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.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

The Monthly Quality Master Book Tuning: Who are Your Quality Champions Mar. 2019

In digital organizations, quality management is not the job of one department, but an overarching management approach. 

Digital organizations arise when the scale of the interrelations, interactions, or inter-relational interactions surpasses the silo-based organizational capacity. Quality management ensures that in an organization, products or services are consistent to meet customers’ satisfaction. Digital Quality management needs to take an overarching approach with multidisciplinary practices. Quality is everyone’s business.



This book Quality Master: The World Class Insight about Quality” is not about discussing specific quality standards or techniques well adopted in different industries, but for sharing some insight on how to understand the multitude of quality attributes from different perspectives, recognize quality champions to inspire quality culture, set digital principles and develop the best and next digital quality management practices.

The New Book “Quality Master” Chapter 3 Introduction: Digital Quality Champions In digital organizations, quality management is not the job of one department, but an overarching management approach. Quality masters are digital leaders and employees who can work independently and collaboratively, have excellent problem-solving skills, well disciplined, bring positivity, quality thoughts, attitude, behavior and quality management techniques to the workplace and build a high quality and high-performing business. Slideshare Presentation

Business Managers as Quality Champion Organizational excellence is achieved by delivering qualified products or services and continuously improving business performance. Quality Management is not one department’s work, as a degree of quality is in everything people do and experience. Quality is not just the specific task of one single business department or function as well, it is one of the business management disciplines which needs to be taken in a systematic way. Quality management is like change management, needs to be embedded in the corporate culture. Functional managers need to become quality champions for quality control and quality assurance, and they are the quality masters to run the high quality and high-performance digital business.

CIOs as “Chief Inspection Offer”: The Important Factors In Digital Quality Management  Quality management ensures that an organization, product or service is consistent. Quality Management is not one department’s work, as a degree of quality is in everything people do and experience. "Quality management," like "change management," needs to be embedded into the corporate culture; it requires engaging all the people involved working together as a team to excel in quality products/service delivery. Quality is defined by a number of factors, and to effectively lead an organization into good quality practices takes work and a level of trust and credibility within the organization. Make sure systems run according to plan, schedule, cost, and performance standards. Here is a set of important attributes in digital quality management.

A Scrutinizing Board: How to Inspect Digital Quality of the Business Organizations large or small are on the journey of digitalization, adapting to changes in faster speed and expand digital in every dimension of the business. The corporate board as one of the most critical leadership pillars and governance champions plays a critical role in leading change, and laser focus on the most critical things to steer the business in the right decision.

Quality is Everyone’s Business: The speed of change requires the business to adapt to the dynamic business new normal, and the fiery business competitions push organizations to deliver qualified products or services to woo customers and gain the market share. Nowadays, quality is everyone’s business. High-quality enterprise is comprised of high-quality people, high-quality products/services, and high-quality business capabilities/processes, etc. From the organizational management perspectives, how to gain an in-depth understanding of business competency + quality, what do you put in place or how would you then structure your business to ensure that the ability of your business to adapt rapidly and deliver products and services with high quality?


Quality is about doing the right things right the first time. High-quality enterprise is comprised of high-quality people, products, or services; business capabilities and processes, etc. To effectively lead the organization reaching the next level of business maturity, it’s important to shape quality as the mindset and quality as the management discipline.

The Best “Perception” Quotes of “Digital Master” Mar. 2019

Perception is the way one's eyes see the world and one's mind interpret it.

Digital Master” is the series of guidebooks (27+ books) to perceive the multi-faceted impact digital is making to the businesses and society, help forward-thinking organizations navigate through the journey in a systematic way, and avoid “rogue digital.” It perceives the emergent trends of digital leadership, advises on how to run a digital IT organization to unleash its full potential and improve agility, maturity, and provide insight about Change Management. It also instructs the digital workforce on how to shape a game-changing digital mindset and build the right set of digital capabilities to compete for the future. Here is a set of “Perception” quotes in Digital Master.

1 Perception is the way one's eyes see the world and one's mind interpret it.

2 Perception is one's interpretation of reality, so it is very subjective and varies from person to person.

3 One’s perception matters because it affects how you are going to respond to “what happened,” and which influence you would make to the surroundings:

4 Our perception is always flawed - it is not absolutely true, but it is what we believe to be true.

5 No two person's realities will be totally identical at a given time. Thus, perceptive is personal. A key part in changing our perception of the world is having gratitude and the humble attitude to learning.

6 People’s perception reflects who they are and which lens they apply to make the judgment of others.

7 Perception is based on one’s thought processes which are influenced by one’s thinking style, cognitive understanding, and knowledge level.

8 We not only see but also perceive; we not only live but also experience; this will have an effect on others and how we interact with the surrounding.

9 Our perception is, in turn, an interpretation based on our conditioning or beliefs, etc, leading us to judge others; all of which may be positive or negative, depending on one's perception.

Running IT as Innovative Problem-Solver

 Innovation becomes simply “creating value by solving simple or complex problems” timely. 

In the digital era with “VUCA” characteristics, IT has many to offer but also needs to overcome a lot of challenges. To improve its organizational maturity, IT has to transform from a supporting center to an innovative business solver, helps the company develop the differentiated competency, predicts upcoming opportunities or risks, meet customers’ expectations, catalyzes changes and drives digital transformation seamlessly.


Practice innovative problem-solving diligently: Fundamentally, running a business is a problem-solving continuum. IT has the potential to become creative business problem-solver because it is in a unique position to oversee underlying business functions and structures, switch on the creative mode to connect cross-functional dots, and come up with innovative solutions or amplify innovation practices to the scope of the entire company. IT could become the linchpin for the interaction or association of ideas from different domains of thoughts and experiences, explore varied problem-solving scenarios, and figure out the premium solution. The real problem-solving is about seeing a problem and actually discovering the best solution to that problem, not just the band-aid approach to fixing the symptoms; or getting stuck at the “we always do things like that” mentality. In practice, forward-thinking organizations continue to learn, experiment, explore, and strike the right balance of old and new way of doing things. IT strives to provide innovative solutions for the businesses’ requirement, provide value-added feature based on systematic understanding and customer insight, and exceed the expectation of customers.

Channel creativity for solving tough problems: Due to the “VUCA” characteristics of the digital new normal, nowadays, problems that arise in organizations are almost always the product of interactions of parts, never the action of a single part. They become over-complex and interdependent. Complex problems often do not have simple solutions, some may look simple, but there is a lot of effort need to put in. Usually, Information & Technology are crucial components of the premium solution. It’s important to channel creativity to pursue an optimal solution. When you encounter a tough problem, you need to apply the deep critical thinking for framing the right problems, and then, solve them in a creative way. For many old and emergent problems, you have to challenge automatic assumptions that something needs 'fixing.' Thinking creatively about a problem requires being close to the problem, it requires context and intangible variables. IT has to walk the talk, be open to diverse opinions and feedback, be humble to listen to customers; from where it emanates the greater context for understanding things from different angles and figures out the alternative ways to shape better solutions. To connect dots, IT leaders and professionals should even look to businesses outside their industry to spur “out-of-the-box thinking,” and solve problems creatively.


Leverage the power of information to prevent potential problems: Preventing the problem is more superior to fixing issues. It is supposed to be the main principle for problem management. Preventing problems requires people, processes, technologies, and systems to analyze and predict the possibility of a problem. This is particularly important for today’s dynamic digital business. Being a great problem-solver also means that IT can leverage the necessary information to predict the upcoming risks and help the business prevent potential problems. Preventing problems and enabling continuous improvement requires the power of information, leadership support, and iterative processes for identifying, assessing, preventing, and resolving problems as well as reporting the successes. IT leaders with strong “digital awareness,” can sense emergent opportunities, predict potential, and "smell" risks. IT could become a strategic partner to not only help business solve problems but more proactively, leverage the power of information to prevent potential problems.

Businesses today face numerous challenges, fiery competitions and rapid digital shift either technologically or economically. Innovation becomes simply “creating value by solving simple or complex problems” timely. Looking uphill can help to identify the real problems that matter, and on a scale that can make a difference. Looking broadly and understanding deeply enable IT leaders to provide mindful and pragmatic pieces of advice and recommendations to the business on how to leverage IT in innovation and problem-solving to run IT as a great business solutionary.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

The Monthly “Digital Gaps” Book Tuning: Closing the Multitude of Blindspots Mar. 2019

There’s knowing unknown, there’s unknowing unknown, so it's not a new topic about “Blind Spots.” 

"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, it is important to identify and strengthen the weakest link and take a stepwise approach to make a leap of digital transformation.


Closing the Multitude of Blindspots


How Do You Deal With Blind Spots? Senior business leaders have a significant responsibility to steer their organization in the right direction, however, what’re their management blind spots result in decreasing business productivity and lowering organizational maturity and how to deal with these blind spots more effectively?

How to Close Blind Spots for Making a Leap of Digitization “Blind Spot” is not a new topic, everyone has some, but some with more, some with less. The root causes of blinds port are often the people’s mentality such as ego or bias, thought processes such as lack of “whole brain” thinking, or lack of knowledge or insight. The blind spots, either strategic one or operational one, are perhaps inevitable, the point is how business leaders or professionals learn to deal with them and close blindspots seamlessly.

The Biggest IT Blind Spots?
Many IT organizations still survive in dark back office, no wonder, there are both strategic and operational blind spots result in decreasing business productivity and lowering organizational maturity. What are those fatal blind spots and how to avoid them?

How Does a Senior Leader Deal With Blind spots in Decision Making?
The blind spots are perhaps inevitable, the point is how business leaders or managers shall learn to deal with them seamlessly. There’s knowing unknown, there’s unknowing unknown, so it's not a new topic about “Blind Spots.” Everyone perhaps has some, but as a senior business leader (or any kind of leader), the blind spots will cloud your vision, trigger your negative emotion, cause your decision ineffectiveness, and decrease your leadership competency.

Three Questions to Assess a Person’s “Blind Spot The mentalities to smash the silo thinking include humility, multidimensional thinking, and high EQ, etc. The business and the world are moving into a deep, deep digital dynamic with velocity, complexity, uncertainty, ambiguity and rapid changes. It is increasingly difficult to either steer the individual toward a progressive career path or navigate the business to the right direction with the right strategy

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2.8 million page views with about #5500th blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating the new ideas; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify diverse voices and deepen digital footprints, and it's the way to harness your innovative spirit.


The Best “Nonlinear Thinking” Quotes of “Digital Master” Mar. 2019


To deal with “VUCA” digital new normal, we have to leave our old mechanistic view of the world behind us and look at the world through new eyes as a world of nonlinear systems.

"Digital Masteris the series of guidebooks (27+ books) to perceive the multi-faceted impact digital is making to the businesses and society, help forward-thinking organizations navigate through the journey in a systematic way, and avoid “rogue digital.” It perceives the emergent trends of digital leadership, advises on how to run a digital organization to unleash its full potential and improve agility, maturity, and provide insight about Change Management. It also instructs the digital workforce on how to shape a game-changing digital mindset and build the right set of digital capabilities to compete for the future. Here is a set of “Nonlinear Thinking” quotes inDigital Master.


1 In the real, physical world or business world, most relationships are nonlinear. When systems are not just about linear relationships, they are defined as nonlinear dynamic.

2 The problem-solving based on linear logic and analytics can sometimes cause more problems later on. Non-linear thinking is an emerging type of systems thinking to understand the interconnectivity of things.

3 The problem with setting all of your boundaries in a linear way or black and white is that others don't and it can lead to limited learning and tunnel vision.

4 Achieving the desired impact can sometimes be as the result of a very small initiative or decision, this is the magic of nonlinear systems thinking.

5 Business nonlinearity comes through different characteristics such as mixed structures, diversity, volatility, ambiguity, unpredictability, and increased flux

6 Companies that are skilled at managing business nonlinearity can gain advantages by pushing the boundaries of a more sophisticated business mix.

7 The purpose of managing change by leveraging nonlinear thinking and taking interdisciplinary discipline is to amplify the change effect and ensure that the business as a whole is superior to the sum of pieces.

8 To deal with “VUCA” digital new normal, we have to leave our old mechanistic view of the world behind us and look at the world through new eyes as a world of nonlinear systems.

9 Digital management approach is about leveraging nonlinear processes and interconnectivity between problems in a managerial context to improve the overall business problem-solving competency.

Running IT as a Digital Solutionary for Information Management

Information Management is a key differentiator between digital leaders and laggards, high-performing organizations and mediocre companies.


Information grows rapidly and it is one of the most invaluable business assets of modern organizations. Information does not live alone but permeates into everywhere in the business. Thus, the value of information is not isolated.  Information Management is a scientific management discipline for effective problem-solving. Those companies that proactively invest in information Management solutions today will be able to competitively leverage their own information going forward with accelerated speed to thrive in the digital era of hyperconnectivity and fierce competitions.


IT is a solutionary for Information Management: Information potential directly impacts the business's potential of the organization's growth. IT plays a crucial role in managing information to refine business insight for either solving problems or capturing growth opportunities. The art and science of information management are about how to connect wider dots, clarify data, information, content, context, optimize information usage and achieve its value. In practice, the comprehensive solution to a business problem requires breaking down silos and capture cross-domain information and knowledge. Ineffective information management is often caused by the lack of understanding of what the raw data the organization has to deal with; not knowing how to process the exponential growth of information and apply the worthwhile evaluation to reveal the inherent value of information, even sometimes get lost about why they do those things in the first place. Information is the means to end, not the end itself. Running IT as a solutionary for information management is to effectively manage the information life cycle and ensure the right people getting the right information timely to make the right decisions for solving the right problems. The digital ecosystem is complex and volatile, for complex problem solving, understanding information context is often the first and the important step in gaining insight, creating the relevant business context to make a more lasting business solution.

IT should become a digital solutionary to enable measurable business outcome: Information flow can further streamline idea flow, catalyze business growth and build differentiated organizational competency. You can only manage what you measure. From an information management perspective, the measurement you selected should be part of a link of cause-and-effect relationships, and ultimately affect the growth and long-term perspective of the organization. You should put efforts into defining and taking the correct measurement, collecting the data obtained, analyzing it, evaluating it, determining what needs to be improved, determining what the actions are to improve it; taking actions to perform, measuring up and making the adjustment for improvement. Always keep the end in mind, the insights obtained from data mining needs to be converted into an actionable plan and the outcome should be validated in terms of financial figures. The effective and productive Information Management activities scenarios should understand and deal with the complexity of management, know how to prioritize based on the business needs to solve critical business issues, communicate extensively, deliver visible business benefits and achieve the high-performance business outcome.

The role of IT is a digital transformer by mastering the information management cycle and delivering innovative solutions: Most organizations are in transitions, to spend most of time or resources on dealing with immediate problems or handling daily mundane tasks. Most IT organizations get stuck at the low level of maturity for “keeping the lights on” only. However, to make IT relevant for the long run, IT needs to become a strategic problem-solver and a digital transformer. Managing information well is a tough course which often does not show up on the bottom line or immediately drives the top line business growth. But it helps the business thrive and achieve long term prosperity. IT should stand out as a value-added function by managing information effectively and efficiently to abstract customer insight and business foresight, bring up innovative solutions to meet customers’ need, reduce the cost to market and implement cohesive business strategies. Information Management is a complex domain, involves the use of technologies and processes with the aim of solving critical business problems. It’s important to take a holistic approach, set the right priority, delicately balance and rebalance the results toward the urgent but hard to predict outcomes and optimize the business value that is generated.

In today’s digital business ecosystem, Information Management is a key differentiator between digital leaders and laggards, high-performing organizations and mediocre companies. The value of information is qualitative, measurable, and defined uniquely to an organization. Information Management is one of the most critical management disciplines. If done well, information achieves its value, and IT helps to unleash the full digital potential of the business and rise up to the upper level of maturity.

Friday, March 29, 2019

The Monthly “Dot Connections”: Digital Best Practice Dot Connection Mar. 2019

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.

The effects of an increasingly digitalized world are now reaching into every corner of businesses and every aspect of organizations. Organization of the Future is an organization designed openly for anyone with ideas on how human organizations ought to be contrived in the face of the strategic imperatives of the digital era. The work is not the place you go, but a live organization and an experiment lab you can connect the future dots.

        


Digital Best Practice Dot Connection


Innovation Best Practices vs. Next Practices? The business practice is always a combination of people and how they are used to doing things. Digital is the age of innovation. Innovation is the process which can be classified scientifically and managed dynamically. Besides building a set of principles to follow, it’s also important to develop a set of innovation practices to scale up and amplify its effect. The point is that innovation is change, the overly rigid processes could stifle innovation and outdated practices perhaps fail innovation effort and decelerate the pace of innovation. So, best practices vs. Next practices, how to review and update them accordingly to unpuzzling the serendipity of innovation and improve the success rate of innovation management?

Best Practice vs. Lesson Learned
BEST PRACTICES are a set of guidelines, ethics or ideas that represent the best way of doing something. Whether you have done it before or not, someone else has and they came up with some thoughts on how to handle it. LESSON LEARNED is what you learn from the methods they used to succeed. It is what you learned by completing the project, and these thoughts, ideas, and actions can be added to your list of best practices for the situation next time.

Innovation Debate: An Ounce of Practice is better than a Ton of Theory?
Innovation is the most critical type of activities to push the human world forward, and innovation is always a hot topic when searching for innovation, it comes out more than 100 million relevant results. However, the majority of innovation efforts fail to reach expectation. Here is an interesting debate: Do you agree, that an ounce of practice is better than the tons of theory when comes to the innovation?

Three Practices to Scale Up Digital Transformation Organizations large and small are on the journey of digital transformation. 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. The business practice is always a combination of people and how they are used to doing things based on the set of principles and standards for adapting to changes in the business or technology shift. Here are three practices to scale up digital transformation efforts.

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 #5500th blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The “Digital Master book series includes 27 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,

The Best “Strategic Thinking” Quotes of “Digital Master” Mar. 2019

Strategic Thinking is the ability to think on a temporal plane: where you are, where you want to be, identify gaps, and take alternate approaches to anticipate and provide solutions.

"Digital Masteris the series of guidebooks (27+ books) to perceive the multi-faceted impact digital is making to the businesses and society, help forward-thinking organizations navigate through the journey in a systematic way, and avoid “rogue digital.” It perceives the emergent trends of digital leadership, advises on how to run a digital organization to unleash its full potential and improve agility, maturity, and provide insight about Change Management. It also instructs the digital workforce on how to shape a game-changing digital mindset and build the right set of digital capabilities to compete for the future. Here is a set of “Divergent Thinking” quotes in Digital Master.

1 Strategic thinking is about starting the end in mind. Strategic thinking encourages to think about the future by exploring the “WHY” factor.

2 Strategic Thinking is defined as a mental or thinking process applied by an individual in the context of achieving success in a game or other endeavors.

3 Strategic thinking is specified as being conceptual, systems-oriented, directional, linking the future with the past and opportunistic.

4 Strategic thinking deals with "discovering novel, rewriting the rules of the competitive game."

5 Strategic thinking is a part of the critical thinking process referring specifically to the processes of analyzing and making judgments about what has happened and doing predictive analysis on what will happen, and build consensus about what you are going to do about it.

6 Strategic thinking is about where you are, where you want to be, identify the gap and create the alternate approaches to anticipate and provide solutions.

7 Systems Thinking is about understanding the interconnectivity between parts and the whole. Strategic thinking is the system thinking in the new boxes.

8 Strategic Thinking is the ability to think on a temporal plane: where you are, where you want to be, identify gaps, and take alternate approaches to anticipate and provide solutions.

9 Strategic Thinking involves the generation and application of unique business insights and opportunities intended to create customer bonding and competitive advantage for an organization.

Leverage Design Factors to Reinvent IT

Due to the changing nature of technology, the IT organization has to continue to re-imagine and reshuffle itself for adapting to changes.

A digital organization starts with a transcendent purpose that leads to a unique natural design, a design most fit to achieve the purpose of businesses. IT is the linchpin of the business’s digital transformation. It could be necessary to reinvent IT by applying Design Thinking and asking tough questions: What factors drive the restructuring or IT innovation? How is the structure of your IT department aligned with the organization? Do you allow room for adjustments, keeping it dynamic, and how can you leverage design factors to improve IT maturity from functioning to firm to delight?

Design to fit: Design Thinking is a unique path of pursuing innovation. From the IT management perspective, the “organizational design problem” would be to build the “best” mix of organizational elements that enable organizational interdependence. The methodologies and practices being put into design thinking bucket are somewhat unique and previously outside of the business norm, but have the great potential to run customer-centric IT organization. The next practice of IT management is to live as “customers.” IT plays a crucial role in optimizing and digitizing every touch point of customer experience and improving overall customer experiences. From the product delivery perspective, design in digital product development is a full lifecycle of research - define - design - prototype - iterate - test, with the characteristics of nonlinearity and iteration, to improve overall user experiences. From business process management perspective, mapping of high-level business processes to technology implementation must be in place to allow for an understanding of the impact of strategic changes, and open discussions across business lines on the steps that need to be taken to reach ultimate business goals. Collect feedback and capture insight from various business units, do the necessary adjustments for design to fit. From the talent management perspective, human thoughts are characterized by expansion in multiple directions, rather than in one direction, and based on the concept that there are multiple starting points from which one can apply logic to design or problem-solving scenario. Thus, it’s important to embrace different approaches, different opinions, different background, and different skill sets in order to run a “design for fit” IT.

Design to change: The organizational design should be tuned to enforce changeability, innovation, and flexibility. The term “Change Fit” can be interpreted with a degree of variability. A digital organization is a complex social system starting to appreciate attributes such as 'readiness,’ 'ownership,' ‘integration,’ 'open communication,’ customized structuring as well as developing partnerships. Fundamentally, change is about solving problems for leading to progression. Successful organizations see changes coming, with pre-planning and strategy implementation, leverage design thinking to make change delightful and solve real problems radically. It is also important to try to find ways to make people feel involved in the design and implementation of changes. When people are comfortable with the changes by shaping dynamic digital thinking, building robust business processes, and leveraging highly powerful and convenient digital technologies, and change mechanism is embedded into every aspect of the businesses, the digital transformation will happen naturally.

Design to adapt: With rapid changes and continuous disruptions, self-adaptive capabilities or functionalities are generally the requirements within business eco-systems to accelerate the digital speed and develop the organizational competencies. The organization has become "unconscious" if it is no longer responding to the external environment. How successfully the organization can handle digital disruptions depends on how fast and capable they can leverage the right information to make effective decisions for adapting to the “VUCA” digital new normal timely. All are based on the continuous exchange of information with the environment. The aim of modern information management has often been described as getting the right information to the right person in the right format and medium at the right time in order to decide effectively and adapt promptly. IT department is not a silo by itself and it draws its energy from the entire company. Structure and behavior are two elements co-working in every organism in nature and in every system designed by human culture. It is possible to see what enables a self-adaptive organism is an information-driven process feeding and sustaining it, design to adapt. Before you could reinvent a new IT structure, you have to make sure that it’s not just in alignment with the organizational "culture," but also, helps to cultivate the culture of learning and innovation, as that plays a critical role in how you leverage design factors to restructure your department, design products or services, and set underlying principles and rules for reinventing IT to get digital ready.

Due to the changing nature of technology, the IT organization has to continue to re-imagine and reshuffle itself for adapting to changes; leverage design thinking to reinvent itself for getting digital ready. There is no one size fits all formula to moving up from functioning to delight, different IT organizations and enterprises as a whole are at different stages of business maturity. The payoff of IT digital transformation is not just for the quick win, but to build the long-term business competency.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

The Weekly Insight of the “Future of CIO” 3/28/2019

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 5500+ blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The “Digital Master book series includes 27 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.


Five Characteristics of “Being Digital” Going digital is all about the rapid changes, blurred functional, business or industrial territories, expanded organizational horizons, and ever-evolving digital ecosystem. The digital transformation makes a significant impact on almost every aspect of the business from people; process, to technology, both horizontally and vertically. It does make a smaller world, but also makes businesses more complex and interdependent. Here are the five characteristics of “being digital.”

Building a Conflict-Competent Boardroom The modern digital board has many responsibilities, also gets a lot of distractions and hits many pitfalls on the digital transformation. In order to lead today’s hyper-connected digital organizations with the hyper-diverse workforces, board directors should become the digital provocateur to drive changes and set the leadership tone for digital transformation. In practice, people vary in their ideology, cognizance, perceptions, and priorities; and they react to situations in different ways. Therefore, conflict is perhaps inevitable, even at the board room. How to build a conflict-competent boardroom to ensure effective communication and high mature governance? How do high performing Boards make great decisions and deal with not only emotions, legitimate, but also politics, power, or conflict?

Running IT as Innovation Threshold Digital is the age of innovation. Innovation management is about transforming new ideas to achieve their business value. Innovation is what leads to differentiation. When looking at businesses or organizations, any innovation practice today is always a combination of people, process, and technology. The most powerful innovation navigation system involves tapping the organization's ecosystem for collective perspectives and knitting all critical business elements such as people, process, and technology into differentiated innovation competency in which IT is the threshold.

Five Characteristics of IT Maturity Compared to the considerably static industrial age, the digital environment is complex, uncertain, unpredictable and unrepetitive. Organizations rely more and more on technology, and IT needs will only expand. Thus, the CIO’s ability to build fundamental business competency is now greater than ever. How well an IT organization can adapt to the dynamic environment directly affects the future of the business. IT maturity is proportional to overall business maturity. IT touches both hard business processes and soft human behavior. Here are five characteristics of IT maturity.

The Monthly “Performance Master’ Book Tuning: The Multi-Layer Performance Measurement Mar 2019 Corporate Performance Management is a management control from strategy to the shop floor. "If you can't measure, you can't manage," legendary management guru Peter Drucker once asserted. Managing performance means understanding results, setting metrics, fixing plans, and making decisions to ensure it happens. It takes multifaceted approaches from multidimensional perspectives to unlock digital performance and catalyze change.

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 Strategic Evaluation of Corporate Board

Strategic evaluation is important because the Board of Directors are required to exercise influence over volatility, manage uncertainty, simplify complexity and resolve ambiguity to lead confidently.

Leadership is all about change and directorship is about steering the business in the right direction. The matter of fact is that rapid changes sweeping the business are hugely disruptive and there is nowhere to hide. The corporate board just has to step into the "VUCA" digital new normal, share their vision, exemplify digital leadership effectiveness, develop strategic perspectives, and walk the talk in driving the business transformation relentlessly. To improve leadership maturity, here are three aspects of the strategic evaluation of the corporate board.

The strategic board composition and refreshment: In the past, recruiting new board members was collegial. Now recognizing that diversity of thought and perspective comes from the diversity of experiences, forward-thinking boards are seeking colleagues from a variety of backgrounds, creating agile boards better equipped to steer their organization in the right direction. In practice, there is a lot that can and should be expanded upon regarding board selection and strategy. The best fit for the board depends on the Board’s current makeup, culture, and which “gap” needs to be filled. If they practice the same “inbox” thinking, without the cognitive difference, group thinking will still rule the day. Digital BoDs need to be multidimensional thinkers who can reflect and offer diversified insight into varying situations and complex business issues, to see things from a different angle and come out with multifaceted perspectives and balanced viewpoints. Not only do today’s BoDs need to have sufficient knowledge to understand the digital business ecosystem, but also they should have the collective insight to present today and foresee the future. The digital board composition and refreshment are all about digital fitness. The board is responsible for ensuring an appropriate mix of thought processes, capabilities, skills, knowledge, and experience are present or available for it to fulfill its fiduciary functions and improve governance effectiveness. So the board composition needs to embrace cognitive difference, functional difference, and other experience/capability difference. The important issue is how the board accommodates diverse opinions and how they assess them and converge the diverse thought into wise decisions for improving governance maturity. Diversification is a component and in some cases a very good initiation of multidimensional business value creation.

The multi-faceted governance process: Governance is a sophisticated multi-faceted process that if well executed, will lead to better decisions. Corporate governance is not about maximization, but about optimization. Governance is all about conformance and performance. It means to conform to regulation and performing well to achieve business goals. Governance is the framework, and risk management is the mechanism. The board can enhance its oversight capabilities by developing a strong governance model with well-defined mechanisms and interactions through which governance is put into action. Thus, governance and risk management go hand-in-hand. They really cannot exist exclusive of each other. The boards play crucial roles in taking oversight of assessment and appropriation by matching priorities and resources, gauging conditions and choices; and taking oversight of accountability by scoring activities and net results. Effective governance facilitates the successful functioning of an organization while ensuring there are adequate controls in place to operate responsibly in accordance with its values but not to the extent of restricting the aspiration to achieve its vision through an ambitious mission and seamless strategy execution.


The dual mode of the board performance evaluation: The Board's role, in large part, is to make good decisions that enhance the value creation for the organization. They need to focus on their own performance as well as the performance of the management team. Good governance must create excellent performance, especially for long-term business growth. In achieving this role, the board needs to be talented enough to vet strategy, work together as a group to speak in one voice, and delegate and monitor business performance they decide not to manage. More specifically, the "performance" oriented board agenda should be focused on the maximization of business performance and potential, business capital allocation, and shareholders’ value. That performance is not limited to financial performance, but also to the firm's performance in creating value for employees and customers. However, the current model is still skewed by too much emphasis on compliance. The companies which have great performance must also have both good governance structure and behavior competencies. Make a fair assessment and get objective perspectives on business performance, gain an in-depth understanding of what’s blocking achievements, targets. As far as evaluating the performance of the board, many boards are evaluating their performance at both the collective and individual levels. Individually, even the majority of BoDs are senior executives, they need to break down the “status quo,” and present learning agility. Competent BoDs present dynamic leadership, strategic thinking, persuasiveness, and mentorship, etc. Collectively, the digital board with a blend of expertise and capabilities can improve the board leadership effectiveness significantly.

In a world with so many over-complex problems, strategic evaluation is important because the Board of Directors are required to exercise influence over volatility, manage uncertainty, simplify complexity and resolve ambiguity in the 21st-century digital environment, in order to lead change and drive digital transformation seamlessly.

Riding Three Curves to Reach the Potential Waves of Digital Transformation

 Curve awareness, contemplation, strength finding and building, practices, and measurement are the logical steps in reaching potential waves and making a seamless digital paradigm shift.

We are living in a dynamic business environment in which inventions, developments, and conflicts are continuously changing and that makes it impossible to have complete knowledge and understanding of many issues facing the company and market today. The business needs to keep discovering its own strength, ride the multiple digital curves to build differentiated competencies and reach its full potential.

Learning curve: In the digital age, with the overwhelming growth of information, knowledge is dynamic and multidimensional. To improve organizational learning capacity and build the business advantage, digital organizations and their people must learn through their interactions with the business environment and nurture the culture of learning which fosters openness, knowledge sharing, critical and independent thinking. Performance keeps the business moving, and the potential makes the business growing and maturing. Learning is not just about absorbing knowledge or building skills, it’s even more important for learning to creatively disrupt. In reality, though, it’s no surprise that there is learning or change inertia, a lot of people resist as it takes them outside their comfort zone which generally gives a negative feeling. Riding learning curve means that there is a high level of trust within the upper rankings of the management team. In high mature digital organizations, business leaders encourage learning-sharing-doing as the iterative continuum; the majority of the employees at all levels are open to new ideas, experiment with new ways of doing things. People focus on the learning opportunities offered by assignment, rather than on the status quo that goes with them. A focus on learning and development reduces attrition and has a great quantitative ROI. The business can reach its potential by riding the learning curve to get into actions in creative, positive, and productive ways. In fact, the collective human potential in the organization is the greatest thing that the organization should ever invest in because it is the driving force to catalyze business growth and bring your company to the next level of the business maturity and accelerate the journey of digital transformation.

Change curve: Change curves exist because these days, it is pretty tough to get attention as there is so much going on. Organizations today have a very busy business agenda with both short term and long term goals need to be taken care of, as well as the emergent issues need to be taken care of. Going digital is a journey, not just a one-time business initiate. Riding ahead of the change waves takes both strategy and methodology. The change curve is a model of the states that people who are to change will go through. It is applicable to everyone even those who planned and conceived the vision. Thus, it is important for change management to make deep observations, look and listen for what’s working and what’s not working or missing. The focus of Change Management should include actions designed to sustain performance improvement and anchor change as a new opportunity. The logical scenario of Change Management is about clearing change vision, gaining change curve awareness, being motivated to change, obtaining knowledge of change initiatives, recognizing change champions and change agents, as well as strengthening change as an ongoing business competency.

Innovation curve: Innovation is the most wanted change, but change is not always equal to innovation. Innovation perhaps has an even deeper curve than change, especially for radical or breakthrough innovation because the business often has to make the larger investment and take bigger risks. Organizations have to deploy a range of different management, technology, process, and structural solutions. In practice, many organizations are not fertile ground for innovation, they discourage creativity, avoid taking risks and seldom learn from their mistakes. The main barriers to innovation also include silos, rigidity, inflexibility, static process, or bureaucracy, etc. Either dealing with innovation dilemmas or handling innovation paradoxes, it is part of an innovation management curve needs to ride over. Therefore, to ride innovation curves, it’s important to apply multi-step iterative processes and structural management disciplines, keep optimizing innovation processes by breaking down those structural or management obstacles and enforcing cross-functional communication and collaboration. The risk is part of innovation, riding above innovation curves also means how to manage cost, time and risk skillfully by taking a structural approach in order to achieve high return-on-investment business results.

The potential is an investment, improving revenue and catalyzing business growth. Learning, change, innovation, and improvement will come from all of the workforces, and not just the chosen few who believe they have all the answers. Assessing organizational personality, riding multiple digital curves and maximizing business potential are important digital management scenarios to build up differentiate business competencies. Curve awareness, contemplation, strength finding and building, practices, and measurement are the logical steps in reaching potential waves and making a seamless digital paradigm shift.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

The Monthly “12 CIO Personas” Book Turning: CIOs as “Chief Improvement Officer" Mar. 2019

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 “Chief Improvement Officer.”

CIOs as “Chief Improvement Officer”
CIO as "Chief Improvement Officer": Rebooting IT to get Digital Ready? Organizations are stepping into the deep digital normal with increasing speed of changes. Information is abundant, technology is pervasive. Never before has IT and business been so closely tied together, never before has technology moved more quickly and missteps have larger trajectory impacts on every aspect of the business. Therefore, CIOs play a crucial role in leading changes as they continue to be put on the front line. They need to deal with constant ambiguity and digital disruptions for rebooting IT to get digital ready.

CIOs as “Chief Improvement officer”: Three Alignments to Advance IT:
There are very few businesses today can state that IT does not play a significant role in the day to day operations or even long-term strategic positioning. But many IT organizations are still suffering from overloaded work and perceived as an isolated support function to “keep the lights on’ only. Thus, alignment is always important; most dictionaries divide alignment into two categories: Arrangement and alliance. Those organizations that have better alignment maturity outperform their competitors and tend to be more responsive to increasing pace of changes and develop long-term business competency.

CIO as "Chief Improvement Officer": Three Visualization Practices Improve IT Organizational Maturity? The emerging digital technologies, the exponential growth of information, and IT consumerization trend bring both challenges and opportunities for IT organization to move up its maturity level from a support center to a trusted business partner. IT management per se is mainly science from the best practices perspective. However, designing intuitive products or services requires creativity and artistic touch; improving IT organizational maturity from a reactive support function to a proactive change agent requires being able to lead courageously, with the ability to visualize, engage, communicate, and take a common sense approach. It is possibly more of an art than science.

CIO as "Chief Improvement Officer": Three Management Aspects of Improving IT Maturity
Information is permeating into every corner of the organization; technology the backbone of modern businesses across vertical sectors. IT has to expand its impact in every dimension to improve the company’s operational excellence, business responsiveness, performance, flexibility, digital fluency, and maturity. Maturity is the state of ripeness, quality, fluency, balance, and resilience. Here are three management aspects of improving IT maturity.

The CIO as “Chief Improvement Officer”: How to Drive Evolutionary Change for Running Digital-Ready IT Technology becomes pervasive in the modern enterprise, IT continues to grow in importance to organizations, both operationally and as a competitive advantage. Nowadays, regardless of whether they like it or not, CIOs have to play multiple roles and often get obsessed with many things. One of the most pertinent roles for CIO is to become the “Chief Improvement Officer,” to drive evolutionary change and run digital ready IT organization.

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.

The Best “Pattern Thinking” Quotes of “Digital Master” Mar. 2019

If you look at patterns, you will find that they are containers for describing relationships because that is what gives them their sense.

"Digital Master” is the series of guidebooks (27+ books) to perceive the multi-faceted impact digital is making to the businesses and society, help forward-thinking organizations navigate through the journey in a systematic way, and avoid “rogue digital.” It perceives the emergent trends of digital leadership, advises on how to run a digital organization to unleash its full potential and improve agility, maturity, and provide insight about Change Management. It also instructs the digital workforce on how to shape a game-changing digital mindset and build the right set of digital capabilities to compete for the future. Here is a set of “Pattern Thinking” quotes in “Digital Master.

1 Patterns are defined as "solutions of problems in a context" with a body of "descriptions of forces."

2 If you look at patterns, you will find that they are containers for describing relationships because that is what gives them their sense.

3 Pattern thinking is the type of problem-solving thinking. Each pattern is useful to address some specific problem.

4 Pattern thinking is also a type of creative thinking because it requires you to keep your eyes open and keep your mind out of the box in order to shape the bigger box and actively seek out new ideas wherever you can discover them.

5 A pattern language is "about" the relationships between patterns - particularly the way you can navigate from pattern to pattern to learn about a problem space and to apply different solutions in combination.

6 Pattern Thinking is a hybrid thinking to combine design thinking, system thinking, architect thinking and visual thinking for solving complex problems or capturing deep insight.

7 Pattern thinking is also a type of creative thinking, to be creative, you need to continue discovering new patterns.

8 System = Pattern. A pattern language enforces Systems Thinking which helps to see connectivity and interdependence.

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

Running IT as Innovation Threshold

It’s a natural evolution as most innovation initiatives involve IT.

Digital is the age of innovation. Innovation management is about transforming new ideas to achieve their business value. Innovation is what leads to differentiation. When looking at businesses or organizations, any innovation practice today is always a combination of people, process, and technology. The most powerful innovation navigation system involves tapping the organization's ecosystem for collective perspectives and knitting all critical business elements such as people, process, and technology into differentiated innovation competency in which IT is the threshold.

Information could be one of the most time intensive pieces to innovation puzzles: Information brings about business ideas and insight; business ideas generate lots of information. It is so critical to streamlining information flow across functional boundaries to nurture ideas and keep them flowing. The creative idea is often, if not always arrived through the interaction of ideas from different domains of thoughts, knowledge, and experiences, cross-field without boundaries. IT plays a significant role in adding those critical pieces which are needed for the accelerating validation of facts about business ideas, definition, benefits and shortcomings, applications, and competing technologies. The abundance of information and the range of emerging technologies can help to foster a deeper sense of connection and purpose in employees, ignite latent worker passion and bring together disparate parts of the organization to build a highly innovative business. Digital IT leaders need to develop business insight, not just through IT lenses, but through the outside-in business lens. Then, they can practice that knowledge to start innovating at the organizational level and across the business ecosystem.

IT has a great opportunity to catalyze innovation and lead the business transformation: To transform IT from a controller to a catalyst, the digital mantra for running IT organizations is to "do more with innovation." Innovative IT can only happen if IT is regarded as a strategic business partner and given the role in catalyzing innovation and driving business changes. With unprecedented velocity and complexity, IT leaders have to be really creative on how they adapt to changes and be experimental to try new things and ensure that IT is strategically positioned to be ahead of where the business is moving next and drive innovations proactively. IT leaders need to share their vision of where a company should go and how it will get there, how it might be missing out opportunities without taking actions; they should be able to recognize the struggles of the company, identify the issues associated with innovation in an enterprise and across the business ecosystem. Talented IT professionals are business ‘gurus’ with technical proficiency, they can understand the real world business problems deeply and come up with innovative business solutions proactively.


IT has to take a holistic approach to handle the investigation of innovative business solutions and create business differentiation: Most companies fail at innovation execution because they have no clear processes, nor understand the linkage required to work horizontally across departments or take a holistic approach to manage innovation. IT-driven Innovation Management nowadays is more science than art. What defines science from chance is the ability to repeat a process with the same resultant solution every time. Every organization needs to develop tailored innovation principles, methodologies, or practices by leveraging effective technologies, tools or methodologies and apply them wisely with the expertise to drive innovation and develop the organizational level innovation competency. It takes a systematic and disciplined approach to manage a balanced innovation portfolio. By empowering IT and leveraging digital platforms and technologies, businesses can be more effective in executing innovative ideas, relying less on silo functions, and more on cross-functional collaboration and innovation. Innovation processes need to be rigorous, not too rigid; an organization that has a lightweight process which allows creativity and innovation to flow, get protected, channeled and nurtured will succeed more often than an organization that does not have such a process.

It’s a natural evolution as most innovation initiatives involve IT. Digital organizations must manage information effectively, and bring to the table innovative solutions that meet customers’ needs while reducing the cost to market. IT is as an innovation threshold for integrating key business elements into differentiated competency. IT leaders should look at innovation from the perspective of developing business-wide innovation competencies, scaling up innovation practices, amplifying innovation effect, and building up the innovation framework which enables the business to manage innovation in a structural way.