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.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

The Monthly “100 Creativity Ingredients” Book Tuning: The Key Traits in Innovators Dec. 2017

All humans are born with raw creativity ability. Creativity has many dimensions, with multi-faceted truth and myth, manifold knowledge and multidimensional insight. Creativity is wings of our mind and tempo of our heartbeat. Creativity is a constructive disruption, not so bad addiction, and a sensational phenomenon. The purpose of “100 Creativity Ingredients - Everyone’s Playbook to Unlock Creativity “ is to classify, scrutinize, articulate, and share insight about one hundred special creativity ingredients, to paint the picture with them, to add colors on them, to embed the music into them, and to make the story via them, in order to unleash our collective creativity potential.    

                       The Key Traits in Innovators   


Three “W” Factors in Innovators Creativity is everything that people dream, see, feel, touch. All our experiences are completely reconfigured in a way that mixes up all of the important elements to spark creativity. Creativity is as much defined by the problem as by the capacity of the individual to connect things to resolve that problem in new and sometimes unexpected ways. Here are three “W” factors in innovations.

Three “Q” Words in Innovators
Creativity is a multidimensional thought process, higher level thinking capability, and often multidisciplinary association. Creativity has many “ingredients.” It is the flow, with a full-color spectrum. Innovators are the rare one, but innovators are within us. Here are three “Q” words in innovators.

Three “B” Factors in Innovators Being innovative is a state of openness where you set aside what you think you know. You keep being curious with a beginner’s mind, you step out of your logical thinking minds to create something new; or more often, you blend different types of thinking processes to see things differently. There are many traits to be an innovator, here are three “B” elements of being innovative.

Three “C”s in Innovators Creativity has many forms and manifestations. Creatives have many traits and strengths. There are many unique ingredients to make “creativity formula.” There is a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic elements to ignite creativity. Here are three “C” elements in innovators.

Three “O” Factors in Innovators
? All living beings are creative. Creativity is infused with an inner cohesion and comes from a vision of uniqueness. Creativity involves birthing something into existence which was not there before. Creativity fluctuates, sometimes it sparkles in abundance, the other time, it seems to get blocked or even disappear. Innovators are those who can keep unlocking their creative potential and continue practicing to developing an innovative mindset. Here are three “O” words in innovator.

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2 million page views with about 4300+ blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify your voice, deepen your digital footprints, and match your way to human progression.

How can CIOs Set up a prioritization process to survive and thrive from the whirlwind of daily busyness?

Business transformation or change initiatives today nearly always involves some form of information and technology. IT should be seen by any business as a “digital transformer and focus on setting principles and developing the next practices for improving business effectiveness, efficiency, performance. If CIOs are going to prepare for the paradigm shift, IT has to create some capacity to make changes, manage a balanced “Run, Grow, and Transform” portfolio. CIOs must act as the “Chief Improvement Officer,” set up a prioritization process to survive and thrive from the whirlwind of daily busyness?

Prioritizing to achieve operational excellence: Digital organizations are always on and over-complex, there are emerging issues coming out on the daily basis, and it sucks up as many resources as it can. Many IT organizations suffer from overloaded tasks and overwhelming information, prioritization brings transparency and improve IT management effectiveness and efficiency. To improve transparency, there needs to have clearly defined roles and authority structure, processes, and dynamic prioritization all wrapped up in an adaptive operation plan that turns out to be most critical. Achieving operational excellence is an important step for IT gaining trust from the business and build a solid reputation as the business enabler. To survive the long-term should also involve more planning, more compromise on budget expenditures and changing outlooks on profit margins as a result. Thus, information, technology, and other IT assets need to be centralized, re-allocated, updated, or replaced if needed to optimize “people and process.” A company has finite resources to apply to get the best yield possible to meet stakeholders’ expectation. So there are always some constraints for businesses to balance a healthy portfolio of “run, grow, and transform,” to explore the new opportunities or deploy the new ideas. An effective CIO’s job is to improve IT management effectiveness, to reduce the burden on the company while trying to stay current with ever-changing technologies and fast-growing information.

Setting priority to solve significant (either Macro or Micro) problems:
There are too many things on the IT plate today, there are both old problems and emergent issues. There is no way to create a definitive prioritized list without more business context. The critical thing for IT leaders is to identify significant problems and set the right priority to solve them smoothly. That could be macro problems which directly impact on the business strategy or the business’s bottom line for surviving; that could also be the micro problem - but significant as well; as the saying goes, the devil is in the significant detail. Sometimes, the small issue can cause the mighty fall if it hasn’t been taken care timely. Thus, IT leaders need to have the strategic mind and skill set to contribute business problem defining and solving. Identifying what generates the most value for the company and expressing that in strategic objectives help managers keep their eyes on what matters. So the really important thing is to understand the core business of your enterprise and the problem to solve, set IT priority to focus on things matter. IT should play as an optimistic and cautious innovator with an in-depth understanding of technology potential and limitation, opportunity, and risk; take innovative approaches to deal with the right problems and the future issues.


Prioritization is critical to force people becoming more innovative for change and problem solving:
Innovation is the mechanism through which you grow and evolve something to something better or something new. When people get stuck in the old routine and comfort zone, they barely survive the whirlwind of daily busyness; they keep their hands full, but lack of prioritization skills to do more with innovation. You have to create an environment where people can be successful. It is important to build up a positive emotional climate, foster positive relationships, communicate relentlessly, cool down stressed people before they stress others, to make sure information and interaction flow in every direction, build up trust by bonding people around clear and benevolent intentions. In line with being open and honest balance the major change, embed it amongst the current perception and comprehension of the overall position and direction and then relativity will kick in, people will distill their own priorities, take ownership and act. It is only then that there is any real potential to integrate key business factors such as people, process, and technology into differentiated business capabilities to overcome challenges, manage changes, and catalyze innovation.

IT-driven digital transformation is the journey of continuous delivery and improvement; it is crucial to set the right priority. Prioritization starts with a right mindset to focus on the most critical challenge business needs to overcome, and also engage employees by co-setting their work goals which are stretch out, but not too stressful, in order to run a high-responsive, high-performance and high mature digital organization.


Friday, December 15, 2017

The Monthly “CIO Master” Book Tuning: The Innovative CIO’s Digital Profile Dec. 2017

Compare to the other executive positions, the CIO role continues to be shaken up, refined, reinvented and reenergized. The magic “I” of the CIO title sparks many imaginations and modern CIOs need to wear different hats and play multiple roles. Here are a set of blogs to brainstorm digital CIOs’ contemporary digital leadership profile.


The Innovative CIO’s Digital Profile


The Digital CIO’s Profiles, Personas, and Personalities
? Compared to other CxO positions, the CIO role is considerably new with about three decades of history. But the contemporary CIO is one of the most sophisticated leadership roles in modern businesses. Due to disruptive nature of technologies and exponential growth of information, IT leadership role also has to be continually reimagined, refined, refreshed and reenergized. The CIO is no longer just a glorified geek, but a business savvy strategist and a transformational digital leader. Great CIOs have multiple personas, varying personalities, and impressive leadership profiles.

Innovative CIOs’ Digital Profiles The CIO is one of the most sophisticated executive leadership roles in the business world today due to disruptive nature of technology and exponential growth of information. CIOs need to be Chief Information Officer, Chief Integration Officer, Chief Interaction Officer, Chief Improvement Officer, etc. But still, one of the most appropriate titles for CIOs is “Chief Innovation Officer,” because digitalization opens the new chapter of innovation. CIOs need to present entrepreneurial spirit, learn to think and lead innovatively, take calculated risks while nurturing contingencies, and growing great talent, etc. Here is the innovative CIO’s digital profile.

Three Aspects to Groom a Unique CIO? CIO is the leadership role, every leader is unique, and thus, every CIO is unique. The leadership roles such as CIO need to share the unique point of view, to break down conventional wisdom and lead their organization up toward the next growth cycle and catalyze digital transformation with faster speed. Digital CIOs should have unique mindsets, skillsets, and even a unique title (not for status quo, but for enforcing position influence), become the top business leader to lead digital transformation smoothly.

Three Tips for CIO as Chief Innovation Officer Modern CIOs have many personas indicated in the magic “I” of CIO title, Chief Innovation Officer is one of the most pertinent roles, because so much business innovation these days is enabled by technology, a good CIO with their finger on the pulse of technological advancement or information insight can provide many ideas on how new tech and abundance of info could create fresh business opportunities. CIOs are uniquely positioned to drive business innovation because of their vantage point in digital transformation. But how can CIO build a solid innovation agenda, and play such a new role more effectively?

What is the CIO’s Innovation Dilemma Today’s CIO is one of the crucial leadership roles facing significant transformation, Being a Chief Infrastructure Officer to align IT operation with business is no longer sufficient since the rate of changes is accelerating at the age of digitization? CIO is facing the modern innovation dilemma: Just keep the light on when the users are pushing the legacy IT to the breaking point? Or be the change agent to expedite the transformation to reach innovation tipping point by pulling people, process, and technology seamlessly to achieve the higher level of IT maturity.

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 the minds across the globe. The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2.2 million page views with about #4300 blog posting. Among 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating the new ideas; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes the time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify diverse voices and deepen digital footprints, and it's the way to harness your innovative spirit.




The Book “Digital Rules: Setting Guidelines to Explore Digital New Normal” Quote Collection I

A well-defined set of digital rules are not for limiting innovation, but for setting the frame of relevance and guide through changes and digital transformation.


The purpose of “100 Digital Rules: Setting Guidelines to Explore Digital New Normal “ is to establish digital principles and update business policies that can be applied holistically and guide the digital transformation systematically. Digital rules are based on a set of fundamental beliefs behind the methodologies and they help to shape mindsets behind behaviors. Digital rules encourage mindfulness, authenticity, creativity, inclusiveness, and discourage static thinking, silo, and bureaucracy, help to accelerate collective human progress.

1 A well-defined set of digital rules are not for limiting innovation, but for setting the frame of relevance, and guide through changes and digital transformation.

2. Critical Thinking is not automatic thinking. It takes extra effort to think critically.

3 Critical Thinking is also called structured thinking.

4 Critical Thinking brings insight into the situation.

5 Creativity is a high-level thinking because it evolves multiple thought processes.

6 Creativity is about thinking beyond conventional wisdom.

7 Creative people initiate open and bold inquiries.

8 Strategic Thinking is about “Keeping the end in mind.”

9 Strategic Thinking is about uncovering all the options and thinking long term.

10 Strategic Thinking deals with discovering novel, rewriting the rules of the competitive game.

11 Strategic Thinking is about change, and outcomes are positive changes to a business.

12 Strategic Thinking helps to bridge between where you are and where you want to be.

13 Systems Thinkers shape a worldview based on the realization of interconnectedness.

14 Systems Thinking help us focus on careful reasoning by thinking slowly.

15 Systems Thinking is the discipline for discerning relationships and context that are not obvious.

How to Tap the Digital Power to Re-imagine the “Art of Possible”

Enterprises of the future are increasingly exhibiting “VUCA” digital characteristics in various shades and intensity. Businesses are looking for new innovative methods and next practices for management of complexity, products/service delivery, quality improvement, capacity construction, and competency building, etc. Forward-looking organizations are tapping the power of digital to reimagine the “art of possible” and reach the next level of business maturity.

The power of digital mindset: The individual’s “thinking box" is a mental construct made up of personal and environmental components that they operate within. Compared to the “old days,” with scarcity of information and silo setting, most people have considerably smaller thinking box and follow conventional wisdom based on a very limited thinking box they shape quite a long time ago. In the the hyperconnected digital age with abundance of information and unprecedented technology advancement, to survive and thrive, people have to step outside that box to unfamiliar territory, seek additional knowledge and experience, so they can expand into a much bigger box, let creative mind run free, and they are able to think with a new perspective, understand and solve problems from different angles. In fact, the power of thinking is fundamental to all collective progress we’ve been made. Shaping the bigger, much bigger box of thinking is evolutionary at the cognitive level. Today’s digital leaders and professionals must practice how to tap into their most powerful and brilliant mode of thinking anytime, anywhere, and under any circumstances. Only when our minds are open to believe things existing outside of our box, there is the room to broaden our thoughts, there are continuous progress we could make, and there’s the chance to make a quantum leap of the digital transformation.

The power of information: Information and technology catalyze today's digital powerhouses with the power to respond change quickly and innovate relentlessly. Information brings about business ideas; business ideas generate lots of information. Effective Information Management can provide businesses the ability to apply real-time insights across the organization in ways never possible before. With these insights, organizations acquire the ability to reshape products, services, customer satisfaction and employee engagement. Information, in fact, is the gold mine every ambitious business across the sector try to dig in. As companies transform themselves into the digital business that is based on ‎information, their ability to explore intangible assets such as information and knowledge has become far more decisive to build competitive business advantage. Because information-based business insight and foresight enable the organization to improve the speed of transaction, decision-making, idea-generation, and talent growth and development. Real-time insight and foresight enable organizations to see the future more clearly. Information flow can further streamline idea flow, impact the velocity of capital flow, and thus, the business flow through the economic system.

The power of hyperconnectivity:
Digital is about connectivity, which means to have the better ability for dots connection across the geographical, functional, organizational, industrial, or generational boundaries. Digital organizations are complex. It becomes complex if things do interact, particularly in the case of "nonlinear" interaction. Increasingly, enterprises find themselves enmeshed in "ecosystems," For the most part, while businesses can influence and get influenced by these "ecosystems." Thus, they have to understand what it means within their organization, but much more importantly, they have to understand the external changing connected environment or the entire business ecosystem. Digital organizations arise when the scale of the interrelations, interactions, or interrelational interactions brings the new cycle of the business growth and the next level of organizational maturity. The hyperconnectivity of the digital organization enables the business to approach the flow zone for improving accountability, breaking down silos and embrace collective perspectives to solve common challenges or wick problems. The aspect which matters to tap the digital power is ensuring that the enterprise is connected to all the appropriate ecosystem, lattice or otherwise, touch points, for improving idea flows, enforcing cross-functional communication, harnessing large scale of collaboration, and catalyze the full spectrum of digital innovation.

Digital power is the combination of power of knowledge, power of information and technology, power of crowd, and power of creativity. Forward-thinking organizations must have a long-term vision, insightful leadership, fine-tuned processes and recombinant capabilities to tap the full digital power, unleash the business potential and re-imagine the “Art of Possible.”


Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Weekly Insight of the “Future of CIO” 12/15/2017

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

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2 million page views with 4300+ 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. Here is the weekly insight about digital leadership, IT Management, and Talent Management.

Running IT as the Golden Thread of Digital Transformation
Embracing digital is inevitable as that is now part of the reality. In order to lead change and expedite digital transformation, IT continues to grow in importance to organizations, both operationally and as a competitive advantage. “Keeping the lights on” is just for openers, an evolving digital IT organization rides above the learning curve to become the business value creator and the golden thread of digital transformation.


The Monthly “Digitizing Boardroom” Book Tuning: The Digital Board Profiles Dec. 2017
Modern corporate boards play significant roles in guiding businesses toward 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, abilities to advise, inspire and motivate a group of people toward accomplishing shared visions and goals.

CIOs as “Chief Inclusiveness Officer”: How to surge forward in Creating Success Stories?
Contemporary CIOs have to wear different hats and play multiple roles in practicing situational leadership. Innovation is the light all forward-looking organizations are pursuing, but people are still the weakest link for transforming IT from a support center to an innovation hub of the business. Thus, in order to become the “Chief Innovation Officer,” CIOs need to become the “Chief Inclusiveness Officer” first, for cultivating the culture of creativity, spotting innovators, creating success stories, and unleashing collective potential to get digital ready.

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


The Monthly Insight of “Digital Maturity” How to Improve Digital Business Maturity Dec. 2017"? 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. At the heart of digital, it is people and how to build a customer-centric organization. But how to take a structural approach to digital transformation?

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

Three Clarity to Excel CIO Digital Leadership Effectiveness

When IT executives show higher level strategic value and manage IT in a structural way, they are on the right track to excel the digital leadership effectiveness.

The disruption of IT will continue. IT matters not only because it’s pervasive, more about it continues to advance, and it’s the nature of the "constructive disruption.” Embracing digital is inevitable as that is now part of the reality. IT needs to become the game changer for the business. Thus, the CIO role also continues to be shaken up, refined, reinvented and reenergized. CIOs have to both walk the talk and talk the walk, master learning, change, and innovation. Here are three clarities to excel the CIO digital leadership effectiveness.

CIOs' proactive attitude in trying new things shouldn’t get confused with spontaneity or do things without a plan: Due to the complexity of IT and the multitude of responsibilities, CIOs need to be the strategic thinker and the tactical manager at the same time. The CIO must be totally involved and participate in every decision of upper management and be proactive so there are no surprises when decisions are made. The CIO needs to be acutely in tune with the business. A good relationship between business and IT becomes visible by clearly defining tasks, authorities, and responsibilities. The proactive IT leaders and sponsors attend business reviews with the various business stakeholders in attendance and equally invited those business stakeholders to their IT forums. All these efforts need to take the stepwise approach. The CIO has to help planning the budgets, predict resource and financial and resource requirements, understand the constraints and walk through these issues thoroughly.

CIOs’ technological vision and passion should not get confused with rushing to new technologies without exhausting the benefits available on the existing technology: Digital CIOs are visionaries who should leverage the emergent technology trends to bring growth opportunities to the businesses. However, it doesn’t mean that CIOs should always rush to new technologies or play the latest gadgets. They should try new technologies when there are clear returns that can’t be found in the existing technologies. CIOs need to resist the urge to deploy new tech toys and focus instead on how to creatively use the business's current IT tools to squeeze extra value out of them. The CIO could be the perfect role to help manage innovation with disciplines and the right tools at the organizational scope. CIOs are also in a unique position to align process, technology, and people, from generating ideas on applying technology and data assets to drive value.

CIOs leveraging IT as a trendsetter for navigating digital transformation should not get confused with thinking IT as magic without logic and transparency: Historically, technology indeed stimulates the mankind's imagination, to make impossible possible. The exponential growth of information brings new opportunities for companies to capture the business insight or forecast customers’ demands. However, thinking IT as magic without logic or transparency will make IT as a mysterious function, it won’t help to bridge IT-business gaps and enhance IT reputation as a trustful business partner. Many IT management teams are still equipped with silo mentality and running IT in the dark with puzzles about value, cost, risks, constraints, other business executives may not feel they are part of it. IT needs to be run as a transparent powerhouse to play its digital magic in a collaborative way. Transparency with LOB leaders is a must and non-negotiable if CIO needs to be successful. The intent behind transparency should always be connected to business performance. Transparency can help IT leaders tell a story of the journey from current state to future state, of improvements, of accomplishments, of enablement with business strategies, etc. It's definitely a great core competency to leverage.

IT is in the middle of a sea change, it is important to realize that there are basic principles and rules that make it work. CIOs need to be proactive, not spontaneous. CIOs have to advocate their organization, and IT value has to be driven, indicated and understood at all levels of the organization. When IT executives move beyond commodity management and begin to show higher level strategic value and manage IT in a structural way, they are on the right track to excel the digital leadership and build IT as the business competency.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Monthly CIO Debates Collection: The Digital IT Action Point Dec. 2017

Debating is not for stimulating conflicts, but for brainstorming better ways to do things.


Due to the changing nature of technology, IT leadership role also continues to involve & shift the focus, to move up the maturity level. More and more CIOs are requested to take more responsibility and many CIOs present the breadth of leadership competency. The proactive IT debates help IT leaders to brainstorm innovative and better ways to do things and improve management capabilities. Here are the monthly CIO debates collections.

The Digital IT Action Point

Change Management at the Cross Road: When to Make a Big Jump, When to Take Small Steps Due to the “VUCA” new normal of the digital age, either at the individual or organizational level, “Changeability” becomes an important measure to assess a person or a business’s potential, agility, and maturity. Unfortunately, change is not as easy as it sounds, more than two-thirds of business change initiatives fail to reach the expectation. Change Management in many organizations seems to be at the crossroad- Should you take an audacious approach of accelerating digital transformation, or take small steps for making incremental changes? What are the bottlenecks for changes, and how to avoid pitfalls in making a big leap?

How Should CIO respond to endless internal customer demand for IT solutions? Modern IT needs to both take care of internal customers by meeting their needs, and to delight end customer by optimizing digital touch points; it has to both map out the strategic projects, but also to keep the light on. How should CIOs prioritize the limited time and resources to ascend IT maturity, and how should CIOs respond to endless internal customer demand for IT solutions?

Which IT Best Practices Do You Take at the Time of Uncertainty IT is a huge investment and costly in most of the organizations, whether it is "planning" or "performance"; "process" or "people" issues - the CIOs shouldn't have been “overwhelmed” by the complexity of IT and uncertainty of business dynamic, besides setting up practical IT Principles to follow, what are those IT practices can be shared?

How can IT Enable Business Growth? More and more IT organizations are transforming from back-end internal support function into front office revenue generators, during the journey, CIO must know how to answer the question such as: How do we get revenues now? How will we do in the future? How should IT help the company win business? And how can IT contribute to customer acquisition and retention.


Should and How can IT Get more Engaged in Revenue Generating Initiatives?
Historically, IT has been perceived as a back office and a cost center, a technology controller, not an enabler. Now, with the accelerating speed of change and the consumerization of IT, IT organization has to improve its maturity, from being a reactive helpdesk to a proactive business partner; from a cost center to a value creator; and, more importantly, it needs to become an innovation engine and the driver of business growth. But more specifically, how can IT get more engaged in revenue generating initiatives?

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2.2 million page views with 4300+ 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. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating the new ideas; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify diverse voices and deepen digital footprints, and it's the way to harness your innovative spirit.

The Bridge-Like BoDs

A bridge-like digital board has the advantage of mixing the emergent next practices and the best practices, pulling enough resources and pushing the business's progress.

A high mature digital board is like a brighter light tower to guiding the business toward the right direction and take all these significant responsibilities “thoughtfully.” The forward-thinking digital board is also like an amazing bridge to connect the industrial age and the digital era, make good policies and develop the next practices for ensuring the business digital ready.

Bridge yin and yang to achieve digital balance: The Board's role, in large part, is to make good decisions on overseeing the business strategy and enhancing the value creation for the organization. Boards need to perform and conform at the same time. They also need to strike the right balance between setting rules and advocating innovation. Yin and yang balance is used to describe how polar opposites or seemingly contrary forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world, it also reflects the world we live in economically, socially, politically, and environmentally. A balanced board can monitor performance and practice governance effectively. Because conformance without performance adds very little to the business value. Performance without conformance is not genuine as well. The board can also provide the level of guidance to advocate, steer, and sustain innovation.

Bridge leadership and directorship to advocate forwardship: The digital future is about connectivity, intelligence, sustainability, true understanding, and collaboration. At the industrial age, the leadership is about command and control to practice reductionistic linear classic management philosophy. People in leadership positions assume they have all the answers because the business is considerably static and there’s scarcity of information. With an abundance of information and increasing pace of changes, technology trend will keep emerging and last. The corporate boards as the directorship role and one of the most important leadership pillars are crucial in bridging today’s uncertainty into tomorrow’s conscious progress and advancement, and bridging today’s control-driven management style into tomorrow’s trust-based and self-management practices. The challenges that organizations face in making a seamless digital transformation take time to deal with because it needs to well facilitate people, resources, and technology, etc. Thus, the board is critical to orchestrating an impressive digital symphony.


Bridge management disciplines and governance practices to improve the business maturity: The important characteristics of digitalization are over-complexity, uncertainty, and ambiguity. Digital boards help the business management identify and close strategy blind spots, pinpoint decision fatigue, monitor strategy implementation and performance results, amend wherever necessary to match changing marketplace conditions.Governance is like the steer-wheel to ensure organizations running in the right direction and head to the destination. Governance and Risk Management do indeed overlap and are both important to achieving the To-Be state. While the board is the custodian for both. The boards play crucial roles in bridging the multitude of management disciplines and governance practices, having the oversight of the business assessment, gauging conditions and choices; oversight of management practices, creating interdependencies that powerfully affect the rate at which the situation can be improved, matching priorities and resources; oversight of accountability, scoring activity and net results.

A bridge-like digital board has the advantage of mixing the emergent next practices and the best practices, pulling enough resources and pushing the business model of technology, trustworthiness, prepare and launch change, innovation, and mastering digital fluency in steering business transformation and amplifying leadership influence.

The CIOs as Chief Insight Officer: How Can IT Win the Mind of the Business

Running digital IT needs to work cross boxes instead of within the box, to win the minds and touch the minds.

Forward-looking IT leaders work hard to reinvent IT as the change agent and the innovation hub of the company to win the mind of the business and the heart of customers. CIOs must have self-awareness and keep checking IT performance and maturity via asking the following questions: How should IT help the company win business? How can IT break down “We always do things like that” mentality, and take initiatives to invent the future? How to bridge IT-business gap and run IT as a trustful business partner? How to mind talent gap for rejuvenating IT to get digital ready? And how can IT contribute to customer acquisition and retention?

IT can help to nail down and fix the business’s pain points before they know themselves: IT needs to engage with the business units to find out what the pain points are and to identify opportunities for developing new services or improving/optimizing current ones. First, ask leaders and managers about the vision and business problems they are trying to solve. The business perhaps only points out the symptoms, IT is in the unique position to truly dive into the processes underneath for diagnosing the root cause of the problems. There needs to be a comprehensive audit of the business, to ferret out the problem areas, not just symptoms, but the real issues. Effective IT management means understanding every island of business operation and every important workflow process. It is through this comprehensive business understanding that a CIO would be able to identify true cost savings, pinpoint real problems, implement workflow optimizations, and identify additional revenue opportunities. There should also have strong interactions between operations leaders and IT leaders and their teams with feedback mechanisms and willingness to find solutions that can support both the business need and build any ROI required to justify the business case. Doing so demands quality time spent with sales/marketing, operations, finance leaders and even end customers, to keep integrating, engaging, optimizing, and accelerating IT to reach the high level of business maturity.

IT can empower people with the right information and help the business make better judgments at the decision points: The essence of Information Management is to ensure right people getting the right information with the right format at the right time to make the right decisions. The digital CIO has to foresee, anticipate business needs for information and then prepare, refine, and gear up the information systems to not only make pertinent information to business decision makers but also preempt the need and present the multidimensional business value accordingly. Digital CIOs need to focus on the information aspect of the role in the context of the business. One of the biggest challenges for CIOs is keeping up and stepping up, recognizing the responsibility for ensuring that the business is better informed than competitors and more nimble at building dynamic business capabilities to embrace the disruptive opportunities that are constantly emerging. To win the minds and gain the hearts, IT leaders also should enforce communication and peer relationship with other CXOs, bring unique business insight, so that IT can meet the business’s need on time, eliminate delayed or missed business opportunities and solutions.


IT can digitize the touch points of the customer experiences: Digital is the age of people. IT has both internal customers and end customers. IT needs to empower internal customers with efficient tools to improve productivity and staff engagement. New technology tools and business models allow a company to capture end customer information on a continual basis, collect valuable information about customers in real time and get that to the right teams inside your company, to digitize every touch point of the customer experiences. Customer-centric organizations deploy a range of technologies that focus purely on improving the customer's experience and perception of business services, showing the customer that you are making the significant investment on delivering the products or services meeting their need. The hard technology and fluid information can create soft touch to both gain the heart and win the mind, to make people feel better about themselves. As the old saying goes,"People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."

The command and control style of IT is no longer fit for the digital new normal with fierce competitions and consumerized technologies. A CIO can't just sit back and apply yesterday’s techniques to today's problems. IT should be highly available and efficient internally that It can take minimum time to market. Running digital IT needs to work cross boxes instead of within the box, to win the minds and touch the minds. The key is engagement with the business and do more with innovation.



Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Monthly “Performance Master’ Book Tuning: The Multiple Aspects of Performance Indicators Dec. 2017

Corporate Performance Management is a management control from strategy till 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 Multiple Aspects of Performance Indicators


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

How to Set Performance Indicators to Measure Return on Digital Transformation? Change is inevitable, and the speed of change is increasing. The digital transformation is now spreading rapidly to enable organizations of all shapes and sizes to reinvent themselves, but it is the thorny journey with many bumps and curves on the way. How do you measure return on digital transformation in order to make the timely adjustment and improve its success rate? A well-defined set of measurement for digital transformation should contain a good mix of outcome measures or the long-term strategic value along with performance drivers to track the progress in the short term (operational measures).

CIOs as "Chief Improvement Officer": How to Set IT Performance Metrics to Lead Continuous Improvement? IT performance management is about how the IT organization manages performance such as strategic planning, program portfolio, metrics, and day-to-day operation structurally. A measurement system is a necessary foundation for continuous improvement. IT metrics need to evolve into something that matters to the business audience, at the same time that "business sentiment" needs to get put into something more tangible. So, what are guidelines to set IT performance metrics for leading continuous improvement?

Leading Indicator vs. Lagging Indicator? As Drucker well pointed out: “You can only manage what you're measured.” Benchmarking and measuring are both science and art. There are many practical metrics and KPIs, but not every metric is created equal. The concept of leading and lagging indicators, as applied to the Balanced Scorecard, relies on an understanding of the cause-effect relationships between KPIs in the different perspectives. But what’re the differences between leading indicators vs. lagging indicators?

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.

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 the minds across the globe. The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2 million page views with about #4300 blog posting. Among 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating the new ideas; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes the time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify diverse voices and deepen digital footprints, and it's the way to harness your innovative spirit.















Pattern Thinking and Problem Solving

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


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

Pattern thinking is the type of problem-solving thinking: Patterns are defined as "solutions of problems in a context" with a body of "descriptions of forces."If you look at patterns, you will find that they are containers for describing relationships because that is what gives them their sense. Patterns are good in practice and definitely intellectually stimulating. Pattern thinking is the type of problem-solving thinking. Pattern thinking enables to capture deep insight into complex problems systematically. Each pattern is useful to address some specific problem. What could be in stronger relationship to us than something that solves a problem to us? Sometimes tie the patterns together so you can navigate among them for figuring out better solutions to complex problems.

A pattern language can generate different solutions: A pattern language is "about" the relationships between patterns - particularly the way you can navigate from pattern to pattern to learn about a problem space and to apply different solutions in combination. The pattern language tells you how one pattern "leads to" another, in the same way, that one clause in a natural language might lead to another. But the person who reads and understands the pattern language still needs to decide how to apply that language to describe a set of problems and solutions. For a given solution is the combination of the inner forces acting on the system with the pattern language applied to solve that particular combination of forces.

Pattern thinking is the synthetic thought processes evolving multiple thinking: Pattern Thinking is a hybrid thinking to combine design thinking, system thinking, architect thinking and visual thinking for solving complex problems or capturing deep insight. Patterns play a role in science, math, art, and virtually every action or activity we engage in. Pattern thinking is also a type of creative thinking, to be creative, you need to continue discovering new patterns. It requires you to keep your eyes open and keep your mind off the box in order to break down the conventional box and actively seek out new ideas wherever you can discover them. It will take practice, practice, and practice when promoting thinking about the systemization of the effects of patterns when patterns are operationalized as systems. That creates a very close relationship between systems thinking and pattern thinking. Tie Pattern Thinking and Systems Thinking together is the powerful thought process to solve problems in both structural and creative ways.

Pattern Thinking is important for designing or problem-solving. The focus is on what patterns do, a higher order focus than on what patterns are. Patterns evoke and gestate higher-order patterns while clarifying fundamentals and debunking the serendipity of complexity.

CIOs as “Chief Intrapreneur Officers” with Ownership Mentality

Intrapreneur CIO leaders with ownership mentality can articulate the strategic rationale behind the venture and apply technology in new ways to stay ahead of competition and industry. 

With abundant information and emergent digital technologies, IT is a key component to shape the digital mindset of the business and to re-imagine “what is possible” to unleashing business potentials. To bridge the gap between IT and business and the industrial age and the digital era, an entrepreneur's mindset with ownership mentality is important for CIOs to run IT as a business in the business, to manage both opportunities and risks accordingly, and to ensure IT is strategically positioned to be ahead of where the business is moving next.







Good intrapreneur CIOs with ownership mentality will ask big “WHY” clearly, to articulate the strategic rationale behind the venture: Every process, every expenditure of time, money, or energy, and every assignment of resources should directly relate back to the "Why,” with a clear strategy-execution mapping. Intrapreneurship is about balancing innovation with other organizational priorities, it presents a possibly even greater challenge and reward. Once people agree with the WHY, they can develop their own level or means of participating. CIOs with ownership mentality have better self-awareness, they are not afraid to know the “actual state” of IT, and break down the old habits to get a holistic understanding of the business and run IT as the business in the business.“Why" should not only precede "How," but should be reaffirmed at each step in the "How.” The common “WHY” questions CIOs need ask include: Why is IT still perceived as a cost center? Why doesn’t the business invite IT leaders to engage in strategic conversations? Why is IT not getting enough respect despite all good work and dedicate effort were undertaken? Why is IT always overloaded and understaffed? Etc. Digital blurs the geographical, functional, organizational, and even industrial borders nowadays. Traditional hierarchical lines will phase out and a collective of business partners will emerge working collaboratively to set digital strategy and achieve organizational goals collaboratively. When CIOs are equipped with the ownership mentality, they can run IT boldly and provide the leadership style to inject enthusiasm, which is infectious and spurs the concept forward.

Good intrapreneur-leaders present accountability which is a type of cognitive fitness to show the ownership mentality: Lack of accountability is often one of the biggest obstacles to getting things done, or cause change inertia. Digital organizations are flatter, with an “every individual as a stakeholder” culture, to close the accountability gap through improving cross-functional collaboration, open door listening, transparency, and empathy. Accountability needs to be well embedded in the organizational culture, to encourage responsible communication, decision-making, and action. True accountability focuses on learning to do things differently, rather than punishment. Technology by itself doesn't 'do' anything, applying technical capabilities to market opportunities is where the magic happens. Shared accountability or collective accountability involves shared ownership, empathetic communication, and mutual sharing in successes. Digital transformation is all about shaping highly performing and highly innovative organizations. The better the CIO assigns accountability and empowers the individuals and teams, the better are the chances it will be at the least, accepted. A hyperconnected organization can approach the flow zone when the positions in its hierarchy have clear and accountable tasks.


Good intrapreneur-leaders with ownership mentality are systematic and good at calculating the risk: The good intrapreneur leaders have the right dose of risk appetite and rational risk management skill as well. If risk appetite implies some ability to actually measure risk level, and then risk attitude is to determine the company’s attitude and strength to deal with risks appear. Many entrepreneurs taste risk as bitter experience and show resilient to recover. Intrapreneur-leaders have a balanced viewpoint to perceive success and failure more objectively, such mental toughness will help the organization to be more resilient, and nurture the culture of risk-tolerance. It’s business leaders’ responsibility to establish an environment with a high-risk tolerance, where people can grow and develop, be curious and creative without fear. Good intrapreneur-leaders with ownership mentality can strike the right balance between increasing productivity and encouraging innovation; between setting the rules and let “out-of-box” thinking flow; between risk management and risk tolerance; between the new way to do things and the best practice, between stability and change, creativity and process.

Intrapreneur CIO leaders with ownership mentality are curious enough to ask big why questions, they are accountable to run IT as the business. They also have just right risk appetite to grab opportunities and be able to manage risks effectively. They can help to build the culture of learning and creativity, inject passions to lead changes and commercialize the value of new ideas to drive the business growth. They can apply technology in new and innovative ways to stay ahead of competition and industry. They are on the right track for achieving the “art of possible” to reinvent IT for the digital age.

Monday, December 11, 2017

The Monthly Insight of “Digital Maturity” How to Improve Digital Business Maturity Dec. 2017

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. At the heart of digital, it is people and how to build a customer-centric organization. But how to take a structural approach to digital transformation?

            

How to Improve Digital Business Maturity

Enforcing Three Fundamental Business Factors for Improving Business Maturity Forward-looking organizations are reaching the inflection point from doing digital to being digital, from being digitally disrupted to be a digital disruptor. Digital Maturity matters, because digital transformation discipline is not just about some stand-alone initiatives, it requires a vision for 'WHY' and a solid strategy for "WHAT" and "HOW" you want to transform radically. Companies are gradually opening up to the next practice to enforce digital ways and build up digital competency with a set of unique capabilities. More specifically, how to enforce these fundamental elements of the business: People, process, and technology, in order to expedite change and improve business maturity.
Building Digital Competency to Improve Business Maturity? Organizational maturity is assessed based on the overall business effectiveness, efficiency, operational excellence. agility, innovation, intelligence, resilience, and people-centricity. Many organizations are on the journey of digital transformation which represents the next stage of business maturity and will improve how the enterprise works and interacts with its digital ecosystem, with people at the center of its focus. But more specifically, what are further aspects of building digital competency and logical steps for improving business maturity?

Digital Master Chapter IX: Digital Maturity Digital makes a profound impact from specific function to business as a whole, the purpose of such radical digitalization is to make a significant difference in the overall levels of customer delight and achieve high performing business result. High mature digital organizations have the high-level digital capability not only to build digital innovations but also to drive enterprise-wide transformation. They have to stretch out in every business dimension for driving the full-fledged digital transformation, and they benefit from their actions. These high performing digital masters achieve significantly higher financial performance than their less digitally mature competitors and read this chapter to discover their key success factors.

  • How to Build a High-Mature Organization? An organization or company may be in business for many years but has not matured its management practices or lack of well-defined sets of business principles. Most of the organizations stick to the lower level of maturity mode (reactive, inside-out, and operational driven), how can they move up the maturity level to become truly proactive and outside-in, more culture intelligent and people-centric?

Three Aspects to Measure Organizational Maturity: Organizations today are over-complex and hyper-competitive, management continues to keep the business running, but the lack of insight on how well their organization is doing for the long term. Is it 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?

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2+million page views with about #4300+ blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. blog posting. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom, to inspire critical thinking and spur healthy debates. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating the new ideas; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify diverse voices and deepen digital footprints, and it's the way to harness your innovative spirit.