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.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

“100 Digital Pitfalls” Introduction Chapter One: Thinking Pitfalls

The modern society is a dynamic continuum with iterative and collective human progress. Real societal progress is made through the work of progressive and foreseeable minds.

Digital makes the significant impact on how we think, live, and work. There is the mix of old and new, physical and virtual, order and chaos. We are in a time of tremendous change, the dawn of digital age, the path to the next level of digital maturity, also in the era of confusion and information overload. Therefore, it’s critical to identify, understand, and avoid pitfalls, discover strategic and predictive pathways to change, increase confidence, position a brand and leverage resources to make the digital paradigm shift effortlessly.

The modern society is a dynamic continuum with iterative and collective human progress. Real societal progress is made through the work of progressive and foreseeable minds. In fact, the most advancing thing in the world is neither fancy technology nor cool gadget, it is an advanced mindset and the progress it drives from one generation to other generation.

With increasing speed of change in the hyperconnected digital ecosystem, the static mindsets with “status quo” types of thinking, authoritarian attitude, and bureaucratic decision-making are outdated, become the pitfalls on the digital journey. It is the radical digital paradigm shift which needs to expand the new thinking box, see through the wider lens, capture the tide and ride the waves to lead forward.
Key Takeaways

  • Critical Thinking goes hand in hand with being mindful. Critical thinkers apparently include reading between the lines, digging deeper, thinking skeptically and coming prepared.
  • Systems Thinking looks at things by looking at the whole, where the parts are never as important and should always work to benefit the whole.
  • Independent Thinking means that you do not follow others’ opinion blindly, but analyze and synthesize all sources of input and information to form your own opinion.
  • A mechanistic perspective is a zoom in view and works well in an already deployed/thought out system. A holistic perspective is a zoom out view and works well when deploying/conceiving /rethinking a system.
  • The human progress is all based on our thinking, learning, and change capability.

Order Link:

Amazon Order Link
B&N Order Link
IBook Order Link

Slideshare Presentation

The New Book "100 Digital Pitfalls" Introduction
“100 Digital Pitfalls” Introduction Chapter One: Thinking Pitfalls




The New Book “100 Digital Pitfalls” Introduction Chapter Two: Change Pitfalls
The New Book “100 Digital Pitfalls” Introduction Chapter Three: Innovation Pitfalls
The New Book “100 Digital Pitfalls” Introduction Chapter Four: Performance Pitfalls
The New Book “100 Digital Pitfalls” Introduction Chapter Five: Problem-Solving Pitfalls
The New Book “100 Digital Pitfalls” Conclusion: The Bumpy Road to Going Digital


The Monthly “Leadership Master” Book Tuning: Practice Digital Leadership by Inquiries June 2018

Leadership is complex yet simple: Complex in that there are so many traits and characteristics that are considered when evaluating a leader. Simplicity in that the substance of leadership never changes, it’s all about future and change; direction and dedication; influence and innovation. The purpose of the book: Leadership Master - Five Digital Trends to Leap Leadership Maturity is to convey the vision of digital leadership, share the insight about leadership maturity, and summarize five emergent digital leadership trends Here is the monthly tuning of digital leadership.

            Practice Digital Leadership by Inquiries

How to Apply Critical Thinking to Ask Good Questions Critical Thinking is the rational analysis (often with creativity embedded in it) and evaluation of the issues in order to make a fair judgment. There is only a very small fraction of true Critical Thinkers who can always dig through the root causes of problems. How to debunk the myth of Critical Thinking, and how to apply Critical Thinking to ask good questions for either problems-solving or making sound judgment and effective decisions timely?

Bridging the Gaps between Questioning and Answering? In the industrial age with information scarcity, the followers ask leaders how to do, and leaders are expected to always answer the questions, sometimes for maintaining the status quo, even they themselves struggle to find answers. It somehow compromises leadership effectiveness. With today’s digital convenience, knowledge is often only a click away, the differentiation between leaders and followers are not based on who ask questions and who answers. As the matter of fact, more often, leaders should frame great questions, and followers need to practice independent thinking and creative thinking and provide alternative answers with the fresh point. To put simply, as we steadily move into the deep digital reality, it is the time to bridge the gaps between questioning and answering; every great question is like the magnet to attract all sorts of answers, and every answer should also evoke more questions to deepen the understanding. It's not a matter of whether you should ask or tell more. It's important to do what is right in a situation; discussing things as appropriate. For every digital leader or professional today, there is time to ask, and there is time to answer. And people who innovate are change agents and digital pros and not afraid to challenge the status quo, they have the unlimited curiosity to ask questions.

Five Questions to Evaluate The QUALITY of Thinking? Thinking, in general, is more about discovery for either understanding things or creating new things. The thought does not precede the thinker; the thinker precedes the thought and the consciousness of the thinker precedes the fact of his/her being a thinker. Digital professionals today need to learn how to explore and evaluate the variety of thinking in their mind. Here are five questions to assess the QUALITY of your thinking.

Exploring the Boardroom Fundamentals via Inquiries? The contemporary corporate board as the top leadership and directorial role plays a significant role in advising and monitoring the organizational management, overseeing the business strategy, guiding businesses toward the right direction and achieving expected business results. Due to the “VUCA” characteristics -complexity, uncertainty, ambiguity and velocity of the digital era, the directorship in any organization becomes more critical and challenging. However, many BoDs are undereducated about their role and responsibility while the business change is accelerated across global scope and knowledge life cycle is shortened. How to explore the boardroom fundamental via the set of inquiries in order to improve its effectiveness and directorship maturity?

Leading by Questioning? We’ve been living in such a dynamic world, change is the only constant, actually even change itself has been changed and expedited. There is information abundant and even overloading, but problems solving does not become easier but turns out to be harder. And first things first, you should ask yourself: Do you frame the right questions before answering them right. It takes courage and humility to ask, because you have to break down the status quo and break through the conventional wisdom, to keep informative and inquisitive, always to challenge and ensure that the question itself is corrected before answering…

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2.5 million page views with about 4800+ 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; 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 your voice, deepen your digital footprints, and match your way for human progression.

The Digital Kaleidoscope: What are Emerging Digital Management Views and Hybrid Patterns

Digital kaleidoscope shows the ever-evolving dynamic view, hybrid digital patterns, and mixed cultures. 

The emergence of potential opportunities for exploiting digitization is likely to follow a nonlinear pattern as the pervasiveness of an organization's digitization journey increases. The digital ecosystem expands when the business community broadens its scope and consumes all sorts of resources. The digital paradigm shift has many dimensions such as socio-cultural, socio-technical, socio-economic, organizational, scientific, and philosophical lenses, just to name a few. So, when looking at digital kaleidoscope: What are emerging digital management views and hybrid patterns?

Identify the digital patterns and full-spectrum of digital characteristics or interests across the engagement/delivery/operations: The enterprise is nothing more than a “switch” in the network lattice of the digital ecosystem. Hyperconnectivity, interdependence, over-complexity, and ambiguity are all emerging characteristics of the digital businesses. Digital kaleidoscope has a variety of patterns and the full spectrum of colors. The emergence of potential opportunities for exploiting digitization is likely to follow a nonlinear pattern as the pervasiveness of an organization's digitization journey increases. From the digital management perspective, try to digitally connect key resources and assets in the business context across the digital ecosystem. Typically look at those emerging digital characteristics from the business impact perspective and from a solution perspective. Every serious problem facing us today has been caused by the certain level of dysfunction, and human dysfunction is caused by the interaction of hidden (intangible and invisible) human affective, cognitive, imaginative and connotative functions and content. So, carefully detect those patterns and symbols, but also understand the real problems underneath and solve them in the right way.

Spot key business ingredients which can be woven into dynamic organizational capability and core business competency: The dynamic digital organizations need to get away from letting things fall through and start creating the “integrated wholes” by utilizing the correct processes to solve complexities and underpin the core business capability. The digital capability is dynamic, it is important to not only putting the pieces together but also blending them in such a way that the emergent whole is somehow more than the sum of its parts. Thus, digital kaleidoscope does not just show some random colors or pictures, it presents the cohesive patterns and delightful themes. The highly scalable digital organizations can expand and amplify its influence with the ability to co-create and amplify innovation effect in the expanding digital ecosystem evolving customers, suppliers, channel partners, suppliers, and industry ecosystem participants. The digital kaleidoscope also presents the strong patterns of hyper-connectivity and cross-functional communication. The increasingly virtual and dispersed nature of organizations and the multigenerational digital workforce are two factors redefining collaboration practices both within the enterprise and with external stakeholders. Real-time communication is now all about real-time sharing, transparency, active listening, two-way trust in the wisdom of the team, giving proper credit where it is due and constant experimentation.


Orchestrate the hybrid “truth” and fine tune the dynamic organizational structure from both collaboration and competition perspectives: Digital is full of uncertainty, velocity, complexity, and ambiguity. It blurs the geographical, functional, organizational, and even industrial borders nowadays. Digital is fluid with nonlinear interaction. Thus, digital kaleidoscope also shows dynamic design patterns with varying sizes and bold colors. You can’t separate things properly or you cannot predict the actual effect of interactions straightforwardly. Because the dynamic design allows the organization to morph into living conditions and organizational capacities change to allow a better fit for the purpose. High mature digital businesses can provide a more intensive and creative working environment enabling the organization to get all right people with the right capability in the right position to solve the right problems from right angles all at once. It keeps evolving a healthy life cycle to achieve the state of dynamic balance. Digital leadership is brave and driven, don’t just react to change, but proactively drive digitalization and provide the "best solution" for the business' requirement, offering added value and feature insights based on system understanding, create new digital competency for developing a highly responsive digital organization.

When a new stage emerges in the progression of society and advance of the technology, the continued use of the old paradigm, the old-world-view-lens, creates ever-increasing problems. Digital kaleidoscope shows the ever-evolving dynamic view, hybrid digital patterns, and mixed cultures. So, people have to frame a new mindset, learn to use the new lens of the new era, and acquire a new thinking, knowing, and doing based on the emerging views and patterns, for making a digital leap and maximizing the full digital potential.

Friday, June 29, 2018

The New Book "100 Digital Pitfalls" Introduction

Organizations rise and fall, not on the quantum of plans and resources, but on the capabilities to lead and the ability to avoid pitfalls and overcome barriers on the way.


Digital makes the significant impact on how we think, live, and work. There is the mix of old and new, physical and virtual, order and chaos. We are in a time of tremendous change, the dawn of digital age, the path to the next level of digital maturity, also in the era of confusion and information overload. Therefore, it’s critical to identify, understand, and avoid pitfalls, discover strategic and predictive pathways to change, increase confidence, position a brand and leverage resources to make the digital paradigm shift effortlessly.

Slideshare Presentation







The purpose of “100 Digital Pitfalls: How to Overcome Pitfalls on the Path of Going Digital” is to throw some light on how to identify, understand, and overcome common pitfalls on the digital journey, dig underneath the surface, and take a holistic approach to integrate both hard and soft elements for improving the long-term organizational competency and reaching the high-level of business maturity.

Chapter 1 Thinking Pitfalls: With increasing speed of change in the hyper-connected digital ecosystem, the static mindsets with “status quo” types of thinking, authoritarian attitude, and bureaucratic decision-making, are outdated, they become the pitfall on the journey of the digital paradigm shift. It takes both critical reasoning and out-of-the-box thinking to overcome thinking pitfalls.

Chapter 2 Change Pitfalls: Change will never be for its own sake, it is always for solving problems and making continuous improvement to achieve business “betterness.” By identifying and overcoming change pitfalls, either individual or organization can be well prepared to effectively and efficiently absorb and accept changes in all its forms for clearing the path and making a digital leap confidently.

Chapter 3 Innovation Pitfalls: For many, innovation is still serendipity, has an overall very low success rate. It is crucial to examine the causes of failure in innovation, the gaps and pitfalls on the way. The objective is to raise awareness of what’s needed to improve the probability of success and make the innovation journey more delightful.

Chapter 4 Performance Pitfalls: Building an evolving digital organization is to advocate the concept of “business as a whole is superior to the sum of pieces.” It is critical to avoid varying performance measurement pitfalls, ensure that digital performance measures are both qualitative and quantitative, implement whatever mechanisms you need to be able to gather the relevant information and make a holistic assessment by telling the full story objectively.

Chapter 5 Problem-Solving Pitfalls: Either individuals or businesses will be more successful when they realize that one of their greatest strengths will be their problem-solving capability. For humans to move to higher ground, we must have a different view, but share the common ground. It is important to focus on coordination and facilitation, avoid pitfalls, fill blind spots, and overcome barriers, in order to master problem-solving and lead a seamless digital paradigm shift.

The high mature digital masters are highly conscious of what’s happening in their environment, with the ability to adapt to change, grasp opportunities, and prevent risks. By overcoming fatal pitfalls, these organizations are well prepared to effectively and efficiently absorb and accept changes in all its forms and lead change confidently.

Order Link:

Amazon Order Link
B&N Order Link
IBook Order Link

Slideshare Presentation

The New Book "100 Digital Pitfalls" Introduction
“100 Digital Pitfalls” Introduction Chapter One: Thinking Pitfalls

The New Book “100 Digital Pitfalls” Introduction Chapter Two: Change Pitfalls
The New Book “100 Digital Pitfalls” Introduction Chapter Three: Innovation Pitfalls
The New Book “100 Digital Pitfalls” Introduction Chapter Four: Performance Pitfalls
The New Book “100 Digital Pitfalls” Introduction Chapter Five: Problem-Solving Pitfalls
The New Book “100 Digital Pitfalls” Conclusion: The Bumpy Road to Going Digital


The Emotion Life Cycle Behind Digital Management

The emotion behind the change is the catalyzer - to make our “visions” reality. 

Human history is an evolutionary journey to keep advancing economically, technologically, and sociologically. Digitalization implies the full-scale changes in the way business is conducted so that simply adopting the new digital technology may be insufficient. The multidimensional digital effects provide impressive advantages in term of the business speed, the abundance of information, and the quality of the digital workforce. Digitalization is the radical change, change is never for its own sake, there is the emotional impact associated with it, from solving conflicts, soothing the pain, to the fulfillment, enchantment, and delight.

Dissatisfaction: There is always the fair reason for changes, such as dissatisfaction with status quo or not happy with the current situation. However, People are emotionally attached to those things being possessed. Change leads to psychological insecurity. Majority of people have fear to move out of the comfort zone. Therefore, people that make up the organization must see a compelling need to change from risky practices, obsolete ideas, or inefficient processes and do so proactively before issues materialize. People will feel more emotionally connected when they understand “What’s In It For Me.” The good moment to change is when the top senses the urgency and the bottom feels the pain, and change inertia is minimized through the common understanding of the necessity and imperatives of changes. Change is always easier if you have better insight and less fear of unknown risks. When digital leaders clarify the vision, share a really compelling story that the targets of the change can embrace and support, so they feel like participants rather than victims. Changes are best when they do not look like changes and there is the smooth transition of emotions.

Passion: The range of emerging digital technologies foster a deeper sense of digital connections and vision to changes. It could ignite latent worker passion and bring together disparate parts of the organization. Thus, it is important to build up a positive emotional environment, communicate relentlessly, inspire passionate employees, and foster collaborative business relationships. Passion following a positive chain of thoughts followed by good actions and behavior often bring great results and leapfrog the progress of digitalization. Digitalization changes the way we think, live, and work. Digital tools and platforms enable information and interaction flow in different directions, build up trust by bonding people around, and keep their energy flow up, there is energy there is still passion and potential.

Calm: There is the time to keep passion up, there is also the time to calm down and dispassionately analyze and make sound judgments in order to keep the right track of change and digitalization. Without the inner balance of energy, people cannot achieve a perfect balance of emotions and logic for either analyzing problems more objectively or solving them systematically. With calm, the cool-headed digital leaders and professionals can make tough decisions, think the longer term, and make better choices, also keep their sensitivity intact. People with emotional excellence are objective, accountable, intellectual and thus, more progressive.

Persistence: Large change or digitalization is the thorny journey with many ups and downs, barriers or pitfalls on the way. Vision keeps you staying focus, passion charges up your energy; but it is persistence enables you to overcome many obstacles, failover and fail forward. Digital leaders or professionals need to be equipped with the grit mind which involves raw endurance, persistence, and perseverance, to help you focus on purpose, goals, and outcome. Some people can have enough grit for a long time; others can only do it in bursts. No one learns the value of persistence unless there is an opportunity for persistence to pay off. When facing difficulty, a persistent mind is able to handle adverse circumstances and negative feedback, be more resilient, stay focused, bounce back and transform it into a rock solid character. Digital leaders with persistence can lead to the long journey of digitalization solidly.

Delight: At the highest level of digital maturity, it is about achieving customer delight or developing a delightful workforce. The fundamental challenge in transforming organizations towards valuing customer delight and joy in work over personal influence on a given silo is both cultural and political. In practice, creating positive change or building a delightful working environment is a joint effort and co-responsibility of management and employees. Working in a delightful environment means less silo, less internal politics, or unnecessary pain, people have better opportunities to be who they are, and who they want to be. It needs to involve the entire team at all levels, exhibit positive thinking and proper behaviors at all times.

Digitalization is a journey full of uncertainty. The emotion behind the change is the catalyzer - to make our “visions” reality. Change isn't always in our control, but it is amazing how much control we have in adapting to it. To effectively respond to the digital dynamics, companies must begin thinking about ways with strategic planning to broaden their ecosystems and revenue streams while becoming more responsive and scalable. So, manage emotion cycle behind the change and manage the gain and pain effectively.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

The Weekly Insight of the “Future of CIO” 6/28/2018

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

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2.5 million page views with 4800+ 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 of digital leadership, IT Management, and Talent Management.




Three Perspectives of the Digital CIO’s Dynamic Role There are many roles to be served by an enterprise's IT leadership. Some of these are related to ensuring that the supply-side IT management issues are handled well such as developing IT-enabled business competency and others relate to the demand-side IT management such as building relationships with business managers and professionals; seeding ideas for IT-enabled business strategies and innovative uses of information & technology to maximize digital potential of the business. The role of CIO is the mirror of the business reputation - an innovator or a plumber; a strategist or an operator; a change agent or a controller, etc. Here are three perspectives of the digital CIO’s dynamic role.

The Digital “Flavors” of Innovation Digital innovation has a broader spectrum and the hybrid nature. Innovation comes in the variety of flavors and there are many opportunities in an enterprise to taste it. The companies who get the most from innovation effort have the right ambition, good leadership, and culture quintessential. The purpose of categorization and differentiation is not about separating and siloing these management disciplines but how to best link them together - across focusing on core activities to develop innovation competency and manage a healthy innovation portfolio in a structural way.

Three Aspects to Build Flexible Digital Workplace Compared to the traditional organizations with the overly rigid hierarchical setting and classic management style, the digital workplace is more dynamic, flatter and engaging. A digital organization is an organic living thing with attributes such as open communication, “ownership,” “flexibility,” and “creativity,” etc, as well as the hyperconnectivity with its digital ecosystem.

The Multiple Perspectives of Innovators? Either for individuals or businesses, creativity is a long-term endeavor. It must be cultivated. Why can innovators find more view spots than others? Why can innovators think differently and connect unusual dots effortlessly? What fuels creativity? Creativity is a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Here are some perspectives of being innovative.

Running a Business-Driven Digital IT Organization At today’s information-driven business dynamic, IT continues to grow in importance to organizations, both operationally and as a competitive advantage. To reinvent IT for getting digital ready, IT organization has to move from a reactive order taker and a back office support function to a strategic business partner and digital catalyst. It is important to run a business-driven digital IT organization with interdisciplinary management practices for moving the company to a dynamic, iterative, integral, and interactive digital flow and business continuum.

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.

A Distinctive Board

A distinctive board exhibits a creative tension and unique leadership strength, that hard to define, but you know it when you see it. 

The purpose of the governing body, or board of directors, is to direct the organization in the right direction and monitor its performance. Corporate governance is to challenge the management and make sure that management is doing its job properly. In a world of well-defined problems, directors are required to exercise leadership influence over volatility, manage uncertainty, simplify complexity, resolve ambiguity all the time. Every board is unique, with its own strength and focus. A distinctive board can stand out as the mastermind behind digitalization and lead change effortlessly.


Distinctive perspective: A distinctive board is a composite of extraordinary BoDs who present strong digital leadership traits such as critical/independent thinking, creativity, influence, inquisitiveness, ethics, global perspective, and cultural cognition. Corporate boards set principles, ask tough questions, bring fresh perspectives and outliers’ view to mitigating “group thinking.” Distinctive board directors have cognitive differences, intellectual sophistication, and differential strength to lead effectively. Appreciate the value of alternative perspectives and insights to close blindspots and the multitude of digital gaps. Innovation and digitalization are too important to leave solely in the hands of the management team without any oversight or guidance. It is one of the most important reasons to build a distinctive board to bring fresh perspectives, participate, oversee, or lead confidently in constantly suggesting areas of digital innovation. They should also set principles, develop the best and next practices, to drive digital transformation relentlessly.

Distinctive board practices: Due to increasing pace of changes, digital boards can no longer just follow the old governance practices. No longer are boards sitting in a room and just voting on various policies, they need to develop the next set of digital practices and proactively participate the varying conversions such as innovation, information management, and digitalization. The distinctive board consisting of independent directors not just provide a critique of the ideas they are presented with, they develop their own set of best and next practices, to row together in the boat. There are numerous occasions with managing board restructuring exercises and each situation is different with varied and multiple drivers, and each with its own unique problems that require addressing. The distinctive digital board also has a global touch and in-depth understanding of the digital dynamic and make the evolutionary change to improve board effectiveness and performance.

Distinctive leadership styles: Leadership is complex and situational and there are numerous variables need to be leveraged in assessing leadership effectiveness. Digital leadership needs to be highly intelligent, highly influential, highly adaptable, consistent, profound, and empathetic. Corporate directorship as one of the strongest leadership pillars should exemplify digital leadership all the time. Fear or mistrust will significantly diminish leadership effectiveness. Digital directors must lead by envisioning, influencing, innovating, and multidimensional intelligence with their distinctive leadership style. Coaching and mentoring is going to be increasingly important now, and that’s why expert power is perhaps more powerful than other types of powers in the age of digitization. Creating a balancing act is a challenge for today's leaders to lead by influence, not brute forces.

Under today’s “VUCA” business dynamic, practicing digital leadership is challenging, evaluation, analysis, and strategic or long-term planning should top the list in the digital board’s agenda. A distinctive board exhibits a creative tension and unique leadership insight, that hard to define, but you know it when you see it. A distinctive board looks differently, thinks differently and steers businesses in the right direction based on their unique leadership competency.

A “Digital-holic” CIO

Digital-holic CIOs think of digital day and night, advocate digitalization as the top priority for their organization.

Digital disruptions are inevitable, and digital transformation is unstoppable. Due to change nature of technologies and exponential growth of information, IT leadership role also has to be continually refined, refreshed and reenergized. Should contemporary CIOs become the “digital-holic” to reimagine the art of possible, leverage IT to advocate "digital first strategy," shape a full-fledged digital business by linking all digital aspects together to enforce value creation and drive digital transformation seamlessly?


Vision: “Digital-holic” CIOs envision the great opportunities that emerging digital technologies could bring to the company, also predict the potential risks the business might expose to. Vision is to serve as a leadership enabler, to clear the path - whether that is for the elimination of obstacles or providing coaching and guidance. “Digital-holic” CIOs set “digital first” priority, drive the corporate vision and strategy through effectiveness and innovation in the knowledge and information channels. They identify and guide the top class leadership team to assure that there are no surprises for continuous and constructive digital disruption. They look forward and actively position the business in the right place to take full advantage of opportunities and risks. They also bring the ecosystem viewpoint, seek and embrace influences beyond their own company, treat customers, channel partners, suppliers, and industry ecosystem participants as active agents who have permission to share knowledge. Digital IT is the linchpin to integrate people, processes, and technology to dynamic and modular capabilities exposed in a platform to create new experiences and expand its impact.

Passion: “Digital-holic” CIOs have passion, passion enables determination, creativity, and talent. Either at individual or business level, passion aligned with focus, capabilities, and meaningful work to build a happy digital workforce is one of the crucial goals of digitalization. Passionate CIOs with a good positive chain of thoughts followed by positive actions often bring good results and leapfrog progress. Though CIOs are the cool-headed top business executive role, their passion should never take precedence over making the sound judgment. Following passion, in fact, requires a good sense of judgment that you are on the right path to the digital vision you set. Passionate CIOs dare to practice out-of-the-box-thinking, introduce new business concepts, develop cross-functional systems, platforms, and procedures for efficient use of natural resource and investing human capital to maximize collective potential. Passion is contagious, with passional IT leadership, the members of IT teams are inspired for what they are doing. This requires a clearly defined and inspiring purpose and extending that purpose into the “real world” as well. Passion keeps you staying longer in the game and overcome roadblocks to get digital ready.

Clarity: Besides vision and passion, digital-holic CIOs spend a lot of time on logical reasoning, staying cool-minded, contemplating and clarify the strategy by self-checking: Are we shaping the good implementable strategy about the future and positioning appropriately for our place within it? Are we doing the right things? Are we doing them in the right way? Are assumptions and risks understood and manageable? Have we put the right people with the right talent in the right position to solve right problems? Do we have enough resource to implement the digital strategy? Digital-holic CIOs think those issues thoroughly, risk concerns could keep them up. Clarity is important because digital gaps are often caused by lacking in-depth understanding; many times, problems have arisen because words have been taken out of context, twisted and used the way people want. Because each one chooses the meaning following their thought processes. It is only when you can go beyond the word, dive into contextual understanding, you are able to see things as distinctly as possible, also see the interconnectivity between parts and the whole, otherwise, there would always be mingling and mixing in the dynamic digital world.

Stretching up: A systematic digital management approach stretch up, but not stress out, it is underpinned by key elements of business such as processes, technologies, people, etc., for achieving the long-term business prosperity. For those lagging organizations, the ecosystems have evolved without much attention or planning. But digital-holic CIOs understand where and how you can and should improve o get the biggest effect and scale up across the digital ecosystem effortlessly, and who are their digital champioins. At the high maturity level, organizations have to stretch out in every business dimension for driving the full-fledged digital transformation. The hyper-connecting nature of digital offers particularly fertile ground for developing cross-industry ecosystems and business growth opportunities, in part because the ways of doing business and meeting customer expectations both tend to be more flexible than the siloed industrial age. Digital management is dynamic, there are always alternative ways to deliver products or services, delight customers and solve problems. This is the image we need for digital businesses today, just solid enough to give some sort of form/meaning and open enough to its environment to allow business movement of people, ideas, and information in and out seamlessly.

Acceleration: Different businesses, different parts of organizations, as well as different individuals, evolve digital at the different speed. The less friction for the changes and the more seamless business interactions enable the business to flow and accelerate its performance and growth. Running a real-time digital organization means high-responsiveness and high speed. Digital-holic CIOs intend to bring real-time insight to run a high-responsive organization, that requires the business having strategic responsiveness to process business information almost real-time, communicate and collaborate with business counterparts timely. It also needs to have the flexibility to take the different approach with the adaptability to meet the business’s expectation, leverage tailored approaches to fit specific circumstances, ultimately respond to the external environment.

The digital ecosystem is dynamic, hyperconnected and expansive, and the digital business territories blur. It expands when the components broaden their community scopes and consume all sorts of resources. Digital-holic CIOs think of digital day and night, advocate digitalization as the top priority for their organization, bridge the gaps, build the culture of innovation, engage employees and delight customers to manage the digital paradigm shift smoothly.

The Monthly “Digital Master” Book Tuning: The Digital Tastes of the Organization June 2018

Every forward-thinking organization is eager to build a creative workplace, but being innovative is the state of mind.

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.

 The Digital Tastes of the Organization


What are your “Digital Taste” to Accelerate the Collective 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.


The Digital “Flavors” of Innovation: Digital innovation has a broader spectrum and the hybrid nature. Innovation comes in the variety of flavors and there are many opportunities in an enterprise to taste it. The companies who get the most from innovation effort have the right ambition, good leadership, and culture quintessential. The purpose of categorization and differentiation is not about separating and siloing these management disciplines but how to best link them together - across focusing on core activities to develop innovation competency and manage a healthy innovation portfolio in a structural way.

CIO’s Digital Agenda X - Running a Digital-Flavored IT? Majority of IT organizations today are still running at industrial speed, stick at the low or mid level of maturity, although technology is more often than not, the disruptive force for business and industry innovation, IT organizations seem to have a tendency to align with the slow changing parts of the organization, so how should CIOs prepare for the digital disruption and speed up accordingly? Here is the CIO’s Digital Agenda X with different flavors of digital IT (Part II)

What’s Your Digital Appetite? Many organizations are at the inflection point of digital transformation journey, either be a disrupter or being disrupted, digital makes the significant impact on every aspect of the business both horizontally and vertically, with increasing speed. Today’s businesses simply cannot stand still, if you do not move forward, you are already lagging behind. Re-imaging the future of business is exciting, however, reinventing the business to get digital ready takes both bold leadership vision and the right dose of digital appetite in order to unleash business potential and lead change and digital paradigm shift effortlessly.

What are salt and spices in your innovation management practices? Digital is the era of innovation. Talking about innovation is not new nowadays, everybody, every organization now is talking about innovation. But building a truly innovative organization takes guts, strategy, and implementation. Innovation happens when you change the game; you bring a different twist to what is currently established and perceived. Digital innovation has a broader spectrum and hybrid nature, it is the incremental improvement-evolutionary innovation- breakthrough innovation continuum. Every forward-thinking organization is eager to build a creative workplace, but being innovative is the state of mind. So, what are important elements to catalyze creativity? And what are salt and spices in innovation management practices?


The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2+million page views with about #4800+ 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.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Walk, Talk, and Make a Leap of Digitalization

Organizations of the future are increasingly exhibiting digital characteristics in various shades and intensity. 

Digital makes a profound impact from the specific function to the business as a whole. The purpose of such radical digitalization is to make a significant difference in the overall levels of business performance and organizational maturity. However, organizations are different, they have different strength, they have different cultures, they have different structures, they compete in different markets, and they have different scales and speed. How can organizations walk the talk, talk the walk, and make a big leap of digitalization?


Walk the talk: Digital leaders’ technological vision and passion should not get confused with rushing to new technologies or think digitalization is only the single dimensional technical extension. In a world that has been transformed by digital technologies, many overly restricted traditional organizational hierarchy become somehow obsoleted as the digital platforms blur functional, business, and even industrial territories. The 'reach and range' flexibility that now exists removes barriers that have existed in the past. The pervasive digitization requires that both business leaders and professionals rethink how things are done in organizations. Often, there is more than one road to lead the digital way. You should develop your own tailored best and next practices to experiment and explore the unique path of going digital. At the high maturity level, organizations have to stretch out in every business dimension for driving the full-fledged digital transformation. It is important for digital leaders to clarify accountability and responsibility by asking: “Who” can walk the talk and lead change? Who can sponsor changes, walk the talk and steer the organization in the right direction? There is a group of professionals who are responsible and accountable for “HOW” digital transformation is executed in a consistent, repeatable, and measured manner. The digital transformation is likely to follow a non-linear pattern as the pervasiveness of an organization's digitization journey increase. It is an overarching approach that has to dig underneath the surface of businesses and takes a structural way to integrate both hard and soft business elements to build the long-term organizational competency.

Talk the Walk: “Talk the Walk,” in other words, means practice first, then share. Digitalization is the journey many never take before. Besides “walk the talk,” developing best practices and sharing “lessons learned” are all crucial steps for mastering changes and improving organizational responsiveness and performance. To lead change effectively, digital leaders should tell the compelling vision-empowered story to inspire teams; forecast emerging digital trends, and engage people to participate in changes. Big change requires participants to understand the "why" behind business initiatives, and for leaders to clearly communicate the goals, expectations and success criteria and to hold managers accountable. “Talk the walk” is critical because there are communication and trust gaps between management and employees; there is the “lost in translation” syndrome in cross-functional conversation, and there are all types of gaps existing at the different level of the organization. What people really care about is what-does-this-mean-to-them. Its very important to remember that change occurs on a continuum, digital leaders need to help their audience wrap their brains around what will change, what the timeline is, what the business benefit change will bring, and what the desired outcomes of the change are. Change requires tools, training, and practices in order for the participants to feel comfortable that the service level they provide will continue or improve with the same or reduced effort and they will master change with confidence.


Make a leap: Today’s digital dynamic enables companies to leverage their various environments, or ecosystems, to chase growth opportunities and accelerate business performance. Because the ways of doing business and meeting customer expectations both tend to be more flexible than the siloed industrial age. How successful organizations can handle continuous digital disruptions depends on how fast and capable they can adapt to the ever-changing environment. In reality, even in the simplest organizations, the speed is not homogenous across the enterprise. There are speed differences between “front office” and “back office.” Many organizations are at the inflection point of the digital transformation to speed up. Organizations can reach their strategic inflection point when they can synchronize and conduct change, and the scale of interrelations, interactions, or interrelational interactions amplified the collective capability to achieve more values for the organization with accelerated speed. It creates new opportunities for businesses that adept at executing; it is also the moment to be “paranoid” - as it is the act of inflecting or the state of being inflected. It is the moment organizations can create synergy by harmonizing all part of the business to reach the next level of the growth cycle and make a leap of digitalization.

Organizations of the future are increasingly exhibiting digital characteristics in various shades and intensity. It is important to well orchestrate all fundamental elements of the business: People, process, and technology into ongoing change capability, stretch out in every business dimensions, walk the talk, talk the walk, and make a digital leap effortlessly.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The Digital “Flavors” of Innovation

Innovation has to become your business routine, corporate culture to renew creative energy. 

Digital innovation has a broader spectrum and the hybrid nature. It comes in the variety of flavors and there are many opportunities in an enterprise to taste it. The companies who get the most from innovation effort have the right ambition, good leadership, and culture quintessential. The purpose of innovation categorization and differentiation is not about separating and siloing these management disciplines but how to best link them together - across focusing on core activities to develop innovation competency and manage a healthy innovation portfolio in a structural way.


Systematic innovation: Innovation is not serendipity, organizations should ideally have a sustainable approach to innovation. A systematic approach is based on an in-depth understanding of business issues, to depict innovation as a system (rather than a traditional process), whose performance depends on the alignment of its various components (people, actions, controls, resources, etc.). Fundamentally, innovation is the process to solve business problems in alternative ways. Innovation process could be very loose on purpose, but what is very rigorous and systematic is the analysis of the problems and the ability to innovate by the depth of understanding the issue to be solved, identifying and evaluating opportunities where important problems need to be solved; and then, the practice of systematic innovation can focus on translating from the innovation system to the business process. Digital innovation often has a lot to do with external circumstance, traditional management approach often focus on internal circumstances. It is important to leverage a systematic approach with robust processes and tools that deal with both and enable the business generating winning concepts on the consistent basis to manage innovation systematically.

Customer-centric innovation: Digital is the Era of people. The customers including prospects should be observed and studied. For a customer-driven innovation, customers are the major focus of the digital innovation process and accomplishment. Listen to customers and involve them in the innovation process to gain insight and empathy. This involves gaining a deep understanding of the motivational construct of the customer through empathy and observation with the innovator using a more inductive approach as to what the customer wants to accomplish "next," and then, they become more anticipatory and figure out how to solve innovation puzzles presented by differences between what is verbalized, what is acted out and what is technically feasible. Innovation must prove its value in the market. Customers must be willing to pay for this, be it a product, process or service innovation. Thus, customers become an important link in the innovation process. When managing customer-centric innovation life cycle, customer involvement at all stages often elicits highly valuable information.

Open innovation: Open innovation = innovation whereby a company uses the ideas, sources or help of people outside the company. These people are normally business partners, customers or crowd-sourcing consultants. Open innovation leverages all the information sources available in developing a robust innovation pipeline to improve innovation management effectiveness. Innovations simply benefit from being developed in and subsequently commercialized in a more open ecosystem. There is more flow of creative ideas, the more is happening, the pie gets bigger. The smaller players can gain economies of scale through collaboration. Open Innovation not only lies in an industry that is rapidly growing and market participants are small and fragmented; but also in the mature sectors or traditional companies that only innovation can rejuvenate their business by breaking down the bureaucratic culture and improving their business changeability and innovation capacity.

Design-driven innovation: Design becomes a strategic business driver equal to business and technology. Good design is much more than decoration. Tools for design are user personas, scenarios, and storyboards. The design is largely considered a byproduct of solid engineering discipline. The design-driven innovation takes planning and fine-tuning that must take place to deliver products or services. It is also about composition and designers seek a different kind of inspiration. Design thought has different stages of maturity: From design-by-default, where design just happens and design is dictated by status quo policies, procedures, tools, and old mindsets, to design –by-practice, where design becomes the key ingredient of innovation strategy, and design-driven innovation has been supported by cohesive business capabilities, fine-tuned business processes and high-skilled talent teams with open mind working in creative business environment. Design-driven innovation is not spontaneous or serendipitous. When an organizational maturity about design increases, design moves from superficial afterthought (branding a design) to competitive advantage (branding through design). Very few companies can arrive at the top of the design maturity pyramid though.

Management Innovation: Management innovation means to accelerate innovation at the multitude of levels. Management innovation includes multiple elements such as communication innovation, culture innovation, process innovation, etc, management innovation can be very powerful, yet, it really comes with personal risks as you get close to the “core of power and control.” Management innovation is a new angle to orchestrate a broader spectrum of digital innovations. Management innovation could change the way managers do what they do to improve the organizational capability to innovate. It's important to create the space for dialogues and debates about why it is important for their organization, developing a common understanding of it, creating the necessity and motivation for it. To achieve that, the right atmosphere should be created and maintained, such as how to encourage innovation, reward innovators, optimize the innovation process, and build a culture of learning.

Digital is the age of innovation. Digital innovation has all sorts of flavors, there are sweet spots, also some bitter bites. Innovation needs to be introduced all over the spectrum of the product lifecycle (refreshing the portfolio, finding totally new fields or ensuring on-going profitability and extension of the current portfolio). Innovation has to become your business routine, corporate culture to renew creative energy and it requires a systematic approach to running a balanced portfolio for building innovation strength in your organization constantly.

Running a Business-Driven Digital IT Organization

Running a business-driven digital IT organization means that IT can demonstrate its performance not from IT lens, but from outside-in business and customer perspective.


At today’s information-driven business dynamic, IT continues to grow in importance to organizations, both operationally and as a competitive advantage. To reinvent IT for getting digital ready, IT organization has to move from a reactive order taker and a back office support function to a strategic business partner and digital catalyst. It is important to run a business-driven digital IT organization with interdisciplinary management practices for moving the company to a dynamic, iterative, integral, and interactive digital flow and business continuum.






Information Management fluency: It is the radical shift from running “T” - technology-driven IT to “I” - information focused IT and business-driven IT organization, which has the ultimate goal to become a strategic business partner. Because the intrinsic value of information management is to tun information and knowledge assets of the business into corporately owned assets and improve business decision effectiveness and overall business competency. The epistemic value of information/knowledge management is to develop the highly professional knowledge workforce and cultivate the culture of learning and innovation. Information Management is the critical business process of aligning the application of information through cohesive management practices. Information is dynamic and knowledge needs to be updated all the time. Information flows into the company, gets stored, processed, refined, and hopefully flow to the customers of the company to ensure products/services delivery smoothly. On the flip side, information is also something that can hinder the achievement of strategic objectives, having it unavailable or compromised. If not properly managed, it becomes a worse case an organizational liability and at best case as the underutilized business asset. From Information Management perspective, running a business-driven digital organization means that the business has the rich flow of information, information has the right quality; information is applied properly, and information has been refined into business insight or customer foresight with the aim of solving tough business problems and improving organizational responsiveness and performance intellectually.

IT-Business Engagement: To run a business-driven digital IT organization, forward-looking companies are moving from reluctant business-IT alignment to proactive IT-business engagement stage. Put simply, running IT as the business. IT works as an integral part of the business to capitalize on growth opportunity and lead digitalization. It takes very concerted, dedicated, and structural efforts and a strong desire on both business and IT side to make it happen smoothly. More specifically, it means having IT and business collaborate as equal partners so that strategies, portfolios, structures, and people, etc, work in harmony, such that initiatives, especially those focused on leveraging IT to increase revenues are successful. IT can drive the digital transformation but it should be in conjunction with the business. Thie cross-functional collaboration entails effective communication, governance, value analytics, partnership, information & technology fluency, and people skills. When IT is operated through an outside-in business lens, focus on solving both existing and emerging business problems, it is on the right track to get digital ready and build its reputation as the trustful business partner.


Strategic partnership: Due to the complex nature of technology and overwhelming information, to run a business-driven digital IT organization, IT leaders have to build up the strong partnership both with business managers as well as other service providers within digital ecosystem. So, the business will not just use IT as a digital extension, but leverage IT across their organization to attain the enterprise-wide digital transformation. From the IT relationship management perspective, IT leaders need to check continually: Who will work with you to overcome problems or roadblocks? Who are your supporters and who are your detractors? Who are your partners and who are your competitors, or maybe both at the different situation. Internally, IT management and staff should learn to listen to the internal users and business partner’s pain points and develop a collaborative approach to co-solve common business issues; Externally, IT needs to build a solid partnership with vendors - manage a mixed bag of diversified vendors, multifaceted partnerships, co-ownership of ventures and companies, etc. Overall speaking, IT needs to build a solid partnership with the business and vendors across the digital ecosystem, run in a very entrepreneur fashion to solve business problems effectively. The big leap through the strategic partnership establishment is to do more with innovation, modernize business models, and create significant opportunities for growing business and delighting customers continually.

Running a business-driven digital IT organization means that IT can demonstrate its performance not from IT lens, but from outside-in business and customer perspective. The priority for CIOs is to genuinely position IT as an integral and inseparable part of the business, develop IT that is flexible to accommodate rapidly changing business strategies and requirements, define core IT competency, and refine IT reputation as the invaluable business partner.

Monday, June 25, 2018

The Five Perspectives of Innovators

Innovators are among us and within us, spot them by how they think and do things differently. 

Either for individuals or businesses, creativity is a long-term endeavor. It must be cultivated. Why can innovators find more view spots than others? Why can innovators think differently and connect unusual dots effortlessly? What fuels creativity? Creativity is a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Here are some perspectives of being innovative.


Perception: Perception is one’s interpretation of reality. Perception is based on one’s thought processes which are influenced by one’s thinking style, cognitive understanding, and knowledge level. A perceptive mind is subjective but can be open enough to embrace other minds' perception. Having a learning attitude allows you to become more positive and gives you the energy to overcome obstacles and practice creativity frequently. How we wish to impact the world creatively has to be in alignment with our perception - With an ever-changing world, it is important to consciously update perceptions for things you are not sure or people you do not know well, the purpose is to the make appropriate adjustments and lead change creatively.

Plasticity: Neu­ro­plas­tic­ity refers to the life­long capac­ity of the brain to change and rewire itself in response to the stim­u­la­tion of learn­ing and expe­ri­ence. In neuronal terms, this involves disabling some of the “wiring” and working on the new ones. All of that requires a deliberate mental effort. The cognition involves exploring varieties of meanings/thoughts, abandoning old connections, and establishing new relations to trigger creativity. A creative mind with plasticity is able to absorb all necessary knowledge and adjust its thinking processes according to changes in its environment, as well as applying the acquired knowledge and lessons to succeed in new situations, to connect wider dots for sparking creativity.

Patten Recognition: Patterns are defined as "solutions of problems in a context" with a body of "descriptions of forces." Pattern thinking is a type of creative thinking because sometimes tie patterns together so you can navigate among them for figuring out alternative solutions. Patterns are containers for describing relationships, pattern thinking is a hybrid thinking to combine designing thinking, architect thinking, system thinking, and visual thinking. To be creative, you need to continue discovering new patterns, so it requires you to keep your eyes open and keep your mind off the box in order to break down conventional box and actively seek out new ideas wherever you can discover them.

Problem-Solving: Unless there is a problem, there is no creativity. Creativity needs a problem, and a creative person needs a purpose. Being creative is about how to solve a problem intelligently and come up with elegant solutions. Change, creativity, and problem-solving are all interrelated. It takes courage to get out of conventional thinking box, practice creative thinking to come out novel ideas, broaden thoughts and connect wider dots for coming up better solutions. You never know how innovative you might be in some field before encountering the problems and before the adoption of solutions. Creative problem-solvers are able to reframe circumstance or conditions around a problem and solve them in alternative ways. Innovation is all about the madness of solving problems and doing things in a better way.


Personality: When we say personality, we are talking about mindsets/ traits/emotions/attitudes/ behavior. Thinking is the seed that molds and makes one's life. The way we think has much of effect and impact on how we interact with the world. Extroverts can share ideas or thoughts by interacting with others or the environment proactively; Introverts can spend more time pondering and often creativity is nurtured in solitude. Both personality types have a great opportunity to be creative. People are different, we all have different characters, personalities, favorite activities, strengths, and weaknesses. Both introverts and extroverts need to learn how to think profoundly, connect interdisciplinary dots, be open to new experience, and tolerate ambiguity, to stimulate creativity.

Innovators are among us and within us, spot them by how they think and do things differently. Empower them to build the culture of innovation. The world needs more of creative thinkers who can handle the ever-increasing complexities and discover the new path for leading digital transformation smoothly.

Three Misguidance Stifles Digitalizaton

Digital era is volatile, complex, uncertain and ambiguous, misguidance will cause the business “getting lost” in the deep, deep digital reality.

Digital means flow and high velocity, closer to reality is that 'change' is continuously happening in such a dynamic environment of a company, with accelerated speed. It indicates that business leaders must learn how to strike a right balance between managing complex issues today and  forecasting the uncertain issues of tomorrow, commit to transforming themselves into a highly innovative digital business powerhouse. Misguidance will cause business failing and stifle digitalization. To stay competitive, companies must be steered in the right direction, move from “Doing Digital” - experimenting with digital technological tools to “Being Digital” - running a full-fledged digital organization.

Misfit thinking: Digital is all about flow, information flow, idea flow, mind flow, and business flow. Digitalization is the transformative change which needs to optimize the underlying functions and processes, adjust both visible and invisible business elements as well as fine-tune the digital ecosystem accordingly. How successful you can lead such overarching changes depends on the depth of your understanding, the lenses you apply to view the digital landscape; the mindset you shape to drive changes, and the methodology you leverage to make change happen. Thus, misfit thinking is often the root cause of misguidance. Fundamentally, we are all part of social ecosystems with both individual and collective mindsets. To lead and sustain change forward, it requires a change of mindset at every level and has an in-depth understanding that things cannot stay the same. Leadership starts at the mindset level; to lead changes in the right direction, it is important to be able to seek out knowledge, have a profound understanding, address ignorance or assumptions to fill out blind spots. This is the groundwork that has to be done across the organizational hierarchy prior to initiating major changes.

Misinterpretation and miscommunication: Digital organizations are hyperconnected and interdependent, Digital Management is a set of interdisciplinary practices. It requires digital leaders and professionals harness cross-functional communication and collaboration to ensure the business as a whole is superior to the sum of pieces. Contextual understanding is important to handle many complex business problems today. Often misinterpretation or miscommunication cause misguidance. Every organizational functions or division has its own focus and dialect, the mistake that most organizations make in this regard is that they fail to translate the high-level language of business strategy into the sub-strategy of business functions and then into the professional language of the various staff specialism. It is also important to understand the whole meaning of functional dialects and business cultures or subcultures without "getting lost in translation," in order to set the right guidance in a cohesive way.

Misalignment: Alignment often refers to arrangement and alliance. Business strategic alignment means how to translate business strategy into operational activities and create synergies in making strategy everyone’s daily work and mobilizing change through digital synchronization. Misalignment stifles digitalization. For example, the business alignment shouldn’t mean setting overly rigid business processes to stifle change or innovation. Alignment also goes beyond conformity and order-taking, it needs to include a close business partnership through interpersonal communication and effective governance discipline. The organizations that have high-mature alignment outperform their competitors and tend to be highly responsive to changes and good at innovation. To make the seamless alignment, Organizations need to fill the multifaceted gaps, such as business competency gaps - the place where the business wants to be and where the business is today; the gap between IT and business; the gap between what customers’ need and what the business offers; the gap between the business aggressiveness and the limited resources. Alignment is a multidimensional and continuous process that demands continuous attention to improving business harmony.

Digital era is volatile, complex, uncertain and ambiguous, misguidance will cause the business “getting lost” in the deep, deep digital reality. Digital leaders today must bridge insight gap, gain contextual understanding, be knowledgeable and engaged, seek to engage others, and set the right guidance to achieve the ultimate business goals and reach the high-level business maturity.