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.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year Reflection: Either you are a Leader or a Follower -What Makes a Good Person?

New Year Wish: May we have the peace in mind, passion in heart and be a good person, first things first.

It is the end of year, before making resolution, perhaps we shall take a moment to do a reflection, regardless of who you are, are you a good person? There are so many things that make a good person good and it depends to a large degree on who is to assess and evaluate what is good - that is, the observers perspective. One important thing, is that each of us defines our own personal values - who we want to be, what is important to us and how we want to act in relation to others - and do our very best to live in line with those values. To show our own ethos in action. Is there a common set of value which make one good?

Treat others as you want to be treated. The ambition of being good is good, to have a positive perspective and influence, and actually trying to do good is being good. Being passionate on what your passion is if it’s also a benefit for surroundings; being emphatic with others; and treat others as you want to be treated.

Be wise - either making decision or making a judgement A good person is someone who tries to make the best decisions with the resources available to them. This doesn't mean they make the best choices, but try to do what they can with what they have. A good person is not equal to the restrictly religious person or inflexible mind, instead, a good person can be creative and flexible to overcome challenges facing mankind.

Be who you are, be authentic: Be professional, be trustworthy. Being good is not equal to have smiles on the face or the expression on the surface. Do not envy; do not hatred, and do not be a rumor monger or back biter. A good person is truly themselves, also shows respect to others. yet understanding self is a journey of change, fostered by either discontent or curiosity.

Make culture (the collective mind and behavior) positive as well. A free mind and a heart without boundaries are about equivalent to being truly oneself. The difference between hell and heaven is in the cages of our mind, only to be locked and unlocked at will. When the collective mind - culture does not respect or vilify a good person, and reward the opposite, then mankind is moving backward.

Make fair judgement: Judgement is always necessary to keep as an option, but should be exercised with caution, especially where information is incomplete, or of a preliminary nature. Making judgments keeps on alive. It is when a judgement is coupled with a built-in bias towards self-righteousness, it becomes dangerous.

New Year Wish: May we have the peace in mind, passion in heart and be a good person, first things first.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

What is the Driver of GRC

Culture and awareness are the most critical aspects of GRC, and can only be implemented in humans.

The important characteristics of digitalization are over-complexity, uncertainty, and ambiguity. Hence, GRC (governance, risk management, and compliance) becomes more critical than ever. Here's the context; how should GRC programs be approached? Should technology be a driver? Can you achieve any level of GRC without automation? Can you achieve any level of GRC without people? What is the real driver of GRC”?

Technology is merely a tool, not the driver. They are simply tools that make the process more reliable and (to an extent) faster. Without the GRC talent,  the "automated" software that being applied would be useless. For an organization embarking on a GRC journey, the GRC program is a journey - and it might be good to start at the top with risk culture (awareness, appetite, attitude, environment, oversight, etc.) You cannot automate all aspects of GRC. However, you can and should automate all areas that don't require human intervention. Just manually keeping records of risks, treatment plans, findings etc. would be completely untenable for the majority of organizations. Identifying which control activities related to which compliance requirements, as any one control can apply to several requirements. Delivering information about the status of risks to all risk owners at all levels in an organization would be equally challenging. Though you can't automate human judgment or decision making, you can certainly automate a lot of the mechanical activities in GRC.

Governance, risk, and compliance are not a single process, but a collection of processes (and other governance mechanisms, such as roles). Indeed, many of the elements of those various processes could be automated. However, any GRC software solution is only a tool to assist in the administration of the function; people still have to decide how to best apply a tool and incorporate the tool into their system. The greatest risk is evident during the human intervention and decision-making not during an automated interface. A good compliance system must have morals and ethics incorporated into it, something a software application cannot do! On the other hand, these types of applications do make the administrative tasks of the function much easier to handle and less work intensive. Technology is a means to work smarter and not harder and that should be one of the many factors when considering a GRC solution.

It is a question of balance. When technology is not properly utilized, it has results that are not optimal for the situation at hand. Judgment is required to consider, install, operate, and utilize any GRC function, whatever its technological capability is. That judgment requires a human brain at present. There are some automated compliance monitoring tools that work very efficiently and effectively, but the applicability of an automated solution would depend on the situation within the organization. Always go back to that old chestnut of "people, process, and technology" to address business issues and it works in the GRC world as well. It is critical to look at culture, staff training, existing processes, and existing technology first, make improvements if necessary, then determine whether new tools would be a good addition to the mix. Overall, compliance monitoring software may be a beneficial aspect of a GRC program, but it can't and won't be a silver bullet for compliance woes.

Culture and awareness are the most critical aspects of GRC, and can only be implemented in humans. You cannot have effective GRC without them. Technology is an enabler and makes things possible that would not otherwise be possible. Technology is a tool that is either used properly as a way to help manage, but there is no such thing as "technology alone" - the human factor is crucial. But technology can automate mundane business processes and allow people to maximize efficiency in areas where technology can not replace the human touch. But governance cannot be completely automated, governance is a fundamentally human activity.

And in the end, you must understand a task to be automated before you automate it. But technology plays a more significant role than ever, either for the GRC program or for business as a whole. This is the 21st century, GRC without automation became impossible about the same time the first accounting programs were released. Technology is a necessary tool, but not a sufficient criterion for GRC. Either in the form of basic productivity tools such as spreadsheets and databases, or in purpose-made applications, to simplify the massive data acquisition and reduction tasks associated with GRC (which includes, but does not subsume, governance), automation has been defined as:
1) the technique of making an apparatus, a process, or a system operate automatically
2) the state of being operated automatically
3) automatically controlled operation of an apparatus, process, or system by mechanical or electronic devices that take the place of human labor.

Human behavior, the desire for simple results, etc. seems to continue to make the "TOOL" the ANSWER, rather than what it was developed to help do. That kind of focus, and vendor marketing to promote their products as the answer rather than a tool, perpetuates the false hope for a one size fits all solution. Regardless of the subject, process, etc. automation is only a "TOOL." It is never the answer to the process. Humans must use that information based on the process developed to make wise decisions and manage GRC effectively.

A Biologist Mind: How Shall you Perceive this “Organic” Digital World?

Our species is at a turning point that requires a significant adjustment in our evolutionary path.

The world is mechanical in the industrial age because business is running as functional silos to achieve efficiency. But the emerging digital era has an “organic” nature and businesses today empowered by digital technologies such as cloud, social, mobile and analytics are more sociological, so what’re the right minds to run such evolutionary business environment, should you shake an ecology of mind or think like a biologist who studies living organisms, often in the context of their environment?

The interconnectivity of organic systems: The organic organization is a “living” thing and purposeful. Here is the bridge: the question is whether meaning affects the evolution of the organism, of the ecosystem, of the mind. It is completely clear that it does. A new meaning that supplants the existing set of meanings and the way they configure relations will at the least flip some genetic switches.

Ecology of Mind is largely about what is qualitatively desirable: An interconnected world with elements sharing a symbiotic relation is in contrast to the reductionist world of Descartes and Newton. But there is surely another dimension. Whichever paradigm (or ontology, as you call it), one might or might not choose the particular approach to work within. For example - even in the so-called reductionist models (frameworks), one might choose to adopt a more joined-up and systemic approach to understanding that world and vice versa for the so-called joined-up one. However, quantity still counts. If you wish to improve something, it is useful to specify what improvement looks like and thus identify some observable attributes. Quantitative metrics (statistics) based on those attributes are useful for comparing alternative tactics/ strategies. Some might think that this is an overly rational approach that is lacking in subjective quality and romance. However, if you become more interested in affect than effect, you are on a very slippery slope, the ecology of mind is analytic, systematic and holistic.

Ecology of Mind: One’s mind directs one’s communication and behaviors: Communication of bodily feelings in a modern society does not have to be 'in person,' but can be projected by various means of communication; TV, internet, radio, print. Misunderstandings in communication, either lacking or willfully ignoring the understanding of constructs of reciprocal signaling, is causing most conflicts between individuals, groups, states and nations. It is the foundation for managing a complex adaptive system.

Ecology of Mind: From competition to “coorpetition”: 'Competition' in biology means the cutthroat struggle for life's essentials. Competition may have different connotations and meanings under different situations or context. Competition is part of the natural dynamics of life. It is part of the genetic bias of every living thing in nature as a survival-seeking mindset. There are ample examples of competitive behaviors in the animal world. That is the basis for their survival and thriving lives. However, humans are intelligent beings, and digital is the age of abundance. If we really are as intelligent as we claim to be, we shall have principles and disciplines to discern the positive motivation or negative energy behind the competition. Whether we like it or not, as long as humans are unique, their mindsets, opinions, cultures, lives, and views etc are equally unique and diversified. That results in both collaboration and competition depending on the context and situations. But many times the competitions turn to be the "one-upmanship, superiority" battles. With today’s digital hyperconnectivity and interdependence, it is time to step into the new hybrid era of "corpetition" (cooperation + competition).

Ecology of Mind: Progress comes from innovative "vision statements"- stories of the future: A truly innovative "story of the future" can literally revolutionize a culture which is the collective minds and habits. And a progressive mind is through learning and reflection. Much of our knowledge is implicit. Implicit knowledge is adaptive, creates schemes and automatic reactions which are necessary for survival. It is largely an associative process based on experience, but from which intuitive concepts can emerge. Implicit knowledge tends to be based on simple one-dimensional cause and effect structures drawn from experience. Because in many circumstances, the knowledge is not accessible (we are not even conscious of it), it is not possible to revise any erroneous notions. Implicit knowledge cannot, therefore, adequately reflect the complexity and non-linearity of the world in which we live. It is the simplistic subconscious notion that often does not fit the complex reality that leads to the 'epistemological error.' What's more, as this knowledge is constantly reinforced by experience, and therefore deeply rooted, and furthermore not directly accessible, it tends to be very hard to influence and change. Implicit knowledge often hinders explicit learning when the material to be learned is in conflict with its simplistic subconscious structures and schemes. This also explains, at least partially, the resistance and difficulty found in teaching systems thinking with its often 'counterintuitive' concepts.

The deep problem that reveals is to understand what are the evolutionary pathways implied by switches we don't understand or understand the potential of. In the meantime, our species is at a turning point that requires a significant adjustment in our evolutionary path. Wherever it may lead to, wherever it came from. And a “biologist mind” that can dig deeper into such living organisms (organizations), and the context of their environment (hyperconnected business ecosystem) will have advantage point in managing such complex adaptive system masterfully.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Is Developing your Employee like Growing a Tree?

It takes wise eyes to identify talent, the growth mind, and systematic approach to developing them effectively.

Digital means flow and continuous improvements, like many business disciplines and technology trends, Talent/Performance Management is at an inflection point, the traditional performance management is out of date in many perspectives, more tailored talent management and ongoing development is a strategic imperative to human capital management today. For example, How shall you identify each employee's talent, which employees are you looking to develop to fit in a leadership position? What systems are currently in place to develop employees?

Employees don't want to be evaluated only, they want to be developed. However, if the evaluation process has a future component to it, it needs to become a way to review and revisit opportunities or challenges. Also, the questions of team development need to have a more meaningful weight when evaluating management's performance. Not just hard numbers. There is the human capital aspect of a job. Let's do away with the performance appraisal and train supervisors and managers to be coaches. Where does an organization start though when management isn't armed or trained with the skills to develop their team? For some organizations, it could take years to develop the managers and shift focus. Managers should build good relationships with their staff. Maybe, talking to your employees about what should be changed and listening to their suggestions on improving performance management systems would be a start.

Great leaders must "walk the talk" by living the company's values, and create expectations of greatness for everyone in their organization. They articulate a vision for others to understand the higher purpose of their work. At a minimum, focus groups (although time-consuming) at all levels would be a necessary first step to help the organization rebuild its performance strategy/processes. This is a goal for most organizations that face the challenge of continuing to use traditional "performance management" (annual appraisals) which is now considered outdated and ineffective vs. ongoing coaching and continuous development.

One of the important tasks of each manager is to help each employee succeed. In most cases, that should be the overriding general goal. Then you teach managers simple ways to remove barriers to performance, communicate what's needed, get information from, and give to employees that is essential for performance, and so on. With regards to systems - although implementing a system to help management development is necessary for large organizations, it definitely isn't the remedy if managers are not committed to coaching and utilizing the system to develop their people. It might take years to get the skill levels of managers up to what's needed, but that's really no different than most positions. It's actually a simple process where, starting with the C-levels, the desired skills and processes are demonstrated to the next level of executive/manager who in turn, is held accountable for learning it, and teaching it to the next level down.

Besides talent management strategy, the PROBLEM is getting movement; and changing the notion of management, particularly performance management that seems set in double concrete. Evaluation is an ongoing process, ideally, it happens daily. Just as a classroom teacher should know what s/he is trying to accomplish with each student every day, the Performance Coach should know the valuable behaviors that need improving, eliminating or maintaining and know the most effective way to do those things. Just like gardeners to grow the plants, they have to know them so well, watering and fertilizing in a different way, some blossom fast, others take the time to get matured, treat them the same by treating them differently.  

It is a big shift from managing people as resources and cost to investing them as asset and capital, from static monitoring to ongoing development, besides wise eyes to identify talent, you need to have growth mind and systematic approach to managing such transformation smoothly.

Agile View of Multi-Dimensional Business Values

Too often the whole system is not considered when measuring success. 

Wikipedia has the following definition for "business value": "Business value expands concept of value of the firm beyond economic value (also known as economic profit, economic value added, and shareholder value) to include other forms of value such as employee value, customer value, supplier value, channel partner value, alliance partner value, managerial value, and societal value. Many of these forms of value are not directly measured in monetary terms."  Is 'Business value' something your Agile process has to take account of, or is that something only the 'customer value’ needs to worry about?

In the above definition, "customer value" is just one part of the total business value.The Agile Manifesto states: "Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through the early and continuous delivery of valuable software." Agile gives you a set of very loose values and rules that you should embrace. If “Customer collaboration over contract negotiation” (Agile Manifesto), does not tell you that the team needs to collaborate with the customer to find the value, then you need to read this again and think about it. However, that "customer value" and "business value" can sometimes be in conflict. One should also distinguish between the organization's own business ("what is best for the company I am working for?") compared to what is best for your organization's clients ("what is best for the end user getting the software we are making?"). The two are not always the same. Notice that the same distinction is still valid even if the "customer" is an internal one. And there is certainly a need to understand the business, and value comes along with that understanding. The process does have to account for the health of the Agile team, as well as the business, at least in some measure. Considering that ask this: a business with no value has what level of health?

Agile is not the place you live in, but the place you go back to. That is really thinking outside the box and if that thinking takes you too far, you have where to go back. That is why Agile is not really something that gives the answers, it is more something that continues to shape the right questions and make incremental improvement. Self-organization without alignment can lead to chaos, and without an understanding of those value-driven outcomes, alignment is pretty hard to come by. Also, those strategic intents cannot be detailed and fixed. As feedback is gathered, values will shift. Creating an organization that measures the right things and continually adjusts to shifting context will create optimal value-delivery.

Too often the whole system is not considered when measuring success. Ask your teams to define business value in terms of outcomes they're helping the organization & customer to achieve and you will often get very tactical responses. To preserve "business value," you need to have a very clear idea of the "product" - its life cycle, the overall "value proposition," where it fits into the overall "product portfolio", the wider competitive landscape and your price/business model. User stories that don't align well with these wider strategies need to be considered very carefully before being put into the backlog. A good example of a business value study is offered by an enterprise artifact called a Value Stream Map. A Value Stream Map is a bigger picture requirements analysis. Everyone's doing their best so focusing on completion of technical implementation details can make it hard for you to see that some of the work being done are not necessary. One of the benefits of mapping things is making visible the work being done and it's impact on the whole system. Since what you produce (software) is invisible, it's easy to ignore the very real and significant carrying costs of excess unused or unneeded code.

Not all business value is directly related to ROI, at least not in the near term. Some features may deliver little to no ROI, directly, but are wonderful marketing tools. Identify stories on the basis of their "strategic" or "tactical" value, as opposed to the "business" or "customer" value components. "Strategic" value items will drive value for current users, however, they also aim to generate a unique value that sets the product apart from the competition. These stories are more proactive, targeting where the market *will be* by the time the feature is completed. They are also more aggressive, as the goal tends to be to grow or capture market share, potentially through product switching. However, business value is mostly gained by the processes and capabilities that are enabled through the glue of several products working together, rather than in user stories for a certain product. You need transparency and alignment between the strategic level of the business and the operational level of the agile teams to be able to achieve an agile enterprise at scale.  

In PM level, Agile methodologies are dealing primarily with "delivery" of (user-identified) value in incremental stages within a single product. Incremental improvements are just as vulnerable to "scope creep" and "feature creep" as any other project; while conventionally this impacts on the cost and time frame for project delivery, it can compromise the business value and lead to a more strategic failure. Typically "tactical" value items impact primarily on existing users and serve to drive business value by protecting on-going revenues/ relationships - these are mostly classic agile "customer value." These stories tend to be highly reactive and serve mainly to defend existing business value that has already been created. In the absence of technology or workflow-driven roadmap identifying and ranking the core organizational benefits that the client/users are after is one approach to simplifying prioritization and how to communicate it within the organization as a whole.

Agile needs to be the philosophy to perceive multidimensional business values. Making the effort at the leadership and portfolio level to quantify value in terms of both strategic value and tactical value; direct revenue and indirect (mission/vision/values) terms is the first step to crafting high-level strategic intents. And at the tactical level, follow Agile principles to deliver customer value is the core of Agile management and methodology.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Multitude of Creativity

There are many differentiating factors to decide how creative an individual is.

Creativity is an innate ability to create novel ideas. Would you consider that creativity is a response to a stimulus and that individuals will manifest different behavioral responses to that stimulus depending on their individual experiences...? What are the personality traits or working environment which decide how creative the individual or team could be?

Creativity, in general, is applied in many spheres of human activity; besides artistic creativity,  most notably in science and technology (the 'nerd'), and political leadership (the 'poly'). From these, you will get direct relationships to various intelligence and how they express in personality types. A schizotypal personality is then a 'perfect storm' where genetics and brain chemistry combine with a creative environment which allows free development of such a personality. Creativity in design is uniquely challenging - in that the product of the creative expression must fit inside very strict constraints (set by another party) and needs to be done under (often) extreme pressures of time, cost and usefulness.

One of the aspects of creativity is the environment: This is where individuals or groups need to generate creative results regularly and frequently, with the pressure of time... but the same behavior is not exhibited by all participants regardless of age…they have different responses which will highlight their sensitivity to accessing their creative potential.  These are the kinds of environments that even if the task at hand was identical, there would be many differentiating factors in the way the two groups approached the task and reveal their creativity. These differentiating factors would at least include; diversity of life experience, cultural heritage, ability to analyze/self-reflect, sensitivity to social judgment/ridicule, habituation, courage, strategic thinking, etc.

Self-confidence is something you build your creative ability: You don't wait for it to happen: the more you do the more you'll learn how to use proper tools and media with dexterity and improve for real. So just express, and improve, accept to enter and engage fully the creative process, express and rectify your steps along the way. The first expression is never the final work. When you were born you were not a finished artwork, and all your life it keeps on going like that: this is self-actualizing. And through that, you do and create (that is the expression of your unique combination of reinterpreting this world), you keep on recreating yourself. You become as you do, and you improve when you reflect and rectify what you have done,; keep the movement on otherwise you might get lost in the fear, anxiety, and problems.

Self-motivation is a significant component in the expression of creativity: While we each have the enormous creative capacity, our willingness to exercise and express it becomes more complicated as we age and compile responsibilities... we are all complex beings with highs and lows and all these feelings are “worthy” of being expressed. If someone has the desire to be curious and involved in a situation, their innate creativity will push them along - to a limited extent. If you consider being creative as a way of thinking...of expression...of seeing things...etc, then it happens every day, multiple times a day. Creativity is innate. If the conditions are right and there is love, support, encouragement, and permission, creativity can be abundant. To a gifted creative talent, being creative is something that they are, whether they're consciously being creative or not. Depends on what you consider creativity and being creative.

It’s about the balance of “inspired creativity” and “uninspired creativity.” Inspired creativity (or creativity for its own sake) seems to take its grounding on a willingness to express it, uninspired creativity (or creativity with limited resources and a specific goal) seems to need the use of more methodical techniques for releasing it, a more rigorous methodology may be demanded by creative environments that need to deliver consistent, frequent results under pressure. In some ways, it is a little closer to the inverse of gold panning (where the valuable ingredients fall to the bottom), in that you are attempting to encourage the creatives to rise to the top and identify themselves. the complexity of this analogy kicks in when you consider that most well-meaning people are able to transform themselves from mud to gold through their conscious behavior.

Creativity is serendipitous, but there are common personality traits such as self-confidence, motivation, reflection, interdisciplinarity, and there’s also a nurturing environment which is supportive and encouraging the seeds of creativity to grow into the fruits.

A Positive Mind: How to Handle Negative Emotions

A really high EQ mind stays positive, self-aware and wise if you get negative vibes, you move away.

Human is not perfect, there are positive emotions and negative emotions; such as joy, anger, grief, worry, fear, sentiments, affection, and the 8th one: envy; the negative emotions such as the malicious envy may evoke the unprofessional or even destructive behaviors to build the walls in people’ hearts and cause the toxic culture in the work, business, and society. So how to handle your emotions and raise your EQ effectively?
True intelligence comes from self-observation and self-management. When you can observe emotions from a distance.. and when you are able to use them ..And indeed for this one will have to be one's own observer.. a close observer. Emotion is there for some purpose not to be withheld but to observe as it is. Leave that judgment of good or bad behind. In fact, you need to observe emotions as a true force, help move with energy in the direction of your purpose. Let positive emotions flow, but consciously manage negative emotions and improve your EQ proactively.

You do have to feel the emotions and live with them through. Emotions work for you. When you become self-aware, when you know the triggers to the emotions, it is very important to own up to your faults..there are brief moments of envy..brief moments of anger..brief moments of despair..all these images play out on the screen of life. As humans, it’s understandable to experience negative emotions.. but do not let the negative ones stay for longer than a moment or two...Their aftermath should have a minimum adverse impact.

The corporate and societal culture shall encourage talent for the betterment of society, but discourage the negative behaviors caused by negative emotions. So good to be a human with all the emotions vibrating. Each emotion helps you evolve. But as intelligent beings, it is important to manage them in a progressive way. By progress, it means the addition of virtue and knowledge to ourselves all the time. We should be positive and respectful..and always seek for greater cognitive connection as well as wisdom. And as the society, the negative behaviors caused by negative emotions should be discouraged, and organizations and society should adore and appreciate those individuals who are directed towards using their superior skills or abilities for the betterment of society.These intellectuals must overcome the fear of ever getting isolated by the society as recognition somehow becomes their need.

Your envy may degrade your integrity or professionalism; your ego is a mask or a costume that you wear in the great play of life, to hide your authenticity; your fear drains energy and thwarts creativity. So the mind with high EQ needs to manage it right, find something positive, you stay with it, and that if you get negative vibes..you move away…

Saturday, December 27, 2014

How to Implement Strategic Workforce Planning Collaboratively

The point is how to fit the right talent to the right position at the right time.

Talent is the most invaluable business asset and human capital investment is strategic imperative for companies’ long term growth. However, from industry survey,  45% or organizations feel they are unprepared to meet their future talent needs and 35% lack confidence in their Strategic Workforce Planning (SWP) process. What’re the biggest obstacles for SWP, how do people, companies and organizations need to rethink their strategies and to work together as partner rather than competitors to compete for the future?

Strategic workforce planning requires collaboration among HR staff, managers & executives. But many organization leave Strategic Work Planning (SWP) to HR alone. SWP really is a collaborative effort. You have to look at it holistically be it as a department or ultimately at the organizational level. What may not be a perfect fit for one vacancy may be the ultimate fit for another. The trick is when you find the TALENT to make sure they get placed into the most conducive environment where they can flourish and make the maximum contribution not just to the business but to their own life. However, in most of organizations, cross-functional collaboration within the business only occurs occasionally, the amount of segregation and number of silos, the lack of co-operation and amount of competition in the workforce are still the business reality today. Of course HR needs to collaborate for SWP but then it always should have been collaborating in all strategic efforts. It isn't magic but it does have a lot to do with leadership and corporate culture.

The point is how to fit the right talent to the right position at the right time. The truth is that everyone has certain talent. There is an abundance of it.  It should be HR's prime responsibility to identify each and every person's talent and tailor the right talent to the right position at the right time. identify the talent with the right attitude and aptitude, add to that at least 10 000 hours of consistent improvement with trial and error, and a can do attitude of persistence, and you will probably get “the right eyes” to recognizing talent when you hire the mind and character, not just search for keywords of narrow skills. It is not just about what paper you have hanging on the wall, it is about what you practically do with it for the betterment of all mankind that is important. It is getting to that next step, when you know it is not about you, but about uplifting others, so you get uplifted as well.

“Just-in-time recruiting” rules the day, but it is ineffective in most of organizations. Whereas the larger corporate community recognizes the need for workforce planning, it has never been widely successfully implemented for the following reasons: (1) Nearly all companies engage in "just-in-time recruiting." When a need is identified, an employee requisition is generated and staffing is tasked with quickly finding the talent to fill the need. But an individual can only be recruited when she is ready to make a move. This meant that timing of need to fill and desire to move was critical...which is seldom the case. (2) Business needs move so quickly that the talent needed tomorrow is very difficult to determine...today. (3) Due to headcount (cost) control, very few companies are willing to give managers and staffing organizations the green light to hire when talent is found, fearing that over staffing would result. Again, just-in-time staffing rules the day. with the just in time nature of recruitment from a historical perspective and therefore it forced people to hunt talented recruiters who had all the keyword searching skills you are looking for and could make immediate impact. It has meant that you didn't train or develop talent for long term,  you reacted and battled spot fires and then once a year you strategically planned knowing that it would only be occasionally used or even implemented.

Look through the alternative talent pipeline and source candidates across-geographical boundary. The talent pool is there but you need to find ways of properly aligning the available skill (always in a state of flux) to the needs of the business. More often than not, you need to look through the alternative talent pipeline, you need to source candidates in multiple global locations, talent is precious and recruiting is like treasure hunting, but talent can be found. Of course this opens up a host of attached debates such as: how is internal talent developed? How to take on early career graduates in a way that they can add benefit quickly (be trained and retained)?, how to retain existing mid-career talent? You need to utilize technology to gather the data from multiple sources & leverage sophisticated analytics in talent management.

As business executives and workforce planning professionals, you have to embrace the business side of HR and all that entails including the risk that thorough analysis, and sophisticated software tools may not be favorable to reflect the lack of impact from the way you currently plan. To change means working more collaboratively and make more wise investment, but done right the outcome is worth the sacrifice.

Visionary Mind vs. Victim Mind

The visionary mind is looking for possibilities; and the victimized mind is focusing upon perceived limitations.
Human society is not perfect, though continually makes progress. In every step of societal evolution, from agricultural society to industrial society; from information age to digital era, in order to pursue freedom, equal opportunity, education, love or happiness, many brave souls became the victims of old traditions or out-of-dated culture; many high potential talent turn to be victim due to the silo thinking, negative emotions, unprofessional-ism or unhealthy competition; and many loyal customers fall to the victim due to the poor customer service or lack of empathy. When facing the difficulty, setback, vilification, bias or any other negativity, what’s your thinking scenario, visionary mind vs. victim mind, which one should you take?

The visionary mind is looking for possibilities; and the victimized mind is focusing upon real/perceived limitations. If nothing else, one can always control how you choose to respond to any stimulus, you might not be able to change "what" happens, but you can choose "how" you will respond to it and what you can "be" to move forward. Every situation and person in life is not what it appears, but is subject to our interpretation of what appears. If confronted with a situation we realize that we have a choice...to stay stuck or to find a way, then those two choices give us possibilities. When we imagine that we have no choice, we often feel like a victim of our circumstances.

The visionary mind thinks in positive way, while a victimized mind reasons with negativity. Positive thinking is knowing you challenges ahead, and have the self-efficacy to deal with them. It helps radar the experience! Although in the primitive of agricultural society or the silo of industrial surrounding, the positivity can be just as much a stuck place as negativity. The digital era shuns the new light to make the big shift, the visionary mind can think the new way to do the things, now the “victimized customers” can amplify their voice via social channel, share their feedback more effectively; the “victimized talent” can climb the social ladder to demonstrate their thought, talent and skills, and make continuous delivery; the “cultural victim” can nowadays more easily migrate into the new nation and live a brand new life, and make effort to breakdown the old traditions. The victimized mind may only focus on damage because it reduces your well-being beforehand and makes you take less action than would be possible. But the right dose of negative thinking does have its advantages, exploring the worst possible scenarios can help prepare for the worst and expect the best, as long as you won’t fall into the completely victimized mind by losing the trust and confidence; character and values.

In many circumstances, people vacillate between the two positions. However that vacillating gives you a better vantage point from which to ask selves "Which stance leaves you in the more empowered position to do something about changing this?" Visionary implies an openness to what is trying to emerge. Which have I learnt by? in order to began asking 'how can we create a better tomorrow' we first have to engage with that we want to change. Engaging with disturbance and discovering 'what is trying or needing to emerge. There' is a learned process which involves mastery of sitting in the fire and remaining open to potentiality. The visionary mind with cautious optimism can shun the light on what the future will look like regardless of the obstacles and setback they got hit.

Digital is the age of change, choices, empathy and people centricity; the visionary minds are in demand to lighten up the dawn of the new era, to make the human progress cohesively, consistently and collaboratively, it is a mind to make peace, shape the character and focus on the future either being glorified or vilified. And it takes the vision to zoom into the future, the strategy to navigate through the journey and the intelligence to act thoughtfully.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Does your Organization Have Too Many Business Initiatives

Prioritization starts with the right mindset. Organizations today are inundated with the sea of information.

Modern businesses can often get trapped into "busyness," overwhelmed with too many projects or change initiatives, and overloaded with the operation and short-term business concerns, what are the root causes of such symptoms, and how to overcome these challenges?

The focus is key. Companies overwhelmed with projects is a common scenario. The root cause of the problem is the lack of connection between strategy and projects. Identifying what generates the most value for the company and expressing that in strategic objectives help managers keep their eyes on what matters. Only initiatives that support the achievement of those objectives should be implemented.

Optimizing the management capacity: That depends on the initiatives, the relationships between them, and the size of the company. Some combinations will be OK, others won't. It all boils down to optimizing the management capacity investments with a keen eye to opportunity costs of all the projects involved.

There are at least four contributing factors to project overwhelming and lack of priority:

(1). Lack of Leadership Effectiveness:  Leadership teams have trouble prioritizing initiatives. The big initiatives all seem important and not doing any of them seems wrong so they bite off more than the organization can chew.
(2). Underestimating Resources: Leadership underestimates the resources necessary to successfully complete each initiative. (Example: HR needs to automate its processes. If you agree to do that, you will need some resources from Legal, IT, Finance, Training and Development at a minimum.)
(3). The ignorance of significant details: The devil is in the details. If three major initiatives all start at the same time they may compete for the exact same resources throughout the year slowing the progress of all
(4). The "whirlwind" of the day to day operations: Organizations are always on and over-complex, there are emerging issues coming out on the daily basis, and it sucks up as many resources as it can regardless of priorities.

Adopt the well-proven strategic planning models focusing on setting employee goals right. There is a lot of evidence that people can't stay focused for long periods of time or focus on too many goals. Several well-known strategic planning models are focusing on giving each employee 2-3 goals that can be done in 90 days. If you give them more time, their sense of urgency falls and the manager's vigilance will be compromised too. If you have 100 people and each of them owns 2-3 specific goals that they could achieve in 90 days, then there are 200-300 goals which can be weaved into a business scope of strategic goals. That is a lot of progress in strategic progress. Managers will see quantitative results and be able to praise or take corrective action quicker. If the goals are scoped right, prioritized right and aligned with the strategic needs of the organization, you'll see more things get done sooner which creates energy, enthusiasm, and momentum. (Caution: When any of these individual goals requires resources from other departments, the goal will have to become a shared goal. Someone in that department will also have to be assigned.)

Prioritization starts with a right mindset -first of all, corporate leaders have to craft an executable strategy, a good strategy can map business goals with employee goals systematically, laser focuses on the most critical challenge business needs to overcome, and also engage employees by co-setting their work goals which are stretch out, but not too stressful. A high performing business can manage both their talent and resource effectively via prioritization and optimization