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.

Friday, September 30, 2016

The Monthly Insight: How to Ride Ahead of the Change Curve Sep. 2016

Change is the only constant, even change itself has been accelerated.

Change is inevitable, organizational change has become a common practice within an organization, but too often changes are made as a reaction to outer impulses, crisis, and demands. This is the bureaucracy’s way of meeting the challenges. A digital transformation is achieved via dynamic Strategy-Execution-Change life cycle management, though they are not all linear steps, but an iterative, ongoup going upgoing change continuum. How to ride ahead of the change curve and lead change effortlessly?

How to Ride Ahead of the Change Curve        

  • Top Three Challenges in Change Management The pace of change is accelerated, enterprise agility –the ability to adapt to the change is becoming a key factor in driving business success and gaining the long term competitive advantage. But how do you build an organizational change management capability? What are the major challenges on the way?

  • How to Get Ahead of the Change Curve? The change curve is a model of the states that people who are to change will go through because going through the downs of the change curve has a negative impact on productivity, leadership is required to guide people through the different phases in order to flatten the curve and to minimize the impact on productivity?

  • A Resistance Mind: How to Crack it and Manage Change Successfully? Change is the only constant, even change itself has been accelerated, however, more than 70% of corporate change management effort fails to achieve the expected result. Digital means flow, perhaps the root cause of change failure is due to such a static mind, resistant to change, but what is the cause of such a resistance mind which is the other anti-digital thinking pattern (besides silo, noncritical thinking, extreme thinking), how to crack it and manage change successfully?

  • Five Aspect in Leading Change challenges: The speed of change is accelerated, organizations large or small spend significant time and resource to deal with the Big Changes such as radical digital transformation or small changes such as adopting a new software tool. However, statistically, more than 70% of change management effort fails to achieve the expected result, what are the critical elements in change management, and how to weave them more seamlessly to orchestrate a harmonized change symphony?

  • Five Barriers to Change Management Success? Change is inevitable, and organizational change becomes a common practice within an organization, but more than two-thirds of change effort fail to achieve the expected results. What’re the barriers to cause the change failures, and how to make Change Management tangible rather than fluffy?

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

The New Book “Thinkingaire” Introduction: Chapter 8 Progressive Minds

Progress is impossible without change.

The modern society is a dynamic continuum with collective human progress. Real societal progress is made through the work of progressive minds, which can sustain a balance of diversified viewpoints, creativity, discipline; opportunities and risk; individualism and teamwork, democracy and unification; science and art, intuition and analytics. More often, progress is not a universal truth, but a relative truth. What happens is that we think that progress is being made, but then we don’t see progress, because your type of progress may not be a progress at all to someone else. At the individual level, progress is impossible without change, those who can not change their minds cannot change anything. From the business perspective, the progress made through a silo mind can only benefit the individual function, the progress at an organizational level ensures that the business as a whole is superior to the sum of its pieces.

An improving mind: Improvement comes by discovering and exploring self, or change in the self. After awareness and reflection, regulation to change the force of habit is required. Clarity, consciousness, and mindfulness are the requirement for the inner change to occur. An improving mind is all about the desire to learn. If it’s done right, learning should provide a lot of fun and enjoyment, as well as a sense of achievement and a growing bonus of self-worth. Progress represents change. Without change, one cannot even stagnate. She or he will be on a backward journey. Progress itself is change, whether it comes from an individual or group effort, or is induced by environmental and cultural, tangible or intangible forces.

A reflective mind: Life is a journey, we all grow, learn, reflect and we all intend to reach the ultimate level of maturity. A self-reflective mind with the habit of introspection brings the ability to look within and see the true self in the mirror of the heart. Awareness is the light that makes this process easy and smooth. Self-reflection is much needed to know yourself, your thoughts, and opinions more clearly and understand what’s happening around you. Continuous “checking in” on oneself keeps you fresh, every person is unique, trust your intuition more and take the time to celebrate the achievements, but also learn from failures and setbacks. Allow yourself permission to be wrong, forgive yourself more for your decisions, take the consequences. Sometimes you are in the dark, sometimes you are in the light, sometimes you are in an unconscious state, and other times you may be in a superconscious state, it takes the time to come to understand self and what all that encompasses in order to discover a progressive path.

A motivational mind: Motivation is the “cognitive momentum” that comes from consistently applying the habits congruent with the achievement of our goals with progressive thoughts and actions. Motivation is perhaps a combination of several emotions. Motivation is affected by many things, including one’s thinking about the goals, worth, and possibilities. Motivation is the force to guide our behaviors. Motivation makes a difference to everything we do. It infuses a positive kind of energy, which opens up our mind, all motivation is a form of consciousness. It gives you the energy to do everything that you must do. Ultimately the answer lies in focus. A motivational leader is able to foster an atmosphere of enthusiasm, conveying enthusiasm to others is the key element that allows a leader to be effective, motivational and achieve great success in his or her endeavors.

The world is hyperconnected and interdependent, even more often now, progress has to be achieved through collective wisdom and diversity of insight. Only through continuous improvement, human progress can be sustained and the world can move forward with solid speed.

The Logical Scenario for Driving IT Digital Transformation

This is a golden opportunity for CIOs to lead the way by enabling, governing and optimizing the consumer-driven technology and information management.

Technology is pervasive nowadays, business transformations or any business initiatives today nearly always involves some form of technology implementation and information analysis; IT touches both hard business processes and soft human behavior. IT itself is also on the journey of digital transformation, why does IT need to do this, what’s the logical scenario to take, and what outcome IT expects to achieve?

Strength assessment: IT needs to take a look at itself deeply, make an objective assessment of its strength, and seek opportunities to improve itself. The ultimate goal is to push the IT organization to be clear about its position via the company's core business strategy. Once that's clear, the CIO must re-enforce that position by demonstrating every day how IT contributes to it. If IT strategy is not an integral component of the business strategy or the quality of the operation is not aligned with the company's strategy, it needs to be fixed, and the CIO needs to be talking about what it takes to move in the right direction. IT needs to make an assessment via the business lens, to ensure that the “IT Gap,” where people in IT had all the IT answers, is truly closed, and IT needs to simply deal with business issues, and that you need to be part of the business.

Change Curve: Where is the organization on the technology or process adoption curve? The speed of digital transformation is dependent on how fast IT can ride ahead of the change curves: Is the IT organization a pioneer, mature adapter, or laggard? A strategic change for one type is perhaps old news for another. There are many pitfalls on the way, such as the poorly defined scope and objectives, lack of availability of key personnel, lack of knowledge about organizational design principles, lack of resources (money, people, time, etc.), or lack of sufficient knowledge or skills to manage change and transformation. Transformational change needs resolute leadership too, the premise behind this is more than simply obtaining senior buy-in. This is needed to support a cultural change through the change lifecycle which enables everyone, wherever they are in that cycle, to accept the direction and focus on benefits realization. IT needs to have all the necessary structure/ methodology/tool in shaping the new box of thinking and managing the emergent digital complexity in order to ride ahead of change curves and manage digital transformation effectively.

Alliance: Making changes or any type of digital transformation is a collaborative effort, IT leaders need to identify: Who are your sponsors, supporters and who will be your detractors? Who will work with you to overcome the problem, and who will try to kick you when you're down? And how do you overcome the objections or roadblocks that will inevitably raise? Terms such as collaboration, integration, engagement, harmony, link, fuse, affiliation, coalition, fit, match, meld, convergence are frequently used synonymously with the term business and IT alliance. It means having IT and business collaborate as equal partners so that projects, strategies, organizations, people, etc, work in harmony. The strong level of collaboration entails effective communication, partnership, and collective people capabilities to have a smooth transformation and improve IT maturity. Organizations with higher and stronger maturity outperform organizations with lower maturity.

Risks: Often either at the individual level or an organizational level, people resist changes, because change means you have to step out of your comfort zones and take risks, thus, the right risk appetite and attitude, as well as risk management and risk intelligence, are critical in any change and transformation effort. It’s important to integrate risk management into change/operational management. Integrating the discipline factor of integrating risk management into the everyday business model helps to move the organization a couple of steps forward in business excellence. But, as always, the challenge of managing human change and adoption is tough, and those firms that can accomplish this feat will have the ability to tackle other challenges.

Measures: Measuring change is an important step in change and business transformation management. It is the responsibility of the IT leaders to find a way to effectively measure and communicate the value the transformative IT can bring, not just IT internally but benefit to the entire organization. If the other executives are not interested in your figures, that is a sign that you perhaps do not measure the right things from the business perspective, or the numbers are not presented in the right way. Set the strategic goals and measure the result accordingly.

This is a golden opportunity for CIOs to lead the way by enabling, governing and optimizing the consumer-driven technology and information management, which are going viral in the enterprise. Sure, in today's world, technology is driving business transformation, unlike previous eras during which business transformation was driven by business ideas. Take a logical scenario and manage such a digital transformation in a structural way.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Weekly Insight of the “Future of CIO” 9/30/ 2016

Blogging the way to discover the digital path!

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 1.5 million page views with 3100+ blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom. Here is the weekly insight about digital leadership, IT Management, and Talent Management.

The Weekly Insight of the “Future of CIO”  9/30/2016
  • The New Book “Thinkingare” Chapter 3 Introduction: Hybrid Minds: Slideshare: We live in the digital world with all sorts of hybrid solutions. Organizations today are not limited to the physical buildings, but well mixed with virtual collaborations. Social business is perceived as the future of organizations within the hybrid, networked, and extended modern working environment to empower workforce sharing thoughts and ideas, to engage customers and partners voicing their concerns and feedback, and to encourage broader conversations and interactions with the business ecosystem. Hybrid Thinking is a set of interdisciplinary and integrative thinking processes we will need to solve many of today’s complex problems which require strategic consideration, systems intelligence, innovative approaches, cross-cultural and cross-generational perspectives.

  • Running a Simplified IT is not so Simple: Logically, simplifying the complicated thing is an optimal and smart choice either for running the business or solving a problem. However, it is much easier to say, and hard to do. “Keep it Simple,” is one of the most important management principles and philosophy to run a digital IT, but due to the complex nature of technology and overwhelming information, running a simplified IT is not so simple, even though simplification is the optimal level of sophistication.

  • Talent Management Strategic Practices : “Can you Cast the Brick to Attract Jades” People are always the most invaluable asset to any organization. Talent management and human capital investment are the strategic imperative for companies’ long-term growth. Digital leaders should always ask themselves whether the workplace is healthy enough to attract the best and brightest. If any talent gaps existing, what’re the root causes behind it? Having the right person with the right capability in the right position at the right time is always one of the biggest challenges facing any business. Should you apply one of the famous 36 stratagems to develop strategic talent management practices via asking “ Can you cast the brick to attract Jades”? (Having something useful to attach something precious and extremely valuable) .
  • The Monthly Insight: Change Management to Catalyze Strategy Execution    Sep. 2016 Change is inevitable, organizational change has become a common practice within an organization, but too often changes are made as a reaction to outer impulses, crisis, and demands. This is the bureaucracy’s way of meeting the challenges. A digital transformation is achieved via dynamic Strategy-Execution-Change life cycle management. Although Change Management is not all linear steps, but an iterative, ongoing and up going change continuum?  
  • Running IT in a Proactive Mode to Earn its Spurs: In today's digital business environment, information is the lifeblood, and technology touches every phase of the business, IT impact is significant - IT is impacting every business unit and is becoming the driver of business change. However, many IT organizations still run in a reactive mode or act as controller only, slow to change. What are the IT leadership disciplines and best practices to rejuvenating IT in a proactive change mode and earn its spurs?
Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating the new ideas; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes the time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify diverse voices and deepen digital footprints, and it's the way to harness your innovative spirit.

The New Book “Thinkingaire” Introduction: Chapter 7 Paradoxical Minds

Paradoxical Intelligence is a multidimensional intelligence, without broad knowledge, profound insight, and ultimate wisdom, you cannot understand both sides of coin cohesively. 

Paradoxical is an adjective that describes something with two meanings that don’t make sense together. Its greek roots translate to “contrary opinion,” and when two different opinions collide in one statement or action, that’s paradoxical. (vocabulary.com) The global business dynamic is becoming more volatile, complex, uncertain, ambiguous, and paradoxical in many perspectives. Studies show that effective leaders display a marked level of ease and comfort when dealing with a paradox. Leading complex organizations is a challenge that transcends rational management and that requires paradoxical capabilities, behavioral complexity, and competencies that distinguish the great leader from others. How does a paradoxical mind think, and which strength can it bring to improve leadership maturity?

The digital professional with paradoxical Intelligence (PI) is more balanced with emotional excellence: Nowadays, we are shifting into a hyperconnected, and hypercompetitive digital paradigm, unprecedentedly, the physical boundary can no longer limit our thoughts, our communication, and life experience. And more often than not, you have to see the full spectrum of colors and embrace the seemly paradoxical point of views in order to understand things holistically. Emotional Brilliance comes because of balance, not extremes of any kind. Yin and Yang are two sides to the same coin. We need to accept and appreciate both. At a silo, perhaps you only see or understand one side, believe it is right, and then assume the other side must be wrong. But if you stand at the right angle to see the both sides, you know even they are different, but both hold part of truth in it. 

The digital professionals with paradoxical intelligence are more inquisitive and innovative: Interdisciplinarity and paradox are the rare and precious dots to spark the next level of innovation because often creative outcomes may come from recombining ideas in different ways to create the fresh ideas or the new ways to solve old problems. From innovation management perspective, the high “PI” mindset is better at balancing between orders (standardization) and chaos (innovation). The paradox of leadership is about the balancing of asking and answering, leading at the front and leading from the behind, or simply know when it’s the time to lead, and when it’s time to follow.

The doubtful mind seems paradoxical, the wise say, “if you doubt at first, doubt again”: This means that any doubtful situation or thought should not be left unattended, especially when the impact of that situation is possibly large. You cannot leave anything that may put your activities or plans in jeopardy unaddressed. If doubt is a brief precursor that stimulates questioning and learning, then it is a healthy, positive state of mind. When doubt becomes internalized as self-doubt and begins to erode one’s self-confidence, then it is a negative state of mind. Doubt that leads us to strive for knowledge and action for betterment is the only way to grow. The aspects we have to look for: Are doubts about a possible impediment, devising the way to overcome the impediment, being prepared for some en-route “surprises,” either pleasant or otherwise, courage, and the confidence to face unpleasant surprises. Like many other paradoxical characters we are born with, it has to be used in moderation and subjected to examination.

Paradoxical Intelligence is a multidimensional intelligence, without broad knowledge, profound insight, and ultimate wisdom, you cannot understand both sides of coin cohesively. Digital leaders with high PI can orchestrate and harmonize via their unique vision and distinctive abilities to lead differently. And digital professionals with high PI demonstrate learning agility and inclusiveness to solve problems in a more creative way.

Thinkingaire" Book Chapter 7 Paradoxical Minds Introduction
Thinkingaire" Book Chapter 8 Progressive Minds Introduction

Three “Soft” IT Management Disciplines to Drive Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is “pushed” by both visible forces and invisible forces, hard forces and soft forces from multiple directions.

Often, IT is perceived by the business as a big cold, isolated function with monolithic hard boxes and tangled wires, surrounding with IT staff stereotyped as geeks who speak the different language and lack of business acumen to ask insight questions. With emergent digital technologies and increasing paces of changes, forward-looking IT organizations are reaching the inflection point for digital transformation and shift from “T-driven” monolithic type to “I” oriented mosaic style. To soften the"hard image," what are the “soft” IT management disciplines to drive digital transformation?

“Software is eating the world”: Digital IT is running as a software startup, to make continuous delivery, advocate customer-centricity, and help the business improve the top line business growth. Even software management itself continually evolve and improve via following the agile philosophy and a set of principles. Machines, tools, and environments that IT professionals use will become more powerful, easy-to-use and knowledge-base. Being customer centric is key, to scale up, and to make the culture change stick, make continuous delivery via following the three “I”s: Interaction, Iteration, and Improvement. Applications will become more interrelated as we move to a world of systems-of-systems where constraints govern how and what we develop. Software Engineering is no longer just an isolated discipline only a few geeks work on it, but a common practice everyone has the chance to play around it, it has permeated into every business in every location, and it underpins the business capability and brand of every digital organization today.

Change Management (as a soft touch) goes hand-in-hand with strategy management: IT has to address enterprise behaviors and move to an outcome focused, outside-in organization; leaders act as coaches and applying new technology and innovative ideas to the way of working as soon as they stay ahead of their competitors, and have fun doing it. Change Management is considered as a “soft” discipline because there is no hard formula to manage changes and change itself changes. Therefore, don't just rush up to follow the best practice for Change Management in your industry, but invest enough time to discover the root cause of issues. A change agent IT should get deeper understanding the issues facing both internal customers and end customers as well. Change is not for its own sake, it is IT responsibility to identify opportunity for business transformation wherever analysis and assessment indicate the potential benefits of transformation efforts, to oversee the key business process and influence organizational culture, to enable and catalyze business transformation. Digital CIOs should be capable of evolving leadership skills to not only match the pace with changes in technology and the pace at which the organization can effectively manage these changes but also proactively drive changes in business transformation.

Build the people advantage in IT: As businesses become so dynamic, how to develop and manage their people is often the most challenging soft discipline. People need to be developed and grown so the positive energy can flow and collective human capabilities can really be transformed into business strength and competitive advantage. The knowledge life cycle is shortened significantly due to the rapid change in IT industry, more and more businesses are looking for growth mindset, not the fixed brain; hunting for modular problem-solving capabilities, not just linear skills. People Management becomes a well-mixed “hard + soft” holistic discipline which integrates talent management, performance management, and culture management in order to develop a culture of learning and innovation and build optimal people advantage.

Digital transformation is “pushed” by both visible forces and invisible forces, hard forces and soft forces from multiple directions. The effective IT management can reinvent IT as an energetic business partner to delight customers and lead digital transformation seamlessly.