Welcome to our blog, the digital brainyard to fine tune "Digital Master," innovate leadership, and reimagine the future of IT.

The magic “I” of CIO sparks many imaginations: Chief information officer, chief infrastructure officer , Chief Integration Officer, chief International officer, Chief Inspiration Officer, Chief Innovation Officer, Chief Influence Office etc. The future of CIO is entrepreneur driven, situation oriented, value-added,she or he will take many paradoxical roles: both as business strategist and technology visionary,talent master and effective communicator,savvy business enabler and relentless cost cutter, and transform the business into "Digital Master"!

The future of CIO is digital strategist, global thought leader, and talent master: leading IT to enlighten the customers; enable business success via influence.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

The Monthly “Change Agent CIO” Book Tuning: Dynamic IT Competency May 2020

To reinvent its reputation from a cost center to a strategic business partner, IT needs to spend more resources on creating unique competency for driving business growth.

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 lifecycle management, though it is not all linear steps, but an iterative, ongoing, and upgoing change continuum. What are digital CIO’s profiles and how to build dynamic IT competency IT to drive changes, get digital-ready, and cultivate the culture of learning and innovating?


Dynamic IT Competency  



Present IT Value Proposition as an “Asset Under Construction” Forward-looking organizations transform IT from a cost center to a value generator, IT management has to learn and explore different methods to set better performance metrics, play the number game wisely, present IT value proposition as an “asset under construction,” or the crucial investment expecting the return.

The Competitive Leverage of IT  In traditional organizations, IT is often set back, waiting for the business’s requests, and IT is perceived by the business as an order taker and slow to change. With fierce competition and rapid changes, digital IT is a paradigm shift in role, responsibility, attitude, and aptitude, and has to meet the needs of the business timely. IT is a major business differentiator and needs to be on top of business initiatives to be successful.

Shaping IT Competency to Drive Digital Transformation Digital businesses are becoming complex and uncertain. Technologies nowadays are the disruptive forces behind digital disruptions, and information is one of the most invaluable assets of modern businesses. Organizations across industrial sectors rely more and more on information and technology. Thus, from a strategic perspective, to survive and thrive, it’s not sufficient to run IT as a commodity service provider, IT is the value-added business partner that makes the company different and achieve more. IT organizations have more to offer but also have more obstacles to overcome. How to shape IT competency and improve IT performance and maturity.

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.

Five Perspectives of Improving IT Competency The characteristics of digital business are dynamic, volatile, uncertain, hyper-connected, and interdependent. IT is the linchpin to run a high-performance digital organization. To reinvent its reputation from a cost center to a strategic business partner, IT needs to spend more resources on creating unique competency for driving business growth, truly understands stakeholders’ expectations, and proposes a well-balanced products/services/solutions portfolio that corresponds to both demand and cost driver with a focus on business priority and achieving strategic business goals with continuous deliveries. Here are five perspectives on improving IT competency.

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 #6800 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 “Simultaneous” Quotes of “Digital Master” May 2020

 Without taking a breath to look back, plowing on to the next big thing before completely pulling all resources or running multiple simultaneous changes can be risky.

"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 “Simultaneous” quotes in “Digital Master.


1 Even two simultaneous changes going on in a firm are so varied no cookie-cutter metrics or methodologies exist that give the answer.

2 The lack of breathing space between change initiatives is an issue as well. Plowing on to the next big thing before completely embedding the change into business as usual or running multiple simultaneous changes can leave the workforce exhausted.

3 A good algorithm needs to be developed through integrating knowledge-based data into analytic models simulation testing, implemented for problem-solving. -These models may predict the direction of an economy (usually large systems of simultaneous econometric equations) validated, independently reproduced, etc.

4 Without taking a breath to look back, plowing on to the next big thing before completely pulling all resources or running multiple simultaneous changes can be risky.

5 Analytics is the discovery and communication of meaningful patterns in data. Especially valuable in areas rich with recorded information, analytics relies on the simultaneous application of statistics, computer programming, and operations research to quantify performance. Analytics often favors data visualization to communicate insight.”

6 Statistics plays a role in all the three categories as following: descriptive – statistical measures, probabilities, distributions, sampling, and estimation; predictive – regression, forecasting, simulation, and risk analysis; prescriptive – linear, non-linear, integer, optimization.

7 EA has to try to understand generative reasoning. Thereby being a communications bridge between the IT and Business stakeholders, with the ability to balance priorities and simultaneous projects; and have strong judgment, issues management and problem analysis technique

Close Multiple Linkages Between Strategy and Tactics

 It is critical to identify the weakest links and determine how each part of the organization, including all of the key functions must "put it all together" to be successful in implementing strategy and bring tangible business results.

The strategy is not just one of the things a leader does, it is the most important thing to reach the business vision and it's about creating tomorrow's organization out of today. Sound strategy and solid execution are both important.

First, preparing a strategic plan is crucial because it points the organization in a direction where it can maximize its value position and reap as many benefits as possible. The super execution is the result of the synchronization of all key business factors by strengthening multiple links to create business synergy and build differentiated enterprise competencies.

From an overall portfolio perspective, there are nested relationships and close linkage between strategy and tactics: There are three interrelated terms - vision, strategy, and tactics in strategy management. Vision is about what you want the organization to be. The strategy is what you are going to do to achieve your vision (goals) ‎‎ Tactics is about how you will achieve your strategy and when (actions) and where (location).‎ One of the top reasons why strategy implementation fails is because they were not actionable from the get-going. It’s important to translate strategy into operational terms aligning across the business functions to create synergies in making strategy for everyone's everyday job and developing a continual but iterative process mobilizing change through digital synchronization.

There are nested relationships under organizational hierarchy and it’s important to close the linkage between strategy and tactics. The 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 or where does it need to be started and finished by.” Well-define a set of strategic goals first: from them, determine certain "action items." These action items become goals for business units; and then, each individual manager or supervisor has a goal, with action items and opposing metrics, and so on. Back to departmental outputs and team/individual work outputs, then the linkage between strategic and operational can be relatively transparent. These linkages further create more resource engagement as they should be clearer to people how their work impacts the organization.

The strategic plan drives an organizational project portfolio mix: The project portfolio is the bridge between strategy and execution. It’s important to strengthen the strategic alignment of projects and programs to prevent business initiatives being undertaken that do not support the enterprise strategy. In order to make the project portfolio executable, an organization needs to make sure that enough resources are available to deliver the programs and projects, and also manage the interdependencies of projects.

While some organizations may be excellent in the execution of project management, very few organizations have a mature portfolio management process in place, which causes critical issues with the strategic alignment of projects, programs, and portfolios. In high mature organizations, the strategic plan drives an organizational project portfolio mix and trace the deliverables from the valuable products/services, and information to achieve business goals continually.

The desired portfolio mix drives project selection criteria. This creates the linkage from strategy/vision to implementation: Think about how a portfolio platform might look. Focus on the decision-making process around which programs and projects should be selected and executed based on their alignment with the strategic goals and objectives of the organization, and also focus on preventing the value leakage. Set project selection criteria, and increase the visibility and control over their project portfolio. Design the “measure” for assessing the potential for any improvement opportunity, feature enhancement, or initiatives to offer a competitive advantage.

Wear strategic thinking and make the extensive configurability to reflect the way you like to see the portfolio sliced and projects run, and manage a balanced portfolio. Make links to business strategy alignment, scenario planning, program and project life cycles, project initiation, requirements management, risk management, resource management, project controls (progress, finance, quality, and change), comprehensive dashboard reporting and value tracking.

Another interesting link to explore is the driver for identifying key strategic processes: The processes are the tool to get the result you formulate in the strategy. It is an important issue to understand that the processes in your business will deliver optimal business results. Many times you don't consider the processes as the main driver to deliver the desired result, and then you will not get the result you hoped for. In the digital era, people centricity is fundamental to how processes should be managed. This is an important issue to understand that the processes in your business will deliver the result to engage employees or delight customers.

Identifying key strategic processes, the goal-driven business process is primarily defined prior to process implementation. It requires that you understand your business from a cross-functional process perspective in some detail. It’s imperative to get a deep understanding of crucial business issues, build transparent problem-solving processes, and make continuous improvement. It requires senior management understanding and involvement (strategic), process-aware information systems, well-defined accountability, and a culture receptive to business processes and its changes.

Project performance measures (success criteria) for each project are defined in relation to the business strategy: Performance measures help organizations translate their strategy into key performance indicators that can be cascaded down to the department, teams, and even individuals. 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. The measurement and incentive should serve the ultimate business goals.

Celebrating success is important, but understanding what’s blocking overall business achievements, targets, and performance are paramount. If projects are the principal vehicles being used to deliver the strategy, then executives need to apply an enterprise portfolio platform, to have just enough visibility about the project execution layer and how the projects and programs are performing in order to monitor progress and make the right decisions to ensure that the strategy potential is achieved.

Complexity, uncertainty, disruptive changes, and interdependence are the new normal facing business today, more than two-thirds of strategy implementations fail to achieve the expected result. Strategy management is a cross-functional effort and multidisciplinary and multidimensional planning. The superior execution requires the leaders’ inquisitiveness to dig through the root cause, and it is far easier to proactively structure and manage execution than to deal reactively with the ravages of execution dysfunction. Therefore, it is critical to identify the weakest links and determine how each part of the organization, including all of the key functions must "put it all together" to be successful in implementing strategy and bring tangible business results.





Saturday, May 30, 2020

The Monthly “Digital Hybridity” Book Tuning: Balance the “Hard” & “Soft” Elements in Digital Transformation May 2020

 There is the need to “harden the soft or intangible business factors,” as well as the demand to “soften the hard business factors” in order to lead change frictionlessly and make a digital leap effortlessly.

The purpose of the book “Digital Hybridity: How to Strike the Right Balance for Digital Paradigm Shiftis 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.




Balance the “Hard” & “Soft” Elements in Digital Transformation 


Accelerate Digital Transformation via both Hard and Soft Forces Organizations large or small are on their digital transformation journey, although there is no one size fits all solutions to ensure the change success, it is important to take a systematic approach, strike the right balance of “push” and “pull” from multiple directions, and accelerate digital transformation via both hard and soft ways.

How to “Harden” the Soft Business Element Like Culture Culture is better defined by the "collective mindsets, attitudes, and behaviors of people in an organization. There is no question that culture can make or break an organization. However, many leaders fail to realize that culture will "happen" whether they understand it or not. So it's better to be deliberate about it. What are the principles your organization believes will make it successful? Where does one start with the importance of corporate culture? Who are the stewards of corporate culture, and how can you harden the soft element like culture to make it more visible and manage it more effectively?

Making a Leap in Digital Transformation via Mixing Hard & Soft Elements Right? Often, IT is perceived by the business as a big cold, isolated function with monolithic hard boxes and tangled wires, surrounded with IT staff stereotyped as geeks who speak the different languages and lack business acumen to ask insightful questions. With emergent digital technologies and increasing paces of changes, forward-looking IT organizations are reaching the inflection point for digital transformation and shift from “T-driven” monolithic type to “I” oriented mosaic style. To soften the"hard image," what are the “soft” IT management disciplines to drive digital transformation?

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

Integrating Soft Factors into Hard Business Capabilities for Accelerating Digital Transformation Digital transformation is the large-scale change that has to be expanded in every dimension of the business and permeating into underlying organizational structures and functions. There is no magic formula or prescribed solution to digital transformation. So many companies and "managers" focus on the tangible, but they lack an in-depth understanding of the intangible business success factors as well as how to manage them effectively. Making a shift from operating a static and mechanic traditional business to running a dynamic living digital company is a tough journey. To build that bridge requires vision, belief, determination, enthusiasm, and breakthrough innovation. It’s important to integrate soft business success factors into hard business capabilities and make a commitment to drive progressive changes proactively and consistently.

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 3 million page views with about #6800+ blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. blog posting. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom, to inspire critical thinking and spur healthy debates. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating 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 take 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 “Resonance” Quotes of “Digital Master” May 2020

Everything about the pattern is about relationships; it’s about connectedness, resonance, feeling, forces, form following function, problems and solutions, and so on. All these are relationships or describe specific forms of relationships.

"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 “Resonance” quotes inDigital Master.



1 As innovators are someone who can let his/her mind "free" of constraints (education, technology) in the environment in which you can stimulate the "invisible" by spurring creativity through a sounding board resonance or vibration.

2 It is like that "ripples-on-the-water" metaphor, it is our connectedness to the world around us that makes whatever intelligence we have truly useful to ourselves and to others; connected, by a sort of resonance between our cognitive and affective dimensions and the actual world we co-inhabit with those around us.

3 The more synergizing co-resonance there is within the designing team, for example, then the more likely that those sudden 'A'Ha!' moments and decisions could flow from this created ”differential” between “what now” and “could be.”

4 Everything about the pattern is about relationships, it’s about connectedness, resonance, feeling, forces, form following function, problems and solutions, and so on. All these are relationships or describe specific forms of relationships.

5 It is like that "ripples-on-the-water" metaphor, it is our connectedness to the world around us that makes whatever intelligence we have truly useful to ourselves and to others; connected, by a sort of resonance between our cognitive dimensions and the actual world we co-inhabit with those around us.

6 The connectivity within our brains also shapes our environment. Architecture or music are very good examples. And, in this, an individual could develop new connectivity, foster similar connectivity in many other brains. To this, we could add connectivity (resonant or dissonant) with other forms of life and physical environment in general - including observing distant galaxies, for example.

7 Human brains do resemble big data at work to a certain degree. The evidence can be seen in fMRI (Functional magnetic resonance imaging or functional MRI brain scans (fMRI) is a functional neuroimaging procedure using MRI technology that measures brain activity by detecting associated changes in blood flow) made while people are making decisions.

Enterprise Architect as a Dialog Facilitator

Organizations generally consist of varying intersecting and interacting systems to achieve the state of dynamism, continuum, and interaction.

As our digitized world becomes hyper-connected, over-complex, and interdependent, surviving and thriving in today’s business dynamic requires empathetic communication, structural flexibility, cross-functional collaboration, inter-relational process, and dynamic competency to reduce business friction and deal with conflicts or disruptions continually.

 An Enterprise Architect plays a critical role in facilitating digital dialogues on how human organizations of the future ought to be designed openly and contrived in the face of upcoming challenges and drive collective progress effortlessly.

Effective communication pattern designer: Communication is the word that means many things to many people and initiates a broad set of activities. Communication, whether verbal, non-verbal, or digital, is the coordination mechanism that makes organizations possible and makes a group of people as a cohesive team to achieve “the art of possible.” In many organizations at the low level of maturity, communications sometimes seem like an oxymoron. There are multiple causes for poor communication. Often, the communication bottleneck and the primary impediments to collaboration is a dissonance between upper and middle management and a similar dissonance between middle management and the frontline employees. But by far the problem most often is the inability of the "speaker" to adequately accept the real nature of the message or the environment. Miscommunication further causes business stagnation or culture inertia.

To harness cross-functional communication, Enterprise Architects will be mainly concerned with designing an organization by "designing" the communication patterns from which it emerges. Given this focus, they must become knowledgeable about the theories, models, and techniques from organizational communication studies in order to guide their interventions, leverage multiple communication channels and apply different communication styles to facilitate constant digital dialogues and drive meaningful changes.

Skillful digital transformation designer: Forward-looking companies across the vertical sector are on the journey of digital transformation, how can Enterprise Architects open continuous dialogues for driving digital transformation, and leading business success for the long term? The way the Enterprise Architect professionals frame their role in the context of "doing" EA will shift from that of Master Architecture/Engineering to Skillful Transformation Designer/Facilitator and coach.

Oftentimes, change is manual, as there is a command-control management style to push behavior adjustment, while digital transformation is the natural evolution as it needs to engage mindset shifts and culture re-invention. The EA as a skillful digital transformation designer must not only consider the purpose of the enterprise; the considerations of the purposes of the employees must also be met because the enterprise cannot fulfill its purpose without people. Good EA professionals will pay great attention to communication patterns in the organization, pull all necessary business resources and capital, and facilitate important conversations for leading transformational changes. Great EA professionals can guide the total enterprise ecosystem to either generate wealth for shareholders or generate prosperity of constituencies.

Sustainable business designer: Many traditional organizations are efficiency-driven, mechanical systems. Efficiency is doing things right with minimum inputs and resources. Digital organization as a socio-technical system is the order of magnitude more difficult than designing a "data-driven mechanistic system." The EA’s "raison d'ĂȘtre" will shift from designing efficient enterprise platforms to shaping self-renewing sustainable organizations. So business makes decisions with an integrated view that blends financial, environmental, and social performance, to gain holistic insight, with which to manage the risks and opportunities in the future.

In many companies, a key piece of information—information about environmental and social concerns has been missing from most business operations. EA is a sustainable enterprise designer and Information Technology can play a lead role in improving corporate sustainability performance to ensure the long-term economic success of the enterprise. The methodology and practices for sustainability management are designed to evaluate a company’s opportunities and risks throughout its extended value chain.

Organizations generally consist of varying intersecting and interacting systems to achieve the state of dynamism, continuum, and interaction. The strictly mechanical business architecture framework perhaps does not know how to address the digital business and people system dynamics. The EA as a digital dialogue facilitator can orchestrate business transformation, reconfigure the organizational structure and change their own behaviors for its adaptation to environmental changes, and reach a high level of organizational maturity with the very characteristics such as responsiveness, engagement, flexibility, innovativeness, and resilience, etc.


Friday, May 29, 2020

The Monthly “Performance Master” Summary: The KPI Promises and Pitfalls May 2020

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). 

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 KPI Promises and Pitfalls



The KPI Promises & Pitfalls You can only manage what you measure, defining the right set of Key Performance Indicators is important for managing projects or business effectively, and measuring KPIs to keep track of progress makes a certain level of promise for success. However, there are also big pitfalls when selecting or measuring the wrong KPIs. What is a good process to determine the right KPIs, and what is the process to change it when they are no longer relevant?

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.

Three Challenging Aspects of KPIs You can only manage what you measure, metrics & KPI (Key Performance Indicator) management is not a simple task though, approximately there’re 17, 000 KPIs around today, a bit overwhelming, let's not forget that there is a "K" in KPI for a reason, what’re the most challenging aspects of working with KPIs?

Strategic KPIs vs. Operational KPIs KPIs are indicators to identify if the adopted strategy, operation, and process, etc are working toward the objective. As such, you don't "adopt" a KPI to "achieve an outcome," you adopt a strategy or operational workflow to achieve the outcome, and you define KPIs to monitor the progress and performance. That’s the name KPI –Key Performance Indicators stand for. The provocative question is: is it possible to link operational KPI's to strategic ones to reflect and track the overall progress in achieving the strategic goals?

CIO as Chief Improvement Officer: How to Connect the Dots between PI vs. KPI Performance Indicators (PI) measure progress across a broad range of intended outcomes (goals, objectives, even outputs) and are used at all levels of the organization. Key Performance Indicators can be a subset of PIs, or they can roll several PIs into one (an index). KPIs are used to measure the overall progress of the organization toward its mission and primary goals -- they are high-level indicators that everyone in the organization can relate to. KPIs are often used to create corporate dashboards; they can be used in PR documents and other reporting tools to present an organization's outcomes to the public.

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 #6800 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 take 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 “Concentration” Quotes of “Digital Master” May 2020

The digital world is so data-driven and information-intensive, there are so many distractions these days, digital leaders need to concentrate on things that really matter.

"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 “Concentration” quotes in “Digital Master.


1 Vision is not just innate talent, it takes practices, to get the shadow out of your mind, and to clear your thinking by concentration.

2 The digital world is so data-driven and information-intensive, there are so many distractions these days, digital leaders need to concentrate on things that really matter.

3 The concentration should be on what these technologies can do for the businesses, not on the technology itself.

4 Change has to be consistent, continuous via concentration: It can be equally challenging if the business takes charge, they can be extremely demanding for the delivery without regard to what needs to be done.

5 The pitfalls of dedication are the distraction, style over substance, “busyness replacing concentration,” “keep the hands full, not being mindful.”

6 The future takes focus, how to concentrate on what's most important to compete via well aligning the business resources & process, to create business synergy.

7 Cognition includes functions such as Perception/Acquisition process (through the body senses), Memory, Language, Thinking - Thought, Concentration / Attention /Focus, Intuition, Understanding

8 Concentrated growth is the strategy of the firm that directs its resources to the profitable growth of a single product, in a single market, with a single dominant technology. The main rationale for this approach sometimes called a market penetration or concentration strategy is that the firm thoroughly develops and exploits its expertise in a delimited competitive arena.




The Digital Characteristics of Software Development

Software development is an engineering discipline with the right mix of art and science. 

With the increasing pace of changes and fierce competition, many IT organizations are doing more with App development and keep IT in a continuous delivery mode, to delight customers, and adapt to changes seamlessly.

Software Application development needs to bring up the most business value. Because the software has to be used in order to be valuable. Only customers can value the quality of the software. Here are the digital characteristics of software development.


Be more user-centric: The digital era upon us is about customer-centricity. The management needs to collect customers’ feedback such as: How is the end-user going to use your solution? Does the new solution help users do their work better than the current solution or do users all together have to change the way they perform their tasks by using this new system? Is the user interface delightful? Etc. In reality, when you try to implement user research, you almost always receive resistance since the staff view this as another activity that not only takes additional time but has already been done to some extent and the information already exists within sales/marketing or product management.

To improve software management effectiveness, the involvement of software development teams is really important. IT-enabled business solutions meet the customers’ criteria and clarify their concerns such as, what the users need it to do, the way they want to do it quickly, and accurately enough. You need to guide them through user research, build up the context of use, derive the concepts based on that information, test concepts with users, and make changes accordingly.

Be more interrelated: Due to the digital nature of hyperconnectivity and interdependence, software applications will become more interrelated as we move to a world of systems-of-systems in which constraints govern how and what we develop. The balanced IT application portfolio with more interrelated projects can deliver lots of value for the business in many ways. It’s the digital arena, IT applications, and its dynamics are totally different. The right IT applications blended with current digital trends such as the IT consumerization trend can deliver significant benefits to the business.

Generally, software development wants fewer software platforms, and for the ones they invest in, they want to adapt over time without frictional IT costs. They don't want to build themselves into a corner with coded proprietary solutions or have to glue many different software tools together that each cost time and money to maintain and support. Also, when it comes to enterprise software development, optimizing coding has huge economies in time, testing, tuning, re-working, integration, etc. In short, consolidation, integration, standardization, optimization, and innovation rule the game of software development in the digital era.

Be more intuitive: Many times, lack of user adoption is one of the issues to fail new software apps. The cool software products that are visible to the customer should be simple, intuitive, secure, reliable and predictable, fluently mixing the art and science to innovate the products or services and delight customers. An intuitive user interface can make high-quality software even more qualified. To improve software development productivity and maturity, machines, tools, and environments that programmers use will become more powerful, easy-to-use, and knowledge-base.

A major part of creating a user interface that is natural and intuitive is to make common system controls consistent throughout the development cycle, enforcing the "Intuition + Evidence-Based" design. Sometimes, the user will do the programming and the programmer will build the systems and infrastructure to enable this. The other challenge to overcome is the product development time. In many organizations, you try to fine-tune the development process to be more efficient and have a faster time-to-market benefit. A healthy design cycle is that you design the process, then model, execute, monitor, optimize then again back to design. It's a continuous improvement cycle.

The ultimate goal of software development is business problem-solving for either delighting customers or engaging employees. Software development is an engineering discipline with the right mix of art and science. The scientific side of engineering is for automation, reliability, and continuity; and the artistic side of engineering is about imagination, innovation, and invention, etc. Cool software products increase user productivity and improve customer satisfaction.







Thursday, May 28, 2020

The Insight of the Week 5/22-5/29 “Future of CIO” May 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 6800+ 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.

Applying the diverse BA-Driven Views to Shape the Digital Organization With “VUCA” digital new normal, businesses have been faced with increasingly more complex and pressing problem-situations, they should adapt to dynamically changing environments. Thus, the Business Architecture role in designing and planning future enterprise will be both interesting and challenging; from inside-out to outside-in, and from industrial-segregation to digital modularization.

The Components of Governance Framework Governance is part of eliminating risk and doing the right thing. Governance as a management tool and even more as a learning tool needs to be well understood and accepted. The best approach for governance has been the one that has aligned the framework approach with the maturity of the organization and the expectations business leaders have from ways of working, political equations among key leaders, and the decision-making approach in the organization. There are two foundational requirements of governance framework - management commitment and discipline and there are four components of the governance framework.

The Conceptual Basis of Contextual Intelligence Many think the digital era upon us is about algorism, raw data from machines needs to be processed into information that is further refined into intelligence. There are as many different ways to characterize intelligence as there are different types and forms of information implying on our senses.

The Levels of Design Maturity Design is a set of creative and thoughtful activities that extend over time. Everything has the rule or underlying patterns, either language, art, life itself, or an amazing natural world. The distinctive advantage of being design-centered is that you prioritize in making things likable rather than just making them functioning. There are both scientific and artistic ingredients in design and there are different levels of design maturity.

The Monthly Digital Principles/Practices Summary: “Continuous Improvement” as a Digital Principle May 2020 A digital workplace is all about people-centricity, empathy, innovation, agility, and high-level business maturity. Digital organizations are always on, interdependent, and hyper-connected, people are always the most important asset in any organization before, today, and future. In an ideal digital workplace, the organizational structure is solid enough to keep people or things in order; but fluid enough to keep information and ideas flow. Here is a set of blogs to help envision and shape the culture of "continuous improvement. "

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 take 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 “Isolation" Quotes of “Digital Master” May 2020

The value of information is not isolated. The effort of valuing information independent of its association to the value of related tangibles seems difficult, if not a futile exercise.

"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 “Isolation” quotes in “Digital Master.



1 Strategic plans are often developed in isolation, in terms of who is and isn't involved in the process, what the context is (vision, mission, and values) and what the realities of the current business, market and competitive conditions are.

2 There are plenty of examples that show the analytics is really working. However, in many organizations, the fact is that data analytics is isolated from the customer reality,

3 Modern businesses are systems, the component parts of a system can best be understood in the context of relationships with each other and with other systems, rather than in isolation.

4 Incubation is more accurate than isolation: Isolation is probably the wrong word because it implies detachment and a state of withdrawing from life and the world around oneself.

5 The value of information is not isolated. The effort of valuing information independent of its association to the value of related tangibles seems difficult, if not a futile exercise.

6 The "digital storms” do not happen in isolation from each other in predictable ways; they act as a complex and unpredictable way.

7 The strategy is not created in isolation, valuable and reliable information about the organization must be available for the design of effective strategy.

8 It is hard to pick only one definitive attribute because all aspects of leadership work in unison and can't be viewed in isolation. They become the key components of a strong and successful leadership position.

9 People's brains function differently and have different tendencies, and that also applies to see patterns versus seeing a part in isolation.

10 The innovation team has 5 “I”s; Influence, Imagination, Information, Implementation, and Integration, but not about Isolation.

Capture IT Management Unified Views to Drive Digital Transformation

Digital IT leaders today not just reactively look through and respond to the business ecosystem; they should actually proactively plan and architect the digital landscape.

IT is the linchpin of digital transformation. The current state assessment of IT organizational maturity should bring different perspectives on digital transformation initiatives and management disciplines. This includes identification of stakeholders, understanding of their preferences, priorities and pain points, understanding, and fine balancing the IT and business priorities!

From an architecture perspective, the unified and dynamic views of the “digital IT landscape” has many dimensions.



Logical view: A Logical View of IT is as the customers or users see and understand it, and should be used to communicate with them. It focuses on functional requirements or information modeling. It is concerned with the semantics of the elements, what do these things represent. IT architects and system development staff should communicate in a logical view and terms, and translate agreed/approved logical view or changes to physical view correctly. What architecture subsystems are considered at what level would depend on a variety of factors including organization, skillset, culture, business model, or the level of organizational commitment, etc.

A logical view provides a unified context for further analysis of the high-level functions of the IT organization, and ultimately guiding decision making. In the ITA part, all the information that is to be used by applications is dealt with at a logical level and establishes optimized structures for the best informational application including processes. Enterprises have parts of their business that are transaction-oriented and therefore process intensive, and parts of their business which are information intensive. So the logical view based IT management analysis needs to be wise to take heed of the nature of activities to determine how best to analyze the subject area.

Information view: Nowadays, information is permeating everywhere in the business, information brings about business ideas; business ideas generate lots of information. and it’s the most time-intensive piece of business innovation. There are a plethora of opportunities on the IT horizon to drive business growth. In order not to miss opportunities, the information view helps the business grow and prevent risks. In practice, the organizational data environment is often fraught with inconsistency, redundancy, multiple, sometimes overlapping knowledge platforms, all of which make information management as one of the most difficult, but critical management disciplines.

In fact, nowadays, businesses across-sectors declare they are at information businesses. Information flow can further streamline idea flow, Information view enhances an in-depth understanding of business flow. In fact, the ability to explore intangible information assets becomes far more decisive to build competitive business advantage for the long term. Information systems incorporate both ends and means, they are continuously open to new information from the dynamic business environment and are able to circulate information within the system seamlessly and respond to changes continuously.

Business process/capability view: Business process modeling is about how workflows and activities are carried out through the organization. Enterprise process view enables a framework for refining and optimizing processes and information interactions at various levels of an enterprise influenced and informed by enterprise goals and objectives; the steps involved and who does what and how and what business logic/rules are used in the process, clearly recognize the need for improved technical support for these key business processes and identify the top business process area that needs technology investment.

A process view helps to take a fresh look at the processes, evaluate an organizational management approach, and how process-oriented it is, as well as process design, publication, ownership, improvement, etc, against each of the processes in the architecture. Keep in mind though, a process view perhaps causes stakeholders to limit their thinking to process deficiencies, and not consider the other resources inherent in exercising the process. By leveraging capability view, the management readily considers service, people, process, information, asset, etc, dimensions of the adequacy of the capability to fulfill their business strategy.

Organizational structural view: The IT department is not a silo by itself and it draws its energy from within the organization. The main reason corporations need to shape a structural view, create new structure schemes and organizational designs in IT is because business goals are not being met with current design and structure. Some organizations fail to capitalize on their great ideas because there was no structure in place to manage the ideas. The “organizational structure design problem” would be to build the “best” mix of the physical structure and virtual platform that enables the organizational interdependence and responsiveness.

IT can be a "pioneering" division to walk the talk and lead the change within the organization. There are both official structures and unofficial structures in the organization. The question is whether the official structure and the unofficial structure co-exist antagonistically or harmoniously. High responsive and high mature IT organizations are like the self-adaptive system which is able to re-configure their own structure and change their own behavior with its adaptation to environmental changes and move forward effortlessly.

IT Infrastructure views: “Keep the lights on,” is always fundamental for running IT smoothly. While IT infrastructure pieces are still complex, IT fundamentals should consist only of responsibility for IT infrastructure, the most important data standards, overarched by IT governance. Traditional IT organizations are perceived as an isolated function with monolithic hardware boxes, tangled wires, geek types of IT staff who speak a different language, and lack of business acumen. Through an infrastructural view, digital IT can consolidate, modernize, integrate, and optimize, shifting from “T” (hardware technological box) driven- to “I”- information-oriented; from monolithic to mosaic style; and from “built to last” to “designed for change.”

The black and white images of IT infrastructure are kind of boring and out of fashion. The real issue is that IT needs to stop touting how well it does infrastructure, and start demonstrating how they help the company achieve business objectives like accessing new markets, generating new products, or becoming more operationally effective. Focus on outcomes - running all production apps and infrastructure, and keep them all up and available. IT management is looking to improve service levels and responsiveness to clients as everyone had a common goal in mind.

Digital IT leaders today not just reactively look through and respond to the business ecosystem; they should actually proactively plan and architect the digital landscape, continually deliver what the business needs, and take further steps to maximize business potential and unlock performance for reaching the next level of organizational maturity.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

The Monthly “Digital Boardroom” Book Tuning: The Corporate Board’s “Balance” Practices May 2020

 Yin and Yang's balance needs to be considered in the boardroom in regards to making sound strategic decisions that deliver the real sustainable competitive advantage for an organization.

Modern corporate boards play significant roles in guiding businesses in the right direction and achieve expected business results. Due to the “VUCA” characteristics -Complexity, Uncertainty, Ambiguity, and Velocity of the Digital Era, the directorship in any organization must have the agility to adapt to changes and build abilities to advise, inspire and motivate a group of people toward accomplishing shared visions and goals. Here are the multiple perspectives of shaping a strategic boardroom with digital acumen.




The Corporate Board’s “Balance” Practices   



The Corporate Board’s “Balance” Practices The role of corporate board members should always focus on the strategic initiatives of the organization amidst the mounting pressure of governance, regulatory compliance and risk management responsibilities, enable and direct the management towards good outcomes, develop the best and next boardroom practices, and ensure the business is on the right track to reach well-defined business goals.

A “Balanced” Digital Board Contemporary corporate boards play a critical role in strategy oversight, business advising, and governance practices. The directorship in forward-thinking organizations must have the capability to guide, inspire and motivate a group of people toward accomplishing shared visions and goals, set the leadership tones to influence digital “mindset,” and drive digital transformation. Yin and Yang's balance also needs to be considered in the boardroom in regards to making sound strategic decisions that deliver the real sustainable competitive advantage for an organization. But more specifically, how to build a “balanced” board to fulfill its duty effectively as well as setting the culture tones to achieve digital equilibrium?

The Corporate Board’s Unbiased View The digital dynamic creates many blind spots and generates quite a lot of gaps due to its “VUCA” characteristics - velocity, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. Thus, the directorship in forward-thinking organizations must have capabilities to advise and motivate, set the right leadership tone, and develop digital “mindsets.” To steer change confidently, Yin and Yang's balance needs to be considered in the boardroom in regards to shaping the unbiased view for making strategic decisions and improving leadership maturity.

Shape a Strategic Boardroom by leveraging Balanced Scorecard and Developing Digital Practices The corporate board is one of the most critical leadership pillars in modern businesses. The level of the board accomplishment may vary but the essential competencies will remain the same, BoDs need to be insightful, strategic, effective, and influential. In reality, the time of board members is stretched too thin so they do not allocate enough time to understand strategic issues and many boards aren't active enough to catch the derailment of strategies. In practice, how to shape a strategic boardroom by taking a rational approach, leveraging a balanced scorecard, and developing the best and next digital practices?

The Hybrid Digital Boardroom With the increasing pace of changes, overwhelming growth of information, and continuous digital disruptions, businesses today need to ride the change waves and catch the rising digital tide timely. Digital organizations today have the hybrid reality with both physical structures and virtual presence, the old way, and the new way of doing things. They need to figure out all sorts of hybrid solutions as well. From a management perspective, digital hybridity means how to strike the right balance of change and stability; innovation and standardization; transaction, and transformation. From the governance perspective, the digital board needs to adopt a hybrid model and take the holistic discipline with mixed leadership styles for steering the business in the right direction.

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 3 million page views with 6800+ 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 “Accumulation” Quotes of “Digital Master” May 2020

 Transformation is the momentum from quantitative accumulation to the quantum leap.

"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 “Accumulation” quotes in “Digital Master.



1 From survival instincts to thriving sophistication, it’s not quantitative accumulation, but a digital quantum leap.

2 Capabilities are an accumulation of competencies that are used for achieving the strategic goals. Competencies are what people know, use, do, and can achieve.

3 Highly effective Risk Management is not just about risk mitigation or controlling, but more advanced as risk intelligence; because it enables the accumulation of enough resources to thrive by capturing opportunities in it and adapting to the uncertainty and changes.

4 Given the dynamic nature of the digital organization and the complex mix of its resources and business factors, a well-defined set of innovation performance metrics need to be considered in better measures of innovation success such as revenue sustainability, customer satisfaction, knowledge accumulation, brand reputation or price elasticity, etc.

5 Organizations must have solid risk management disciplines, make objective assessments, develop a high-effective management framework, provide backup options, and make the transition from risk mitigation to risk intelligence - the accumulation of enough resources to thrive by capturing opportunities in it and adapting to the uncertainty and changes smoothly.

6 A well-defined standard set of innovation performance metrics would need to be considered in better measures of innovation success such as revenue sustainability, customer satisfaction, knowledge accumulation, brand reputation, or price elasticity, etc.

7 Change is a vital element for the contemporary organization to stay competitive, and transformation is a radical change. Transformation is the momentum from quantitative accumulation to the quantum leap.

8 In the beginning, you often make a one-dimensional, linear, arithmetic concept of accumulation, but at the end, when you have gone through the mufti-dimensional analysis or process, nonlinear thinking helps you understand things systematically, to embrace the emergent changes or properties, comprehend dynamics, inductions or deductions, understand variables, interfaces, and interaction.