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.

Monday, December 31, 2018

The Popular Quotes about “New Year Reflection & Resolution”

New Year is around the corner, it’s also the time to celebrate the “Future of CIO” blog #5300 blog posting. Blogging is not about writing, but about brainstorming, innovating and sharing insight. Here is a set of quotes about New Year reflection and resolution. Slideshares, Video




Keep fit, start at the mindset level, make the new year resolution rolling into the reality.

Digital flows from a combination of character, learning agility, life experiences, capability & knowledge, success & failure and a desire to change.

It is another new year ahead of us, and it is the time to recharge the energy, open the new chapter of learning, growing and innovating.

The condition of being human is the endless search for the conditions that allow the human to maximize the human potential.

Learn to think beyond a single dimension; look beyond the surface; love more than one color and enjoy the world of difference.

To create a positive change tomorrow, you need to start today understanding self.

Introspection opens the mind to be on a path to a "better" version of yourself.

Progress is impossible without change.

The Monthly Digital Principles/Practices Summary: New Year Digital Practices Dec. 2018

The New Year is around the corner. It’s the time to make some predictions and reflections. It’s also time to set some digital rules and develop digital practices. Digital rules are based on a set of fundamental beliefs behind the methodologies and they help to shape mindsets behind behaviors. Besides building a set of principles to follow, it’s also important to develop a series of best/next practice to scale up and amplify digital effects in the New Year.



                   New Year Digital Practices


Developing Multidimensional Thinking? With fast-paced changes, shortened knowledge cycle and fierce competitions, no one can rest on a static mindset, past accomplishments, or the wishful thought that everything is perfect the way it is. The digital workforce is a new breed - it's the super-connected generation with a multitude of varieties - multi-generations, multidimensional intelligence, multi-cultures, and multi-devices. The digital organization is the self-organized but interlaced and hyper-connected ecosystem. The high mature digital organization today needs to be sophisticated enough to act intelligently and nimble enough to adapt to changes promptly. The traditional management discipline based on silo thinking, linear logic, and reductionistic approach is outdated somehow. Here are five thinking forces to lead the digital transformation.

Dare to be a “misfit” Digital is the age of innovation and options. Nowadays, knowledge is only a click away, and digital convenience makes an impact on every aspect of individual life and business management. The world becomes more diverse, dynamic, but also hyper-connected than ever, the stereotypical perceptions or the reductionistic management discipline have to shift for fitting the ever-changing digital era we live in.

Build digital competency: People are always the most invaluable asset in any organizations. The forward-thinking digital organizations these days look for such hybrid talent, who has the digital fit mindset, the right balance of learning style, character, and energy within the team; and who has well set of capabilities needed with digital speed.

Cultivate Learning Habit? To quote Peter Drucker, an American management guru, “knowledge is the most valuable commodity.” It couldn’t be truer in the digital era. On one hand, the fresh knowledge can be captured from the abundance of information, to create significant business value; on the other hand, it doesn’t take so long for that knowledge to become a commodity once the market is exposed to it. With overwhelming growth of information and shortened knowledge cycle, today's digital workforce must develop the hybrid learning habit in order to build professional competency and unlock their performance and potential?

Five Practices to Enforce Enterprise Innovation and Change In the rapidly evolving businesses and economic systems, the creation of new innovations is very complex but critical for firms' survival and thriving. The essence of innovation is made of trying the new combination of known things to create new stuff and figure out the better way to do things. Organizations should develop a healthy working environment to encourage idea sharing, enable cross-functional communication, and take a scientific approach to crack innovation serendipity code for achieving digital innovation premium. Here are five digital practices to enforce enterprise innovation and change.

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2.8 million page views with about #5300th blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The “Digital Master” book series includes 25 books to share insight from the multidimensional digital lens and perceive the multi-faceted impact the digital era upon us is making to the businesses and society. 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.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

The Monthly “Digital Hybridity” Book Tuning: Running Hybrid IT with Balance Dec. 2018


The purpose of the book “Digital Hybridity: How to Strike the Right Balance for Digital Paradigm Shift is to shed some light on how to strike the right balance of stability and changes; being transactional to keep spinning and being transformational to leap forward for making a seamless digital paradigm shift. Digital organizations should apply the hybrid management approach, focus on building a diverse, networked, and extended modern working environment in which the powerful digital platforms and computing technologies enable seamless conversations, delayer overly rigid organizational hierarchy, inspire idea sharing and brainstorming, and engage employees and partners to achieve the high-performance result.

            

                     Running Hybrid IT with Balance


“IT Innovation” Book Introduction Chapter 3 Renovate a Hybrid IT and Digital Organization We live in the world with both “old” and “new,” embracing digital is inevitable as that it is now part of reality. The latest enterprise digital computing technologies enable seamless virtual platforms, enhance physical organizational structures, empower workforce sharing the thoughts and ideas, engage customers and partners to voice concerns and feedbacks, and encourage the broader conversation and interaction within its business ecosystem. Either from management, technology or talent perspective, is running a hybrid business the right way to move IT and digital organization forward with the right speed?

CIOs as "Chief Instrument Officer": Three Aspects to Run IT with Digital Balance? Organizations large and small are heading to digital transformation; IT has been pushed out of its comfort zone as back office and become a frontrunner in such a business transformation. Thus, IT cannot just keep “We always do things like that” mentality, and explore the new possibilities. IT has to strike the right balance of achieving operational excellence from the transactional perspective and making a leap of digitalization from the transformational lens. Here are three aspects to run IT with digital balance.

Is IT Leadership like Bicycling: All About Balance: Many IT organizations are on the way to the digital paradigm shift, from running a maintenance center for keeping the business light on to reinvent IT as an innovation engine and value creator. There is a mixed bag of legacy technologies and emergent digital tools and apps to run an IT organization today. Therefore, IT leaders need to bridge the chasm between “the old’ way to do things and the new way to think and prioritize how to run a high-performing IT, as well as how to measure IT value via the business perspective. Is today’s IT leadership just like bicycling, all about balance?

The Middle Ground CIO Leadership: Running Digital IT by Taking a Hybrid Approach Information Technology becomes pervasive in the modern enterprise today, the CIO role is perhaps one of the most sophisticated executive positions in modern businesses because they often get obsessed with many things, have to wear multiple personas and practice situational leadership all the time, regardless of whether they like it or not. IT is in the middle of the sea change, it is important to realize that there are basic principles and rules that enable IT keeping the business lights on as well as leading changes and maximizing the best business value. But more specifically, how can CIOs play the middle ground leadership.

Running a High-Performance IT with Digital Balance? In today’s digital dynamic and technical environments where IT is being used more and more around the globe for revenue generating initiatives and the business is becoming IT. IT organization plays a significant role in both keeping the business bottom line and contributing to the top line business growth; leveraging the latest technologies to catalyze innovation as well as setting the standard for risk management. IT is also crucial to fix the handy, urgent business problems, and digitizing the touch points of customer experience for the business’s long-term transformation. Hence, the impact of IT organization depends on how it can strike the digital balance right and make the leap of digital transformation.

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2.8 million page views with about #5300+ 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.

Year-End Summary: The Most Popular Blogs about Digital Transformation 2018

The emergence of potential opportunities for exploring and exploiting digitization is likely to follow a nonlinear pattern as the pervasiveness of an organization's digitization journey increases. 

Digital Master refers to those high-performing, highly innovative and high-mature (less than 15%) digital organizations; they have both clear digital vision and well-crafted digital strategy; they are courageous to be in the vanguard of digital transformation with a quantum lead. But they also proactively develop more advanced and unique digital capabilities step-by-step and build a digital premium into their very foundation of business, such as digital thinking, culture, agility, intelligence, and structure, and they achieve high performing results through strong digital governance discipline and reach its zenith as the digital world continues to expand and diversify.
          


  The Most Popular Blogs about Digital Transformation 2018


The Tide, Wave, and Ripple Effect of an evolving digital organization? Change is the new normal. The speed of change is increasing, to put simply, change itself changes. Change Management also turns out to be more complex. Digitalization is all about the exponential growth of information, rapid speed of changes, hyperconnectivity and interdependence. The emergence of potential opportunities for exploring and exploiting digitization is likely to follow a nonlinear pattern as the pervasiveness of an organization's digitization journey increases. The digital ecosystem has also become more complex and dynamic. Therefore, today’s digital leaders need to understand the tide, wave, and the ripple effect of an evolving digital organization in order to manage changes seamlessly.

Softening the “Hard” to Accelerate Digitalization Organizations across the industrial sectors are on the journey of digitalization. Being “digital ready” goes beyond just applying the latest digital technology, it is a holistic effort and multifaceted discipline to touch every aspect of the business. There are many tangible and intangible variables to decide the ultimate success of business transformation. The purpose of such radical digitalization is to make a significant difference in improving organizational effectiveness, responsiveness, performance, and maturity. There is the need to “harden the soft or intangible business factors,” as well as the demand to “soften the hard business factors” in order to lead change frictionlessly and make a digital leap effortlessly.

The Digital Readiness of Organizations 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. Most organizations have a mix of old and new, physical and virtual, order and chaos, the old way and the new way to do things, etc. Therefore, evaluating the digital readiness of the business is important to allow room for adjustments and keeping the organization dynamic and informative, in order to manage a high mature business.

How to Create Digital Synergy for Running a High Mature Digital Organization? Digital organizations are like the living systems that can self-renew in thriving as high-performance businesses. it means to have thought-out planning, but also take calculated risks and adapt to the emergent changes with speed. Digital businesses and their people learn through their interactions with the environment, to keep knowledge flow as well as business flow. But more specifically, how to create synergy and run a highly responsive and high mature digital organization?

Five Stages from “Doing Digital” to “Being Digital”? Organizational digitalization is not just about using the latest technology gadgets or applying fancy tools. At the high maturity level, organizations have to stretch out in every business dimension for driving the full-fledged digital transformation. There are a couple of evolutional ecosystems stages businesses have to experience in order to ride above the learning curve and move up the business maturity from “Doing Digital,” to “Being Digital.”


The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2.8 million page views with about 5200+ 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 to human progression.

Five "Thinking Forces" to Drive Digital

The digital workforce is a new breed - it's the super-connected generation with a multitude of varieties - multi-generations, multidimensional intelligence, multi-cultures, and multi-devices. 

With fast-paced changes, shortened knowledge cycle and fierce competitions, no one can rest on a static mindset, past accomplishments, or the wishful thought that everything is perfect the way it is. The digital workforce is a new breed - it's the super-connected generation with a multitude of varieties - multi-generations, multidimensional intelligence, multi-cultures, and multi-devices. The digital organization is the self-organized but interlaced and hyper-connected ecosystem. The high mature digital organization today needs to be sophisticated enough to act intelligently and nimble enough to adapt to changes promptly. The traditional management discipline based on silo thinking, linear logic, and reductionistic approach is outdated somehow. Here are five thinking forces to lead the digital transformation.

Strategic thinking: A strategic thinker creates or grasps new opportunities and strikes the delicate balance in the digital dynamics. To put simply, strategic thinking is about keeping the end in end. Strategic thinking is specified as being conceptual, systems-oriented, directional, linking the future with the past and opportunistic. The strategic leaders or professionals gain an understanding of the past and the perception of the future as knowledge permits. They can think multi-dimensionally and do not get lost in mundane detail. They can leverage different lenses to view the complete business system as an ecosystem with all its dependencies and interconnections. Strategic leaders will create a blue ocean for their organization which will provide a competitive advantage in the long run. The difference between the tactical manager and strategic leader is that the first one thinks about the business from the transactional perspective while the second one is thinking business from a transformational perspective.

Critical thinking: We live in a world with an increasing pace of changes. Change is chaotic and inevitable. Change Management needs to take a logical scenario which starts with leveraging Critical Thinking to figure out the “Big Why” about changes. Critical Thinking is contextual, both reality oriented and evidence-oriented. It involves induction and deduction continuum. Change leaders and managers should leverage critical thinking in understanding both psychology and methodology behind changes. Real change and improvement are deprogramming old mindsets, letting go of the outdated traditions or the voices from the past. Too often people may take the easy path, think and work at a superficial level rather than spend the time on understanding what is going on underneath. The extent of effort in Critical Thinking also has a lot to do with diagnosing the root causes of real problems, a sense of urgency, the impact of decisions, the scope of impact, as well as who is being impacted. Critical Thinking is also commonly understood to involve the willingness to integrate new or revised perspectives into better ways of thinking and acting, and willingness to foster criticality in others, leveraging systematic methodologies, employing and applying the criteria deemed appropriate by the thinkers involved, to arrive at the tangible and reproducible business results.

Systems thinking: Systems thinking is a discipline for seeing wholes as well as the interconnectivity between parts and the whole. It is a framework for seeing interrelationships rather than isolated things, for seeing patterns of change rather than static “snapshots.” Systems Thinking opens the mind from a global or macro perspective. It is a set of general principles—distilled over the course of the twentieth century, spanning fields as diverse as the physical and social sciences, engineering, and management. Systems Thinking is not just a science, but an art as well. It’s an interdisciplinary thought process with deep creativity in it. Leveraging Systems Thinking in harnessing innovation and driving digital transformation is all about taking a scientific approach to problem identifying and solving. It allows you to a number of things such as embracing uncertainty, identifying interconnections and interdependencies, understanding flows or the lack of them, and spotting business opportunities. The true System Thinking is about seeing the connections around us. When we perceive the dynamism in the world, we also inevitably see connectivity and the possibility of change for evolution.

Creative thinking: Creativity is an innate thought process to create novel ideas. Creativity converges with the concept of innovation that is the management discipline to transform innate ideas and achieve its business value. To be creative, first, you need to embrace the unknown (think outside the box). Second, you need to challenge the known (probe the paradoxes). Many people always live with conventional wisdom. But being creative requires you to break down the outdated rules or concepts, or the little box which restricts your thinking. Creativeness derives from one's ability to let go. Let go of assumptions and stigmas we place on objects, ideas, function, and has a vision of purpose besides what is already obvious. Organizations starve for creativity. Creativity is about connecting dots, which are usually seemly unrelated because they are scattered in transdisciplinary, but interconnected domains. Creativity is a talent and learning activities which help to shape up creative ideas and creative process fusion. You have to digest knowledge, and not just understand it on the superficial level, but to “see” things or make connections others cannot, to stimulate creativity.

Holistic thinking: The word "holistic" itself refers to something that transcends an adding or combination of thinking ways. Holistic thinking is more than a combination of those three ways of thinking: Analytical, systems, and critical thinking. Holistic thinking requires a very open mind and ability to transcend conventional wisdom, thinking about the whole system in question: What is the question? Is that the right question? What is the behavior (observable input-process-output result) of the whole? What is the problem? Why? What seems to be the constraints? What are the enablers? Where is the weakest link/strongest constraint? What are the components? How do they affect (enable/constrain) each other? How strong is each individual effect? Which functions are integral to the value-chain pipeline? which is directly supporting? which are peripheral? Which factors or aspects of the problem seem most critical? How are all of the components/actors/measures in the system related? Holistic thinking enables understanding of “patterns of change” which is important for dynamic problem-solving. Being holistic also suggests a genuine sense of exploration and innovation or simply creative problem-solving.

We are living in a complex world where inventions, developments, and conflicts are continuously changing and that makes it impossible to have complete knowledge and understanding of many issues facing the business today. Thus, silo thinking or linear logic is simply not sufficient to solve today’s complex business problems. The multiple thinking forces help digital leaders broaden their perspectives of the dynamic digital ecosystem, deepen their understanding of interconnected nature of the business, with the ultimate goal to steer the business in the right direction and accelerate digital paradigm shift.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

The Year-End Summary: The Most Popular Creativity & Innovation Blog Posting 2018

Working in an innovation garden not only takes passion but also needs the process and hard work. 

Digital is the age of innovation. And innovation is what leads to differentiation. There are many ways to differentiate and, therefore, there are many ways to pursue innovation. Talking about innovation is not new nowadays, everybody, every organization now is talking about innovation. It's been at or near the top of the business or economics agenda for a long time. However, there are a lot of confusions about innovation and there is no magic sauce to guarantee its success. Innovation is not serendipity, but a discipline.           

    2018 Popular Creativity & Innovation Blog Posting


Monitor the Pulse of Digital Innovation? As businesses get more cut-throat in the hyper-connected digital environment, innovation has to become part of DNA in an organization for delivering unique products or services, improving employee engagement and customer satisfaction. Innovation can occur anywhere in the organization, and frankly, it has to occur in every aspect of the organization. On the other hand, innovation is a means, not an end. If you don't know where you want to go, you are unlikely to get there. Monitoring the innovation pulse of your organization is to help the leadership team make an objective assessment of the business’s innovation capability, as well as how to make the proper adjustment for improving the success rate of innovation management.

How to Develop a Learning Mind to Spark Creativity At the individual level, being a continuous learner is no longer simply a choice one can make. It is a necessity and imperative; if one expects to add value, to compete for the future with authenticity and consistency. It is the foundation to stimulate creativity. At the organizational level, the always-on, hyperconnected global workplace opens a whole new world on how to build both creative and productive workforce. Today's digital leaders and professional must contemplate how to develop a learning mind to spark creativity and how to shape a learning culture -from mindset to mind flow, grooming more collective learning minds and tap the fountain of creativity?

Systems Thinking vs. Creativity The purpose of Systems Thinking is to solve problems and creating desirable futures. The goal of creativity is to connect the dots for generating naval ideas. So many people do not know how to connect the dots within complex systems, nor think inclusively or holistically, nor comprehend dynamics, induction or deduction, nor understand expensive variables, interfaces, and interactions. Here is the dot connection between creativity and Systems Thinking.

Design Formula: The Promise and Myth of Design Thinking? Design is a powerful myth which has arisen at the dawn of the digital era in which innovation, options, and people-centricity are the digital themes. Design Thinking is not just about wireframes and visual designs. It has a broader scope and you need to think about the brand, long-term business positioning, and rigorous user understanding. If there is any magic design formula, could that be: Design = Start with the end in mind + Non-linear thinking +Outside-in view + Loosen-up.

How to Develop a Comprehensive Innovation Framework? Innovation is not serendipity. Working in an innovation garden not only takes passion but also needs the process and hard work. A systematic innovation approach is to depict innovation as a system, rather than a traditional process. Innovation performance depends on the alignment of its various components (people, process, resources, actions, controls, measurement, etc.). Though there's no single structure that will work in every organization, the comprehensive innovation framework with all important enterprise components is the great tool to intensify innovation with focus and manage innovation in a structural way.

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2.8 million page views with about 5200+ 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 to human progression.





The Monthly “12 CIO Personas” Book Turning: The Futurologist CIO Dec. 2018

The digital CIOs have to wear different colors of hats and master multiple leadership personas and management roles effortlessly.
This book 12 CIO Personas: The Digital CIO’s Situational Leadership Practices is the extensive brainstorming and logical content expansion of my book “CIO Master: Unleash the Digital Potential of IT,” to reimagine and reinvent CIO leadership via practicing multitudes of digital influence. The important thing is that CIOs as the top leadership role must have a strong mindset, a unique personality, and a clear idea of what needs to be done, yet creative enough to not hold the company back from growth. Regardless of which personality they have, digital CIOs need to be both transformational and situational, innovative and tactical, business savvy and technology insightful, communication-effective and operation-efficient. Here is a set of blogs to brainstorm CIO as futurologist.
The Futurologist CIO
The Futurologist CIO: Digital transformation isn’t just an extension of continuous improvement of the current business, but a quantum leap with radical changes. The futurologist digital CIOs attempt to systematically explore predictions and possibilities about the future of the business and how they can emerge from the present and run IT as a game changer. It is at the tipping point that top performing companies see IT as an asset, capital, and source of competitive advantage.

The Digital CIO’s Breadth of Vision and Depth of Insight: Organizations no matter large or small, all face unprecedented changes, uncertainty, and accelerated business dynamic. With abundant information and continuous disruptions, business initiatives today nearly always involve some form of technology implementation or information processing. However, many IT organizations still get stuck at the low maturity which stems from the prevailing cultural norm that accepts IT as a tactical function, but not as a strategic partner. Until this changes, IT will continue being perceived as the cost center and support desk. To keep IT relevant, digital CIOs must share the breadth of vision and the depth of insight and reinvent IT as the strategic business partner.

Are Visionary CIOs Often Outliers? Modern CIOs have multiple personas, they have to wear different hats to fit the roles situationally in order to lead effectively. Technology is complex, business is complex, and people are complex. Due to increasing changes in the digital dynamic environment, The CIOs needs to be a dynamic person with vision, open, growth and complexity mindset- with high ability to envision the digital trends, manage innovations, communicating to suit situations so as to craft strategies and make things happen. Visionary CIOs are in demand, but who are they, and what can they do to drive digital transformation of the business?

Is Vision "Must Have" or "Nice to Have" for CIOs & C-Suites The best vision is insight, the most-wanted vision is foresight, Being a visionary is a character or perspective. But, is vision “must have” or “nice to have” for CIOs and other C-level executives? Here are nine collective insights upon the “vision thing.”

“CIO Master” Book Preview: Chapter 2 “CIOs as Digital Visionary” Introduction: The Digital Era makes a significant impact on every aspect of the business from people to process, to technology, both horizontally and vertically. In many forward-looking organizations, IT plays a pivotal role in such a radical transformation. The CIO also becomes a strategic leadership role in conveying the digital vision and co-create business strategy and reinventing IT as a growth and innovation engine of the organization. More specifically, visionary CIOs play the following unique role:

Modern organizations have their own sophistication with silo functions, the sea of information, and the pool of talents. The CIO is an inherently cross-functional role, to bridge the business and IT; the data and insight, the business’s today and tomorrow. The digital CIOs have to wear different personas and master multiple leadership and management roles effortlessly. They need to lead at the strategic level for conducting a complex digital orchestra; they should be handy managers to plumbing information and keep it flow smoothly; they also have to be like the diligent gardeners, to build a unique IT landscape via tuning technology, removing waste, nurturing culture, and empowering people.

Motivate Changes by Listening & Telling Enchanting Digital Stories

Great leaders are great storytellers, envision and communicate a people-centric digital transformation.

At today’s “VUCA” digital dynamic, organizations face both unprecedented opportunities to grow and fierce competitions or great risks to survive. Digital leaders should be able to help people navigate through difficult changes, overcome their challenges; help people achieve their goals and objectives, and more importantly, inspire and motivate changes by listening & telling enchanting and engaging digital stories. The good stories are interesting enough to engage others, meaningful enough to touch the hearts, logical enough to connect the minds, vivid enough to reimagine the future and persuasive enough to rolling vision into the reality.

Tell the information-enriched story: The good story is about selling today for tomorrow. It's important to use data for telling information-based stories. It's also critical to listen to what stakeholders need from data - that makes it far more likely that they'll be truly engaged, and eager in what information can deliver. Information is not "just the facts." It's the business impact of those facts that ensures engagement. Digital leaders should tell the number-savvy stories, which can lead to more persuasive and evidence-based communication. Being informative and always bring a new perspective to the table. Present business-driven KPIs interest executive peers at big table: prepare for both good news and bad news supported by data. Either telling a happy or sad story, they need to have an optimistic attitude. Even thing's not going so well, the positive attitude will fuel the passion and solution either at the top level or casual meeting with staff. When releasing bad news, always prepare for some alternative solutions to invite diverse opinions and welcome collective wisdom.

Listen to the fantastic individual stories of their employees and knit them into a vivid business story: One of the very goals for digitalization is to build a people-centric business. Without people, there are no shows about digital transformation. The communication problem is rampant in the business world. In reality, the majority of employees are not engaged in their work due to the mediocre culture or lack of opportunity to grow and unleash their talent potentials. Digital leaders need to know their people very well. Gaining a deep understanding of people means listening to their stories with empathy, truly knowing who they are, how they think, and who they want to become, not based on their physical identity, but seeing through their character, strength, thought process, learning habit, personality. Communication is probably the world’s biggest problem as many listen to respond and not to think profoundly beforehand. When there is a lack of empathetic communication, it is the lack of trust among workers and management. To make things worse, there are so many things employees will not tell their managers what's in their mind. Figuring out the untold story - what employees are not saying might be the start point to greater retention and a more engaged workforce.


Tell the full story vividly about digital transformation, with shapes and colors, not just part of the plot: The digital transformation is a journey, not just about adopting a couple of technology gadgets or designing fancy interfaces. Digital leaders should tell the full story with the colorful vision, varying opportunities and possibilities, upward challenges and downwards risks. It should embrace creativity, context, cascade, tailor the varying business audience, in order to close cognitive gaps and enforce communication effectiveness. Such stories should be vivid enough to inspire more imagination and innovation; and persuasive enough to encourage comprehensive planning and step-by-step actions. Developing a compelling strategic business case is especially critical when an initiative is difficult to monetize. The story-lines might be developed around themes such as: How the initiative situates the organization within a growing and highly profitable product market niche; how the initiative builds business processes that differentiate the organization from its major competitors; how the initiative restores the organization to competitive parity by reversing erosion in customer loyalty and how the initiative ensures the organization’s compliance with regulatory requirements.

Great leaders are great storytellers, envision and communicate a people-centric digital transformation. They are able to represent themselves, able to persuade and to gain trust and respect. They need to have both thinking and communication skills to be able to represent themselves, persuade and to gain trust & respect; so the audience thinks they are not that far away from reality. Telling the story is about connecting, connecting takes vision, empathy, and creativity to touch hearts and influence minds, and motivate people to take actions for changes.

Friday, December 28, 2018

The Monthly Organizational Structure Tuning: The Organizational Structure Innovation Dec. 2018

 The organization should keep tuning its structure and process to become more adaptable. 

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. From an organizational structure perspective, how can you fine-tune the digital dimensions of your organizational development to harness innovation?

 


 The Organizational Structure Innovation

How to Fine Tune the Organizational Structure for Breakthrough Innovation? Innovation is to transform novel ideas and achieve its business value. However, for most of the organizations, innovation, especially breakthrough innovation, is still serendipity. There are many factors to decide innovation success. From an organizational structure perspective, how can you get well organized for managing innovation more effectively?

The Organizational Structure Innovation Digital transformation is the scalable expansion toward multiple directions. The organization should keep tuning its structure and process to become more adaptable. There are different theories of organizational structure innovation and the format of future of the organization etc. The whole point is how to build a more creative and productive working environment in which the employees’ potential can be unleashed, and business as a whole is superior to the sum of pieces.

The New Book "Digital Maturity" Introduction Chapter 3 Fine-Tune Organization Structures to Get Digital Ready Due to the “VUCA” nature of digitalization, organizations that are skilled at managing complexity can gain advantages by pushing the boundaries of more complicated business mix that provides opportunities to create inter-business value. From an organizational change management perspective, how to fine tune the digital dimensions of your organizational structure development to get digital ready?

Organizational Structure and Digital Transformation Majority of organizations are designed to improve functional efficiency in the industrial era; and many traditional organizations today are running at two speeds, with the industrial speed, it can continue to keep the business light on; and with the digital speed, it will adapt to the more frequent digital disruptions, wired to change and designed for better innovation and long-term digital transformation. More specifically, how much influence does organizational structure or management hierarchy have on efficiency and innovation? How do you analyze your company's organizational structure for efficiency/innovation and radical digital transformation?

Tuning Organizational Structure to Improve Digital Ready-ness Organizations across the vertical sectors and geographical boundaries are on the journey of digital transformation. New generations of digital technologies such as digital collaboration platforms and tools are enabling not only the structured processes of the past but also the unstructured processes of the digital enterprise. The future of digital organizations would be complex enough to act intelligently and nimble enough to adapt to the change promptly.

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2+million page views with about #5200+ 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 Trust Formula

Trust = Communication +Transparency + Delegation + Reciprocity + Verification


High performing teams succeed because they are corporate in nature. There are many definitions of trust and what trust entails including role-based trust, vulnerability-based trust, and reciprocity. No blind trust or trust too little. There is no returning to the days when organizations expected and received unconditional loyalty. A company can have all the recognition, celebrations and such it wants, but unless the relationship is a trustworthy one, these activities will be of limited value in increasing engagement and employee performance. Trust is bi-directional.  Communicate, delegate, trust and hold accountable. Does trust have its magic formula: Trust = Communication +Transparency + Delegation + Reciprocity + Verification?

Communication: Communication is soft, but it’s one of the most critical factors of business success. There are all sorts of miscommunication at the different level of the organization, cause mistrust and decrease productivity. For example, there are communication gaps between management and employees, there’s “lost in translation” syndrome in cross-functional conversations. For communicating shared goals to build trust, effective communicators are working to spread that throughout the organization in a diverse set of activities with mixed communication styles, and sometimes, they have to be fluent in multiple business dialects, with contextual intelligence; and keep communication flow with verification.

Transparency: Generally speaking, transparency enforces trust in the organization. You could supervise with control of every move. But to build trust, it is really important for teams as every member is always aware of how the whole process is going on, what results have already been achieved. The transparency is to transform the organization into the system approach, not through command-control hierarchy only. It has to be implemented systematically and communicate democratically. But keep the word of caution: Transparency can be a double edge sword if the audience doesn't understand and embrace the intent in the right spirit.

Delegation: Micromanagement often diminishes trust. There is a logical scenario to good delegation practice for business leaders and managers today. Before you can assign a task to someone else and provide the necessary support and guidance to successfully complete it, you must know exactly what you want; define the job for yourself. Find the right person to do the job. Get agreement from the person to whom you delegate the task to accept responsibility and accountability for the job. It does not mean telling someone how to do it your way. This is giving them enough information to figure out how to do it their way.

Reciprocity: Trust is something we invest in based on our experiences, whatever the context. The true trust is multidimensional. It encompasses trusting self, trusting others, and earning the trust of others. Reciprocity is an important part of building trust and allows predictability and stability in the relationship. Reciprocity works because of shared goals, which create less stress on the relationship. Building a creative environment with a trustful relationship means that people take responsibilities for failures, be inclusive, and focus on learning and experimenting better way to do things.

Verification: Trust, but verify. The high degree of the team’s self-management capability reflects its maturity to be disciplined enough to do the work. You know the team will deliver the best outcome and give them the freedom to do it on their way, figure out alternative solutions, and deliver the best outcome. “Trust but verify" is easy to live by, but ignoring the impact on that micromanagement of your team's decisions and outputs can create a negative impact on the bottom line whether it is easily visible or not.


Trust is vital for the betterment of human existence and providing a competitive advantage for business. The key to trust is to establish trustworthiness as a character trait and the digital culture. To be able to innovate and is able to trust, have the courage to learn when you fail; which we all do every now and then, take responsibility for the failure, learn from it and move forward. Trust can only be built in an organizational environment conducive to process transparency and ideal-seeking behavior (behavior-enhancing organizational structure). Trust makes the business and the world a better place.

The Digital CIO’s Breadth of Vision and Depth of Insight

IT organizational maturity is achieved via harmonized communication, frictionless IT-business integration, and effortless collaboration. 

Organizations no matter large or small, all face unprecedented changes, uncertainty, and accelerated business dynamic. With abundant information and continuous disruptions, business initiatives today nearly always involve some form of technology implementation or information processing. However, many IT organizations still get stuck at the low maturity which stems from the prevailing cultural norm that accepts IT as a tactical function, but not as a strategic partner. Until this changes, IT will continue being perceived as the cost center and support desk. To keep IT relevant, digital CIOs must share the breadth of vision and the depth of insight and reinvent IT as the strategic business partner.

Shape the breadth of vision and create digital options for the business: Digital is the era of options. Digital CIOs are not just tactical managers to “keep the lights on” only, they have to share their technological vision, look at creating digital options for giving organizations the ability to explore new business opportunities. It is not the value of the investment which matters, rather, it is the breadth of vision. Tunnel vision happens when people work as a group or siloed function, not as a cohesive team or a holistic organization. Tunnel vision happens that every side of the fence, commercial and technical, under the silo walls, misbelieve the relevance and difficulties of each other’s works. The tunnel effect causes bureaucracy, diminishes trust, decreases productivity, and decelerate business speed. The CIO should run IT like the business, as a start-up and requiring venture capital (buy-in from other divisions), be it mature and sustainable and hence, it shows ROI and a profit back to the organization. Many CIOs create "options for the business" that the business cannot monetize or focus on. Thus, the CIO needs to work with the other senior leaders to develop a vision for IT that fits with or is a key component of, the firm's strategy.  IT needs to engage with the business units to find out how the department is perceived, what the pain points are and to identify opportunities for developing new business models, products or services, as well as improving current ones.

Digital CIOs should convey insight and foresight upon businesses, take the balance of opportunities and risks in catalyzing business growth: IT takes charge of managing one of the most invaluable assets of the business - information. When information has been used to capture the business insight for developing the right products or services, entering a new market, exploiting a new channel or conduct day to day operations, etc, it achieves its value. Information Management provides feedback for business betterment. IT enables a business to access, consume, and generate necessary information to perform a range of business tasks or functions, (not all of which are about decisions), but all of which require collective human capabilities which are a subset of business capability to perform some part of the actions or processes. Information & Technology are key ingredients in building non-functional business competencies such as availability, reliability, scalability, reconfigurability, interoperability, elasticity, security, etc, at an acceptable cost. Digital CIOs will take a proactive approach towards suggesting the best approach for handling risks and constraints, aligning IT goals with business goals and managing a well-defined and scalable system in place to meet the future business growth.


IT needs to re-brand itself as a business innovation or transformation center: Most IT organizations still get stuck at a low level of organizational maturity. To break the mold, IT needs to rethink itself as an innovative and business leading organization composed not only of technical ‘gurus,’ but rather of business ‘gurus’ who also happen to be technically proficient. The business competency and differentiation provided by innovative technologies usually is more long-lived than differentiation provided by marketing actions that can be copied easier. IT plays a bigger role in helping the business achieve the next level of innovation management. The differentiation provided by innovative technologies allows companies to reach the "long-tail" customer that previously was impossible or uneconomic. Being able to become innovative or close is being able to think, and create new things based on the business or the customer’s needs. This requires open leadership and different management styles, organizational setups, and focus. CIOs play the bridge role of integrating the art and science of digital innovation and run highly innovative digital IT organizations.

Digital CIOs do not lead through brute force, but through the breadth of vision and the depth of insight. IT organizational maturity is achieved via harmonized communication, frictionless IT-business integration, and effortless collaboration. It's also about leveraging and balancing, enforcing communication, setting up standardization, prioritizing investment, managing resources and doing continuous practices for improving IT organizational maturity.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

The Weekly Insight of the “Future of CIO” 12/28/018

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

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2.8 million page views with 5200+ blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The “Digital Master” book series includes 25 books to share insight from the multidimensional digital lens and perceive the multi-faceted impact the digital era upon us is making to the businesses and society. 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.

Take a Rational Approach to Go Digital Digital disruptions are inevitable, and digital transformation is unstoppable. With “VUCA” digital new normal, the very characteristics of digitalization are hyper-connectivity and interdependence. Digital disruptions are frequent and unstructured. Businesses leaders just have to get used to the new normal, learn how to deal with them smoothly, and take a rational approach with accumulated and iterative steps to going digital proactively?

The Monthly “Digital Boardroom: 100 Q&As” Book Tuning: The Digital Board as Rule-Maker Dec. 2018 Modern corporate boards play significant roles in guiding businesses in the right direction and achieve expected business results. Due to the “VUCA” characteristics -Complexity, Uncertainty, Ambiguity, and Velocity of the Digital Era, the directorship in any organization must have the agility to adapt to changes and build abilities to advise, inspire and motivate a group of people toward accomplishing shared visions and goals. Here are the multiple perspectives of the digital board as role maker.

How to Develop a Learning Mind to Spark Creativity At the individual level, being a continuous learner is no longer simply a choice one can make. It is a necessity and imperative; if one expects to add value, to compete for the future with authenticity and consistency. It is the foundation to stimulate creativity. At the organizational level, the always-on, hyperconnected global workplace opens a whole new world on how to build both creative and productive workforce. Today's digital leaders and professional must contemplate how to develop a learning mind to spark creativity and how to shape a learning culture -from mindset to mind flow, grooming more collective learning minds and tap the fountain of creativity?

The Monthly “Digital Gaps” Book Tuning: Identify and Bridge Critical Thinking Gaps Dec. 2018 "Digital Gaps -Bridging Multiple Gaps to Run Cohesive Business” is a guidebook to help digital leaders and professionals today identify, analyze, and mind multiple gaps with the multidisciplinary insight and holistic understanding. Today’s digital organization simply just can’t stand still., bridging the 'gap of opportunity' between where you are and want to become is a welcomed challenge. To improve decision effectiveness and leadership maturity, it is important to bridge critical thinking gap and take a stepwise approach to make a digital leap.

Happy Holiday: The Popular Quotes about “Christmas & Holidays” in “Digital Master” Series 2018 "Digital Master” is the series of guidebooks (26+ books) is to perceive the multifaceted impact digital is making to the business and our society, help forward-thinking organizations navigate through the digital journey in a systematic way, and avoid “rogue digital.” Here is the set of popular quotes to celebrate holidays in “Digital Master” series.

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

The Monthly “Problem-Solving Master” Book Tuning: The Digital Flavored Problem-Solving Dec. 2018

Either for individuals or businesses, problem-solving is one of the most crucial skills to keep things moving forward and achieve the well-planned goals.

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.

             

The "Digital Flavored" Problem-Solving


Holistic Problem-Solving “Holistic thinking" refers to a big picture mentality, and understand that the whole is often greater than the sum of the parts. Holistic thinking is the type of thinking practice that appreciates how underlying complexity generates the features and phenomena of interest to practitioners so that they can work with them accordingly. From the problem-solving perspective, what are the characteristics of situations or problems in which we should adopt holistic thinking? When is the trade-off more beneficial in adopting holistic thinking versus mechanistic thinking or linear logical thinking for improving problem-solving effectiveness?

Pattern Thinking and Problem Solving? The pattern has a few meanings, it’s usually about repeating artistic or decorative design such as asthma paisley pattern; or a natural or accidental arrangement or sequence; a plan, diagram, or model to be followed in making things. When patterns work together to solve problems in a particular area, these patterns are called a pattern language. People learn a set of languages and then apply several synergistically to produce a solution.

Insightful Problem-Solving Either for individuals or businesses, problem-solving is one of the most crucial skills to keep things moving forward and achieve the well-planned goals. The matter of fact is that the more complex the situation is, the more different approaches and role gaming is needed to reach for insightful understanding and effective problem-solving. In today’s digital dynamic environment with “VUCA” new normal, how to spot insightful problem-solvers and advocate a solution-driven culture for accelerating collective progress?

Synthesizing Problem-Solving “Fundamentally, every job is to deal with problems big or small both from long-term perspectives or on the daily basis. Fixing the wrong cause of a problem is wasting time and energy. There are many thought processes behind problem identification and there are many step-wise approaches to solve problems seamlessly. There is analytical problem-solving - break down the larger problems into small pieces and solve them separately. There is synthesizing problems solving which focuses on understanding the interconnectivity of problems & solutions via a holistic lens. The terms analysis and synthesis come from classical Greek and mean literally "to loosen up" and "to put together" respectively.


Flexible Problem-Solving Fundamentally, every work is to deal with problems big or small both from long-term perspectives or on the daily basis. Problems become more complex in today’s changing dynamic and "VUCA" digital new normal. Problem-solving is a critical skill for both life and the business. There is no magic formula for problem-solving nowadays, individuals or businesses must take their own unique approach, be flexible, be learning agile, and develop their own problem-solving methodologies and practices.

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2.8 million page views with about 5200+ 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.