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.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

The Monthly “CIO Master” Book Tuning: The Digital CIO’s Knowledge, Skills, Strengths Nov. 2019

Contemporary CIOs are expected to play multiple personas; besides being the tactical IT manager, leadership is considered the top attribute for CIOs.

Compared 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 for brainstorming interdisciplinary leadership of CIOs and reinvent IT to get digital ready.
      

        


   The Digital CIO’s Knowledge, Skills, Strengths


Knowledge Powers of Digital CIOs With rapid change and “VUCA“ digital new normal, the digital trend is that more and more CIOs, who have diversified experiences and colorful background, working across functional and industrial boundaries, can become well-rounded strategic business executives envisioning the upcoming business trends, practicing their knowledge power, and leading IT organization with a balanced mindsets, viewpoints, activities, and speed.

The Nature and Nurture of Digital CIOs
Due to the changing nature of technology and multifaceted impact of modern IT organization, the CIO is perhaps one of the most sophisticated leadership roles in the digital transformation. The role of the "Chief Information Officer" is a very tricky one and hard to fill. The problem is heavily masked because the position is often filled with the wrong person. Contemporary CIOs are expected to play multiple personas; besides being the tactical IT manager, leadership is considered the top attribute for CIOs. So are digital CIOs nature or nurtured? What are the most important attributes of IT leadership, and how can they best be attained?

Five Desired Skills needed to be an Effective CIO
Many great CIOs share five common leadership traits as we brainstormed earlier through the CIO’s daily tasks may depend on the nature of the business and the corporate culture, there are also desired skill set & capabilities to make one an effective CIO.

CIOs as "Chief Improvement Officer" What are Digital CIOs' Skill Matrix? Due to the disruptive nature of technology and overwhelming growth of information, the role of the CIO has to be reinvented for adapting to changes and re-energized for harnessing innovation. Digital CIOs need to develop a broad set of skills beyond technology and have the differentiated competency and recombinant professional capabilities and skills to lead the organization to the next level of business maturity. Here is the digital CIO’s skill matrix.

Three Strengths in Contemporary CIOs Perhaps today’s CIOs can be categorized into three buckets: IT specialists who come from technology ranks; business generalists who have experience in business functions or certificated gurus who hold both technology and business degree; however, there are no statistics showing one category of CIOs perform extremely better than others, thus, beyond background, which strengths shape a modern CIO, and what are the key characteristics of an effective CIO?

The blog is a dynamic book flowing with your thought; growing through your dedication; sharing your knowledge; conveying your wisdom, and making influence through touching the hearts and connecting minds across the globe. The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 3 million page views with about #6200 blog posting. Among 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating new ideas; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify diverse voices and deepen digital footprints, and it's the way to harness your innovative spirit.




The Best “Aptitude” Quotes of “Digital Master” Nov. 2019

 Professional competency is built through both attitude and aptitude. Competency is related to the performance and the outcome.

"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 “Aptitude” quotes in “Digital Master.


1 Human Being is a combination of intelligence and emotion or in simpler terms core aptitude and millions layers of attitude.

2 The good or bad innovation would depend on the business’s aptitude to manage innovation. And the innovation aptitude is based on the overall business competency to manage innovation with a set of tools, structures, and talent.

3 People with change aptitude continuously seek new challenges, solicit direct feedback, unleash the potentials, self-driven, and accomplish the work resourcefully.

4 Aptitude (Intelligence & Logic) decides what is right for an organization. For an established organization, culture is normally inherited. For organizations, aptitude sets the tone for the culture.

5 Change aptitude depends on how fast you can learn as well as how skillfully you could apply the fresh knowledge to understand and solve real-world problems as well as improve the individual’s professional skills and qualifications.

6 Creative attitude and aptitude are important because innovators are truth-seeking, willing to change their views and are accountable for their actions.

7 Change mindset, change attitude, and change aptitude are all interconnected attributes of becoming a change agent.

8 Professional competency is built through both attitude and aptitude. Competency is related to the performance and the outcome.

9 You need to make sure that your company has a steady flow of fresh ideas floating in your innovation pipeline, and, therefore, you need a methodological platform that allows you to do that and aptitude to manage them well.









Five Practices to Leap Digital Maturity

Businesses across industrial sectors embark on the “digital era” of computing and managing by taking logical but iterative steps and developing their best and next practice. 

The journey of digital transformation is the full-scale changes in the way business is conducted so that it’s a multidimensional planning and orchestration. It is necessary for the coherent use of various already known concepts and gradually opening up to the best and next practices for enforcing digital processes and sharpening all crucial business success factors to get digital ready.




Disrupt existing management norm: Organizations today are the business system with a mixed bag of old and new, solid and fluid, physical and virtual. To make a leap of the digital maturity of the organization, it’s critical to disrupt the outdated mindsets, systems, processes, cultures, business models, or practices.

When a system produces "bad" side-effects, you need to intervene. For example, when organizations only seek examples to follow, rather than develop their own tailored solutions to emerging or existing problems, you know some simulations are needed to first disrupt, then reconstruct, and integrate all critical business elements into premium business solutions. When people are not working via the system to solve real problems but play the system to create frictions or when systems beat good people every time, you know the systems are bad. You acknowledge that the system is dysfunctional and creative disruptions are inevitable for awakening digital consciousness, and make a smooth transformation from silo and closed business system to cognitively open, hyperconnected and intraactive ecological systems.

Creative disruption can lead to digital breakthrough. With all necessary breakdown, you will get very great chances and opportunities to change your organization in many fields and lift up the organization to the next cycle of growth and maturity.

Remove the barriers to change initiatives: Change is inevitable, and Change Management becomes a common practice within an organization, Digital enterprises are inherently complicated, the highly intensive changes do not happen in isolation from each other in predictable ways, but act as a complex system feeding, amplifying and ameliorating change effects.

Statistically, more than two-thirds of change efforts fail to achieve the expected results. The barriers to change are varying, such as, lack of executive sponsorship and management accountability. Change for its own sake - not investing enough time to discover the root cause of issues; or the lack of recognition for change impacts individuals and businesses’ willingness to extend themselves again for the next change, etc.

To remove the barriers to change initiatives, the executive sponsor and change team manage timely or regular follow-up which is an absolute must. To change an organizational system, you must understand the concept of the true meaning of the nonlinear organizational dynamic. Change Management is no longer an isolated activity or one time business initiative but an iterative business continuum.

Stretch innovation space and horizon: Digital is the era of innovation. Without innovation, without collective human progress. There are all sorts of innovation and different flavors of digital innovation. Innovation is risky and most companies want to minimize risk versus taking intelligent risks.

To expand innovation horizon and stretch innovation space, organizations depend heavily on their technological knowledge and market capabilities to experiment, learn and innovate. Thus, at the organizational level, having innovation curve awareness means that innovation leaders should create a sense of urgency to stretch up, have a bigger innovation appetite, need to understand and rise above the learning curves, systematically develop the capability to implement innovation successfully, including the effort to scale innovation and amplify innovation impact. And that is something you do not accomplish overnight.

Unlock the growth potential of the business: Performance keeps the business lights on, but potentiality can lift up the business to the next cycle of growth. Business potential includes the overall organizational abilities to perform in the future by discovering their strengths and building core competencies. A high potential organization can grow, innovate and transform by taking a systematic approach to identify and develop potentiality into a more solid form and transform it into differentiated business advantage. Unleashing business potential is a strategic effort either at the individual or the business level. Therefore, it is important for the organization to identify how information is associated with the valued tangibles of businesses; products and resources. Sometimes, you even need to leverage all tradeoffs, retreat today’s performance a step back in order to accelerate the future performance.

Develop dynamic core business competencies: The characteristics of digital business are dynamic, volatile, uncertain, and hypercompetitive. Business capabilities are often the collective and amplified capabilities of its people; business processes underpin organizational capabilities. Therefore, it is critical to build dynamic capabilities to adapt to changes, build the business strengths in core areas and build differentiated competencies. 

To shorten the time cycle and save the cost for building business capabilities, the high mature digital businesses needs to preserve core competency even as management expands and redefines the business. Organizational capabilities have business outcomes; they collaborate with each other and are enabled by processes to integrate into differentiated business competencies. It is important to identify the key business capability and make an objective assessment of capability maturity, also hone them into the organization-wide competency for achieving its business strategy and building its reputation and brand in the industry or business ecosystem,

Businesses across industrial sectors embark on the “digital era” of computing and managing by taking logical but iterative steps and developing their best and next practice. The journey of improving business maturity is more evolutionary than revolutionary because digital transformation discipline is not just about some stand-alone initiatives, it requires a vision and a solid strategy to transform radically.









Saturday, November 9, 2019

The Monthly CIO Debates Collection & “Digital IT” Book Tuning: A Set of Inquires of Running Strategic IT Nov. 2019

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

Due to the changing nature of technology, IT leadership role also continues to involve & shift the focus, to move up the maturity level. More and more CIOs are requested to take more responsibility and many CIOs present the breadth of leadership competency. The proactive IT debates help IT leaders to brainstorm better ways to do things and improve management capabilities. Here are the monthly CIO debates collections about envisioning digital IT leadership and running high-performance digital IT organizations.


            A Set of Inquires of Running Strategic IT 




IT Strategic Planning: How to Make It Right With continuous disruptions and fierce competitions, many IT organizations suffer from overloaded tasks and overwhelming growth of information. They encounter so many daily distractions that stop them from laser focusing on achieving strategic business goals. High performance CIOs should have knowledge and leadership influence to demonstrate IT as strategic business competency. They need to build a good strategy which is an integral component of the business strategy, based on the circumstances that will allow the highest probability of IT management success. But more specifically: How to make IT strategic planning right?

Does Your IT Organization Lack of “Strategic Bone”There is no doubt that IT plays a critical role in both improving bottom line business efficiency and top-line revenue growth. However, there is no "one size fitting all" magic formula on how to run the IT organization as a strategic partner and a revenue generator. Different IT organizations and enterprise as a whole are at a different stage of business maturity. The role of CIO is the mirror of the business reputation as an innovator or a plumber; a strategist or an operator; a change agent or a controller, etc. Lack of “strategic bone” is perhaps one of the root causes of diminishing IT influence and keeping IT irrelevant for the long run.

How to Make Strategic IT Workforce Planning
 Workforce management is an important process which underpins the organization’s collective human capability and differentiated business competency. With fast-paced changes, hyper-diversity, exponential growth of information, and fierce competitions, the workforce planning and management has to become highly analytical and systematic.

Why Should IT be Considered in the BoD’s Agenda? Many organizations are on the journey of digital transformation which represents the next stage of business maturity and will improve how the enterprise works and interacts with its digital ecosystem. An effective board plays a critical role in steering changes and ensuring the business is on the right track to reach well-defined business goals. Organizations rely more and more on information & technology, why should IT be considered in the BoD’s Agenda? What are important oversights the board can offer about Information & Technology?

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

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 3 million page views with 6200+ blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. blog posting. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating new ideas; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify diverse voices and deepen digital footprints, and it's the way to harness your innovative spirit.

The Best “Altitude” Quotes of “Digital Master” Nov. 2019

Altitude, attitude, and aptitude all contribute to building talent competency.

"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 “Altitude” quotes in “Digital Master.




1 Attitude leaps altitude, altitude inspires attitude.

2 Digital altitude - simply the height or depth of your digital thinking and views become more critical for today’s digital leaders and professionals to inspire changes and motivate actions in the right direction.

3 Altitude is less about your position, more about your vision.The higher the altitude is, the better vision you could capture.

4 For every scientific development, resources are there, but to be discovered, you need to have great digital altitude and discovery eyes with clear vision, applying human intelligence and through the process of discovering, human mind and consciousness will expand and evolve.

5 With great digital altitude, the digital leaders and professionals can observe, perceive, and pay attention to the myriad of internal, external, national or global forces that define and influence the way we do business these days.

6 Outliers - the one who can step out of a conventional thinking box, or linear patterns often have higher altitude, because they do not get stuck in the box, but observe and understand things outside of the box and connect the dots across the boxes.

7 Altitude, attitude, and aptitude all contribute to building talent competency.

8 Altitude inspires you to focus on the big picture and long term perspective, attitude motivates you to continue learning and making an improvement,

9 Digital altitude is about how far you can see; how broadly you can explore, how deeply you can perceive, how promptly you can get out of the box when needed, how high you can climb, and how many dots you can connect to spark innovation.

Seize Competitive Advantages of Digital Organization

Surviving and thriving in today’s business dynamic requires structural flexibility, cross-functional collaboration, inter-relational process, and intuitive user interface.

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.


Information Technology system as a core of business advantage: Due to fierce competition, the differentiation provided by emerging digital technology usually is more long-lived than differentiation provided by marketing efforts that can be copied easily. Information Technology also allows companies to reach the "long-tail" customer that previously was impossible or uneconomic.

Running IT as a digital differentiator means that IT needs to be run innovatively to seize competitive advantages of digital organization, it accelerates the speed and makes a difference by leveraging the emergent digital trends and exploring the new way to do things, besides exploitation of the existing methods and technologies.

On the other side, technologies can push you out of business if you are not agile enough to change your business model. When IT helps the organization harness and understand the information to capture the real-time business insight, provides ways to better recognize and act on that information for gaining competitive advantage, it will achieve high business value and build competitive business advantages.

Process Management as a competitive advantage: What distinguishes one company from another is about people, products, and processes. A "business process" evokes the notion of inputs, manage known from flowing. No question processes are are at the core of business and the competitive advantage.

To build process management as a competitive advantage, the business management needs to check up: What customer-centric businesses have the most grips on its processes so they deliver what they promise? Are they competing for best quality, cost advantage or efficient value chain? Can their processes do what they promise? Further, what enables a process? People, technology, etc. and how it behaves in situations determines differentiation and innovation.

Business process has many characteristics such as workflow, people, information, supplies, tools, steering, etc, to make it happen. The end results of the process management which are either producing a product or service of perceived more value to a customer is what that can be later considered competitive advantage.

User Experience as a competitive advantage:
It’s the age of the customer; customer-centricity is a strategic imperative and User Experience (UX) is a competitive advantage for businesses across the vertical sectors. One of the future trends is for corporations to realize that Experience Design should be part of the business strategy crafted by senior executives.

User Experience includes the practical, experiential, effective, meaningful and valuable aspects of human-computer interaction and product ownership. UX is there to framework the interactions with products or services. From the business management perspective, it’s important to shape a clear UX vision, build a holistic business strategy,  and under that strategy, you can have tactical and calculated deviation, special cases and exceptions, but their combined effect would push user-experience to your perceived vision.

Organizational Culture as the business competitive advantage: Culture is something a company does; it's a set of behaviors that are closer or further from an ideal. In fact, culture is the competitive advantage of the business and the cultural aspect is an intrinsic factor that drives the organization's business longevity.

An organization with excellent culture is arguably capable of providing great results in their competencies. The culture of an organization is an indicator of the competency parameters at their best. Culture can be a competency measured through performance. Highest rated competencies could be very short lived if the organization lacks the culture to rate and retain the value system beyond the business results.

Culture of an organization remains a fingerprint and an identity of the organization, and it can powerfully reinforce the competitive advantage of the organization. An organization with an excellent culture is arguably capable of giving great results in their competencies.

Human Capital as the competitive advantage: Human capital is the skills, knowledge, and experience gained in an organization by people that represents a value investment or resource to that organization. Human Capital is the largest intangible asset of a company and competitive business advantage. Human Capital does make sense within the context of the goals of a company, especially when you consider this includes all the talent, competencies, and experience of your employees and managers. 

The true value of people, especially today’s knowledge workforce includes many tangible and intangible factors. To compete, businesses rely so much on their people assets or human capital, to reach their goals and succeed. Whatever you use to refer to the people in the organization, there is an investment that is needed in order to achieve the business goal and build competitive advantage. 

The digital era upon us is people-centricity. Traditional organizations think people as human cost or resource; while the term “Human Capital” makes sense to convey the vision of running an organic digital business which needs to keep investing, nurturing, and growing for building competitive business advantage.

Surviving and thriving in today’s business dynamic requires structural flexibility, cross-functional collaboration, inter-relational process, and intuitive user interface to reduce business fricition and deal with conflicts or disruptions continually. Organizations of the future are increasingly exhibiting digital characteristics in various shades and intensity to seize the competitive advantage of the business and make a seamless digital transformation.

Friday, November 8, 2019

The Weekly Insight of the “Future of CIO” 11/8/2019

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

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 3 million page views with 6200+ blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The “Digital Masterbook series includes 28 books to share insight from the multidimensional digital lens and perceive the multi-faceted impact the digital era upon us is making to the businesses and society. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom. Here is the weekly insight of digital leadership, IT Management, and Talent Management.


Three Types of Innovation Agents Digital is the age of innovation, but many organizations do not seem to be satisfied with the current circumstances because there are not enough innovations happening in their businesses to disrupt outdated mindsets, systems, processes, cultures, business models, or practices. Thus, it requires inspiring and energetic innovation agents to catalyze corporate culture for renewing creative energy, broadening innovation spectrum and amplifying innovation effect.

The Strategic Communication in the Boardroom The corporate board is one of the most critical leadership pillars in contemporary organizations. At the board level, it is a matter of leadership guidance to make sound judgments and steer the organization in the right direction. Language influences perception. Communication, whether verbal, non-verbal or digital, is the coordination mechanism that makes business flowing. lubricates changes and practices leadership influence. Here are three insights of the corporate board’s strategic communication.

IT as a Leverage in Multitude of Digital Management Velocity, complexity, and uncertainty will characterize the future. High mature digital organizations today need to be sophisticated enough to act intelligently and nimble enough to adapt to changes promptly. The digital transformation is like a gigantic juggernaut puzzle with many misplaced pieces. It is important to leverage IT in multitude of digital management, involve not only putting different pieces together but also blending them in such a way that the emergent whole is somehow more than the sum of its parts.

Running a Digital Organization with Impartial, Independent Hybrids With rapid change and exponential growth of information, businesses today need nothing less than a paradigm shift in their thinking about the fundamentals of how organizations work. There are so many seemingly paradoxical, but indeed coherent elements in running a digital organization today. Forward-thinking organization need to discover their own strength, find a niche, and build a set of core and recombinant capabilities in order to become highly competitive and digital savvy.

The Monthly “100 IT Charm” Book Tuning: Present IT as Constructive Asset Nov. 2019 The purpose of the book “100 IT Charms: Running Versatile IT to get Digital Ready“ is to articulate different flavors of digital IT organizations and brainstorm the best and next practices for running highly innovative and high-performance IT. Digital charm is not based on the style presented on the surface but on a set of unique competencies to make IT shine through as a business differentiator.

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

The Best “Prediction” Quotes of “Digital Master” Nov. 2019

The prediction of the future is based on the analysis of the past. The best prediction is optimal.

"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 “Prediction” quotes in “Digital Master.


1 To predict is to control; to co-create is to influence what you would like to bring into being.

2 There's definitely a prediction horizon beyond which extrapolation is useless - especially in the face of truly novel events or where there is deep uncertainty or ambiguity.

3 The prediction of the future is based on the analysis of the past. The best prediction is optimal.

4 Every single prediction depends on some kind of model.

5 The description of the past and present is a basis for predictions about what is likely to happen next. The more accurate prediction - the better chances for survival are.

6 Preventing problems requires information technologies, people, processes, and systems to analyze and predict the possibility of a problem.

7 Running a predictive IT means in such an organization, information and technology intend to become the game changer and innovation driver of the business.

8 Digital means the exponential growth of information. In a business scope, there are some of the important bits and bytes of information needed for trend-prediction, to forecast a new market, an emerging technology trend, or a business growth opportunity.

9 The highest level of future sensitivity comes from appreciation of the whole situation which relies heavily on intuition and sensing. Prediction can be an outcome of the controllable relationships within a system.

Running Digital IT with “STEAM“ Themes

The digital paradigm has many dimensions. it is like solving a jigsaw puzzle with thousands of pieces, easy to get lost when trying to capture the big picture cross disciplinary domains.

IT is the business. Digital IT is a paradigm shift in role, responsibility, and attitude. IT should continue to evolve the digital dynamic and reinvent itself as a strategic business partner.

The management of IT is the integral management discipline to ensure that the business as a whole is superior to the sum of pieces. CIOs are no longer just glorified geeks, they are digital savvy strategists and open-minded digital modernists to run IT with “STEAM“ theme.







Science - the scientific side of IT: Talking about science, it claims to be based on both inductive and deductive reasoning. Science = "At" & "How." 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. From an IT management perspective, it’s the ability to produce business solutions in a problem domain repeatedly.

IT management is a science as it is precise, exact and can be accurately and logically represented and reused. IT management has a scientific part in which a lot of things are proven, repeatable, and methodology that can be effectively used, etc. In fact, the computation has become one of the most important disciplines of science because it’s the science of how machines can be made to carry out intellectual processes and capabilities. Running IT as a scientific discipline is to ensure its products/services functionality, reliability, performance, and maintainability, etc.

Technology - the strong pillar of IT: Emerging digital technologies is often the hard force behind business disruptions and bring huge opportunities to reinvent business models and create a new revenue stream. However, running high performance digital IT is not just about playing some cool technology gadgets, it needs to expand digitally in every dimension of the business, to optimize underlying functions, structures, or processes, streamline information flow, and connect business to the ecosystem for involving customers and business partners in the digital dialogues to co-solving problems and co-creating knowledge.

Due to the complex nature of technology and shortened knowledge life cycle, a highly effective CIO’s job is to achieve operational excellence by reducing the burden on the company while trying to stay current with ever-changing technologies. That includes reducing costs, improving systems, optimizing processes and providing continually expanding business solutions. In the end, it is not about technology, but what technology can do when it is enabling and integrating with change management and business processes to deliver strategic differentiation and improve business performance and maturity.

Engineering - the core discipline of IT: The engineering side of IT enables it to take a logical path to implement ideas as well as to figure out solutions to most types of problems. An engineer should always think about the goals, but their first concern should be meeting the narrower requirements that their aspect of the overall design must meet, be able to design down to the last detail.

IT management and professionals can apply scientific logic with the structural approach and engineering discipline to break big business problems down into deliverable chunks for delivering value to the business at regular intervals. From a software management perspective, it is the step-wise scenario and interdisciplinary approach that would include strategic and tactical planning, systems engineering, concurrent engineering, project design, quality engineering, portfolio management and optimization, systems ecology, etc. In practice, often, in practice, the engineering side of IT is hidden inside the business perspective of IT, make it invisible and humble. Ideally, the magic formula of Engineering = System + Operation + Methodology + Design + Creativity + Science + Process.

Art - the intuitive side of IT: IT management is science from the learning perspective and art in implementing what you learned in combination with other skills. In essence, engineering is a piece of art because it involves design thinking, personalized judgment, experimentation, intuition, and innovation. The element of art in IT can improve customer satisfaction by designing an intuitive interface and cool products/services.

Running high performance digital IT takes both logic and intuition. It is a mix of art and science which helps in open communication, realistic expectations, and mutually acceptable timelines for products/services deliveries and governance. Digital IT leaders with artistic touch need to wear their design thinking hat to tap the creative side of IT for meeting the company’s long term goals, building a strong brand and improving the overall organizational maturity.


Mathematics - the structural perspective of IT: Mathematics is the science of structure. It studies structural relations. While the structure and structural relations are not the only concerns. Mathematics helps us understand our perceptions of reality and is described as the science of complexity (“complexity‘ means “a lot of structure”).

Mathematics is not usually classified as a science because it does not rely on an experiment in the traditional sense. Theoretically speaking, mathematics encompasses arithmetic and algebra, geometry and trigonometry, calculus and analysis, statics and dynamics, probability and statistics, etc. It just turns out that, as human society gets more and more complex, the very natural attempt of humans to take the very powerful techniques of mathematics, such as techniques of linear mathematics or non-linear mathematics, and apply it to the world very quickly come up against insurmountable difficulties. Still, mathematics is the foundation of computer science and brings the structural perspective of IT.

The digital paradigm has many dimensions. it is like solving a jigsaw puzzle with thousands of pieces, easy to get lost when trying to capture the big picture cross disciplinary domains. An interdisciplinary IT leaders should embrace “STEAM” themes, keep shaping the digital mindset, re-imagine their leadership influence and effectiveness, continually reinvent IT to adapt to changes, inspire and facilitate innovation across the technology and business interface.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

The Strategic Communication in the Boardroom

Strategic and effective communication is like the thread to connect all important business gems, for building the trustful relationship and enforcing collaboration.

The corporate board is one of the most critical leadership pillars in contemporary organizations. At the board level, it is a matter of leadership guidance to make sound judgments and steer the organization in the right direction. Language influences perception. Communication, whether verbal, non-verbal or digital, is the coordination mechanism that makes business flowing. lubricates changes and practices leadership influence. Here are three insights of the corporate board’s strategic communication.


Strategic communication needs to be more creative and interactive at the board room: When communicating a strategy or organizational changes to a team, it is always important to explain the "why" behind your communication. The corporate board oversees the business strategy. Welcome strategy debate for challenging the business strategy. Most senior leaders prefer to rush their communication. “Don't waste time and money, and start executing." But what is more inefficient than a whole organization that attempts to execute a poorly understood strategy?

The BoDs play a critical role in challenging the strategy of business. The board leaders as the "outlier" can see around the corner and discover some “hidden problems” which are not always obvious. They don’t just accidentally find it, they structure the thinking process to discover the pattern. It's crucial to be more creative and interactive for strategic communication at the board room for building trustful relationship and enforcing governance disciplines. Not only does this help to evaluate the effectiveness of strategy, but can also give good ideas to improve it and provide further thoughts or constructive criticism to senior leadership for contemplation!

Abstraction enables an agreement: Either making communication, negotiation or presentation, senior leaders such as board directors should enforce communication to tailor audience via different styles. From abstraction to elaboration. Open your mind - listen (read) carefully, and expecting to find some new insight. At senior leadership level, as many times, abstraction enables an agreement.

With constant changes and unprecedented uncertainty, the challenge is to prioritize what you know about and keep an eye open for signs of things you don't know about. How to set the right priority depends on which of the business areas are most in need of improvement in the organization in question. To break down silos and catalyze changes, the strategic communication initiated by top digital leaders at the board level are not the top-down one-way street, it should embrace creativity, context, cascade, to enforce trust and accountability, streamline knowledge flow, and reach digital synchronization.


Information-based strategic communication: Quality boardroom communication ensures that information is concise and update in enabling decision-making and goal tracking. It is also important to develop an open atmosphere with effective and candid communication, fortify strategic communication based on information, expertise, and responsibility. 

Information-based strategic communication at the board level can harmonize business relationships and improve governance effectiveness, to ensure the good alignment of strategic goals, business investment, cultural evolution, performance management throughout the organization. Quality information-based boardroom communication also ensures that the organization can deliver the strategic goals as it can communicate timely to make the proper adjustment to evolve emergent events and adapt to ever-changing circumstances.

Either at the boardroom or the different layers of the business hierarchy, strategic and effective communication is like the thread to connect all important business gems, for building the trustful relationship, enforcing collaboration, and improve digital readiness.

The Best “Wholeness” Quotes of “Digital Master” Nov. 2019

Start with the mediating systemic wholeness with which you experience, remember, know, think, imagine, evaluate, intend, and engage the rest of the intrinsic unity that is the whole.

"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 “Wholeness” quotes in “Digital Master.


1 The interaction between what is within us (the self), and how we project to the exterior world is the bridge to achieving wholeness.

2 In the ancient human history, the wholeness was the focal point of either Eastern or Western philosophy; in the modern era, the pendulum swung toward scientific analysis and reductionistic separations throughout the scientific era.

3 When you think of the wholeness ("holism" from holos=wholeness) as a system of systems, boundaries make sense. You'll never manage to grasp the wholeness without splitting it into several sub-systems. It's where reductionism and holism come together into one.

4 Innovation leads us to the understanding of wholeness, since innovation (the practical application of creativity) is essentially about problem-solving at various levels, and to solve a problem implies a wish to make something, or everything, better. That, in itself, seems to lead to a wish for understanding the wholeness.

5 We should spend much more time exploring how we acquire knowledge and we build all different LENSES to see the world (the “holos,” the “wholeness”), to understand each other, the businesses and the world holistically.

6 Start with the mediating systemic wholeness with which you experience, remember, know, think, imagine, evaluate, intend, and engage the rest of the intrinsic unity that is the whole.

7 This digital wholeness comprises various media that are each functionally contrary to the unitive, fluid and seamless nature of the whole, it’s about seeing interrelationships rather than isolated things, for seeing patterns of change rather than static “snapshots.”

8 Holistic management (a Greek word meaning all, whole, entire, total) is about applying systems thinking to manage resources, recognizing initiatives which take a comprehensive, anticipatory, design approach to radically advance human well-being and the health of business ecosystems.

Knowledge Powers of Digital CIOs

The digital CIO’s leadership magnetism is based on their technical vision and cross-disciplinary knowledge proficiency.

With rapid change and “VUCA“ digital new normal, the digital trend is that more and more CIOs, who have diversified experiences and colorful background, working across functional and industrial boundaries, can become well-rounded strategic business executives envisioning the upcoming business trends, practicing their knowledge power, and leading IT organization with a balanced mindsets, viewpoints, activities, and speed.



Business knowledge: If traditional CIOs are more as hands-on IT managers who strive to “keep the lights on,” then, digital CIOs need to become the visionary business leader first in strategy deployment to engage the IT role as business inside the business and facilitate in the technologist role in delivering IT enabled business solutions. Strong IT leaders have cross-disciplinary business knowledge and in-depth understanding of what the business does, how it does; as well as how it could be better with a holistic business view.

A highly effective digital CIO with strong business acumen can lead from front or behind accordingly and has no requirement to get into the bits and bytes of technical details. The CIO who demonstrates proficient business knowledge can have the strategic understanding of the business goal, is able to translate technical expertise into business opportunities for reinventing IT as the game changer of the business effortlessly.

Technical knowledge: IT plays an important role in interpreting business issues into technology solutions, also, leveraging necessary resources to solve them, for delivering business value, enabling and catalyzing business innovation and beyond. Thus, modern CIOs must have a balance of technology and business knowledge to understand both the requirements of the business and the capability of IT to enable it. It is all about understanding the essential business requirements, why they're needed and what the benefits are. Only then, should the technological aspects come into play for implementing the tailored business solutions to either delight customers or build differentiated business competency.

In addition, IT leaders may not be effective to lead technology-savvy IT staff if they had little understanding of the technology they are responsible for. The CIO, in all fairness, must be a Technology Leader, who, in an increasingly technology-centric business environment, must make decisions that matter; around strategy and IT. IT leaders can become the constant voice and presence of a true technical expert at the executive table who also understands both technology and business intimately.

The variety of modern IT technology and their rapid obsolescence assumes that it is almost impossible to know all IT technologies. In the best case, the CIO's knowledge of IT must be a mile wide and an inch deep, to offer business solutions that drive costs low and bring the premium business value, and become a trustful business partner ultimately.


Process Knowledge: In many organizations, IT is custodian of business processes and works hand in hand with users to optimize it. IT is enabling and supporting almost all processes and strong business processes have better chance to deliver a better result. Therefore, the CIO who is able to define how business processes are working, understands the value of defined processes and, therefore, the value of getting everything in the triangle (value/cost/risk) correct is in a fabulous position to be able to increase customer satisfaction, improve employee engagement, and deliver business solutions with the desired outcomes for the organization. 

But just understanding processes from inside-out view is not sufficient; more importantly, IT leaders need to put customers' shoes on, understand business processes from the end customers' viewpoint, and bring fresh perspectives on how to improve it. IT leaders with sufficient process knowledge can have a comprehensive understanding of the logical flow that evolves business capability requirements into business processes:

-Situation - requirements, expectations, competitors, capabilities, trends.

-Strategy - purpose, value proposition, business model, implementation plan.

-Deployment - business systems, business processes, tasks, knowledge, review.

-Performance - customer experience, effectiveness, efficiency, productivity, compliance.

-Outcomes - customer, business partner and employee loyalty, financial health, shareholder delight.

Knowledge is power! In fact, the digital CIO’s leadership magnetism is based on their technical vision and cross-disciplinary knowledge proficiency. Most successful CIOs have a balanced knowledge of technology and business, are able to strike a balance of management (processes), leadership (people) and technical expertise/IT skills. They are strategic business leaders first, and technical managers second, to make broad leadership influence at the scope of the entire business or even the industry, as well as the dynamic business ecosystem.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

The Monthly “Digital Maturity” Book Tuning: Sorting Critical Puzzle Pieces of Digital Transformation Nov 2019

A digital organization demonstrates the vivid shape, texture, and architecture, brings greater awareness of the intricacies and the systemic value of organizational systems, business process, people dynamics, resource alignment, and technological touches.

Digital makes a significant impact on every aspect of the business from people, process to technology, both horizontally and vertically. The digitalization flattens the organizational hierarchy and blurs the functional, organizational and geographical borders in the business ecosystem. It is like a gigantic puzzle with many misplaced pieces, you have to put them all in the right places to discover the real meaning and unleash its full potential. You cannot make a true digital paradigm shift without an in-depth understanding of the digital interconnectivity and embracing the multitude of digital maturity.





Sorting Critical Puzzle Pieces of Digital Transformation 


Three Critical Puzzle Pieces of the Digital Transformation Game Leaders Must Learn to Play Well The digital paradigm shift is inevitable, the ultimate goal of running a successful enterprise is to achieve high-performance business results and reach high-level organizational maturity. Digital organizations need to keep evolving, renewing, and achieving the state of dynamic balance. Here are three critical puzzle pieces of long-term game the digital leaders must learn to play well in order to build differentiated business competencies and develop solid pillars to shape a high mature digital business.

How to Build a Lego-Like Digital Organization Digital paradigm means hyperconnectivity, interdependence, and integration. With rapid changes and fierce competition, organizations just have to keep evolving, ride above learning curves and uprising waves. The dynamic digital organizations need to get away from letting things fall apart and start to learn how to develop the lego-like digital organization by creating “integrated wholes,” and get digital ready with the accelerated speed.

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

The Vivid Shape, Texture, and Architecture of Digitally Mature Organization?
With rapid changes and frequent disruptions, organizations need to possess certain digital characteristics and capabilities such as responsiveness, speed, flexibility, and adaptability to survive. They have to develop and deliver products and services with consistent quality to their customers and stakeholders while continually maintaining or improving their competitive advantage. A digital organization demonstrates the vivid shape, texture, and architecture, brings greater awareness of the intricacies and the systemic value of organizational systems, business process, people dynamics, resource alignment, and technological touches.

The Tide, Wave, and Ripple Effect of an evolving digital organization Change is the new normal. The speed of change is increasing, to put simply, change itself changes. Change Management also turns out to be more complex. Digitalization is all about the exponential growth of information, rapid speed of changes, hyperconnectivity and interdependence. The emergence of potential opportunities for exploiting digitization is likely to follow a nonlinear pattern as the pervasiveness of an organization's digitization journey increases. The digital ecosystem has also become more complex and dynamic. Therefore, today’s digital leaders need to understand the tide, wave, and the ripple effect of an evolving digital organization in order to manage changes seamlessly.


The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 3 million page views with about #6200th blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The “Digital Master” book series includes 28 books to share insight from the multidimensional digital lens and perceive the multi-faceted impact the digital era upon us is making to the businesses and society. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating new ideas; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify diverse voices and deepen digital footprints, and it's the way to harness your innovative spirit.

The Best “Design Intelligence” Quotes of “Digital Master” Nov. 2019

More and more of work is less about design in its purity and more focused on applying design intelligence to holistic and strategic business initiatives.

"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 “Design Intelligence” quotes in “Digital Master.







1 How to delight customer via customer intelligence and design intelligence is a strategic goal for business to improve its maturity and prosperity.

2 More and more of work is less about design in its purity and more focused on applying design intelligence to holistic and strategic business initiatives.

3 Designers with design intelligence begin to understand that they must design with all business realities in mind, not only those that affect the aesthetics of the end products. Integration is already here.

4 Everything is designed, so everyone is a designer, but very few are trained on how to design well, with high mature design intelligence.

5 An open mind leads to imagination, and imagination leads to discovery. The higher the level at which we are engaged and stimulated to imagine, the more likely we proactively stimulate creativity and improve design intelligence.

6 Strategic oriented designers with design intelligence are excellent problem-solvers who demonstrate in-depth business knowledge, technical expertise, and a rich understanding of users for coming up with innovative and compelling products or services.

7 The “art of the possible” is achieved by leveraging design intelligence and systems intelligence to develop a good innovation strategy, integrate critical business elements into innovation capabilities and manage a balanced innovation portfolio which includes both incremental innovation and breakthrough innovation.

8 There are many changes in an organization to master design work, the point is how to create a business environment for improving design intelligence and risk intelligence.

9 Designers with high design intelligence need to focus more on the future and less on the present. They need to gain an in-depth understanding of the problems and understanding the possible means to problems as well.

The Organizational Learning Scoreboard

 The success of that scorecard will be determined by the components of the scorecard and how meaningful those components are to evaluate learning maturity of the business.

From the past to the future, people are always one of the most invaluable and expensive assets for running the business. They are not static, but human capital which needs to keep invested for the long term business growth. Either individually or collectively, learning agility differentiates high potential from mediocre; at the organizational level, learning agility directly impacts on the top line organizational growth and the strategic competency of the business. A learning scorecard assesses the enterprise learning progress to strategic goals, integrates a way of consolidating and comparing (for cause and effect purposes) metrics relating to a holistic assessment of enterprise learning maturity.

The learning scorecard indicator: The purpose of building a learning organization is to unlock the full potential of the business. It is at best a collection of attributes which one would like to see depending on the holistic view about what a learning organization can be or could be. It provides the business management a holistic view about the enterprise learning performance and progress. Whatever the measurement system is, it needs to be consistent, repeatable and as unbiased as possible. The business and talent management needs to ask themselves and others: How do you design metrics to measure learning and how these leanings are measured? What is the relevant metrics and how can they be quantified and validated? The organizational learning indicators perhaps include cross-disciplinary management issues such as:
- The learning organizational structure and process tuning
- Learning/training management
- Performance management
- Culture management

"Return on Learning" ROL (Return on Learning): Organizations rely so much on their people assets or human capital, to reach their strategic goals and succeed in the long term. To keep business relevant and competitive, there is a need for organizations to understand the value of their human power and how to promote it via developing a culture of learning. As the matter of fact, limitations on learning are barriers set by humans themselves, as learning is a continuous process and everyone has an enormous capacity to learn, Take a look at what is important to your business’s long-term growth strategy, and figure out which metric to use. Often time, the organization may not have the systems and structures in place prior to implementation to actually monitor and track training, learning and knowledge management.

Perhaps it is the right time to start making the distinction between input (training) and output (learning), between an intervention (training) and process (learning). Once you've defined those clearly in the context of your organization that should give you the critical factors you can measure progress on learning. The values of ROL delivers in talent/learning management must be a subset of the organization’s own measure of creating strategic business value and performance result.

Metrics need to be “SMART”: Always keep the end in mind - the ultimate goals of building a learning organization are to maximize customer satisfaction, increase employee engagement and improve business maturity continuously. Metrics themselves won't influence the way people behave, but the way they used will force people to change their attitude, and motivate them to learn and grow. 

It can be helpful if you use a "balanced scorecard approach" in which you have a baseline that is either developed by doing a survey, using benchmark data, historical data or best estimation of 4-6 categories like training scores, employee engagement, etc. Then you create a scale showing best case up to 10, from the baseline, and worst case to 1, with a weight on each. 

First, that metric needs to be “SMART,” so people can see what the outcome will look like throughout their learning journey. Second, there should be a consideration for a balanced scorecard that measures the progress of the milestones you want to achieve during the learning scenario, this keeps people focused. Focus on metrics which help you identify trends, outliers, ask informed questions, create conversation, but ultimately, you manage relationships, not metrics, with the goal to build the organizational learning intelligence.


A Balanced Scorecard is a great idea, however, the success of that scorecard will be determined by the components of the scorecard and how meaningful those components are to evaluate learning maturity of the business. It’s an important tool to diagnose learning or training related issues, bridge organizational learning capability gap, measure learning results and develop organizational learning competency consistently and collaboratively.