Sunday, December 10, 2017

CIOs as “Chief Inclusiveness Officer”: How to surge forward in Creating Success Stories?

Being inclusive is a state of mind, and the prerequisite to build a highly innovative organization.

Contemporary CIOs have to wear different hats and play multiple roles in practicing situational leadership. Innovation is the light all forward-looking organizations are pursuing, but people are still the weakest link for transforming IT from a support center to an innovation hub of the business. Thus, in order to become the “Chief Innovation Officer,” CIOs need to become the “Chief Inclusiveness Officer” first, for cultivating the culture of creativity, spotting innovators, creating success stories, and unleashing the collective potential to get digital ready.

There is no innovation without inclusiveness: The focus of inclusiveness needs to focus on cognitive differences, skills, abilities and the wealth of ideas. Because creativity is a combination of divergent and convergent thinking. It’s best to bring a group of people together with cognitive differences such as different backgrounds, capabilities, strengths, etc., together in order to spark creativity. At the individual level, being inclusive means how to broaden the points of interest and try new things to extend your thinking box. Collectively, being inclusive means how to build a fearless and collaborative working environment to spur creativity and scale innovation. Due to the complexity and hyperconnectivity nature of digital, there are more collective creativities happening everywhere than many realize. However, in many traditional organizations, their diversity program is only based on the physical identity of people, and their inclusiveness only works at the very low levels of the organization. The higher the hierarchy the more homogenous the workforce is. It could be the very reason that many talent/leadership development and innovation initiatives fail to achieve the expected result.

Embed inclusiveness into the culture and the business lifecycle: The business leaders must work with the right mindset to create an inclusive organization with every dip in the business lifecycle. It is important for a creative team having people who do not have the same viewpoint of varying issues so that they can complement each other’s viewpoint. Whether the group of people has an amplified creative ability depends on varying factors such as different intent (positive vs. negative), different talent trait (compliant vs. creative), different working styles (enforcement vs collaboration), or different outcomes (disharmony vs. harmony). Since the value of inclusiveness lies in the contributions of the individual to the organization. One of the aspects of creativity is the environment where individuals or groups need to generate creative results regularly and frequently. Generally speaking, an inclusive working environment can stimulate creativity, amplify innovation effect, and nurture innovation success.

Being inclusive means that the organization should focus on learning new things and how to surge forward in creating success stories: Orienting people and making them aware of the inclusiveness of their organization or team, helps them understand the value of harnessing the unique competency and cognitive difference. It is about how to work in harmony for amplifying collective skills and abilities. Effective communication is also important, since different perspectives, and talent, lead to well-rounded ideas which have to be communicated effectively in order to come up with alternative business solutions. Effective communication also helps to build trust in a dynamic digital and global working environment. To produce a high-performing team, the forward-thinking digital organization needs cognitive differences, levels of capabilities, diverse experiences, the spectrum of skills, unique competencies, complementary perspectives and personalities to build the culture of innovation, create inspiring success stories, and unleash business potential ultimately.

Being inclusive is a state of mind, and the prerequisite to build a highly innovative organization. The most innovative business and advanced societies are diverse mixtures of peoples that can spark creativity and amplify innovation effect. Because we can learn a lot from different mindsets with varying thought processes, cultures and positions, so organizations as a whole can be competitive enough to keep surging further and build a dynamic business as the digital powerhouse.


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