and then digital IT needs to become the strategic business partner. IT leaders should get a feeler of the business view, IT needs to be acutely in tune with the business, see the gap between what is currently available and what is possible. It’s not sufficient for IT to keep the lights on only, it has to dig deeper to diagnose the root causes and solve critical business problems to benefit end customers. To proactively lead change and drive digitalization, the CIO has to look forward, shape a technological vision, and actively position the business in the right place to take full advantage of business opportunities for moving forward, but also be cautious of constant disruptions and potential risks. On one side, CIOs should be the open-minded visionary to predict future trends; on the other side, IT leaders need to be the strategic business leader to “keep the ends,” in mind, the end is either about the business outcome or customer satisfaction. They should try new technologies, not as shining gadgets only, but make sure there are clear returns that can’t be found in the existing technologies, with great care on the potential risks. Highly effective digital CIOs are able to provide pragmatic pieces of advice and recommendations to the business on how to leverage IT in innovation and problem-solving. They run IT as the business.

Develop a scientific IT management framework to leverage the systematic view and a structural approach: To run IT both aggressively and cautiously, an effective CIO’s job is to leverage a system view and take the structural approach to improve operations by reducing the waste and burden on the company, but also digitizing IT in a structural way. In the face of vast areas of unknowns, an effective CIO understands that a system is a necessary precondition for an effective intervention, and leverage a scientific IT management framework is critical to managing IT systematically. The well-designed IT management framework addresses both tactical IT practices of getting the work done and key business factors that associated with the long-term business goals, to ensure that digitalization must take place within the organization at all levels in order to lead change in a structural way. The effective Information management can process and refine information, control risks, and ensures one of the most invaluable business assets - information can create or multiply business value and maximize its return on investment.


CIOs need to know how to balance the seemly opposite forces for running a high-mature digital organization both confidently and cautiously: In the digital era in which a fresh new idea could create an inspiring success story overnight, but every tweet has the potential to plunge a company into a reputational crisis. Digital leaders today must be both optimistic and cautious; see the positives, recognize good and bring those to the light; but do not ignore the potential pitfalls, faults or errors. This is particularly important to run a digital IT organization, as CIOs will make tough choices all the time, such as: When to lead at front boldly; when to take a cautious baby step; when to enforce the management discipline; when to loosen the rules for encouraging innovation; when to make an incremental changes; when to “rock the boat,” accordingly. Digital CIOs should learn how to leverage the pairs of seemly opposite forces such as opportunity vs. risk, logic vs. creativity, analysis vs. synthesis, stability vs. acceleration, etc, to run digital IT with steadfast speed.

Velocity, complexity, and uncertainty will characterize the future. Running digital IT as the progressive journey is all about embracing changes and making a leap of the digital paradigm shift. Running digital IT as the cautious tale doesn’t mean that IT is a roadblock to slow down the changes, it is about how to leverage critical thinking and systems thinking to manage risks and respond to the ever-changing working environment promptly, with the goal to run a high-performance digital organization.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The Monthly Foresight: The Digital Readiness July 2018

The effects of an increasingly digitalized world are now reaching into every corner of businesses and every aspect of organizations. Digital is the age of creativity and innovation, creativity is the most wanted trait for digital leaders and professionals today, and innovation is the light every organization is pursuing. Which themes shall you set to advocate digital transformation? How to lead to the digital future effortlessly?

                         

The Digital Readiness


The Digital Readiness of Organizations: We are in a time of tremendous change, the dawn of digital age, the path to next level of digital maturity, also in the era of confusion and information overload. Most organizations have the mix of old and new, physical and virtual, order and chaos, the old way and the new way to do things, etc. Therefore, evaluating the digital readiness of the business is important to allow room for adjustments and keeping the organization dynamic and informative, in order to manage a high mature business.

Tuning Organizational Structure to Improve Digital Ready-ness Organizations across the vertical sectors and geographical boundaries are on the journey of digital transformation. New generations of digital technologies such as digital collaboration platforms and tools are enabling not only the structured processes of the past but also the unstructured processes of the digital enterprise. The future of digital organizations would be complex enough to act intelligently and nimble enough to adapt to the change promptly.

Three Management Models to Evaluate the Digital Readiness of the Business? Digital transformation has a high level of impact and complexity because it expands in every direction of the organization. Many organizations are still confused digital with general technology adoption. In practice, doing digital is perhaps about taking some initiatives for applying the latest technologies or gadgets, but it's a significant shift from doing digital to going digital and being digital. Digitalization efforts need to be undertaken as the means of getting to a set of differentiated business capabilities to accomplish the well-defined goals and improve the overall business performance, responsiveness, and maturity. Here are three management models to evaluate the digital readiness of the business.

Fine-Tune Organization Structure to Get Digital Ready?
Due to the “VUCA” nature of digitalization, the business complexity is unavoidable. Organizations that are skilled at managing complexity can gain advantages by pushing the boundaries of a more complicated business mix that provides opportunities to create inter-business value. From an organizational structure perspective, how to fine tune the digital dimensions of your organizational structure development to get digital ready?

Strengthen IT to Get Digital Ready Every forward-thinking organization has the digital ambition to become a customer-centric, living, high-effective and high-intelligent organization. Digital organizations are hyperconnected and interdependent and they have to continue to adapt to the digital new normal with “VUCA” characteristics. IT plays a pivotal role in the organization’s digital transformation, but first things first, IT has to strengthen itself to get digital ready via increasing agility, innovation, speed, and maturity.

 The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2.5 million page views with about #4800th blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating the new ideas; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify diverse voices and deepen digital footprints, and it's the way to harness your innovative spirit.