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.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

The Weekly Insight of the “Future of CIO” 11/1/2019

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

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 3 million page views with 6100+ blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The “Digital Master book series includes 28 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.


Three Causes of Overly Narrowed IT Management IT is impacting every business function and is becoming the very driver of digital transformation. With emerging lightweight digital technologies and overwhelming growth of information, forward-thinking organizations declare they are in the information management business to improve business competency and long-term growth. However, many IT organizations still get stuck at the low level of maturity, being perceived as a help desk or a cost center. Here are three causes of overly narrowed IT management.

Shape an Advanced Corporate Board with “Digital Character” Digital is fluid, digital is also complex. It becomes complex if things do interact, particularly in the case of nonlinear interaction and interdependent relationship. To steer the organization in the right direction, contemporary Boards of Directors today need to present strong character and high digital acumen in order to overcome challenges and drive transformative changes smoothly. Character-based leadership is authentic, energetic, and motivational. But more specifically, how to shape an advanced corporate board with digital character?

Three Digital Innovation Practices Digital is the age of innovation. Innovation is a management process, not just serendipitous magic. At today's modern organizations, variety, complexity, diversification, and hyper-connectivity, etc, are the characteristics of the digital innovation ecosystem. Digital innovation has a broader spectrum and enriched context.

The Monthly Keyword Summary: Paradox Oct. 2019 From one generation to the next, the substance of leadership does not change, it’s about the future, change, and influence. However, digital leadership trends will continue to emerge. Here is a set of featured blogs to dig into the “keywords” of the 21st century to brainstorming the future of digital leadership and business transformation.

The Best “Superconsciousness” Quotes of “Digital Master” Oct. 2019 is a series of guidebooks (28 + 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, provides advice 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 “Superconsciousness” quotes in “Digital Master.

Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking about 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 “Conflict” Quotes of “Digital Master” Oct. 2019

The most difficult part is to transform the conflict from within to a productivity or creativity life cycle.

Digital Master” is a series of guidebooks (28 + 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, provides advice 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 “Conflict” quotes in “Digital Master.


1 Conflict can have both a positive and negative effect depending on the cause of conflict as well as how to deal with it. The most difficult part is to transform the conflict from within to a productivity or creativity life cycle.

2 The great thing about looking at conflict from a behavioral point of view is that behaviors can be learned. It means that anyone who wants to become more "conflict competent" can become more "conflict competent" by managing the emotion cycle smoothly.

3 On the bright side, conflict can stimulate creative thinking or innovative solutions when solving it positively; it may cause damage and negative impact if not handled properly.

4 Having conflicts in the team is sometimes productive if it could lead to open-minded discussions for alternative problems solving.

5 The key is to find out the root cause of the conflict. Otherwise, you are likely to respond in a manner that reinforces the negative behavior and allows it to spread to the rest of peers.

6 The diverse viewpoints are welcomed, even if they seem to conflict, Conflicts can be handled wisely. It creates a sense of positive competition in the team, and a number of times, a lot of new ideas come up for some very difficult tasks.

7 Collectively, if there is a trustful relationship in the group, conflicts within the group can stimulate deep discussions, spark collective creativity, and improve the productivity life cycle.

8 Welcome the diverse viewpoints, even if they seem to conflict, and build a positive atmosphere with a culture of innovation.

9 The true conflict in innovativeness is self-imposed by trying to make our “visions” reality. The right way to deal with conflict is to identify them right at the start, find the root causes, to encourage constructive behavior and open discussions upon the issues, deal with conflict skillfully to achieve harmony and transform conflict to creative competency.






The Pervasive Appreciation of Digital Transformation

The pervasive digital means change is the norm and happens the whole time thereby delivering faster and increasing market share.

Digital is the new paradigm shift to deeply connect the business nature to the natural ecosystem with very characteristics of hyperconnectivity, nonlinearity, adaptability, unrepeatability, and unpredictability. Digitalization is not just about one-dimensional technology adoption; it has to stretch out in every business dimension. There is a pervasive appreciation throughout the enterprise, particularly the senior management for information abundance, change competency, and innovation fluency.


Information pervasiveness: With overwhelming growth of information and continuous business disruptions, today’s digital organization simply just can’t stand still. Information potential directly impacts the business's potential of the organization. The power of information management is to deal with the mountain of information with both technology and human know-how, convert information into invaluable knowledge or real-time insight across the organization in handling business uncertainty and solving business issues effectively. Hence, there is a pervasive appreciation throughout the enterprise, particularly the senior management for adequate, accurate, and timely information management. It involves the application of technologies and processes of capturing, developing, sharing, and using information or knowledge, to ensure the right people getting the right information at the right time to make the right decisions and get their work done smoothly. So people would appreciate the value of information management and power of knowledge.

Change pervasiveness: We are living in a complex world where change and conflicts are continuously changing and that make it impossible to have a complete knowledge and understanding of many issues facing the business today. The pervasive digital means pervasive change and “speeding up to change.” There are organizational change, technological change, and behavioral change with increasing speed. How successfully organizations can handle change and continuous digital disruptions depends on how fast and capable they can adapt to the business dynamic. It’s important to gain a pervasive appreciation and work on a fairly comprehensive change management model that views change and transformation as different points along a continuum with very different tools and competencies needed along the way. Companies can reach inflection point for change when they can conduct and synchronize change with the scale of interrelations and interactions to make a leap.

Innovation pervasiveness: The pervasive digitization requires companies to rethink how things are done in organizations and perhaps it’s time to open the next chapter of innovation. Digital innovation has a broader spectrum and enriched context. The pervasive innovation is coming at seemly a much faster pace, more change and potential disruptions. Organizations can become highly effective in executing innovative ideas by leveraging powerful digital platforms and technologies, harnessing cross-functional collaboration and continuous improvement. The nature of how the "implementation of the idea has to follow a logical path for the solution,” provides a great opportunity for managing digital innovation. Organizations have to learn from experimenting, amplify the best practices, cultivate innovative climate, and build a well-developed innovation framework with the periodic review to help businesses sustain innovation progress, minimize risks of idea flops, and improve the innovation management success rate.

Digital transformation is a long journey full of uncertainty, velocity, complexity, and ambiguity. The pervasive digital means change is the norm and happens the whole time thereby delivering faster and increasing market share. Digital leaders and professionals need to broaden their outlook, envision the bigger picture, identify emerging digital forces, and make pervasive appreciation of digital trends and characteristics.The broader you can oversee and the deeper you can perceive the holistic digital impact, the further you can reach the digital vision and the pinnacle of digital transformation.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The Monthly “12 CIO Personas” Book Turning: The Breaking Point of CIO Role Oct. 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.

   The Breaking Point of CIO Role


The Breaking Point of CIO Role: Are you a “Fixer, Builder or Orchestrator” CIO? The digital transformation has multifaceted perspectives unfold into wider multi-dimensionally enhancing systemic continuum with IT as the linchpin. In order to be an effective digital CIO, IT leaders must understand every aspect of the business and master different conversations with varying shareholders, business peers or customers. Unfortunately, many businesses still perceive their CIO as the tactical IT manager who doesn't have a seat at the big table. Is CIO role at the breaking point to keep IT relevant? CIOs: Are you a “Fixer, Builder or Orchestrator” CIO?

The Digital CIO’s Multiple Personas The digital CIO is the sophisticated leader role with a multitude of responsibilities. Especially today, businesses large or small are facing radical digital disruption, a critical factor of IT success has to do with the definitions and scopes of the role that the CIO is playing in their company. Because different organizations are at different stages of the organizational life cycle, the CIO’s responsibilities are varied even with the same title. They have to figure out their own way to make leadership influence and take a different path to improve their leadership maturity.

Three Roles to Make CIOs Stand Out Due to the exponential growth of information and continuous technology-led disruptions, it is increasingly important to run a business-driven digital IT organization for dealing with “VUCA” digital new normal and driving digital transformation proactively. CIOs today need to be dynamic people with multidimensional intelligence, multi-faced personas, multilayered professional competencies and have a multitude of leadership qualities in order to lead IT as a trustful business partner and business growth engine.

The Middle Ground CIO Leadership: Running Digital IT by Taking a Hybrid Approach Information Technology becomes pervasive in 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 to strike the right balance in the digital dynamic?

The Digital CIO’s Three Distinctive Roles The digital organizations are so technology-driven and information-intensive, as a matter of fact, the success of the business relies more and more on information and technology nowadays. IT organization is like the spinal cord of the digital business which can integrate various functional abilities to bring out technology-driven business solutions. A big component of IT success has to do with the definitions or scopes of the role that the CIO is playing. Because different organizations are at different stages of the business maturity life cycle, the CIO responsibilities are quite varied even with the same title or position. Generally speaking, IT leaders can no longer act just like the tactical managers to “keep the lights on” only. Here are digital CIO’s three distinctive roles for running IT as the trustful business partner and the growth engine of the organization.

Modern organizations have their own sophistication with silo functions, the sea of information, and the pool of talent. 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 “Gut Feeling” Quotes of “Digital Master” Oct. 2019

Digital professionals have to leverage both their gut feeling and analytics ability to make either business or personal decisions every day.

"Digital Master is a series of guidebooks (28 + 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, provides advice 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 “Gut Feeling” quotes in Digital Master.


1 Gut feeling isn't a random loose arrow. It's an internalized knowledge that has developed through theoretical knowledge, practical experience and life experience.

2 It's important not to overthink these things as we can often mistake subconscious acts, gut instinct or intuition for what actually make decisions based on a whole lot of things.

3 Some would argue that intuition and gut feeling can arise from the conscious mind, but their formation is complex, nuanced and cannot be rationalized and articulated.

4 Many leaders operate well beyond their conscious mind. They have learned to trust their intuition, gut-feelings and operate well beyond their rational minds.

5 Digital professionals have to leverage both their gut feeling and analytics ability to make either business or personal decisions every day.

6 Intuition is also called gut-feeling; intuition or being intuitive is when you have a gut feeling about something.

7 You are courageous enough to follow the gut and curious enough to understand the surroundings, and you learn how to liberate the imagination and come up with a new approach to the world.

8 Intuition is more about “gut feeling,” and creativity is about “thinking-out-of-the-box”: Intuition or being intuitive is when you have a gut feeling about something.

9 “Thinking outside the box” is about being creative with gut-feeling. Creativity is a combination of something currently non-existent, thoughts, acts and with or without constraints.

Digital Management as Strategy- Change-Performance Management Continuum

Performance-based management requires that the communication and measurement of performance are an integral part of an ongoing process and not an annual, quarterly, or monthly event.

Enterprise performance management is about how organizations manage performance at both strategic and operational level to achieve well-set business goals and objectives. There is a danger of not having a process to "develop and nurture" performance. Managing performance means understanding results, setting metrics, fixing plans, and making decisions to ensure it happens. Here is a logical scenario of running a high performance business as strategy - change performance management continuum.


Translating strategy into operational terms and evolving digital flow: A coherent digital company has a deliberately close alignment among the company’s strategic direction. It means how to translate strategy into operational activities, make the strategy everyone’s daily work and a continual process mobilizing change through digital synchronization. Strategy and its agent business architecture, are building a sprinkler system; a systematic process for operating in consistent or defined operation in line with executive intent. More specifically, business leaders define the operational box that the company works within the strategy, its most distinctive capabilities, and most or all of its products and services, to execute capability-based strategy. They define what initiatives they are willing to fund to get there. What-how transition is simplistic, but extremely powerful key to many things.

Aligning the organization to create synergies: With “VUCA” digital new normal, you can’t predict every turn or curve that the business will face, you need to enable the desirable emergent business property, enforce the broader scope collaboration and creates synergy for achieving high performance business results. To create synergy, unlock performance and unleash digital potential, businesses need to fine-tune their organizational structure and organizational system in achieving high performance and reaching the next level of maturity. Cost-efficiency only is not equal to gaining business synergy. Concentrate on the multitude of business systems - cultural system, moral system, social system, material system, functional system and the holistic digital ecosystem. Synergy creation requires organizational structure tuning, as well as identifying and developing core competency to get future ready.

Making strategy everyone’s everyday job and a continual process: Strategy is a shareware, not shelf work, ensuring key stakeholders are bought in, aligned and equipped to execute and ensure value/benefits/outcomes are realized. When the strategy is under-communicated and employees are not onboard, the strategy is just a mirage. The top reason why strategy implementation fail is because they were not actionable from the get-going. Strategic plans need to get to the level of specifically achievable goals via “5W+1H” navigation, such as "Who is doing what, with whom, how are they doing it and when does it need to be started and finished by." Running a business is an iterative strategy management and performance management continuum, while performance management facilitates the flow of the right information to the right people at the right time to get these questions' answers, to help and coordinate your strategy, tactics, and risks.

Mobilizing change through executive leadership anticipation, monitoring results and act: Strategy Management and Change Management often goes hand-in-hand. Traditional Change Management is often process-driven, but digital change management has to be people-centric. Change comes from within the hearts and minds of the people. 

The most challenging aspect of any change management plan is to gain engagement with the workforce. For change to be embraced by stakeholders, they ultimately need to understand why it is an improvement and what it will improve for them. Organizations can make major leaps forward in developing change capability and capacity by involving the entire organization in major change efforts that support key business strategies to drive performance improvement and increase system resilience. 

Change Management has to make an objective assessment of whether change efforts achieve the expected business results. At the end of the day, change is never for its own sake, it’s about business improvement or innovation. It’s important to take the logical scenario, apply the right strategy and methodology to take change efforts in a structural way. Change is never for its own sake. It’s also important to establish a future state and understand the intended outcome of the future state. Change Management, therefore, should be an adequate, logical, and systematic effort to any environmental shift.

The business management is, in essence, the strategy management, change management and performance management continuum. Digital management should take a holistic approach, to connect all important dots, with multifaceted perspectives. Performance-based management requires that the communication and measurement of performance are an integral part of an ongoing process and not an annual, quarterly, or monthly event. The holistic and iterative performance management approach means to align the strategic level of measures with operational level metrics and manage business performance as an iterative management continuum.


Tuesday, October 29, 2019

The Monthly Communication Brief: Bridge IT Communication Gap Oct. 2019

Often, communication gaps are caused by cognitive difference, ambiguous process, or management bottleneck, etc. 

The great communicators are the high-quality leaders or professionals who can communicate objectively with strong logic, clarity, and understanding; the great communicators are the great artists who are fluent in creative expression or metaphorical description. Communication is both art and science. How to bridge gaps and improve communication effectiveness.
                                

  


Bridge IT Communication Gap 


Practicing Creative Communication to Bridge IT-Business Gaps Due to an unprecedented level of uncertainty, velocity, ambiguity, and complexity, misunderstanding, misinterpretation or miscommunication are the biggest causes of many business issues and human problem in our society. Usually, IT-business gap is caused by miscommunication, communication clarity directly impacts on the business effectiveness and organizational maturity. Besides technical dialect or finance language, should IT leaders practice creative communication to close IT-business chasm, enforce business relationship and promote IT as a trustful business partner?

The CIO as Digital Conversationist: Is IT Communication a Vicious or Virtuous Cycle Communications are the tools to solve problems, and languages are the tools to make communications. Communication clarity directly impacts on the business effectiveness and organizational maturity. However, in many organizations, miscommunication or misunderstanding leads to conflict and malfunction. Often, communication gaps are caused by cognitive difference, ambiguous process, or management bottleneck, etc. Information Technology plays a crucial role in driving information-based communication and breaking down communication bottleneck. Communication also directly impacts IT management effectiveness. The CIO as a digital conversationalist needs to make an objective assessment: Does IT communication often go through a vicious or virtuous cycle? How can IT leaders and professionals leverage different conversation styles to construct the collaborative vision and deliver high-performance IT results for the long run?

Three Aspects of IT Communication? Traditional IT organizations are often running in a functional silo to speak the technical jargon business couldn’t understand; now with IT consumerization and other digital technology trends, IT is at the crossroad to either move up the maturity ladder, to become a value generator and business partner, or continue to be considered as support function or cost center. As an IT leader, how can CIOs and IT managers convey the vision and deliver the clear messages of IT being a value enhancer and profit enabler?

Three “Soft” IT Management Disciplines IT is impacting every business unit and is becoming the driver of business evolution and digital transformation. With the fast pace of changes, old IT thinking simply cannot move fast enough in the era of digitalization. IT management is multidisciplinary; it not only includes “hard” components such as IT operation and portfolio management but also has some “soft” touch elements. Digitalization means business fluidity. Often, soft overcomes the hard and gentle overcomes the rigid. Here are three “soft” disciplines to improve IT management maturity.

Three Aspects to Reach the Next Level of IT Maturity Either at the individual or organizational level, maturity is the state of ripeness, quality, fluency, balance, and resilience. IT is moving up its maturity from functioning to firm to delight, running full speed with less friction. IT maturity is based on overall business maturity. IT maturity can further accelerate business changes and make a leap of digital transformation. Here are three aspects to reach the next level of IT maturity.

"Digital Master
” is a series of guidebooks (28+ 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, advice 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.

Shape an Advanced Corporate Board with “Digital Character”

Either individually or collectively, understanding character is very relevant and timely for those leaders who are seeking new ways to deepen leadership influence or maximize human capital in their organizations.

Digital is fluid, digital is also complex. It becomes complex if things do interact, particularly in the case of nonlinear interaction and interdependent relationship. To steer the organization in the right direction, contemporary Boards of Directors today need to present strong character and high digital acumen in order to overcome challenges and drive transformative changes smoothly. Character-based leadership is authentic, energetic, and motivational. But more specifically, how to shape an advanced corporate board with digital character?


Overseeing the character of strategy: A strategy is a ways chosen to bring about the desired future, such as achievement of a goal. Strategy is a living ever-evolving pivoting mechanism. However, without integrity of character, the best strategy will fail to inspire confidence. The corporate board oversees organizational strategies by asking senior leadership teams: Would a solid strategy still be plausible or does strategy suffer too where the character is flawed and trust is lost? The strategy is how that state is realized externally. Without character, the strategy is just a style without substance. Without integrity of character, the good strategy will fail to inspire confidence. There is a lack of passion, motivation, and engagement to implement the strategy. In fact, without character, no strategy can save you from many barriers and numerous pitfalls on the way.

Practicing character-based leadership in the boardroom: Character is more than intelligence, integrity, ethics, judgment, self-awareness, empathy or emotional health. Top leaders’ character will make a significant impact on shaping business/societal culture which is the collective mindset and attitude. Character-based leadership is how to lead with authenticity which comes from both heart and mind, demonstrates self-awareness and fair judgment, and provides you a well-rounded baseline of the "character,” To assess and develop the corporate board with “digital character,” it’s important to break down assessment types to multiple aspects such as critical thinking, creativity, cognitive skills, decision-making biases; motivational drivers and passions; behavioral styles and patterns, etc. Shape an advanced corporate board with digital character is more about nurturing the board room culture engendered by the character of board leaders who set the digital leadership tone and governs the corporate boardroom behavior.

Character builds trust in the boardroom: The corporate directors need to be diverse by mindsets, industry background, skills, experience level, and perspectives. Thus, trust is critical for an environment that thrives on useful dialogues. Trust allows the corporate board’s energy to continue forward even though the strategic plan has not yet been well articulated. If there is a trustful relationship in the board, conflicts within the group can stimulate deep discussions, spark collective creativity, improve decision maturity and streamline the corporate board productivity cycle. The desire to not understand much beyond your singular area of expertise can cause miscommunication and decelerate business speed. Building trustful corporate board requires leaders to share insight and wisdom, voice and influence in the areas and ecosystems they concern.

Either individually or collectively, understanding character is very relevant and timely for those leaders who are seeking new ways to deepen leadership influence or maximize human capital in their organizations. To steer the organization in the right direction and improve business performance effectiveness, it’s not about fixing weaknesses, it's about maximizing sound thinking and eliminating the negative influence of "weaknesses" and habits so that maximized value in all forms can be created.

Three Digital Innovation Practices

 At the heart of innovation is a life cycle of idea generation, interaction, learning and selection. 

Digital is the age of innovation. Innovation is a management process, not just serendipitous magic. At today's modern organizations, variety, complexity, diversification, and hyper-connectivity, etc, are the characteristics of the digital innovation ecosystem. Digital innovation has a broader spectrum and enriched context. Here are three digital innovation practices.






Diversify the diversity: Diversity is the hot bed to spark creativity. Focusing on diversity forces you to confront new ideas or embrace new concepts. Thus, it’s best to bring a group of people together with cognitive differences such as varying background, complementary experiences, unique competencies, cultural perspectives, and different personalities, etc, in order to stimulate creativity. Each person has a defined cognitive threshold, communicating an idea to others raises the total cognitive threshold.

Diversifying the diversity means to embrace the multidimensional hyper-diversity such as cognitive diversity, creative diversity, skill diversity, cultural diversity, and personality diversity, etc, The more people are brought into innovation dialogues, the more innovative that communication and collaboration can turn out to be. Thoughtful candor' is offering a different way of thinking about a situation or problem that moves the conversation forward. Companies will become more open to diverse opinions, listen to customers, be confident to take the path perhaps no one ever take before, and become more resilient to failure.

Foster collaboration across functions, industries or geographical locations to catalyze innovation: Due to the increasing complexity, exponential growth of information, rapid changes and nonlinearity, it’s important to note that business innovation is rarely an individual action, rather, it’s a team effort. The most effective digital workplace is one in which collaboration and sharing are the norms. Because there is more flow of creative ideas, the innovation pie actually gets bigger.

Cross-silo communication and collaboration are crucial to catalyze innovation and build dynamic digital competencies. The hyperconnected digital ecosystem is ever-evolving, it is easy to work alone and take the attitude of competition, but it is much more difficult to collaborate with different parties even competitors. The evolution of innovation only exists in open environments or the ecosystem. Thus, digital organizations need to awaken the ecosystem consciousness, try to digitally connect key resources/assets in their vicinity/context, draw together mutually supportive organizations from multiple industries, seek to discover ideas collectively and create fresh ideas or differentiated value they could not reach alone.


Maximize opportunities and minimize risks: Because innovation success depends on many factors such as talent, processes, resources, etc, Innovation Management overall has very high failure rate. Risk management, which needs to be an integral component of innovation management, would be to identify and manage risks that can be addressed, identify the space of opportunity, defining the scalability of the products/services, enforcing market understanding, doing competitor analysis, and improving decision maturity. 

To maximize opportunity and minimize risks, an effective innovation risk management platform enables the management staying focus, leverage the applicable innovation processes for managing risks in a structural way. Innovation leaders need to have the right dose of risk appetite and the high level of risk intelligence in order to take an interdisciplinary approach to manage innovation effectively and run a highly innovative business ultimately. In evolutionary terms, from risk control to risk management to risk intelligence, that shift is crucial to improve innovation success rate.

Innovation is a specific phenomenon and strategic imperative of the knowledge-based digital economy. Nowadays innovation can occur anywhere in the organization, and frankly, it has to occur in every aspect of the organization. At the heart of innovation is a life cycle of idea generation, interaction, learning and selection. It’s important to develop the best and next practices to fuel innovation and take a holistic approach to develop business-wide innovation capabilities.

Monday, October 28, 2019

The Monthly “Dot Connections”: The Problem-Solving Dot Connection Oct. 2019

Problem-solving is a multi-stepped process that includes both problem resolution and solution implementation. 

The effects of an increasingly digitized 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 dots to explore the art of possibility.

 

      The Problem-Solving Dot Connection 


Systems Thinking and Problem-Solving Systems Thinking is about understanding interconnected relationship between parts and the whole. The business problems today usually have many causes and can be very complex. Leveraging Systems Thinking to problem-solving includes framing the right problems, understanding the interconnected relationship between different problems, as well as figuring out potential solutions.

Change, Creativity and Problem-Solving Change is not for its own sake, the very purpose of the change is often for problem-solving, progression, or innovation. From Change Management perspective, taking people through new experiences, exposing them to additional "information" through those experiences, developing their creativity, and doing that very purposefully will create the opportunity to shift attitudes, beliefs, mindsets that ultimately will cultivate their problem-solving capabilities.

Design Thinking and Problem-Solving? Fundamentally, running a business or living a meaningful life is a problem-solving continuum. Problem-solving is a multi-stepped process that includes both problem resolution and solution implementation. Digital is the era of people, option, or simply put, "personalization." It is the age to connect the dots between science and arts; analytics and intuition, logic and design thinking in order to solve problems unconventionally and deliver products or service from functioning to delight.

Pattern Thinking and Problem Solving The pattern has a few meanings, it’s usually about repeating artistic or decorative designs 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.

Problem vs. Opportunity Mindset We are all familiar with this philosophical reasoning: Every risk (problem) has an opportunity in it, and every opportunity has a risk (problem) in it. Isn't opportunities and problems the same thing only with a perceptive change? Doesn't it come down to how we view the situation - at the time it could be a problem or it could be an opportunity. Or to put simply, are they sort of mindset?

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 3 million page views with about #6100th blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The “Digital Master” book series includes 28 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 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 “Persistence” Quotes of “Digital Master” Oct. 2019

Either being single-minded or persistent, grit is the very quality to keep you focused and discover a sense of purpose.

"Digital Master” is a series of guidebooks (28 + 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, provides advice 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 “Persistence” quotes in “Digital Master.


1 Vision keeps you staying focus, passion charges up your energy; but it is persistence enables you to overcome many obstacles, failover and fail forward.

2 The human beings need to be enthused to participate fully. Get excited about a goal to achieve is a form of love that allows you to pursue it with greater emotional determination.

3 Digital leaders or professionals need to be equipped with the grit mind which involves raw endurance, persistence, and perseverance, to help you focus on purpose, goals, and outcome.

4 Some people can have enough grit for a long time; others can only do it in bursts. No one learns the value of persistence unless there is an opportunity for persistence to pay off.

5 When facing difficulty, a persistent mind is able to handle adverse circumstances and negative feedback, be more resilient, stay focused, bounce back and transform it into a rock solid character.

6 Innovation success demands insight, understanding, patience, persistence, and courage, among other things for reaping the benefit from innovation.

7 Either being single-minded or persistent, grit is the very quality to keep you focused and discover a sense of purpose.

8 Achievements that require GRIT are not easy one hit achievements. They require dogged persistence over time which inextricably involves a projected / longer-term goal/outcome.

9 Innovators present nature curiosity, openness to new experience, cognitive diversity, intellectual engagement, pattern-discovery, learning plasticity, interdisciplinary knowledge, courage, and persistence, etc.

Running a Listening and Learning IT Organization

With increasing pace of changes and complex nature of digital organization, from top down, middle out, inside-out, outside-in, and bottom up, if you do not listen, you will lose the goodwill of the collaborators and innovators. 

With rapid change and fierce competition, IT should continue to evolve the digital dynamic and reinvent itself as a strategic business partner and improve the overall organizational maturity. IT needs to switch from reactive to proactive mode via listening, asking and learning, both vertically and horizontally, Asking insightful questions and listening to varying feedback can build consensus, drive value proposition and meet the business goals consistently.


Listening to the priorities of senior executives of the company: As long as the business values IT as a strategic partner, the top priorities have to be on business focus. Thus, IT leaders need to listen to the priorities of senior executives of the company, focusing on the things that matter for the business’s long-term perspective and strategic priority. In fact, IT strategy is an integral component of the business strategy. IT needs to get involved in every step of such vision-strategy-execution flow because information is growing exponentially and technology is changing so rapidly, ignoring an emerging trend perhaps puts your organization behind the competition and keep your business irrelevant for the long run. The really important thing is to understand the core business of your enterprise and the problem to solve, set IT priority to focus on long-term strategic goal of the business, Thus, IT leaders need to ask open-ended questions, listen to invaluable feedback, and initiate creative communication at the big table. Until they can think, talk, and act strategically and commercially, rather than technically, they will remain strangers in a strange land.

IT should continue to listen to and brainstorm with business leaders about their strategic concerns: In most organizations, more often than not, there are some frictions between corporate and business units. IT is setting back and waiting for requests as an order taker. To close the gap between IT and business, the connection between IT and business lies in using the common language to help the business cross that bridge to IT by asking questions such as: What concerns you about the business today? What concerns you about the business in the future? Then, seek to identify and offer solutions. IT leaders should have strong business knowledge to communicate with other executives about their strategic concerns in order to deliver business-driven solutions, not just commoditized IT services. IT is in a unique position in the company which has the touch point with all other functions and provides the necessary integration between them through effective information systems, efficient business processes, and aligned structures. IT leaders need to initiate the more meaningful dialogues with functional business leaders to exchange of ideas or opinions on a particular issue with a view to reaching an amicable agreement or settlement. If you do not listen, you will never get the two sides of the story.


Listen to diverse performance issues to ensure IT-business harmony: IT leaders should periodically check: How their team works with other teams, any frictions existing to decelerate performance. IT can lead the charge in improving business-IT relations by simply not taking their customers for granted and focusing on customers as if they were in a competitive market. Everyone has a voice and every voice carries weight. Sometimes, the business just underestimates the complexity of technology and information management. For example, problems arise when expertise boundaries are crossed, either way, a business user thinks he/she knows more technically than the IT specialist and imposes his/her "way" on the project, it could be very counterproductive and it can work the other way around. Thus, proactive listening, learning, and cross-functional communication are critical for improving the overall organizational maturity.

With increasing pace of changes and complex nature of digital organization, from top down, middle out, inside-out, outside-in, and bottom up, if you do not listen, you will lose the goodwill of the collaborators and innovators. If the business intends to thrive in the “VUCA” world, it’s important to build an asking-listening-learning organization. Otherwise, its survival horizon can be really short.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

The Monthly Keyword Summary: Paradox Oct. 2019

The rate of change has accelerated, indicating that business leaders must learn how to deal with the management paradox in varying circumstances, to manage strategy and execution as an iterative continuum,

From one generation to the next, the substance of leadership does not change, it’s about the future, change, and influence. However, digital leadership trends will continue to emerge. Here is a set of featured blogs to dig into the “keywords” of the 21st century to brainstorming the future of digital leadership and business transformation.




     Paradox


Understanding Three Business Effects and Paradoxes for Improving Management Effectiveness Either at the individual level or organizational level, people experience, grow, fail and learn, from their own experiences or others' failure lessons. There are many interesting effects in the respective field of study. From a business management perspective, which “effects” should you understand in order to achieve management effectiveness and efficiency?

The Art of Paradox Management? In the current business environment with “VUCA” characteristics, uncertainty and ambiguity are a key challenge for business leaders today. In the past, many business leaders believed their organizations’ long-term goals are static, could wait until they had dealt with the current crisis, their strategy-execution are linear steps, and business innovation is a luxury, not a necessity for the majority of companies. But this is no longer the case. The rate of change has accelerated, indicating that business leaders must learn how to deal with the management paradox in varying circumstances, to manage strategy and execution as an iterative continuum, strike the right balance to keep the business flow and accelerate the digital transformation. Many thought the modern management is the art of paradox management.

Is Business-IT Alignment a Paradox? From Alignment to Engagement In the industrial era, the "mission of IT" is to provide the information processing capability required by the business at a cost that represents value. Based on this description, an IT organization that is well aligned with the business is managed well enough. However, many organizations are transforming from industrial speed to digital speed, even business-IT well alignment is not mature enough to adapt to the changes, IT need transform from aligning with business to engaging with business, and the new mission of IT could be: How to become a game changer to catalyze business growth by proactively engaging in strategic making & execution.

Leverage Paraconsistent Logic to Steer Digital Transformation Digital transformation is more like a journey than a destination, it is no surprise that there are many confusions and frustrations along the way. There must have a well thought-out planning and well-defined digital principles to deal with unprecedented uncertainty and increasing the pace of changes. In practice, digital leaders sometimes have to play oddball games and leverage paraconsistent logic to deal with contradictions and navigate through digital transformation. "The driving thought of paraconsistency is that there are situations in which information, scientific, or philosophical principles (and so on) are inconsistent, but in which people want to draw conclusions in a sensible fashion." (Encyclopedia).

The Paradox Quotient (PQ) of Digital Leadership We are shifting into a hyper-connected, and hyper-competitive digital paradigm. Many say digital is the age of people, the age of empathy, the age of design, and the age of innovation. Unprecedentedly, the physical boundary can no longer limit our thought, our communication, and our life experience. Not only can we travel all over the world more conveniently, but more importantly, we can share knowledge, viewpoint, and wisdom with others all over the world via social platforms effortlessly. The world is becoming smaller due to the advanced technology; the world is perhaps also bigger than you could imagine, because the things you know, compared to what you don't know, is justT the tip of an iceberg. More fundamentally, the world is now integrated into the WHOLE, a well-rounded globe as it is, not just two separate hemispheres. And more often than not, you have to see the full spectrum of colors and embrace seemly paradoxical POVs in order to understand things holistically. So besides IQ and EQ, will PQ - Paradoxical Quotient emerge as a critical quality for today’s digital leaders?

The blog is a dynamic book flowing with your thought; growing through your dedication; sharing your knowledge; conveying your wisdom, and making influence through touching the hearts and connecting minds across the globe. The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 3 million page views with about #6100 blog posting. Among 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating 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 “Superconsciousness” Quotes of “Digital Master” Oct. 2019

Understand the people and the organization through a common lens, and then, make it possible to turn the organization into “superconscious mode” with informativeness, creativity, and harmony.

"Digital Master is a series of guidebooks (28 + 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, provides advice 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 “Superconsciousness” quotes in “Digital Master.

1 Unconscious, subconscious, conscious and superconscious are the four states of mind.

2 Super conscious will act on how you see things as they could be (superconscious). This, then, is what makes them different, they go against the inherent old habit in striving for a higher goal.

3 To unlock the superconscious state of the digital organization, the business needs to focus on creating the right organizational culture so that people can thrive to reach their own super-conscious state, take ownership of their processes and believe better-than-expected results.

4 Understand the people and the organization through a common lens, and then, make it possible to turn the organization into “superconscious mode” with informativeness, creativity, and harmony.

5 Those then with super consciousness, will be able to let themselves to think not only of what exists (subconscious), how they exist in this world, being in the world (conscious), but also how could one possibly apply yourself in this world to change it, will act on how you see things as they could be (superconscious).

6 It is possible that at some points on the digital journey we all experience so-called digital “super-consciousness,” with the transcendent movement to reach the next level of business maturity and collective progress.

7 The purpose of self-assessment, self-adaptation, self-organizing and self-improvement business performance cycle is about inspiring authenticity, nurturing growth mindset, building trust, and encouraging creativity for unlocking the superconscious state of the digital organization.

8 The unit of energy as it grows in size gradually differentiates itself into three parts that are aura, mind, and subconscious. It is connected on one side to the superconscious and on another side to the mind

9 With super consciousness, organizations will be able to let themselves think not only of what exists (conscious and subconscious), how they exist in the business world, being in the business world (conscious), reach the state of subconscious via autonomy and becoming superconscious - how to change the business or the world.



Three Causes of Overly Narrowed IT Management

 IT leaders have to learn and do the right and real things about organizations, not just via IT lenses, but via business or customers’ lenses. 

IT is impacting every business function and is becoming the very driver of digital transformation. With emerging lightweight digital technologies and overwhelming growth of information, forward-thinking organizations declare they are in the information management business to improve business competency and long-term growth. However, many IT organizations still get stuck at the low level of maturity, being perceived as a help desk or a cost center. Here are three causes of overly narrowed IT management.


Silo thinking and management style will stifle information flow: Many think silo happens when the business operates from a fear standpoint - fear of rejection, fear of competition, or fear of invisibility, etc. Often, silo is one of the root causes of overly narrowed IT management. To run IT as a trustful business partner, there are negative conflicts when the organization has communication bottleneck and little collaborative competency. CIOs need to broaden their perspectives, get full support from the corporate board and the top management team in order to break down silos and manage IT holistically. IT should explore the furthest horizon because digital transformation is an evolutionary journey. The breadth and depth of IT management include people (skills & capability), process ((workflow, process effectiveness & efficiency), information management, organizational structure design, and technology update. It is the responsibility of the leaders to initiate his or her team to break silos, enhance cross-functional communication and collaboration. In fact, IT management has to work both in IT and on IT, acts more like a digital orchestrator, to conduct an information-savvy and people-centric organization.

Running IT as a support function locks the full potential of the business: Many IT organizations stick to reactive mode, keep the lights on, put little emphasis on driving business change or innovation. If this is the case, often IT is perceived as an isolated support function or acts as a controller. To run a strategic IT for unlocking the full potential of the business, it’s important to make a smooth transition from an overly rigid and controlling type of IT department to a flexible and proactive IT. Organizations rise and fall, not on the quantum of plans and resources, but on the capabilities to lead and manage, yet most important to execute. IT leaders have to navigate the corporate strategy and lead the development and execution of the corresponding technical strategy for the company. They are able to identify the true cost savings, workflow optimizations, and additional revenue opportunities for the entire company and improve its competency. To broaden IT management discipline requires IT leaders becoming business strategists, having high-proficient IT staff with both business acumen and technical expertise to solve business problems systematically and deepening IT influence continually.


IT lose the sense of creativity over a period of time: IT is critical, IT is complex. IT organizational development needs to manage emerging conflict between classic style and digital style of management. Hence, IT leaders have to learn and do the right and real things about organizations, not just via IT lenses, but via business or customers’ lenses. Often the IT department is so busy in mundane day to day activities, they lose the sense of creativity over a period of time. IT management is both science and art. It takes a scientific approach to enhance the IT-business relationship, manage IT-business alignment, foster cross-functional collaboration, IT integration, and optimization, etc. The art of IT helps the business explore emerging possibilities and figure out alternative ways to do things. If IT gets stuck to “we always do things like this” mentality, they create blind spots, slow down the pace of change and jump to the wrong conclusions, and it turns out to be irrelevant for the long-run. The digital IT is not equal to IT modernization, it goes a step further, doing more with innovation and solving problems creatively.

Organizations rely more and more on information technology nowadays; the IT department has more and more to offer, also has a lot of obstacles to overcome. To fix the flaw of the overly narrowed IT management, IT leaders and managers need to leverage systems thinking, take the outside-in business lens, practice the multitude of IT engineering and management disciplines in a structural way for running IT as a business inside the business.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

The Monthly “Digital Gaps” Book Tuning: Minding IT Maturity Gaps Oct. 2019


"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 step-wise approach to make a leap of digital transformation.


               Minding IT Maturity Gaps



Three Aspects of IT Maturity All forward-thinking organizations are on the journey of digital transformation, and IT plays a critical role in leading changes. Since the biggest challenge to business success is IT; often, IT maturity is proportional to the maturity of the entire company. However, the majority of IT organizations get stuck at the lower or mid-level of maturity, to keep the lights on and running in a reactive mode. So, how to improve IT maturity via achieving its strategic value, speed, innovation, and changeability?

Is IT skills Gap Fact or Fiction? IThere’s always a debate regarding IT talent supply and demand, does IT skills gap really exist? Or is it due to any management issues such as misunderstanding or miscommunication upon talent value chain? What is the root cause and how to solve the problem?

Three Aspects to Reach the Next Level of IT Maturity Either at the individual or organizational level, maturity is the state of ripeness, quality, fluency, balance, and resilience. IT is moving up its maturity from functioning to firm to delight, running full speed with less friction. IT maturity is based on overall business maturity. IT maturity can further accelerate business changes and make a leap of digital transformation. Here are three aspects to reach the next level of IT maturity.

Three Gaps Digital IT Can Bridge Although forward-looking businesses nowadays intend to catch up with digital speed in order to adapt to the pace of changes. Still, the majority of organizations get stuck in the lower level of maturity due to static mentality, silo processes, culture inertia, undifferentiated capabilities, and ineffective Change Management. Digital IT plays an omnipresent role in catalyzing business digital transformation via leveraging internal and external resources, integrating business processes, enabling, innovating, and optimizing the consumer-driven technology that’s going viral in the enterprise. In order to speed up digital transformation, which gaps digital IT can help to bridge, in order to become a strategic business partner and improve business effectiveness and agility more specifically?

Five Questions to Improve IT Maturity Although IT has touched almost every corner of the business right now, the majority of IT organizations still get stuck at the lower level of maturity, struggle at the stage of the business and IT alignment. IT is business, with the increasing speed of change, many think that the gap between business and IT has actually widened. The reason is that business and IT have evolved at a different pace over the past few decades. While IT has evolved significantly in all aspects such as people, process, technology - business has, and continues to evolve faster due to the “VUCA” business new normal. Moving from IT-business alignment to IT-business integration and optimization is strategically important for IT leaders to run a digital IT and improve overall IT and organizational maturity. It is increasingly more challenging for IT to deliver to business WHAT it wants and WHEN it wants. Here are five questions to assess your IT maturity.

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 3 million page views with about #6100th 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 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.