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, February 28, 2018

The Monthly “100 Digital Rules” Book Tuning: Innovation Rules and Principles Feb. 2018

A well-defined set of digital rules are not for limiting innovation, but for setting the frame of relevance and guide through changes and digital transformation.

The purpose of “100 Digital Rules: Setting Guidelines to Explore Digital New Normal “ is to establish digital principles and update business policies that can be applied holistically and guide the digital transformation systematically. Digital rules are based on a set of fundamental beliefs behind the methodologies and they help to shape mindsets behind behaviors. Digital rules encourage mindfulness, authenticity, creativity, inclusiveness, and discourage static thinking, silo, and bureaucracy, help to accelerate collective human progress.

     Innovation Rules and Principles


The New Book “100 Digital Rules - Setting Guidelines to Explore the Digital New Normal” Chapter 3 Digital Innovation Rules? Innovation is to transform novel ideas and achieve their business value. Innovation has to result in something which leads to a better state than where we are today. There are many ways to differentiate, and, therefore, there are many ways to pursue innovation. There’s no one size fits all success formula for innovation management success.

The Business 'Rules' for Disruptive Innovation
Shaping a disruptive innovation to fit the market often requires strategies, designs and product introductions that build towards the long-term vision. It demands insight, understanding, patience, persistence, and courage, among other things. What are the more specific ‘rules’ for creating disruptive products and innovations?

Innovation vs. Rules? Innovation is to transform novel ideas and achieve its business value. Innovation is doing something better than it currently is. Hence, it requires a sound and competent understanding of what is currently being done. Innovation is not serendipity, it's a mindset, a process, and the strategic business capability nowadays. From innovation management perspective, should innovators break rules, or does innovation need rules, and how to improve manage innovation effortlessly and improve its success rate?

Do the Rules Stifle innovation? Innovation is to transform the novel idea and achieve its business value. It is a business discipline which can be managed. In many organizations, perhaps there is an innovation department specifically setting the rules to take charge of innovation. The paradox is that all creative activities are subversive in questioning the status quo. Setting rules and goals for creativity goes against the very nature of creativity and thus inventiveness and innovation. So does innovation department stifle innovation? Isn't there a more fundamental problem with innovation failures? What should be done if the rest of the company is hostile to innovation? Should the company give up on innovation??

Digital Innovation Credos Digital is the age of innovation. Digital innovation has a broader spectrum with hybrid nature, it is the incremental improvement- radical innovation continuum. To improve innovation success rate, organizations should follow the digital principles, fine-tune processes, identify innovation leaders and champions, understand innovation paradoxes, and well-set innovation measurement. Here is a set of digital innovation credos.

The blog is a dynamic book flowing with your thought; growing through your dedication; sharing your knowledge; conveying your wisdom, and making influence through touching the hearts and connecting the minds across the globe. The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2.2 million page views with about #4500 blog posting. Among 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating the new ideas; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes the time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify diverse voices and deepen digital footprints, and it's the way to harness your innovative spirit.

Take a Balanced Scoreboard Approach to Making a Leap of Digital Transformation

With a balanced scoreboard, the management can become more confident and more accurately judge the coming curves and obstacles on the path.


The purpose of managing performance is about setting performance measurement to evaluate the status of strategy management, making objective assessments, adjusting plans, setting metrics, evaluating performance and understanding results. Digital is not a one-dimensional technology upgrade only, it is multi-dimensional business expansion. A well-balanced scorecard measuring key strategic performance indicators provide the management team both a data-based story and a holistic picture on how to fix critical issues and make a leap of digitalization.






The digital transformation scorecard helps to connect multidisciplinary management dots: A scorecard assesses the progress of the set goals and provides the business management a wider perspective on its strategic decisions about digital transformation by considering the impact on finances, customers, internal processes and employee satisfaction. A well-balanced scorecard measures key strategic measures along with the things that drive those measures. The well designed balanced scoreboard with well-selected metrics can harness information-based communication and lead to continuous improvement. It is a matter of leadership guidance to steer the journey of digitalization in the right direction via understanding the purpose of doing that and engaging on that. Performance management is not an isolated management discipline. At the executive level, performance management should get the management to sit down and connect multidisciplinary management dots to tell the full story with the business context, and ensure the business as a whole is superior to the sum of pieces. It is critical to define the right set of measures which should cover all areas that contribute to business value creating.

The digital transformation scorecard allows you to focus on the most important things and tailor the needs of varying business stakeholders: A well designed balanced scoreboard helps to measure things really matter, and ensure that these measures are quantitative, and implement whatever mechanisms you need to be able to gather the information and measure them in an objective way. Without scorecards, it will become like searching for a needle in the haystack. It is also important to provide a “balanced” view of tradeoff variables. A balanced scoreboard is very useful for facilitating discussions and ensuring decision makers understand the various trade-offs and make the overall strategic balance, business dependencies, and constraints between components, individuals, and overall risk exposure. Thus, it takes skills to design effective scoreboard. The right sets of metrics are those used to inform the multidimensional performance result tailoring varying business stakeholders, to drive people engagement throughout the enterprise for improving business performance ultimately and accelerate business changes relentlessly.


The digital transformation scoreboard measures the outcome of the change and digitalization: There are operational changes, technological changes, and behavioral changes. There are incremental changes and transformative changes. You are leveraging balanced scorecard in measuring the outcome of the change. That metric needs to be “SMART.” (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound). Ultimately, the success of the change program is measured by results that are important values to the organization. People can see what the outcome will look like throughout the transition, and then there should be a consideration for a balanced scorecard that measures the progress of the goals you want to achieve. The balanced scorecard measures key strategic performance indicators along with the things that drive those measures. If these values have not been clearly identified at the outset, you cannot get the true alignment of your organization and all working toward the same goals and outcomes, you lack clarity and purpose of direction for changes. It is important to measure performance, create Key Performance Indicators, monitor, and measure before and after for validity and value proposition to the organization. The ultimate goals for change measurement are to harness communication, optimize the organizational structure, streamline processes and systems, improve performance, accelerate growth, and maximize the business potential.

The digital transformation is a radical change. The successful businesses are the ones that can manage change fluently in a structural way via leveraging the balanced scoreboard approach. Measuring change involves first accurately identifying where you are now, and then clearly identifying where you want to be. With the support of measurement, the management can clearly evaluate each stage of change, and point out clearly wherein the business gets the benefit of taking up the activities so far to form a stepping stone for the big jump. With a balanced scoreboard, the management can become more confident and more accurately judge the coming curves and obstacles on the path, and get into actions in a creative, positive and proactive way, to lead the digital transformation journey smoothly.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The Digital Traits of Board Directors

Digital boardrooms are innovative, performance-driven and advanced to lead the trend of contemporary leadership and create the momentum for the digital paradigm shift.

At today’s digital dynamic, as businesses change shape, size, expansion, and transformations, they need conditioning, improvement, and navigation. Board directors are the directorship and leadership role, to help the organization steer in the right direction, to explore unknown, and have confidence and insight to take the right path for reaching the destination. Digital boards as the strategic advising role are also the “mastermind” behind digital transformation to oversee strategies, set policies, catalyze changes, and monitor performance. The real BoD’s dilemma is that driving the business forward is extremely difficult, it means looking into an unknown future and attempting to define the landscape with its risks and opportunities. What are the digital traits of contemporary board directors, and how to improve the digital boardroom effectiveness and maturity?

“T” shaped expertise:
Most of the board directors are seasoned executives with years of experience. As a senior leadership role, they should be the specialized generalists with “T” shaped expertise. The high performing board is composed of those who can complement each other’s expertise, close blind spots via cognitive difference, and bridge decision-making gaps via updated knowledge and unique insight. The breadth and depth of the “T” in the context of the boardroom has to respond to the business challenges such as continuous digital disruptions often led by emerging technologies, or the overwhelming growth of information and shortened knowledge cycle. To digitize the boardroom, the T-shaped directors are in demand to bring the breadth of the business ecosystem or the across-industry perspective and the depth of the domain knowledge and expertise to the table. The vertical bar of the “T” represents depth in one field, the horizontal bar represents the ability to collaborate across other disciplines and to apply knowledge in areas of expertise. The "T" metaphor is something invented to talk the talk of managers in over specialized industrial settings. The great board directors are lifetime learners who become more rectangular shaped and display more deeply skilled in many different areas, and they keep gaining strength and expertise in new areas as they continue to grow and gain strength and practice leadership influence. Collectively, the digital board with a blend of expertise and capabilities can foster a culture of innovation and improve boardroom digital readiness and leadership maturity.

Multidimensional Intelligence: Besides IQ and EQ, today’s board directors should present multidimensional intelligence in order to make sound judgment and advise executives with a unique viewpoint. A mind with multidimensional intelligence has better abilities to minimize biases, be cautiously optimistic, be an effective listener and be more creative. The board as the senior leadership team should take cautious of those static mindsets which are clouded by past experiences sometimes inflating the ego; by conventional wisdom causing unconscious bias; or by emotional burden leading poor judgment. Today’s digital leaders must present multidimensional intelligence, in order to shift from bipolar judgmental to multidimensional discernment. With “VUCA” digital new normal, often the answer to many business questions is not just “right,” or “wrong,” but there are many shades in between. To lead effectively, the board needs to be able to leverage diverse viewpoints via listening, brainstorming, and questioning; make effective decisions via applying critical thinking, creative thinking, independent thinking, strategic thinking, and systems thinking, and become the “mastermind” behind the digital transformation.

Profundity: The board as the directorship role has to exemplify leadership profundity, be able to see beyond obvious, or look around the corner, to gain the deep insight, in order to dig into the root cause of the problems or set the good policies to encourage progressive changes. Many times people make a poor judgment, not because of ignorance, but because of the lack of deep thinking or contextual understanding. Great leaders lead by influence, not via brute force. Insightful leaders not just talk at the front but observe from behind. Profundity is the essential leadership trait to define and differentiate the senior leaders such as the board directors from the rest. The profound leaders have high influence competence, and will be more flexible and less rigidly tied to the top-down, command-and-control environment, they can lead via expertise,  insight and they are open to change. The key to digitizing the boardroom and catalyze the organizational success is to integrate the next generation of leaders, tap into their way of looking at the world, solve problems with very collaborative working styles, evaluate talent cohesively, and mind the business capability gap seamlessly.

Adaptability:
We live in a world where change is the new norm and if we don't embrace it, accept it, roll with it or make it happen, we're not going to be successful. While there are many components of leadership, one of the most important ones is the ability to adapt, model and influence change. The is particularly important in the boardroom. Because great board directors play a critical role in steering changes and driving digitalization. The leadership team such as board must push the change agenda, and pull the resources to achieve it. Each person has a different level of knowledge (the consciousness about a problem) and reacts to environmental changes. Change and learning need to go hand-in-hand. Without learning agility, you cannot make change progressively. The learning plasticity significantly enforces people’s adaptability. It also makes it possible for everyone to be on the same page speaking the same language and fosters an atmosphere of openness and innovation in the board to accelerate digitalization at the top.


Innovativeness: Digital is the era of innovation. BoDs are, in fact, in the unique position to practice out-of-the-box-thinking and bring a broader perspective to complement the business management’s possible “tunnel vision.” BoDs should participate, or even lead in the area of innovation from outliers’ viewpoint. The corporate board should play a significant role in both innovation management and management innovation. It is about how to remove reactive thinking and negative self-talk, and add proactive interactions no matter what is the situation; eliminate stereotypical thinking and leverage intuitive listening to challenges conventional thinking as a sole path; adds the new perspective via intuition. Innovation is too important to leave solely in the hands of the management team without any oversight from the board. Digital boardrooms are innovative, performance-driven and advanced to lead the trend of contemporary leadership and create the momentum for the digital paradigm shift.

In today's work environment, change is happening at a more rapid pace. Leadership is all about change via a clear vision and multidimensional intelligence. No one will have all answers, the success of the digital transformation is based on open leadership, seamless collaboration and collective effort. The exceptional BoDs who present the above digital leadership can amplify their leadership influence and enhance boardroom maturity.












Why is IT still Portrayed as the Cost Center?

Digital CIOs have to have a clear and big picture of the company's core business and goals, in order to reinvent IT reputation and lead IT strategically and profoundly.

With the abundance of information and emerging digital technologies, opportunities, dangers, and disruptions are around every corner. IT touches both hard business processes and soft human behaviors, and plays a crucial role in driving changes and making a leap of the digital transformation. However, based on the fact that most IT organizations still get stuck at the lower level of maturity, forward-thinking IT leaders should ask themselves: Why is IT still portrayed as the cost center, and how to reinvent IT as the growth engine of the digital business?

IT is portraited as “order taker” only when they only react to the business's request: 
Traditional IT organizations focus on keeping the lights on, taking orders from the business to fix immediate problems. When IT departments that are set up as a shared service, and consider their "customers"  internal users only, they end up as order takers. This is when IT organizations are often in businesses or business units where IT offers little or no competitive advantage. In order to reinvent the digital reputation of IT, IT leaders should make an objective assessment of IT organizational maturity. Is IT strategic or tactical? If the organization is strictly tactical, yes, IT is an order taker. Is IT a service provider or a business solutionary? If IT is equal to the help desk mechanism or being thought of as “unnecessary overhead,” yes, IT is an order taker and cost center, you have effectively become a commodity. To reinvent IT reputation as the value creator, CIOs need to be able to recognize the struggles of the company by understanding the business beyond IT, CIOs should be invited to the big table,  bring the table real value and contribute to the top line of the business. So, it is an advantage if the CIO has diversified experience, interdisciplinary knowledge, or technical expertise to identify IT visions and gaps between IT service and business operation, and ultimately, eliminate the gaps. Instead of reacting to the customers’ requests, IT should be running to take business initiatives proactively, either for leading changes systematically or optimizing organizational structure and business ecosystem to improve its effectiveness and fluidity continually.

Traditional IT organizations are perceived as the controller, slow to change: Traditional IT has a reputation as a controller and traditional IT leaders often apply “Command and Control” (C&C) management style to either manage people or control the technology usage of the business. However, with the service-on-demand model and the lightweight digital technologies, the business can bypass IT easily to order IT services from the third party if internal IT does not present a competitive advantage. IT needs to become more competitive for building a great reputation as a trustful business partner. The reason most of IT organizations get stuck in the lower level of maturity and being perceived as the controller and digital laggard is that they are too busy on fixing the symptoms or taking care of immediate problems. To reinvent its reputation, digital IT need to become the change agent of the company. IT is also something to have the IT resources (people and operational IT processes) refined to the point that they are nimble, can adapt to changing business demands in a timely fashion, can be reapplied to altering business priorities and be effective with the little down curve.



Traditional IT is often portraited as the cost center because doesn't have a full picture of IT contribution: IT performance is only evaluated via inside-out lens, with the measurement that the business is not interested in, often, it is perceived as the cost center, because businesses don’t know how IT can contribute to the revenue growth of the company. The right set of ROIs is the best way to demonstrate the value of IT, to make IT investment more transparent and measurable, to create the synergy and differentiated capability for business growth. IT should also help the business improve net profit, by reducing the cost of doing business, leveraging right sourcing and sizing, and maximizing output, etc. IT must be measured through a business viewpoint. Set right KPIs to measure the level IT contribution. If CIOs are perceived as business executives, they should be able to demonstrate revenue generating expertise. Exemplify how IT directly impacts productivity or innovation. if IT part cost remains constant in terms of value compared to gross; IT is then contributing to productivity increase. If IT leaders can articulate their effort on business innovation both qualitatively and quantitatively, IT is on its way to becoming the innovation engine of the digital business. CIOs are taking on responsibilities outside of the IT domain, and in some cases with direct revenue generating responsibilities. They can articulate the existing and potential value of IT via a language and measurement senior executives understand quantitatively.

To reinvent IT reputation as the value creator and running a high proficient IT means a lot of things IT has to master, such as operational excellence, innovation, performance, change, integration, modernization, optimization, intelligence, value creation, speed, and maturity, etc. CIOs have to have a clear and big picture of the company's core business and goals to lead strategically and profoundly, manage a “run, grow, and transform” portfolio skillfully, and accelerate IT performance and unlock the full digital potential of the business.












Monday, February 26, 2018

The Monthly Digital CIO Spotlight: The Digital Traits of Modern CIOs Feb. 2018

Modern CIOs have many personas and face great challenges.

Modern CIOs have many personas and face great challenges. It is not sufficient to only keep the light on. Regardless of which industry or the nature of organization you are in, being a digital leader will need to master the art of creating unique, differentiating value from piles of commoditized technologies. Information is the lifeblood and knowledge is the power of modern businesses. All leading businesses across the vertical sectors claim they are in the information management businesses Here is the monthly spotlight of the modern CIO’s digital traits.
                   
      

 The Digital Traits of Modern CIOs   

Innovative CIOs’ Digital Profiles CIO is one of the most sophisticated executive leadership roles in the business world today due to disruptive nature of technology and exponential growth of information. CIOs need to be Chief Information Officer, Chief Integration Officer, Chief Interaction Officer, Chief Improvement Officer, etc. But still, one of the most appropriate titles for CIOs is “Chief Innovation Officer,” because digitalization opens the new chapter of innovation. CIOs need to present entrepreneurial spirit, learn to think and lead innovatively, take calculated risks while nurturing contingencies, and growing great talent, etc.

Three Digital Traits to Become a Sophisticated Modern CIO Due to the disruptive nature of technology and fast-growing information, and in a world where practically every aspect of nearly every business, as mundane and detached from IT either sales or accounting, is wholly dependent on IT to a high degree, the CIO role is perhaps one of the most sophisticated executive positions in modern businesses because they have to wear multiple personas to practice situational leadership, and keep reinventing IT to adapting to changes all the time. For the modern CIO, that simply means being a proper "C-level" leader to amplify leadership influence and a tactical manager to keep IT running flawlessly at the prevailing level of sophistication. Here are three digital traits to become a sophisticated modern CIO.


Three Clarity to Excel CIO Digital Leadership Effectiveness? The disruption of IT will continue. IT matters not only because it’s pervasive, more about it continues to advance, and it’s the nature of the "constructive disruption.” Embracing digital is inevitable as that is now part of the reality. IT needs to become the game changer for the business. Thus, the CIO role also continues to be shaken up, refined, reinvented and reenergized. CIOs have to both walk the talk and talk the walk, master learning, change, and innovation. Here are three clarities to excel the CIO digital leadership effectiveness.

Enhance Digital CIO Personas with Enriched Leadership Portfolio: Overall speaking, CIO is the leadership role, how CIOs provide the appropriate leadership and how they convey to leverage IT for the business value depends on the CIOs' vision and leadership strength and style. With increasing pace of changes and fast growing information, clearly, the role of IT and that of the CIO is going through significant changes. Because every company is in the different stage of the business growth lifecycle, thus, every CIO is different and whatever the management team needs or wants at the time out of the CIO will also be different, and by the type of business needs will be different. Thus, the CIO role needs to be continually reimagined, refreshed, and reinvented.

Contemporary CIOs with Strong Mind are In Demand to Accelerate Digital Transformation? Compare to the other executive positions, the CIO position has a shorter history, but a more dynamic role to play due to the continuous changes, abundant information, and disruptive digital technology. The digital trend is that more and more CIOs have cognitive difference and diversified experiences and background, to become “Chief Innovation Officer” for discovering better ways to do things; to become “Chief Insight Officer” for bridging leadership gaps and bringing fresh viewpoint; to become “Chief Improvement Officer,” for solving business problems and making continuous delivery. The stereotypical CIO as the IT geek to “keep the lights on” only or as the controller to avoid risk is a sort of outdated perception of contemporary CIOs. Digital CIOs with “strong mind” are in demand to innovate, optimize, and accelerate digital transformation

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2.2 million page views with about #4500th blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating the new ideas; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify diverse voices and deepen digital footprints, and it's the way to harness your innovative spirit.

The New Book “Problem-Solving Master” Quote Collection 3

The lack of in-depth problem-solvers is a significant problem for the world.

The purpose of “Problem-Solving Master - Frame Problems Systematically and Solve Problems Creatively“ is to throw some light on how to understand, frame, and solve today’s multilayer, interdependent, and over-complex business problems effortlessly. Digital leaders and professionals should self-aware of their role in problems, show professional maturity, and develop a good reputation as the problem-solver.

38 Sense and deal with problems in their smallest state before they become the flame of the day.

39 Both tangible and intangible variables are important to problem-solving.

40 There are critical thinking deficiency and insight scarcity in today’s society, which significantly cause more problems, and make existing problems worse.

41 Problem-solving has a very wide scope and takes the interdisciplinary approach.

42 It is important to challenge, debate, and learn the nature of each other through the aspect of dynamic and respectful dialogue, to close blind spots and bridge cognitive gaps.

43 When people are empowered, intrinsically motivated, and dare to be creative to take initiatives and self-confident, they can become the real change agents and problem-solvers.

44 Silo thinking builds the wall in people’s mind and sets barriers in human’s heart.

45 The lack of in-depth problem-solvers is a significant problem for the world.

46 The company that only fixes a symptom, not the real problem, stifles communication, changes, and innovation.

47 The business will be more successful when they realize that one of their greatest strengths will be their problem-solving capability.

48 Digital management is responsible for designing, enabling, and mastering collaborative, innovative and intelligent problem-solving.


The New Book “Problem-Solving Master” Book Introduction

Three Digital Trends: “Less is More”

 Digital disruptions are inevitable, and digital transformation is unstoppable.

The digital world is dynamic, nonlinear, uncertain, and volatile. As we all know the only "Certainty" or a "Constant" is "CHANGE." Uncertainty is a given, just as it has always been and always will be. Digital makes the business flatter and the world smaller because of its nature of hyper-connectivity and interdependence. The digital paradigm shift is the transformation that is reshaping our thinking and recasting the way we view ourselves, the systems of which we are the part of the environments. The digital age has overwhelming data, abundant information, and frequent changes. However, “more” is not always better. Here are three digital trends of “Less is More.”

BoundaryLESS: Organizations rooted in the industrial era are composed of functional silos and overly restrictive hierarchy. Spanning boundaries limit the organizational potential and innovativeness. Today’s emerging digital technologies enable companies to leverage their various environments, or ecosystems. The mechanistic production metaphor is replaced with the organic service metaphor because the digital organization is more like the living thing with an organic nature. Digital technologies blur the functional, business, and geographical territories so information can flow more freely across business ecosystem. Digital businesses are boundaryLESS, technology centrism becomes multi-disciplinary, the linear system perception is replaced by the nonlinear adaptive system. The goal-seeking systems become more purposeful, and technical behavior is replaced by socio-technical behaviors. The digital organizations become so hyperconnected and interdependent that you cannot separate things properly or you couldn’t predict the actual effect of nonlinear interaction straightforwardly. The collaborative platforms enable companies to integrate the critical components to adopt more modular, multi-layered and expanded boundaryLESS organization. Digitalization is a multidimensional evolution based on scientific, artistic, philosophical, psychological, sociocultural, sociotechnical, socioeconomic,etc., lens. These dimensions interact and mutually influence each other to shape a dynamic and highly intelligent digital business. Digital organizations achieve balance and flexibility across the spectrum of a "local"/"specific" to "global"/ "holistic"/ "systemic" (boundaryless /trans-epistemic)/ "whole-systems" elaboration.

FrictionLESS:
In the traditional organization with the lower level of maturity, the business is struggling with overly restrictive hierarchy and bureaucratic mentality, the friction to change is the very obstacle to move up to the next level of business maturity. Digital is all about flow, mind flow, data flow, information flow, and business flow. It means the increasing speed of changes, hyperconnectivity, and always-on business dynamic. To break down silos and run a frictionLESS organization, organizations can build a highly integrated business platform, fine-tune organizational structure to enable business flow, idea sharing, harness cross-functional communication, and collaboration. What now has to be understood are the digital dynamics of the business ecosystem within which the business is competing and with which the business is unavoidably entangled - the business dynamics driven more by horizontal linkages than by vertical (sovereign) accountabilities. From people management perspective, bounded groups, homogeneous team setting, or insular tribes are evidence of silos and the root cause of the multitude of business gaps and friction of changes. In a frictionless digital workplace, supporting multiple paradigmatics of demand means working with multi-sided forms of demand supported by correspondingly multi-sided platforms. People are able to work across disciplines to either solve complex business problems or overcome common challenges, and the business possesses the integral capability to manage digital transformation frictionlessly in a structural way.


RelentLESS: Digital businesses are always on and hyperconnected. Digital leaders and professionals today must be the relentless change agents who can keep learning and adapt to changes proactively. It requires vision, focus, and strategy. To drive a seamless paradigm shift, break the digital journey down into several stages on the roadmap. Each stage is being a point where in business gets the benefit of the activities so far or taken up the activities so far to form a stepping stone for the next big leap. By focusing forward, businesses are able to more accurately judge the coming curves and obstacles on the path, and get into action in creative, positive, productive ways. By leveraging the latest digital technologies and tools, change agents have courage, capabilities, and resilience to self-drive and drive others for making progress relentlessly. Pushed by the waves of changes and continuous disruptions, organizations have to keep improving, evolving, and innovating for reaching the next level of high performance and business maturity.

The digital business ecosystem is open, fluid, dynamic and energetic. Digital disruptions are inevitable, and digital transformation is unstoppable. Organizations shouldn’t just respond to them in a reactive way, it is the strategic imperative to drive a frictionLESS, boundaryLESS, and relentLESS digital transformation journey. In this regards, “LESS” is more for maximizing the full business potential and achieving the high-performance business result.



Sunday, February 25, 2018

The New Book “Problem-Solving Master” Quote Collection 2

Either running a successful business or living a progressive life is a problem-solving continuum.

The purpose of “Problem-Solving Master - Frame Problems Systematically and Solve Problems Creatively“ is to throw some light on how to understand, frame, and solve today’s multilayer, interdependent, and over-complex business problems effortlessly. Digital leaders and professionals should self-aware of their role in problems, show professional maturity, and develop a good reputation as the problem-solver.

19 The business or societal progress is made via a healthy cycle of problem framing and problem-solving continuum.

20 Information-based problem-solving is about how to capture information-based insight and foresight in making right business decisions timely and solving problems effectively.

21 Pattern thinking enables to capture deep insight into complex problems systematically.

22 Businesses need both: “Out of the box” and “shaping the bigger box” type of innovative problem-solving.

23 The point is, framing the right problem is equally or even more important than solving it.

24 Change, creativity, and problem-solving are all important perspectives for driving the business forward.

25 Creative needs a purpose, and creativity needs a problem.

26 “Out of the box” problem-solvers have developed a series of habits to connect the dots effortlessly and trigger creativity frequently in order to solve problems elegantly.

27 Either running a successful business or living a progressive life is a problem-solving continuum.

28 People who can solve problems in a new way are the innovators.

29 Diversity with cognitive differences can stimulate creativity and come out unconventional solutions to thorny problems.

30 Begining with the end in mind for either solving the problem or creating a strategy.

31 You have to dig through the mindset level to diagnose the root causes of problems, and you need to leverage Systems Thinking in framing problems as well.

32 In a broader sense, Systems Thinking is a path to greater awareness for framing the right problem.

33 Systems Thinking provides a structured process and takes consideration of the rage of options.

34 The purpose of Systems THinking is to frame and solving problems for creating desirable futures.

35 A drop of oil on a sprocket will eventually lubricate the whole chain.

36 In general, the qualitative analysis or constraints come from the macro level; the quantitative measures or energy comes from the micro level.

37 A system has to be outcome focused, with the desired end state.

38 Systems Thinkers shape a worldview based on the realization of interconnectedness.


The New Book “Problem-Solving Master” Book Introduction


What are your “Digital Taste” to Accelerate the Collective Progress?

The high mature digital organizations are highly innovative, high caliber, holistic, and delightful, with the high digital taste which means free and progress. 

Many forward-looking organizations are at the inflection point of digital transformation. It implies the full-scale changes in the way the business is conducted, such as mindset, talent, skills, capabilities, processes, and technologies, etc. Improving business maturity means that organizations have to move up from functioning to firm to delight, to achieve both high performance and high quality. Homogeneity, primitiveness, and stagnation are tedious and tasteless. Besides hardcore competency, digital leaders must have the great digital taste to build an ultra-modern digital organization and accelerate the collective human progress.

Dynamism: Today’s digital organizations are hyperdynamic and people-centric, dynamism consists in being able to break away from static or stale, and being fluid and proactive. Either for the individuals or the businesses, if you stick and restrict, you cannot be dynamic. You have to be open to change. Digital dynamic enables companies to leverage varying business elements to chase innovation and accelerate business performance via cross-functional communication and collaboration. The high taste of digital means openness, responsiveness, innovativeness, and fluidity. Building a dynamic digital workforce is to provide a creative working environment with the necessary resource to improve productivity, creativity, and employee engagement. In the creative digital environment, we will come across new things or get impregnated with enthusiasm; stop creating boundaries, take long leaps or wide jumps, dive deeper, embrace the challenge to live a life with the curious mind and discovering eyes, stretch your limitations. Running a dynamic business needs to practice dynamic planning, develop dynamic teams, and build dynamic business capabilities. Digital organizations are becoming smarter at reaching consumers, in a targeted, highly responsive, and deliberate way. Consumers are becoming smarter at consuming and providing direct feedback to the organization dynamically. Running a successful dynamic digital organization means that you have to be open to changes, be informative to act, be flexible to take alternative paths, be nimble to adapt, be intelligent to decide, be elastic to scale, be resilient to recover, and be innovative to thrive. Change is unavoidable, dynamism is the high digital taste. Firms that are skilled at managing digital dynamic can gain advantages in profitability, speed, business growth, and innovation enforcement.

Hybridity: Being hybrid means to take "BALANCE" as the digital management principle. In this regard, bias or polarity are tasteless. In order to make a solid digital transformation, there are many seemly paradoxical, but indeed coherent business elements in running a high-effective digital organization. It requires taking the hybrid approach - combining the old way to do things and the new way to explore; take the balance of traditional hierarchy and flatter structure. Digital transformation is inevitable, and often the emergent digital technologies with the high degree of digital convenience are imposing forces of digital disruptions and change drivers. Thus, running a hybrid digital organization is about how to balance change and stability; innovation and standardization; existing structure and emerging digital platforms and tools. From innovation management perspective, it is hard to think of any innovation as not a hybrid, a combination of something old with something new or a number of new things. Although all innovations are disruptive of something or some behavior to some degree. Enterprise innovation management is an incremental-radical innovation continuum. You could consider all innovation by hybridized in that sense.


Inclusiveness: If homogeneity or conventional wisdom becomes tasteless due to the ever-increasing speed of changes or shortened knowledge cycle. Do you find yourself getting inspired, challenged or intimidated by people of a different background from you? The first most successful societies were diverse mixtures of peoples. It has always been so. Ask yourself who does better, a small gene pool or a large one. Many large multinational organizations have certain “diversity” best practices. However, if inclusiveness is not embedded in your business culture or the change or management mechanism, sometimes, such practices even divide your workplace further; and become tasteless sooner or later. If labeling people or things are only based on physical identity or superficial standard; or being diverse is only seen on the surface or at the bottom of the organizational hierarchy, perhaps your management taste is still not high enough to build an ultra-modern digital organization. The diverse mind is more successful and is always going to be more creative as it has more to draw on. Today’s working environment is multigenerational, multicultural, and multi-devicing or to put simply, hyperdiverse. Digital organizations (collectives of individuals) are living organisms on their own, different from the sum of its parts. So, how collectively creative the business is depends on the individuals composing that collective and depends on the rationale for the gathering of people. Inclusiveness has better taste.

The high mature digital organizations are highly innovative, high quality, holistic, and delightful, with the high digital taste, which means free and progress. Let all of us be the innovators, the change agents, the transformative forces to make things move forward, not backward, and accelerate the collective human progress.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

The Monthly “Digital Fit” Book Tuning: The Portmanteau Words to Convey Digital Fit Feb. 2018

 Digital is the age of alternatives.  It is the hybrid business world full of options.

Digital makes a significant impact on every aspect of the business from people, process to technology, both horizontally and vertically. Digital becomes the very fabric of high performing business, being outside-in and customer-centric is the new mantra for forward-looking and high mature digital organizations today. But what are digital organizational traits, how to define digital fit and take a structural approach for digitalization?

             

The Portmanteau Words to Convey Digital Fit  

Three Portmanteau Hybrid Words to Envision a Digital Organization? Organizations large or small are on the journey to digital transformation, it is not an overnight phenomenon, but a well-planning strategy with the step-wise approach. There are physical buildings and virtual, always-on working environment; there are next innovation practices and “always do things like this” best practices; there’s abundance of information but still the scarcity of insight. It is the hybrid business world full of options. Digital is the age of alternatives, here are three portmanteau hybrid words to convey the management principles in running a digital organization.

The New Book “Digital Fit - Manifest Future of Business with Multidimensional Fit” Chapter 1 Introduction: The Characteristics of Digital Fit Digital organizations are increasingly exhibiting digital characteristics in various shades and intensity. They are hyperconnected and over-complex, with well-mixed physical workplace and virtual team setting. Like people, every organization has its own personality and digital fit characteristics, how do you define organizational fit, in order to build innovative and high-performing teams and transform the whole organization into the digital master?

“Coopetition” as the digital Characteristic Competition is part of the natural dynamics of life. In nature, competition is for evolution; in business, competition is for surviving and thriving. In the silo industrial age, the competition is about commanding and controlling to keep the status quo; and now we are stepping into a deeper and also far more advanced digital era steadily, the goal of the healthy competition in the human society is to encourage innovation and accelerate the speed of progression.

“Simplexity” as the Characteristic of Digital Maturity
Modern businesses become over-complex every day, they also become part of the dynamic and complex digital ecosystem. If we accept the business and the world are complex, somewhat unpredictable or not completely predictable, we have to accept uncertainty. Because uncertainty comes with complexity. Simplicity vs. complexity is not only an age-old dilemma but also the opposite ends of the same spectrum. Complexity can either stimulate or stifle innovation. In fact, “Simplexity” is a portmanteau word to reflect the digital reality and how to strike the right balance to achieve the next level of digital maturity.

An “Inclusiversity” Mind Historically, diversity was a popular buzzword starting in the early 1980s, since then, Fortune 500 corporations, both public and private sectors, large and small organizations have all been doing “diversity work.” Today, employers are moving towards a new trademarked word and initiative - ‘Inclusiversity - This word is the combination of Inclusive and Diversity. thereby combining the inclusion of differences. By definition, it takes into account the state or fact of being complete with all the differences, unlikeness, and divisions. The word is most noteworthy first and foremost as it is intended to include others, include different ideas, perspectives, and backgrounds. The prefix ‘div’ seems to have a negative connotation associated with the words such as division, divide, divergent, and prefix‘in’ has the positive connotation associated with the words such as information, intention, or intelligence. The hybrid word “inclusivesity” will imply the right balance of difference and commonality.

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2+million page views with about #4500+ blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. blog posting. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom, to inspire critical thinking and spur healthy debates. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating the new ideas; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify diverse voices and deepen digital footprints, and it's the way to harness your innovative spirit.

The New Book “Problem-Solving Master” Quote Collection 1

Framing the right problem is equally or even more important than solving it.

The purpose of “Problem-Solving Master - Frame Problems Systematically and Solve Problems Creatively“ is to throw some light on how to understand, frame, and solve today’s multilayer, interdependent, and over-complex business problems effortlessly. Digital leaders and professionals should self-aware of their role in problems, show professional maturity, and develop a good reputation as the problem-solver.

1 One of the biggest challenges for modern management is how to put the right people with the right capability in the right position to solve the right problem at the right time.

2 The problem-solving mindset has synthetic nature with multi-level thinking processes involved, such as strategic thinking, systems thinking, critical thinking, creative thinking, and empathetic thinking, etc.

3 Framing the right problem is equally or even more important than solving it.

4 Change is not for its own sake, the very purpose of the change is often for problem-solving.

5 People who can solve problems in a new way are the innovators.

6 Systems Thinking is a mixed bag of holistic, balanced and often abstract thinking to understand things profoundly and solve problems systematically.

7 Digital technologies provide new frontiers for work systems, and the information is the gold mine for the digital business.

8 The challenge for improving problem-solving effectiveness is on how to prioritize what you know about and keep an eye open for signs of things you don’t know about.

9 It comes down to how people perceive - a “problem” for one, is an “opportunity” for the other.

10 Emotional intelligence is the ability to harness emotions and apply them to tasks like thinking and problem-solving.

11 Problem-solving has a very wide scope and takes the interdisciplinary approach.

12 Building a comprehensive problem-solving framework is about leveraging a structured methodology that allows you to frame problems systematically and solve problems creatively.

13 Diagnosing the problem from the mindset level is the critical step for digging into the root causes of many problems today.

14 That challenge about insight is that knowledge can be taught, insight cannot be taught completely.

15 Innovation is not for its own sake, but for problem-solving.

16 Being holistic suggests a genuine sense of exploration and innovation or simply creative problem-solving.

17 Keep sharpening problem-solving skills, always dig under the surface, and build a good reputation as an insightful problem-framer or a mindful problem-solver.

18 A good question is a halfway of problem-solving.


The New Book “Problem-Solving Master” Book Introduction

The Endogenous and Exogenous drivers of Digitalization

Everything is interconnected and the business ecosystem becomes more interdependent and dynamic than ever.

With the increasing pace of change and unprecedented uncertainty, enterprises of the future are increasingly exhibiting “VUCA” characteristics in various shades, intensity, and extensiveness. Companies have to stretch out in every business dimension for driving the full-fledged digital transformation, in order to adapt to the new business dynamic. Organizations need to have both endogenous and exogenous drivers, both internal and external focus when it comes to lead digitalization.

Endogenous drivers:
Traditional organizations are hierarchical and mechanical, they perhaps operate OK in the considerably static industry age with the slow pace of change and information scarcity. However, it is not capable of addressing the needs of today’s more dynamic, information-explosive and complex changing world. So, it is failing, and all attempts to solve the existing challenges through the lens of the old paradigm is also failing. The “hard” issue to stifle the organizational change and business performance is that the systems, processes, and technologies many organizations are using to manage the business are becoming inefficient or outdated in this rapidly changing world. The digital convergence of devices and services are creating new business models and revenue source as most companies across industries are being forced to become technology companies and run information businesses. The soft forces such as culture or communication also need to be rejuvenated to catalyze changes. Both these hard and soft internal focuses are more of what has been called the endogenous forces of the business. The hard forces of digitization are disruptive and push the organization to adapt to the dynamic environment. But the soft business elements can truly touch the mind and heart, and make change sustainable. Organizations should tailor their management styles to make these soft business elements well mixed into the hard organizational competency. Designing a highly adaptive organization, that is a sociotechnical system, is the order of magnitude more difficult than designing a mechanical or technical system. The companies must reclaim the right balance of standardization and innovation, process and flexibility; stability and change, competition and collaboration, etc. The part of the digital journey is also to prepare people for the new structures and to recognize this is a crucial step, talent multiplication moves from a key competitive mindset to an important and distinctive source of competitive advantage- innovation capability. Because one of the key determinants of whether an organization can move to new digital structures is the development level of the people. People have to be ready for moving to a more fluid structure and dynamic digital new normal.


Exogenous drivers: Digital business is dynamic and expansive, with blurred functional, organizational, and geographical boundaries. The new age of digital thinking attributes value and purpose to the ecosystem, and understand that the real-world development is multifaceted, non-linear, unrepeatable, and unpredictable, with exogenous drivers which couldn't be controlled completely. The digital enterprise consists of an amalgam of socio-systems, techno-systems, bio-systems, and Econo-systems. In order to succeed in today’s fast-changing business world, harnessing the power of ecosystems is critical. You have to gain interdisciplinary understanding via the multitude of dimensions (socio-cultural, socio-technical, socio-economic, organizational, scientific, philosophical, psychological, or artistic, etc). You can't expect an individual to fully develop such broad-based concepts, it takes the team effort, and more importantly, team coordination. Many companies have never been better positioned to engage in multi-industry collaborations. But few have broken out of the static industry box, treats customers, channel partners, suppliers, and industry ecosystem participants as active agents for co-solving crucial business problems or creating new business ideas or models, to catalyze changes and accelerate digitalization. Instead of being rigidly grouped around a specific business, ecosystems draw together mutually supportive companies from multiple industries that collectively seek to create differentiated offerings and capture value they could not reach alone.

Everything is interconnected and the business ecosystem becomes more interdependent and dynamic than ever. The permeating information has made every object of the digital system and nature responsive, communicative, and innovative. By understanding both these endogenous and exogenous drivers of digitalization well, businesses can make the radical shift from a silo, linear classic management style to holistic and nonlinear management discipline.

Friday, February 23, 2018

The Monthly “12 CIO Personas” Book Tuning: CIOs as “Chief Influence Officer” Feb. 2018

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

          


CIOs as “Chief Influence Officer”


The New Book “12 CIO Personas” Chapter 12 Introduction: The CIO as “Chief Influence Officer”? Contemporary CIOs face many leadership dilemmas: Being sustainable or disrupt? Keep status quo or being innovative? Act as a business executive or an IT manager? Traditional CIOs have been perceived as tactical IT managers, running IT as a support function to keep the lights on. Digital CIOs today must develop their leadership competency to make multidimensional influence across the organization and the digital ecosystem. There are many personas for digital CIOs today, one of the most pertinent ones is “Chief Influence Officer,” who develops influential competence to amplify leadership effect and master both business understanding and technological knowledge to practice expert power.

Digital CIOs’ Three Practices to Amplify Leadership Influence With the exponential growth of information and emerging digital technologies, CIOs will continue to be put on the front line for driving innovation and leading digitalization. They need to ensure their organizations are ready for change, space and time are made to scope, plan and execute. CIO role should be continually reinvented to fit for the new digital paradigm shift. IT leaders have to play multiple personas and leverage multidimensional management disciplines to explore the breadth and depth of the role and go deeper in order to lead forward. Here are CIOs’ three digital practices to amplify their leadership influence.

The Intellectual "VOICE" of Digital CIOs? The digital organization is a living business in the relationship with its environments, customers, suppliers, and above all enhances and supports the creative human spirit via connecting, discovery, and experimentation. IT continues to grow in importance to organizations, both operationally and as a competitive advantage. Thus, digital CIOs must raise the intellectual VOICE, not via speaking louder, but via thinking profoundly, communicating insightfully, and leading innovatively.

CIOs as "Chief Influence Officer": Three Views to Enforce CIO Leadership Influence? With overwhelming growth of information and fierce competition, now we are approaching the inflection point in which businesses are facing accelerating changes and can be disrupted even overnight. The digital CIO is no longer the tedious management role to keep the lights only now, there are many critical leadership traits in digital CIO; there’re many roles they have to play for leading IT up to the next level of organizational maturity. Here are three views CIOs can provide to enforce leadership influence.

How Can Digital CIOs Amplify Their Contemporary Leadership Voice? Due to the speed of changes and overwhelming growth of information, especially at technology arena, a CIO needs to be a dynamic person with growth mind, business acumen, profound IT understanding, with high ability to convey leadership message, manage impressions, master communications to suit situations so as to make things happen. To reinvent IT from a support function to an innovation hub and digital engine of digital organization. But more specifically, at the dawn of the digital age, how can digital CIOs amplify their contemporary leadership voice to make broad influence across digital ecosystem?

The blog is a dynamic book flowing with your thought; growing through your dedication; sharing your knowledge; conveying your wisdom, and making influence through touching the hearts and connecting the minds across the globe. The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2.2 million page views with about #4300 blog posting. Among 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating the new ideas; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes the time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify diverse voices and deepen digital footprints, and it's the way to harness your innovative spirit.