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.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Accelerate Innovative Leadership Capacity to Celebrate “Independence Day”

It’s the time to celebrate Independence Day; it’s also the time to practice independence thinking, contemplate innovative leadership, and post-crisis digital transformation.

In a world where change is significantly speeding up and information is growing exponentially, uncertainty and ambiguity are a new reality, innovative leadership is essentially anchored on the leader's overall multifaceted resourcefulness and multidimensional competencies to formulate creative alternatives to resolve problems; to show versatility and flexibility in response to unpredictable or unanticipated business circumstances promptly; to demonstrate strategic intelligence, the interrelated set of skills, and accelerate leadership capacity and maturity.

Vision to frame: Innovative leaders transmit energy to a variety of people, giving them a new sense of hope and confidence in achieving a circular vision with a positive frame. They perhaps propose ideas ahead of their time or intend to fill the gap when people’s mindsets lag behind the era in which they live in. They have high thinking capability with capacity (inward strength) and ability (outward action) to reframe the experience of adversity. They have the mentality to drive a positive attitude and help to conquer the current barriers in order to embrace a brighter future. An innovative leader with a positive mental attitude can win professionally and elegantly because the mind is focused on strength, opportunities, and inspired actions.

Rationality to facts: There are different kinds of rationality that apply to different dimensions of leadership discipline. There is physical or technical rationality. There is emotional or psychological rationality, and there is mental or spiritual rationality, just to name a few. Each arena has its own rules and norms. Digital leaders today should be rational to facts and have the discernment to make wise decisions. The pitfall is that in most cases, data captured may be fact-based, but it’s either out of date or irrelevant or the data has no integrity. You have to be humble to realize there are many things you know you don’t know and perhaps even more which you don't know what you don't know. Without thinking systemically, "rational" decisions can have unintended consequences.

Accountability to people: Part of the digital journey is to prepare people for the emerging digital trends, new structures, and the better way to work. People have to be ready for moving to a more fluid digital dynamic. Digital leaders today are able to make intelligent judgments to ensure putting the right people with the right capability to solve the right problem timely. Accountability goes hand in hand with the delegation of authority or power. People should be the center of digital management and they are the major focus for organizational capability optimization and accomplishment.

Adaptability to change: Adaptability is to be understood as the ability of systems or people to adapt themselves smoothly and fast to changed circumstances. Develop adaptability by negotiating win-win outcomes, increasing self-confidence and performance in others, getting yourself, and others into actions. Adaptability is not just a soft skill, but a hard capability. Transformational leaders with high adaptability tend to be quicker to recognize and potentially impact the social or economic change in very early stages. Self-adaptation is a phenomenon strictly linked to see learning and knowledge increases if shared and consumed and it is faster if made with the full involvement of people in organizational flow with the consciousness to change.

Openness to diversification: Today’s digital workforce is multigenerational, multicultural, and multidevice, it’s critical to orient people and make them aware of the power of diversity as the hotbed of creativity, help them understand the value of harnessing cognitive difference to make effective decisions; encourage them to embrace the fresh perspectives and run an innovative business. There is a significant difference between cosmetic diversity makeup and the essential inclusiveness movement. It’s crucial to embed inclusiveness into business culture and make “inclusiversity” a true digital delight to maximizes the potential of all employees and develop a creative digital workforce.

Empathy to understanding: As the world moves into a hyper-connected and interdependent digital relationship age, empathy is an ultimate level of human cognition of being non-judgmental, active listening, and balancing between tolerance and respect to achieve that. Once a person understands that we all have different lenses, perceptions in the way we look at the world, it becomes easier to open your heart to another person and make truthful communication. It does take a lot of practice to gain empathy and is achievable. first, understand, then be understood; first, listen, then make a conversation; first envision, then communicate; first observe, then perceive; first learn, then criticize and provide constructive feedback, etc. In fact, empathy is the single defining quality that will distinguish great leaders from the rest.

Facility to communication: Communication is probably the world’s biggest problem as many listen to respond and not to think profoundly beforehand. It is important to foster a transparent and trustful business environment where feedback and communication are based on reality and not simply what senior management wants to hear. The digital dialog is neither a one-way street nor a “once a lifetime “event. It needs to be continuous, iterative, interactive, and multi-channel to converge diverse thoughts into effective decisions.because change occurs on a continuum. It is a matter of leadership guidance to steer the journey of digital transformation in the right direction by facilitating continuous digital dialogues and enforcing communication effectiveness effortlessly.

Sensibility to diagnosis: The world has become over-complex with explosive information. At times, it seems that the expanding universe is more meaningful for the exponentiality of information and expansion of knowledge which expands the universe around us. Context aids us in understanding what’s relevant and gaining an in-depth understanding of complex problems with context, having the sensibility to diagnose, and follow the logical scenario to solve them. If there are “illogical problems,” the resolution of an illogical problem requires a logical process to ask open questions, collect relevant information, think alternatives, frame, and solve it effectively.

Justifiability to prove: Due to the complexity and ever-changing business dynamic, sound judgment is a hardcore leadership competency The habit of prejudging and preconceived notions about things jumping to conclusions are easy to miss because it is so fast and automatic. Discernment is more about perceptiveness. People gain a clear discernment when they explore the mental process of acquiring new knowledge through thoughts, experiences, and senses; to be impartial which means objective, detached, just, fair, equal, open-minded, unbiased, nonpartisan, unprejudiced, etc. Highly discerning people are better equipped to leverage different sources of information for making sound judgments and capture the holistic picture for improving collective decision maturity.


Vitality to intuition: Intuition will always play a part of being human. What might be identified as "intuition" is probably subconscious rapid assessment through a decision tree to come up with an appropriate and timely response to an unfolding situation? Intuition does not mean one stops making conscious choices totally. It could be based on our intelligence, past experiences, and knowledge. let the inner feeling flow, also apply the awareness and intelligence to make better choices, but not any choice. It's about proactively opening ourselves, leveraging intuition to take “fast thinking” scenarios, and switch on the creativity button purposefully.

Incredibility to uniqueness: Being unique means to be authentic. Being authentic is defined as being real or genuine. Discovering professional uniqueness is about investigating what’s your strength, your passion: defining your task, things you want to do, and do better than others. The emphasis on developing professional uniqueness is on trying to determine which competencies or capabilities should be used in which combination, and with what level of weight for each, for every different situation. The indicators to assess the intrinsic capacity of individuals include self-awareness (recognition of one's strength and weaknesses), interdisciplinary skills and knowledge, cognitive ability & style, intellectual engagement, creative problem-solving, personality plasticity, ability to identify patterns, ability to make unusual connections, capacity to adapt, emotional intelligence, etc.

Impressibility to counter: It is important to create a trusted environment in which we can openly share our thoughts without any fears and all statements are allowed. It is necessary most of the time for arguments, given for the sake of simply proving or leading to some valid conclusion based on facts and different logical angles. There remains potential to learn very much, both from the opponent’s view and one’s own. One can take measures of the level of zeal and rigor of reasoning all around. Creativity is triggered when we not only practice critical thinking but also truly connect with others and learn from them. It's all about letting go of the "looking good" syndrome we all have so deeply embedded in us, dare to be disobedient and ask tough questions, and challenge conventional settings.

Sustainability to move:
Sustainability is about minimizing the usage of non-renewable resources, optimizing resource use, cutting emission and recycling waste, orchestrating an energy-efficiency, sustainable-savvy, and resource-optimized modern organization. High-performance enterprises should recognize the integrated connection between its supply chain and sustainability, and deliver the next generation of a technology-enabled business solution to fill out the gap and optimize the process, ensure the best fit between short term profitability (shareholders) and long-term sustainability (stakeholders: employees, government, society) and improve the overall business maturity.

Since the dawn of the digital era is partly responsible for many of the prevailing global problems- prevailing due to the increasing pace of change and continuous disruption. To be an innovative leader, an individual has to prove him/herself of a free mind, creative, informative, and risk-taking. They need to have strategic intelligence, the interrelated set of skills - foresight, systems thinking, visioning, motivating; be capable of managing a more ambiguous/longer time frame set of issues, shaping desirable changes, and driving digital transformation effortlessly.

The “Ideology” Quotes of “Digital Master” July 2020

Wherever there are groups of people, there are conflicts. People vary in their ideology, cognizance, perceptions, and priorities; and they react to situations in different ways.

"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 ”Ideology” quotes in “Digital Master.”


1 Ideology matters, as it means how to challenge the ideology of management, talent pipeline development, and methodology. Change itself is a tough choice.

2 Ideology is change management practice - find the best and the most competent person for the position, with critical and creative thinking, particularly for a more senior position.

3 Wherever there are groups of people, there are conflicts. People vary in their ideology, cognizance, perceptions, and priorities; and they react to situations in different ways.

4 Ideologically, effective organizations, no matter large or small, have a multitude of positive characteristics: the startup's business culture-- innovative and dynamic; the university's learning attitude & agility as the speed of knowledge life cycle is accelerated.

5 Wisdom cannot be forced either by accumulating knowledge or guessing. Forcing wisdom commonly leads to dogmatic thinking, ideology, prejudice, and cognitive dissonance.

6 Purpose, values, and principles are part of (corporate) ideology/philosophy that shapes a unique culture.

7 It is about creating an anticipatory whole system design; and good design - the design that best meets the needs of many, it becomes the 'ideology du jour' to those that do not continue to inquire as to the 'fit' of the level of thinking with dynamic system context.

8 There is a very real risk that governance as a discipline will begin to lose focus of its prime purpose if it does not address strategically important emerging issues. As a result, it risks being relegated to status to a simple process driven ideology rather than an enabler to address future pressures and provide the structured platform required to meet new challenges required by today’s market.

Understand the Strength of the Organization via Capability View

As of today with ever-evolving digital new normal, companies are gradually opening up to the next practice to enforce change, catalyze growth, harness innovation, and accelerate digital transformation. Organizational capabilities continue being considered firm idiosyncratic and market-relevant bundles of resources with the potential to drive competitiveness. They are processes and competencies viewed strategically to implement strategy, innovation, and make changes. A capability view of enterprise helps business leaders identify “actuality, capability, and potentiality.” By applying a capability view, the business management readily considers people, process, information, asset, culture, products/service/solutions etc, dimensions of the adequacy of the capability to build their strength and fulfill their business strategy.




Actuality - understand the “current state” by growing the “reality tree”: Analyzing the current state of the business is important, business management needs to do the periodic state check by asking: What is the current state? What are the concerns with the current state (costs, efficiencies, top line impacts etc)? A detailed description of the current state of the business including current policies/procedures/practices, values, and resources associated with the current reality. It’s also important to imagine: What is the proposed state? What is the cost, time; other resources needed to get to the proposed state? What is the financial impact of the proposed state in terms of ROI, etc?

The more insightful questions include: "Why are we here?" What does revenue look like? How has the business model evolved? How to fill the gaps in building business capabilities, what are barriers and how to overcome them, how to manage risks, etc? Current reality trees ascertain the forces creating the current state and thus constraining programmatic efforts to attain the desired state. The success of executing a current reality tree is to ask the key question “Why …?” You build your “Reality Tree'' by asking enough “WHY”s to get to the root. You must ask “why” enough times to uncover the negative factors that create a divide between the vision/strategy of the desired future and the current reality.

Capability - capture a vista point of capability view: Capabilities are what abilities/competencies an organization has/need and they are the resources required for a certain mission/purpose. What and how much you model for business capabilities depends on what you intend to use the model for. This has helped management refocus on what is truly a core competency. It can also offer the opportunity for senior management to determine whether they are supporting the appropriate projects.The capability view provides a level of abstraction that allows more open consideration.

To capture a vista point of capability view, gather as much input from all the business groups and departments including adherence to industry standards, approach to human resources showing support of overall organizational growth or shrinkage, and sourcing alternatives, with an in-depth understanding about organization's capacity for change. By applying a business capability view, the management deliberately makes the close alignment among the company’s strategic direction, its most distinctive capabilities, and most or all of its products and services to achieve strategic goals in a stepwise manner.

Potentiality - lift up the business to the next cycle of the growth: Digital is the age of information overloading and fierce competitions, business potentiality includes the overall organizational ability to perform in the future by discovering their strength and building their core competency. The potentiality is the worthy investment and hidden dimension to explore the emerging opportunities, design new business models, and investigate hidden paths for accelerating business growth. In reality, many traditional organizations still only focus on the performance today - to keep the light on. But forward-looking digital organizations explore the new possibility and unlock the potentiality to perform in the future so that the business does not only “earn enough from today,” but “thrive in the future,” because that’s what really matters from the longer term perspective.

People and organizations now can learn faster in a time when leading strategists were arguing that the only sustainable advantage was to learn faster than your competition and unleash their full digital potential. A high potential organization can take coherent use of various already known concepts and gradually open up to the best and next practices by enforcing communication, fostering relationship-building, emphasizing participation, and realizing that they have to renew themselves periodically to grow, innovate and transform by taking a systematic approach to identify and develop potentiality into a more solid form and transform it into differentiated business advantage.

The digital transformation makes a significant impact on almost every aspect of the business from people; process, to technology, both horizontally and vertically. Businesses have their own unique strength, and should spend sufficient time on developing their own competency. The capability view can leverage different perspectives from different roles, each of whom have come from different backgrounds and perspectives and question whether and how a business capability perspective adds value over the perspectives/viewpoints that they are accustomed to using and executes capability-based strategy smoothly.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

The Insight of the Week 6/27-7/3 “Future of CIO” July 2020

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


The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 3 million page views with 6900+ 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 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.


Critical Thinking & Innovation Management Innovation is a process to transform fresh ideas for achieving its business value. Every innovation pursuit has risks in it, and every risk has opportunities in it. Often, innovation initiatives that ultimately break new ground frequently are fraught with uncertainty on many dimensions such as technical, market, resource, and ecosystem uncertainties abound.

A Happy Organization with a “State of Pleasant” The digital era upon us is about people. One of the very goals for running a digital organization is to engage employees and delight customers. People define the “state of pleasant” - happiness at work as being derived from an engaged, active interest in the work, “deriving” meaning from the work being performed, and performing the work in a pleasant or harmonious environment. A happy organization has a positive and pleasant working environment with high-level employee engagement, generating positive energy, and building a vibrant working environment via joint efforts and co-responsibilities of management and employees.

The Monthly “Digital Hybridity” Book Tuning: The Balance Practices and Logic to Go Digital June 2020 The purpose of the book “Digital Hybridity: How to Strike the Right Balance for Digital Paradigm Shift” is to shed some light on how to strike the right balance of stability and changes; being transactional to keep spinning and being transformational to leap forward for making a seamless digital paradigm shift. Digital organizations should apply the hybrid management approach, focus on building a diverse, networked, and extended modern working environment in which the powerful digital platforms and computing technologies enable seamless conversations, delayer overly rigid organizational hierarchy, inspire idea-sharing and brainstorming, and engage employees and partners to achieve the high-performance result.

Learning Intelligence Learning intelligence refers to a person’s ability to learn with meta-cognition (learning how to learn). We live in the digital era of rapid and relentless change, today’s workforce is knowledge workers, intelligent workers, and hard workers. Even though each one of us has some “raw” talent, it takes an immense amount of time on learning and hard work that most "naturally talented" people have committed to developing their innate talents into value-added skills and professional competency.

The Monthly Summary: Knowledge/Information Architecture & Structure June 2020 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 make the right decisions. The value of information is qualitative, measurable, and defined uniquely by an organization.

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.

An Inquisitive Board as Strategic Explorer

Great boards are heterogeneous, inquisitive, intelligent, effective, innovative, and influential, to be the strategic explorer and wise advisor. 

Due to the “VUCA” characteristics of business dynamic, overloading information, and continuous disruptions as the new normal of business expansion, corporate boards should leverage multidimensional lenses to provide an “outside-in” view of the organization and steer the business in the right direction.

Analogically, the corporate board's role is about pulling management out of the trees to see the forest. They see the development of strategy as a collective effort between themselves and management, rather than a question of “us versus them.” The corporate board represents ownership, acts as an inquisitive explorer, and they really cannot do a good job if they don't have the knowledge to ask profound questions, challenges and sets the broad strategic goals, as well as takes logical steps in practicing GRC disciplines effortlessly.

Does your strategy tap a true source of advantage? Organizations of the future are increasingly exhibiting digital characteristics in various shades and intensity to seize the competitive business advantage which has three elements with substantial multicollinearity - value, rareness, and imitability, etc. The corporate board oversees business strategy and asks whether the competitive advantage is conceptually possible such as: What is our strategic advantage? What is the cost point to be competitive? Which capabilities already exist and which must be developed or changed? Where are the customers heading? What percentage of that market do we expect to capture over what period of time? Why would someone prefer to buy from us? What's going on in the market? Where are the suppliers headed? Where are the competitors headed? Etc. Good questions like the magnets to attract excellent feedback for business executives to digest and improve manageability.

Keep in mind, strategy management is about creating tomorrow's organization out of today. Therefore, the corporate board’s strategic oversight is critical to identify and strengthen the weakest link and determines practicality. The longer-term advantage comes if the rare valuable resource is quite difficult or expensive to imitate. But all that said, organizations seem to then have to capture so much, all the organizational and managerial capabilities, plus implementation and systems development. Plans only survive until the first instance comes where you have to deviate. With the board’s strategic oversight, the business can reach those moments in which you've taken the time to identify the contingencies; you can seize the initiative or competitive advantage and, in the long run, achieve the strategic goals you've identified.

Does your strategy put you ahead of trends? The rate of change has accelerated, indicating that business leaders must learn how to strike the right balance between managing complex issues today and forecasting the trends and uncertain issues of tomorrow. Insightful leaders with strong “digital awareness,” have to look into an unknown future and attempt to define the business landscape by seeing beyond what all others could see, sharing opportunity oversight and risk prediction, work closely with the management team to chart new business revenue or growth through the creation of a new product or market, cast the vision for the ways in which tomorrow’s business technologies can create sustainable business value for building the business's long term perspective.

The digital era upon us means the exponential growth of information, the increasing speed of change, and fierce competition. At the board level, creating trends is about anticipating direction. Gaining first-mover advantage is all about foreseeing and applying trends, that’s where you win the competitive edge. The BoDs need to ask profound questions such as: What will change about the business over the next five years in order to achieve the strategic plan? And what are the impacts of those changes on IT? Higher transactional volumes? Heavier investments in product development? Does the business need to make decisions faster? With rapid changes and high velocity of the business ecosystem, the idea of moving fast and becoming highly flexible and responsible requires companies applying emerging new technologies and leveraging increasingly diverse information to move up the learning curve, gain knowledge about their customers via empathy, capture growth opportunities or prevent risks for adapting to the business dynamic timely.

Is your strategy contaminated by bias? Most of what poor decisions have boiled down to lack of updated information/intelligence and decision-maker bias. Bias or cognitive gaps come in many forms and are difficult to recognize if you are the decision-maker. Therefore, a team perspective with a heterogeneous setting is crucial for novel decisions because no individual has all the necessary expertise. The board should work collaboratively with the management team to enable the "wisdom of crowds" as a source of improved decision-making. Corporate governance could be part of strategic planning because if it isn't, strategic planning becomes a synonym for wishful thinking - corporate governance is where resources are allocated to turning the strategy into a reality.

At the group level, the homogeneous team setting spurs groupthink and creates blind spots in decision management. A great way to manage bias is to simply get it out in the open communication environment. Keep in mind, try to eliminate all biases and you are likely to reduce the use of heuristics, leading to analysis paralysis. The key principles for making effective decisions are to keep the value set transparent, share and manage the bias with different stakeholders who have cognitive differences and diverse experiences, and improve strategic decision maturity.

Is your strategy granular about where to compete and how to take a step-wise approach to implement? Companies across the vertical sectors are at the different stages of the business life cycle, some run down a diminishing returns pathway, others do the best they can with existing products/services/customers and spend a lot of time on future products/customer exploration. Therefore, organizations should examine the entire customer life-cycle from acquisition through disposal, and isolate wherein the experience they choose to invest, where they choose to compete, and where they choose to innovate. To improve their strategic oversight effectiveness, knowledge is no doubt important, but more than that is complete awareness of what is happening in the context. The corporate board needs to ask insightful questions about their marketing positions and strategy such as: Where to compete and how to take a step-wise approach to implement, to help clarify and make the strategy implementable.

Every organization must chart its own course, and take an integrated approach to dynamic business planning and actions. If there is a crisis or visible material decision with immediate consequences, you can see if the decisions and actions of the board were done right with good results. Charting a course on how the business achieves the strategic goals with intermediate objectives over time is pivotal to success. It is from vision (where do you want to go, what do you want to achieve)–Gap analysis (the current state assessment) –Strategy (How to get there - the roadmap) –to execution as an iterative continuum, with governance as a complementary discipline.

Does your strategy balance commitment and flexibility? Effective business oversight and governance practices require a strong commitment to being knowledgeable, independent, and forward-thinking. The culture of commitment and flexibility advocated by effective board leadership is about bringing out the best in others and enforce accountability. They do not focus on hierarchy but on ideas, creativity, and openness. Building a high-effective digital board with strong commitment requires critical thinking, asking good questions, complementing each other’s strength and balance of multiple perceptions, to avoid extreme thinking. A highly committed corporate board and top executive teams are able to both talk the walk and walk the talk all the way, for setting good policies and exemplifying digital leadership.

The effective board with strong commitment brings together tremendous skills and experience to the table, sets the updated business “policy,” and digital principles for effective problem-solving. Digital organizations achieve strategic flexibility by developing the lego-like module design architecture and capabilities with quality and reusability. There are logical steps to follow in strategy execution, but sometimes you need to be flexible when implementing the strategy, It often starts with the end in mind - the "VISION."  Do not forget that the strategy is not written on stone and, therefore, it can be changed if the environment requires it. More often, strategy-execution is not in linear steps, but a continuum, with adaptation to the changes.

Great boards are heterogeneous, inquisitive, intelligent, effective, innovative, and influential. Running a corporate board as a strategic explorer requires thinking, dots connection, asking insightful questions to complement each other’s strength, and balance of multiple perceptions in guiding businesses in the right direction and achieving expected business results.

Critical Thinking & Performance Management

Often the more meaningful and important thing you want to assess, the harder it is to measure objectively. 

Performance Management is not about managing numbers, but telling an information-enriched story. Performance management is not an isolated management discipline, but a holistic approach with a well set of methodologies and practices via connecting multidisciplinary management dots to make progressive changes.

Critical Thinking is crucial because there are blind spots in performance management which are perhaps inevitable, the point is how business leaders or professionals learn to deal with them and close them seamlessly. First, you need to consider why you need to do performance management. Then, how to do it in the right way.





Apply critical thinking to select metrics: Metrics or KPI selection is not an easy task, sometimes it needs a number of measures around the same issues to gain a complete picture. Companies have resource constraints and performance measurement is overhead. Thus, critical thinking is a crucial thought process to help select metrics, and get feedback from people at the different levels of the organization, understand what those metrics are, what they are trying to achieve, and why you think they are appropriate in that specific context. Otherwise, it causes confusion and resistance in using metrics and further leads to decision ineffectiveness.

There are people extremely obsessed with metrics, who end up creating a huge set of meaningless metrics and cause management pain points. Apply critical thinking to ensure that performance measures are both qualitative and quantitative. The right metric is requested in the right context but without giving any explanation of why it is requested, or without concern for whether there is a better way to gather the metric that achieves the well-defined goals, the measurement can easily go wrong. Goals of performance measurement should be clear and attainable, linking your key performance indicators at the strategic level all the way back to your transactional metrics defined in your source systems, and making an objective assessment of business performance objectively.

Leverage critical thinking and use metrics as pointers to areas requiring further investigation: Running a business is fundamentally a problem-solving continuum. With reliable performance data, the management can guide the team to understand the purpose of doing metrics, leverage critical thinking to make inquiries, and use metrics as pointers to areas requiring further investigation, frame the right issues, and fix the root cause of the problems. Critical thinking is important because sometimes the metrics can be twisted to desired ends, to what the management wants to hear rather than what they need to know. It’s about clarifying “WHAT” (performance result) you have achieved, but also about “WHY” (the strategic vision) and “HOW” (the decision-action scenario) to achieve high-performance business results.

Silo mentality is a reality. The larger the organization, the more and more isolated business goals become when considered in the context of the enterprise’s goals. The true critical thinking systems will be hard to emerge in corporate management. Often in these environments, each department measures on their own success, with ignorance of the business as a whole. Or the preoccupation with the short-term time horizon and the skew of incentives toward it is perhaps why Performance Management is not synchronized with business strategy management and mislead the organization in the wrong direction sooner or later.

Lack of critical thinking or honest feedback to make continuous improvement: The peril of measurement management such as the wrong metrics selection or ineffective measurement practices perhaps cause dysfunctional behaviors and motivates people to hide bad news on delays and cost overruns, further causes management conflicts, resource misalignment, or business stagnation. Lack of effective feedback management will deepen the functional gaps and create measurement blind spots.

Great critical thinkers who can provide useful feedback on business action/impacts/outcomes, project realization/implementation, or organizational potential, can significantly improve business performance. Regular feedback is a must and incentives should be comparable to expectation set and engage more people as advocates in building the momentum. Different stakeholders can provide great feedback, their respective viewpoints can indicate useful areas for further performance exploration and confirmation.
 
Managing performance means leveraging critical thinking and multidimensional thought processes in understanding results, setting metrics, and making continuous improvement. Often the more meaningful and important thing you want to assess, the harder it is to measure objectively. High-performance businesses can select and measure KPIs and also become very adept at measuring business results and make performance improvements continuously.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

The Monthly “Digital Master” Book Tuning: Digital Management Fluency July 2020

Organizational digitalization is surely a transformation journey, as it has to permeate into business vision, strategy, culture, communication, and processes. etc.

Digital makes a significant impact on every aspect of the business from people, process to technology, both horizontally and vertically. Digital becomes the very fabric of high performing business, being outside-in, and customer-centric is the new mantra for forward-looking and high mature digital organizations today.

Digital Master refers to those high-performing, highly innovative, and high-mature (less than 15%) digital organizations; they have both clear digital vision and well-crafted digital strategy; they are courageous to be in the vanguard of digital transformation with a quantum lead. Digital leaders must realize that you cannot wait until there is an immediate pressing task, continuous adaptability is necessary in an ever-changing world, in order to run a high mature digital organization.


Digital Management Fluency  


Critical Thinking and Multidisciplinary Management The business dynamic today is full of uncertainty, velocity, complexity, ambiguity, fierce competition, and continuous disruptions. The digital paradigm has many dimensions. It is like solving a jigsaw puzzle with thousands of pieces, easy to get lost. Thus, digital leaders and professionals need to develop critical thinking skills for making logical reasoning and practicing multidisciplinary management scenarios skillfully.

Leverage Interdisciplinarity in Digital Management The digital transformation is now spreading rapidly to enable organizations of all shapes and sizes to reinvent themselves. Human society gets more and more complex, the very natural attempt of humans to take the very powerful techniques of mathematics, such as techniques of linear mathematics or logic, and apply it to the hyperconnected world very quickly come up against insurmountable difficulties for managing today's dynamic digital business. Dealing with the significant challenge of digital transformation requires accelerated digital mindsets, leveraging multidisciplinary knowledge and insight, taking an end-to-end response, and a structural approach.

Three Levels of Digital Fluency Organizational digitalization is surely a transformation journey, as it has to permeate into business vision, strategy, culture, communication, and processes. etc. If digital literacy is the ability to effectively and critically navigate, evaluate and create information using a range of digital technologies; and to move a step further, digital fluency is the business capability to skillfully manage information lifecycle, to create fresh content enlightening customers; to gain contextual intelligence for solving complex problems, and more importantly to be fluently in innovation management for catalyzing business growth.

Running IT with Digital Fluency Organizations large and small are on the journey to shift from static, inflexible industrial business settings to living digital business dynamic which is organic, alive, holistic, vibrant, energetic, responsive, fluid, and innovative. Digitalization means hyper-connectivity, over-complexity, and interdependence; it blurs the functional border, organizational border, industry vertical border, geographic border, and knowledge domain border. IT plays a significant role in such a transformation because technology is often the disruptive force and information is the lifeblood to keep the business flow. But the first things first, how to run IT with digital fluency?

Avoid Digital Traps to Enhance Digital Fluency A digital organization can bring greater awareness of intricacies and the systemic value of organizational practices, business capabilities, people dynamics, resource alignment, or technological touches. There is no one size fits all formula to pursue digitalization, each organization just has to "walk the talk," avoid hidden traps and explore their own way, build their own differentiated business competency to reach the next level of business maturity.

The Future of CIO Blog has reached 3 million page views with about 6900+ blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation, and engaging, and therefore, it takes time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify your voice, deepen your digital footprints, and match your way for human progression.

The “Accountability” Quotes of “Digital Master” July 2020

Accountability can be harnessed by motivating your employees to achieve higher than expected results and build a culture of learning, trust, and professionalism.

"Digital Masteris 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 ”Accountability” quotes in “Digital Master.


1 Most problems are systemic and require systemic solutions where people take accountability for their part in describing and solving them.

2 It is not uncommon to confuse accountability with blame. They are actually opposites. Shared accountability or collective accountability involves shared ownership, empathetic communication, the true measure of accountability is about resilience.

3 Accountability can be harnessed by motivating your employees to achieve higher than expected results and build a culture of learning, trust, and professionalism.

4 Accountability goes hand in hand with the delegation of authority or power. Accountability is part of personal integrity. If you ensure the individuals have autonomy within their tasks or projects you will be able to address performance on an equal partnership base.

5 Accountability needs to be well embedded in the business culture, for individuals taking responsibility for what they DO and what they SAY!

6 Accountability needs a safe environment. That starts with leaders at the top. Behaving accountable is the result of culture with values that need to be organized and nurtured.

7 There are some structural issues with accountability. If one is to hold another accountable (peer or subordinate) for achieving some result, there is a set of conditions that must be fulfilled in advance on the "receiver" side.

8 It is the effectiveness of the Board of Directors in delegating to the senior management team and holding them accountable that supports the management team in achieving outcomes.

Unique Competencies and Skills of Digital Professionals

To truly build digital workforce competency, "development, enhancement, and coaching" imply a better mindset and a unique set of skills to fit for the ever-evolving digital dynamic.

With “VUCA” characteristics -Velocity, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity, organizations not only need to have competitive necessities to survive today but also should build differentiated competencies to thrive for the future.

People are the most important factor on the journey of business success, but often the weakest link in strategy management. Too often, leaders are allowed to complain generically about what they mean by skill and competency gaps and they pick the symptoms, not dig through the root causes. Either individually or collectively, it’s important to identify and develop a set of capabilities required to achieve your goals at a technical, behavioral, attitudinal, or cognitive level, and build core competencies to get digital ready.

Cognitive competency (growth mindset, critical thinking, innovative thinking): Cognition is the mental process of acquiring knowledge through thoughts, experiences, and senses. Cognitive competency refers to a growth mindset, logic, innovative thinking, or creativity, etc. The "mind" represents our consciousness and awareness. Mindset is everything. In fact, a human's mind is the most invaluable thing to shape every progress, but also the root cause of many of mankind's problems. Cognition involves exploring varieties of meanings or thoughts and abandoning old connections and establishing new relations to spark creativity.

To deal with fast-paced changes and continuous disruptions, growth mindset and cognitive intelligence are in strong demand to ride learning curves and make the progressive movement. To close cognitive gaps and stimulate creativity, the mind needs to be open enough to explore the mental process of acquiring new knowledge through thoughts, experiences, and senses, embrace other minds’ perceptions, and understand things via different angles. Cognitive gaps disconnect many things that are supposed to be interconnected, and cognitive competency unlocks potential of business professionals and drives positive changes.

Technical/Learning/Leadership competency: Due to the changing nature of digital technologies and the rapid growth of information, IT talent needs to have both technical and business acumen, develop professional attitude, capabilities, skills, flexibility, intelligence, practicality, or pragmatism, etc. IT personnel need to be able to think, learn new technologies, and relate what they have known in the past to the new technologies. There is intense learning and continuous knowledge update for IT professionals, thus, learning agility is even more important than knowledge itself.

From a talent management perspective, professional skill development is something that depends on the individual's wish as per the organization's standards. Great specialized generalists and generalized specialists are both needed to build organizational competency. There are many examples of technicians, who have excelled in their role as a technician, later failing as a manager when promoted. A technical proficient person but having poor interpersonal/ management skills will lead to a loss in productivity. Thus, it’s crucial to identify innate talent, also practice tailored talent development solutions, and invest human capital wisely to develop a strong talent pipeline and amplify collective human potential.

Change competency: Change is never for its own sake, it is always for something new and advancing, it means that removal of something old and building something fresh. Changeability is developed via soft skills such as courage, confidence, and emotional intelligence to overcome the “fear of failure,” and hard disciplines such as knowledge, expertise, and professional capabilities to lead technical changes. Change is an evolutionary journey, it is, therefore, important to stimulate positive emotions for cultivating healthy habits and making cohesive efforts.

Many say that people’s intelligence is tested by their changeability, and their professional quality is also proved via their changeability. Changeability gives you confidence because you know you are able to positively adapt to any given situation, accepting, embracing, and leading changes effectively. Both attitude and aptitude count; good change attitude includes such as openness to new ideas and perspectives; the optimism for things getting better; the passion to discover, and the vision to inspire. Change champion has unique capabilities and a specific skill set in the field of the change additionally, to the specialist knowledge. To expedite change, "putting the right people in the right positions to lead change seamlessly,” needs to become the digital mantra to lead progressive change.

Discernment/Problem-Solving Competency: A more discerning professional who demonstrates sound judgment by using both perception (experience or intuition) and research/analysis is better equipped to make effective decisions. To deal with uncertainty and ambiguity, make discernment and establish insight into approach and style in different situations and have the ability to learn to reflect, have the inter-disciplinary knowledge and emphatic cognizance to capture insight and understand perspectives different from your own to improve decision effectiveness.

There needs to be a better appreciation for real critical thinking and problem-solving abilities. Many people do wrong things, because of poor judgment, lack of real critical thinking skills, comprehensive knowledge, empathy, bias, or preconceived notions. Empathy is an ultimate level of human cognition of being non-judgmental, active listening, and balancing between tolerance and respect to achieve that. Having a sound judgment and discerning mind to making the right decisions becomes one of the most critical professional qualities in today's business dynamic with the increasing pace of changes and “VUCA” reality. Discernment speaks more to make the best decision in a consistent manner.

Cultural competency: Culture is a collective mindset, attitude, and behavior, and it’s about how people do things in their organization. Culture is certainly part of the environment in which an organization operates, among other considerations. A digital professional with cultural competency is adaptable and flexible, they are fit for driving progressive change, but be a “misfit” to stimulate creativity, develop and learn more rapidly than anywhere else. Culture stands as a key factor not only in attaining organizational goals but also in the attraction and retention of desirable employees. Effective workforce management focuses on culture-shaping as well as attraction, engagement, and performance alignment.

Different cultures may have different thought patterns as our thinking is indeed shaped by our environment and our experiences, professionals with cultural competency understand that we all have different lenses, perceptions in the way we look at the world, it becomes easier to open your heart and mind. The modern leaders with cultural intelligence can lead their own organization to the global scope and even make a significant impact on human society as a whole.

Modern digital technologies bring unprecedented levels of convenience for people to learn and work, and improve their professional skills continually. To truly build digital workforce competency, "development, enhancement, and coaching" imply a better mindset, capture both the individual's and the organizational development needs, and set the scene for a process to achieve well-defined goals and reach the next level of the growth cycle and business transcendence.










Tuesday, June 30, 2020

The Monthly “Performance Master” Summary: The Goals and Definition of KPIs June 2020

The well-defined measures and KPIs are important factors to map strategy & execution and manage performance effectively.

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.



  
      The Goals and Definition of KPIs
The Goals for Defining and Assessing KPIs Digital businesses are dynamic, connected, interdependent, and hyper-competitive. Performance Management is no longer a siloed practice but a multidimensional management discipline by connecting all-important dots with multifaceted perspectives to close performance gaps, make continuous improvement, and improve organizational maturity.

What are the Goals to Choose the Right KPIs Choosing the right KPIs is crucial. The challenge is that people have their own take on KPIs. KPIs must be aligned with the corporate goals and objectives - but should also be directly relevant to the activities that businesses are attempting to manage (process execution). If you only select KPIs based on outcomes without managing the processes that contribute to 'good and bad performance', you will continue to be out of control. However, it is equally dangerous when you focus on 'process execution' without understanding if the process is delivering the desired 'outcomes'. Perhaps the greatest challenges are not about 'data management' - but 'relationship management' within the organizations.

What’s the Real Purpose of Performance Indicators The goal of Performance Indicators is to identify if the adopted strategy, operation, and process, etc are working toward the objective. KPIs should be periodically reviewed and revised depending on what the firm's strategy is and what they are targeting. Are they entering a new market? Is their goal to achieve 25% higher profits than the last 6 months? Have they recently re-engineered their organizational structure? All such questions need to be kept in mind when deciding and revising the KPIs. And you define KPIs to monitor progress and performance. KPIs should be under constant review to determine if they actually provide the necessary insight into what is happening in order to make informed decisions. If the KPI is not providing the necessary insight, it needs to be refined. KPIs should change when business needs and environment changes.

Three Challenging Aspects of Performance Indicators You can only manage what you measure, Performance measures and management is not a simple task though, approximately there’re more than ten thousand KPIs around today, a bit overwhelming, let's not forget that there is a "K" in KPI for a reason: Why do you select the certain set of performance measures? What’re the most challenging aspects of working with KPIs? How to leverage the right set of performance indicators in measuring whether the organization is functioning well or dysfunctional? Which management metrics shall you apply to measure organizational overall health and maturity? Who and what tools are being applied to measure if an organization is healthy or sick? Proactive or reactive? Intelligent or dumb? Customer-centric or operational driven? And what are those challenging aspects of performance measurement?

The Principles to Define KPIs The well-defined measures and KPIs are important factors to map strategy & execution and manage performance effectively. However, selecting KPIs is the main challenge in establishing a performance management framework, what are the main principles to define KPIs?

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 #6900 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 “Manifest” Quotes of “Digital Master” June 2020

How creativity as an innate process to generate ideas and manifest itself in each of us is unique, and then such interlinks often fuel new thoughts, perspectives, creativity, and imagination to spark the abundance of creativity.

"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 ”manifest” quotes in “Digital Master.”


1 Creativity is an innate ability to generate novel ideas. It is important to create conditions so that the creative potential can manifest.

2 Cause-Effect analysis anticipates purpose but not until the system is actualized, can you really observe manifest purpose.

3 How creativity as an innate process to generate ideas and manifest itself in each of us is unique, and then such interlinks often fuel new thoughts, perspectives, creativity, and imagination to spark the abundance of creativity.

4 The goal to take the “digital first” approach is to create conditions so that the creative potential can manifest, and stay focused so that the business can unlock its performance and maximize its potential.

5 Visionary leaders anticipate change and are proactive, rather than reactive to events. As they manifest their visions base their leadership on an inspirational, positive picture of the future, as well as a clear sense of direction as to how to get there.

6 A learning strategy is the organization's competitive learning "logic" manifested through organizational cultures and actions.

7 We have purposes that arise from our interactions with others. They too are influenced by unconscious emotions that manifest as social, political, technical values, etc.

8 To catalyze leadership innovation and improve leadership maturity, it is necessary to identify the unofficial structures and take them along on the journey of innovation and change, and manifest connection, caring, trust-building and influence to accomplish strategic business goals.

9 Systems thinking and systematic structure provide the shell within which individuals can collaborate to manifest design and create transparency to problems.



Learning Intelligence

The shift from the reactive learning mentality to a proactive learning attitude enables individuals and organizations to look forward and enhance their learning intelligence. 

Learning intelligence refers to a person’s ability to learn with meta-cognition (learning how to learn). We live in the digital era of rapid and relentless change, today’s workforce is knowledge workers, intelligent workers, and hard workers.

Even though each one of us has some “raw” talent, it takes an immense amount of time on learning and hard work that most "naturally talented" people have committed to developing their innate talents into value-added skills and professional competency.

Collaboratively, shaping a digital organization with learning intelligence is about cultivating a culture of learning, creating, and developing talent as a strategic choice to get digital ready.



Meta-cognition: Meta-cognition, or learning how to learn, is a vital element of independent learning in an era of information exponentiality, as well as rapid and relentless change. Technically, meta-cognition is a process that enables understanding, analysis, and control of one’s cognitive processes. A crucial part of metacognition and more importantly, why metacognition is important, is to give the learner an opportunity to be aware of and understand their own strengths and weaknesses so that they can take a scientific approach to learn or adapt their skills and strategies.

Meta-cognition is the process of being open to wonder, gaining conscious awareness, setting time aside to allow an idea, or a problem to incubate. It is in combination with immediate learning to give way to advancing insight. Generally speaking, understanding how we think is the first stage of understanding our cognitive style - how we approach and solve problems and embrace opportunities. Metacognition would be where the individual is aware of reaching the point of "not knowing," and then, developing strategies and methodologies to resolve it to become "knowing," like how to induce, deduce hypotheses, reflect on them, and question them.

“Self-directing” learning: Today, there are continuous technology-led disruptions and overloaded information, and commodity knowledge only a click away, a digital organization is a dynamic, self-regulating and self-adaptive system which is able to reconfigure its own structure and change its own behavior based on rich information and collective learning experience for responding to dynamic environment proactively. “Self-directing” learning is the ability for high professionals to keep building new and nonlinear skills and shaping multi-layer, recombinant capabilities for problem-solving and innovation.

Historically, many learners, in all disciplinary domains, built a kind of “dependency” on their teachers/trainers and developed a form of “learned helplessness.” Knowledge is dynamic and multidimensional nowadays, it’s not just spoken or transferred in hard-copy, it’s also transferred visually or virtually and through emotions or feelings. Thus, digital workforce needs to become self-driven, must have the attitude to keep learning, as well as have learning aptitude and intelligence to learn fast and smart, learning knowledge is even not enough, capturing insight is the MUST.

Master the full learning cycle: Today’s digital leaders and professionals with learning intelligence can critically examine their thinking and reflect thoroughly on what attitude or behaviors help them learn, and master the full cycle of “Learning, Delearning, Relearning” effortlessly. With ever-evolving digital new normal, top seasoned leaders and digital professionals become aware when some of the long-acquired knowledge is no longer applicable in certain situations. They have to relearn the updated knowledge for gaining insight into the changing circumstance, become continuous lifelong learners, and adapt more readily to whatever changes life/work throws at them.

Organizations with learning intelligence can create the right environment to grow a natural affinity into a "talent, “ believing in "building talent" discipline in which it would otherwise be underutilized or dormant. In fact, to become learning intelligent, the digital workforce today has to learn and relearn all the time and then apply those lessons to succeed in new situations, become better problem solvers, foster innovation, and drive digital transformation.

Digital learning is multidimensional, dynamic, interactive, informal, and integrated. Driving digital paradigm shift is not a passive activity, but a proactive pursuit. The shift from the reactive learning mentality to a proactive learning attitude enables individuals and organizations to look forward, enhance their learning intelligence, actively position their businesses in the right place to take full advantage of opportunities, and raise the organizational learning intelligence and maturity.

Monday, June 29, 2020

The Monthly “Change Agent CIO” Book Tuning: Business Driven IT Transformation June 2020

 A digital CIO has to have great leadership traits, understand the business context, oversee processes, envision the latest technology trends, and motivate the IT team to do more with innovation.

Change is inevitable, organizational change has become a common practice within an organization, but too often changes are made as a reaction to outer impulses, crises, and demands. This is the bureaucracy’s way of meeting the challenges.

A digital transformation is achieved via dynamic Strategy-Execution-Change life-cycle management, though it is not all linear steps, but an iterative, ongoing, and up-going change continuum. What are digital CIO’s profiles and how to reboot IT to get digital ready and cultivate the culture of learning and innovating?
      

Business Driven IT Transformation

 

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

The Goal-Driven IT Transformation The digital world is so technology-driven and information-intensive, organizations rely more and more on information & technology nowadays, IT needs will only expand. Hence, IT must be a business partner within the organization to deliver business-driven results. A digital CIO has to have great leadership traits, understand the business context, oversee business processes, envision the latest technology trends, and motivate the IT team to do more with innovation. And most importantly, take a systematic approach to manage the goal-driven IT transformation seamlessly.

Running a Future-Driven IT Organization to Catalyze Growth Organizations large or small are on the digital journey, corporate IT needs to shift from a back-office support center to a future-driven growth engine. Because more often information is the lifeblood and technology is the disruptive force of digital transformation.

Modern IT organizations with Three Digital Competency IT plays a significant role in the digital paradigm shift. The unprecedented opportunities brought by digital technologies and increasing speed of change can lift up a fast-growing business promptly. It can also reinvent a well-established organization to reach the next level of the business growth cycle. The CIO must run a modern IT organization with core competency. A core competency is a harmonization of multiple organizational capabilities underpinned by business processes, such that it permeates the entire organization with a focus, and in alignment with the resource-based view. Here are modern IT organizations' three digital competencies.

Transforming IT from Monolithic Hardware Oriented to Mosaic Software Driven With overwhelming growth of information and rapid changes, the role of IT in the current business environment should become strategic, enable business outcomes, build organizational competency, and catalyze business growth. IT leaders need to make an objective assessment: What’s the focal point of IT- monolithic hardware-oriented, or the bits & bytes information-driven? Inside-out operation-driven or outside-in customer-centric? Transaction or transformation focus?

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 #6900 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 “Confluence” Quotes of “Digital Master” June 2020

Running a digital organization is to connect the old and new, mix the solid and fluid to enforce digital confluence, foster innovation, and achieve people-centricity.

"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 ”Confluence” quotes in “Digital Master.”



1 Running a digital organization is to connect the old and new, mix the solid and fluid to enforce digital confluence.

2 Information confluence means breaking down functional silos or geographical borders to streamline information flow, to make sure information integrity and consistency.

3 Digital is the age of innovation. Digital innovation has all sorts of flavors and a broader spectrum. Effective innovation management requires a suitable process as part of the holistic 'system,' to ensure innovation confluence and management cohesiveness.

4 It is important to understand digital organizations as socio-technical systems, people readily perceive organizations and projects requiring the confluence of multiple perspectives (people, process, and technology) to make great decisions.

5 It is a strategic imperative to broaden IT outlook, embrace IT consumerization and emerging trends, envision the bigger picture, emphasize contextualization, explore the art of possibility, and ensure digital confluence.

6 Running a digital organization is to connect the old and new, mix the solid and fluid to enforce digital confluence, foster innovation, and achieve people-centricity.

7 Today’s business leaders are capitalizing and operating on digital ecosystems that are expanding due to the confluence of digital technologies, broader scopes of communication and collaboration, and multifaceted resource alignment.

8 People readily perceive organizations and projects requiring the confluence of multiple perspectives ("Business, People, Process, Technology") to make great decisions.

9 Today’s business leaders are capitalizing and operating on digital ecosystems that are expanding due to the confluence of social networks, mobile computing, analytics, and cloud computing (SMAC). SMAC also provides unprecedented opportunities for enterprises to take advantage of digital disruptions.

Unpuzzling IT Complexity

Companies that are skilled at managing IT complexity can gain advantages by pushing the boundaries of a more sophisticated business mix that provides opportunities to create inter-business value.

Information is growing exponentially and the nature of technology is complex, there is a multitude of complexities in the organizational scope. The emergent digital complexity includes hyper-connectivity, hyper-diversity, and hyper-dynamism.

The goal of an IT organization is not to make things more complex. The fact is that IT has to become the business optimizer for managing complexity and unlock organizational performance. Unpuzzling IT complexity means to improve IT organizational maturity from functioning (have redundancy) to firm (work solidly), to delight (“just right” simplicity).





Operational complexity (look at the IT organization itself): IT has to look at itself first. Technically, the complexity of aggregate layers of every internal IT system is a burden that often causes conflicts. When an organization becomes overly complex and people get frustrated and annoyed by not being able to accomplish things easily, this drives the search for simpler concepts, methods, and processes to improve its own efficiency, robustness, effectiveness, and simplifying the way it does things. So IT leaders need to manage that complexity regardless of who builds it and they should take a structural approach to consolidate, modernize, integrate, automate, and optimize for improving IT performance.

Strategically, look at complexity from a business impact perspective as well as from a solution perspective. A healthy IT management cycle is to simplify unnecessary complexity, look for what is common for maximum reuse, manage the full application life-cycle, retire legacy systems; reassess any systems that suck too much resource, budget, energy or require too much IT effort. Keeping things simple and optimizing businesses, is all about leveraging technologies to lower costs, improve operation, and increase revenue. 

Nonlinear complexity (hyperconnectivity, interdependency, emergence, etc.): Digital is complex, it becomes complex if things do interact, particularly in the case of "nonlinear" interactions, with interdependent relationships. You can't separate things properly or you cannot predict the actual effect of interactions straightforwardly. Organizations today are nonlinear systems that keep evolving. One characteristic of nonlinear systems is that small changes can have large impacts. A small error, inconsistency, or change in a system specification can totally ruin its performance.

Emergence is a characteristic of all complex systems which are not always predictable. The better you understand the interrelationships and interactions of the different parts of the whole the better you can unmuzzle IT complexity. There are at least two ways to look at nonlinear IT complexity. The first is to try to analyze what the impact of complexity is on a system (such as processes, customers, businesses); the second is to look for the impact of removing some of the complications or unnecessary complexities by simplification or optimization.

Design complexity such as highly-productive complexity, value/cost/risk ratio complexity: There are two sides of IT, behind every intuitive user interface, there is complexity in it. The forward-thinking organizations understand how things such as design help IT organizations become customer-centric by making things likable rather than just making them functioning.

There is an emergence-vs-design-paradox thereon across the business complexities around the multi-faceted business world. It’s important to apply design thinking to decode complexity and make things simple but purposeful. Trans or interdisciplinary science can be applied to IT complexity management by integrating multidisciplinary methodologies, enables leaders to leverage design thinking, and manage the digital business by taking the multi-faceted approach, technically, scientifically, and culturally.

Simplicity and complexity are dual forces of running high performance IT organizations. Every company is unique as a "system." You have to listen to the system data from the outside in and top-down - this helps identify root causes to negative complexity (entropy) with the objective of driving simplicity, so corporations become agiler to achieve the goals. Companies that are skilled at managing IT complexity can gain advantages by pushing the boundaries of a more sophisticated business mix that provides opportunities to create inter-business value, differentiated IT-enabled business capabilities, and a unique set of organizational competency.