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

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

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

Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Weekly Insight of the “Future of CIO” 8/31/2017

Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking, brainstorming, innovating and sharing.
The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2 million page views with 3900+ 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.

  The Weekly Insight of the “Future of CIO” 8/31/2017
  • How Can CIOs Earn Their Stripe as Transformative Digital Leaders With fierce competition and overwhelming growth of information, IT plays a critical role in building the business competency. Thus, the expectations for CIO have grown multifold, and they are expected to be visionary and change agent for business strategy and growth. There are different types of organizations at the different cycles in their maturity, the requirements of Chief Information Officer are also vast and varied. In practice, how should IT leaders shift their role from the tactical manager to the strategic business executive? And how can CIO earn their stripe as transformative digital leaders?

  • Five “P” Factors in Digital Innovation Management: Innovation can happen everywhere, it is our gift as humans, a great deal of what defines us as humans actually, whether there are new products, services, solutions, new sounds and music, new way of reading and publishing, new ways of educating future of generations, etc. One of the good definitions of innovation is: "to transform the novel ideas into commercial success.” In essence, innovation is, "intentional novelty bringing sustainable benefit." Different organizations have their own “innovation strength.” The innovation-generating organization depends more heavily on its technological knowledge and market capabilities to develop and commercialize innovations.

  • The Monthly “Digitizing Boardroom” Book Tuning Aug. 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 and build abilities to advise, inspire and motivate a group of people toward accomplishing shared visions and goals. Here is the monthly “Digital Boardroom” summary.

  • The Making and Breaking Points of IT Digital Transformation We are living in an information explosive world where technology is pervasive and the masses are looking for their own experiences to introduce new technologies into the business, leverage information in decision making and innovation management. Forward-thinking organizations declare they are in the information management business to improve organizational competency and long-term business growth. CIOs have to deal with rapid changes, constant ambiguity, increasing complexity, and unprecedented uncertainty. Here are a few making and breaking points of IT digital transformation.

  • The Monthly “Digital Gaps” Book Tuning: Bridging the Gaps to Reach High-Level Digital Maturity Aug. 2017 “Digital Gaps -Bridging Multiple Gaps to Run Cohesive Business” is a guide book to help digital leaders and professionals today identify, analyze, and mind multiple gaps with multidisciplinary insight and holistic understanding. Today’s digital organization simply just can’t stand still. Bridging the 'gap of opportunity' between where you are and want to become is a welcomed challenge and a stepwise approach to make a leap of 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 “D” Traits in Innovators

The evolution of innovation only exists in the more open environments that create insights, take advantage of all sources of creativity in a more open way.

Being innovative is a state of mind which is more important than doing any type of innovation. Being able to engage in the successful creation of innovations is a very hard work and does include a lot of deep thinking, observation, inquiries, unusual connections, experimenting, skills, abilities and hardworking. Innovativeness is clearly a competency at both individual and corporate level. The question is how to identify innovative traits and build your creativity strength, either at individual or organizational level. Here are three D-traits in innovators.


Discovery: Discovery is perception and awareness of the unique in the field of the ordinary. Discovery means exactly what it means - uncovering what is hidden from you, out of your five senses, from your routine, from your company, from your industries, etc. Discovery is the result of serendipity. The more discovery you envision, the better chance and possibility you are the innovators. Discovery is realizing something or having the experience of something that therefore has not been known to you or known only as a concept, but now is alive to you.
Discovery is the trait of innovators because discovery is the choice to look at something differently and by that choice never look at anything the same, and innovation is all about discovering the new way to do things. It is also important to discover the needs of innovation as the first step. From innovation management perspective, it is important to build a creative working environment that fertilizes innovation, makes the work not just a job, but a career journey full of discovery and adventure.


Difference: Being innovative is simply about being different - think different, see things differently and figure out the different way to do things. Creative minds with cognitive differences are good at bringing the fresh perspective to the table, asking thought-provoking questions, understanding things from different angles, and solving problems in different ways. A creative or an innovator has a raw intelligence to think independently, creatively, critically or futuristically. Innovators whose work continues to move forward and, in turn, is profitable to self and others think differently than those who are traditional thinkers, they are comfortable to be different, and problem-solving is part of their DNA. From innovation perspectives, it is important to have a heterogeneous group setting and let people view an idea from different perspectives, brainstorm diverse thoughts and ideas, apply thinking techniques, harness different experiences, perspectives and ideas of people, recognize your innovators, look out for curious people with a broad knowledge base, interdisciplinary understanding, and hands-on attitude, encourage people to express themselves, brainstorm and share ideas, and inspire inclusiveness.


Discipline: The paradox of innovation is that it has to break down some old rules for sparkling creativity; on the other side, it needs the certain discipline to keep focus. Innovation challenges the status quo and that is important in a healthy and innovative organization. It is also important to set rules for safeguarding the status quo, but not stifling innovation. ‘Business creativities’ such as leveraging creative thinking and taking an innovative approach for business goals, does require certain ‘rules,’ to help frame, concentrate, and make innovation a fair game to invite all great talent in. Because being "unruly" incurs risk, you need to set the updated principles and the right discipline for managing the innovation and mitigating the risks. However, many silo-based work environments contain overly rigid processes which stifle innovation and have hidden barriers which discourage creativity.


Without innovation, organizations cannot thrive for the long term. Innovativeness becomes significantly important in the age with the advanced technologies because the leaders of the future will not be mere automatons, but continue to discover, differentiate, and be disciplined as well. The evolution of innovation only exists in the more open environments that create insights, take advantage of all sources of creativity in a more open way and leap innovation management to the next level.

CIOs as Digital Leaders: How to Build a Digital-Ready IT Roadmap

A comprehensive digital ready IT roadmap with a clear vision helps the business navigate through uncharted water and truly becomes the compass to navigate IT digital transformation seamlessly.

IT plays a pivotal role in leading a digital transformation in their organizations because often technology is the disruptive force behind digital innovation and information is the gold mine every forward-thinking organization is digging in. To stay competitive, companies must go beyond just experimenting with some digital technologies and commit to transforming themselves into a fully digital business powerhouse. Therefore, strategic IT leaders have to take the time to build a comprehensive IT roadmap which shows the stepwise transition plan and define more than one way of achieving the goals. It is the set of investments, programs, and schedules that take you from the current state to the target state of the business. For each approach, estimate costs, resources required, timelines, risks involved, and trends.


Break down the IT roadmap into several stages with crucial points: Each stage represents the crucial point in which the business gets the benefit of the activities so far or has taken up the activities so far to form a stepping stone for the next big step.


-Tipping point: Organizations reach the tipping point for the digital transformation when they are equipped with digital awareness, organizations need to have a comprehensive digital strategy with the first step to understanding the real business problems and gain the full awareness of both potentials and perils. The toughest part of the strategy is the tradeoffs, The more you can front load and truly define the current state, the easier the journey moves ahead.


-Turning point:  Digital transformation isn’t just an extension of continuous improvement of the current business, but a quantum leap with radical change. It requires a unique vision and the courage to pursue it. Organizations reach the turning point when their top business leaders can think outside the current constraints and comfort zones, they are courageous to break down some rules and take the bold move to drive changes. The first best factor to the “transformational change” and its further “championing” has been the endless self-exploration and self-transformation in the material, emotional, intellectual dimensions that make a big leap in the journey of digital transformation.


-Inflection point: Inflection is a bend, a fold, a curve, a turn, a twist; A strategic inflection point is a time in the lifecycle of a business when its fundamentals (people, process, technologies, cultures) are about to change with accelerated speed. Such a change can mean an opportunity to rise to new heights, or a risk to hit the uncertainty.  You have to transform the company's collective mindset/behavior, underlying functions and organization as a whole with adjusted digital speed.


Attach interim goals, assumptions, timelines, business units’ support needs and implementation plans: The digital ready IT roadmap with the stepwise processes from here to there should include the goal clarification, rough timeline and should provide the business benefit each interim state provides:
(1) what do we have? (processes, artifacts, staffing, etc.)
(2) What the application portfolio looks like today?
(3)What it needs to look like to achieve the business goals?
(4) What can we achieve in the time frame (3-5) years?
(5) What are the series of initiative/changes/steps that bring the portfolio from here to there?


Get acceptance from the senior management for the costs, timelines, budget allocation, resource requirements, training, and freeze the road map and publish it: To build a practical IT roadmap, it is important to have senior management to make IT investment justification. It’s about spending the money right and getting the right results. You should spend to make a return. The merits of IT investment are to ensure you are looking at your numbers in a manner consistent with others. It helps to position IT as a transparent business partner; it provokes thought and challenges the status quo; it also helps to validate your spending levels or force you to explain why it differs from the norm. It is important to collect feedback from senior leaders and other functional managers regarding their top priorities, their views of the company strategies and the strategies in their departments, the key business processes and systems, the maturity level of cross-functional communication and collaboration, and the organizational capabilities that exist and need to be developed. The end result is a dynamic tree-like structure of road maps with interlocking deliverables and schedules. The IT roadmap is well done only when it gets acceptance from the senior management for the cost, timelines, resource & budget allocation, training, etc. So the published IT roadmap truly becomes the compass to navigate IT digital transformation seamlessly.


A digital transformation is a long journey with all sorts of bumps and curves, setbacks and turnarounds. It is not all linear steps, but an iterative scenario. A comprehensive digital ready IT roadmap with a clear vision helps the business navigate through uncharted water, avoid pitfalls on the way, to make the smart investment and achieve higher than expected business result.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Monthly Digitalization Summary: Five Keywords to Articulate Digital Characteristics Aug. 2017

The digital organization is a living thing, it cannot be taken apart.

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



Five Digital Keywords to Articulate Digital Characteristics



 Hyperconnectivity as the “Nature” of Digital Businesses  Hyperconnectivity is one of the most critical characteristics of the digital business. Digital organizations arise when the scale of the interrelations, interactions, or inter-relational interactions brings the new cycle of the business growth, information flow, innovation, and maturity. The digital organization is a living thing, it cannot be taken apart. As you cannot understand a cell, a living thing if you isolate it from its context. It is a cohesive whole.


Non Linearity as the Characteristic of Digital Ecosystem  The digital world is a holistic ecosystem - nature, world, or the ecosystem sometimes is used interchangeably. It is all the products of a physically, chemically, biologically, cognologically, linguistically, technologically evolving nature, in that sequence. Digital is fluid, digital is also complex. It becomes complex if things do interact, particularly in the case of "nonlinear" interaction, you can't separate things properly or you cannot predict the actual effect of interaction straightforwardly. In fact, nonlinearity is one of the very characteristics of digital business ecosystems.


Organizational Plasticity as the Digital Trait The neuro plasticity is the brain’s ability to rewire, connect, and adapt; the business plasticity is the organization’s capability to change, adapt and innovate with speed. Many organizations are on the journey of digital transformation which represents the increasing speed of changes, the overwhelming growth of information, the shortened life cycle of knowledge, the new chapter of digital innovation, and the next stage of business maturity. It has to improve how the enterprise works and interacts with its digital ecosystem, with people at the center of its focus. Thus, organizational plasticity is the digital trait of the organization.


The Paradox of Complexity  People are complex, business is complex, and the world is complex, and they are becoming more complex due to the explosive information and the accelerated speed of changes. Modern organizations spend significant time and resources to deal with complexity, is complexity good or bad; the complex organizational structure/process or the hypercomplex business ecosystem, which factors contribute the most to making organizations more complex? And philosophically, what is the paradox of complexity


The Self-Renew of Digital Organization: Digital transformation is rarely a straight line. It is all about interaction, incrementalism, and innovation. The journey is far more important than the destination. Digital organizations have to adapt to the continuous changes and are able to reconfigure the organizational structure and change their own behaviors for its adaptation to environmental changes and business dynamic. They are like the living systems that can self-renew in thriving as high-performance businesses.


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 #3900 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.

Digital Holism

“Being holistic” suggests a genuine sense of exploration and innovation.


Digital disruptions are inevitable, and digital transformation is unstoppable. Organizations shouldn’t just respond to them in a reactive way. To stay competitive, companies must go beyond experimenting with digital, take a holistic approach, commit to transforming themselves into a fully digital business powerhouse.


Holistic thinking: Holistic thinking" refers to a big picture mentality, and understand that the whole is often greater than the sum of the parts, from the management perspective. “Being holistic” suggests a genuine sense of exploration and innovation. Enterprise is the complex system, every change initiative, either at a functional level or corporate scope, has to make sure the business as a whole is more optimal than the sum of pieces. Holistic thinking becomes important but also challenging due to the complexity of digital organizations. And organizations arise when the scale of the interrelations, interactions, or inter-relational interactions surpasses our brain's capacity to be able to do whatever it does with smaller scales. Holistic thinking has a correlation with systems thinking which is the thought process for seeing interrelationships rather than isolated things, from seeing patterns of change rather than static “snapshots.”


Holistic Problem-solving: The opposite of holistic thinking is silo thinking which is the root causes of many business problems today. In terms of a holistic 'viewpoint,’ one does often need to integrate different stereotyped ('mechanistic') viewpoints; it is the integration and searches for new viewpoints that are holistic. At times, when you only want to see things from your own point of view, see what you want to see, or, hear-what-you-want-to-hear, often you miss the point to understand the real problem holistically as well as how to solve it creatively or systematically. Often times, people have a tendency to try to fix a symptom which results from the actual cause of the problem. When they do this, they throw good money after bad. They allow problems to grow under the surface, out of sight, out of mind, until it’s too late. Until the underlying problem is addressed, the symptom will continue to return. Thus, it is important to take a holistic approach to solving real problems, there needs to be a better appreciation to examine a situation and understand the problem from different angles and zoom out to see the larger system and their part in the mess, in order to come out the optimal solutions without too many side effects.


Holistic Management Discipline: Digital is full of uncertainty, velocity, complexity, and ambiguity. It's important to leverage holistic and systems thinking to understand the variety of business relationship and manage the business in a more structural way. The organizational management short-sightedness, silo, and running the business in a transactional mode cause digital ineffectiveness for the long run. The holistic management focuses on the long term and transformative business management practice. The digital business today is not just working within the industry, but also permeating cross-ecosystem which is dynamic, continuous and interactive. The business ecosystem is just like the natural ecosystem, first, it needs to be understood in a holistic matter, then, needs to be well planned, and also needs to be thoughtfully renewed as well. Such a dynamic ecosystem explicitly seeks to create a holistic and creative environment where people can grow, innovate, and businesses focus on dynamic resources, long-term perspective, scalable performance and harmonized relationship.


Digital paradigm means holism, hyperconnectivity, interdependence, and integration. Digital transformation is the journey for solving problems caused by "Conflict," "Out of Balance," “Lack of Logic.” Therefore, it is critical to apply a holistic management discipline which can break through the industrial constraints and limitations and in pursuit of possibilities rather than impossibilities, to drive changes and accelerate digital transformation.






Running High-Proficient Digital IT

Running a high proficient IT means a lot of things for the digital transformation, such as operational excellence, innovation, performance, change, speed, and maturity, etc.

Although Information technology plays a crucial role in building differentiated business competency in the digital era, more than half of IT organizations still get stuck on the bottom level of maturity, functioning as an isolated support center or a commoditized IT service provider only. To transform IT from controlling to enabling, from reacting to innovating, from efficient to proficient, CIOs need to be clear on what needs to achieve in terms of top line, bottom line and working in tandem with other departments to achieve the strategic business goals and get digital ready.


Operational proficiency: Traditional IT organizations focus on keeping the lights on, taking orders from the business to fix immediate problems, cutting cost to improve business efficiency. This is perhaps OK at the considerably static industrial age, with the slow pace of changes. However, with increasing speed of changes and continuous digital disruptions, fierce business competitions and “VUCA” digital new normal, an efficient only IT organization is no longer fit to meet the high expectation from the business. IT must ensure that operational business ecosystems not only function as expected, but also achieve operation proficiency via continuous consolidation, modernization, integration, and optimization. IT helps integrate business processes into both necessary and differentiated business outcomes and build an effective digital ecosystem. When IT organizations address both “IT effectiveness” and “IT efficiency,” and have IT resources aligned with the business strategies/objectives; when IT operation is refined to the point that they are nimble, can adapt to changing business demands in a timely fashion, and it can be reapplied to altering business priorities and be effective with little down curve, IT is on the right track to achieve high-level operational efficiency.


Innovation proficiency: IT needs to shift from “Doing more with less,” to “Doing more with innovation.” Innovation is the state which is not easy to reach because innovation management overall has a very low success rate. Even you have ample ideas, it doesn’t guarantee innovation success due to the possible execution gap. Bridging innovation execution gap requires a step-wise execution scenario with clear stages, performance thresholds, decision-making parameters, change management practices, combined with the iterative learning process that supports wide-ranging exploration at each stage. The intersection of IT and people is where innovation happens. To run an innovative IT organization with high proficiency, the more difficult challenge is not just launching successful teams, but maintaining their motivation and focus. Being innovate is the state of mind -being able to think differently, and create new things based on meeting the specific needs. IT intrapreneurialism becomes a new fixture for management in their efforts to substantiate their competitive position, affect the market landscape, and drive new revenue growth. To improve innovation proficiency, there are a lot of opportunities to clarify the role of IT in leading innovation and catalyzing business growth relentlessly. IT is uniquely positioned to observe processes across the enterprise. Sometimes, when one business area has a new product or ideas that can be used by another, IT leaders can connect the dots to come up with new innovative solutions and scale up to reach the next level of innovation maturity.


IT performance proficiency: Managing IT performance and improving IT reputation means understanding results, setting metrics, adjusting plans, and making effective decisions to ensure the strategic goals are on the right track to get implemented, and communicated effectively at the different level of the business. Continually accelerating changes in IT consumption and production require faster responses and better performance metrics. Effective IT management means understanding every part of the operation and every workflow process. IT performance measures should be quantitative and implement whatever mechanisms you need to be able to gather the data. To achieve IT performance proficiency, IT metrics have to evolve from being a cost center to becoming a revenue generator. The only way to do this is to show a clear link to top executives between IT efficiency and productivity/ top-line revenues. Your measures should cover all areas that contribute to value creation including service quality, employee engagement, customer satisfaction, innovation benefit, and financial outcomes.This is an important step in building IT reputation as a strategic business partner.


IT is impacting every business unit and is becoming the driver of business change and digital transformation. Running a high proficient IT means a lot of things for the digital transformation, such as operational excellence, innovation, performance, change, integration, modernization, optimization, intelligence, value creation, speed, and maturity, etc. IT management must get a feeler of the business view. IT must be measured through business viewpoint. And at the high level of maturity, IT is the game changer of the digital transformation.



Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Three “T”Traits in Innovators

Innovators are the rare breed, but innovators are also among us and within us.

Innovators are simply those who can think differently and whose work continues to move forward and, in turn, is profitable to self and others. Innovators can see the old or emergent problems from every direction and discover different solutions. Innovators see possibility in the world when most people only see the way that they have been told. Here are three “T”traits in innovators.


T-shaped knowledge: Many innovators are “T-Shaped” talent, who have both the breadth and depth in their skill sets. The vertical bar of the “T” represents depth in one field, the horizontal bar represents the ability to collaborate across other disciplines and to apply knowledge in areas of expertise other than one’s own. Innovative thinkers are explorers and synthesizers of their views. The breadth of knowledge and broad exposure enable them to connect wider dots to spark creativity. And the depth of knowledge or some deep expertise allows them to become more practical to come up with implementable ideas, not just pure imagination. The “T” metaphor was not made to tell us how much we know about something or how many areas we know about. It was made instead to illustrate a predisposition to diversify our focus or not. In the industrial age, people are either “experts” or “explorers,” but in the digital era, they need to be both: Being the explorer to discover alternative ways to do things, and being the expert to understand the complexity of digital innovation. From the team building perspective, The breadth and depth of the “T” in the context of a team has to respond to a challenge. That means a blend of skills and experience can be fostered in different ways to stimulate innovation. Strong interpersonal and communication/collaboration skills are also critical in order to build an innovative team with qualities such as metacognition, critical thinking, empathy, engagement, resilience, etc.


Transdisciplinary understanding: In upcoming years with “VUCA” new normal, organizations and human society will be confronting a number of high-complex problems in the hyper-connected world, the solutions will require integration of different sets of knowledge and fluency across multiple disciplines. Innovation happens when an out-of-the-box thinker questions or challenges the rules of the game, inventing knowledge transfers and goes outside the industry to invent a radical new way to respond to the 'job to be done.' Transdisciplinarity - the ability to work across disciplines will emerge as a key skill for the innovative leaders and workforces. Digital innovation is the trans-disciplinary approach which involves applied science (Engineering), art (Design), Cognition (Psychology), social norms (Culture) and group behavior (Sociology). The challenge is to move from the individual to system level. If you take knowledge from one context and bring it over into a new context you have knowledge or technology transfer innovation. Transdisciplinary knowledge and understanding are critical to stimulate more innovation of the disruptive type. "Stimulation" makes more sense, taken in consideration with people outside your current customers, and design community, interact with people from another industry, the individuals that shift gears in their day to day work can often produce more ideas and have more unusual connectivities to spark great ideas, and collectively, the diverse team with transdisciplinary understanding and complementary skill set is the fertile ground to make innovation blossom.


Timing: Innovation becomes simply “creating value by solving simple or complex problems.”  
Pace and timing are absolutely critical for innovation and change. Too slow or too fast are as much a problem as backing the wrong disruptive technology or fresh ideas. Many organizations get the timing wrong are surprised when many years later another company gets the timing right for the same disruption the original company underachieved. Timing matters. When innovation outside your organization outraces innovation inside your organization, it is TIME to address factors influencing business velocity, performance, profitability and customer preference. Timing does not mean to rush up as well. Potentially, longer time frames allow the creation of more alternatives from which to choose, using both rational and instinctive knowledge. Either doing innovation or making changes, it is a series of decisions need to be made timely and push the idea forward. Time is a critical factor in decision-making scenario. Look to and listen to your information, use it to help you drive innovation. The reality is that organizations that do not respond to external environmental changes will quickly outcompete as more innovative enterprises take their customers.


For many, innovation is serendipity, and innovators are the crazy one. Innovators are the rare breed, but innovators are also among us and within us. Hence, empower people to be creative, and foster a creative environment in which people are allowed to make mistakes and learn from them. And it’s great for both, the individual and the company and the creative strength is built at the corporate level, to become the differentiated business competency.


The Making and Breaking Points of IT Digital Transformation

IT needs to be ‘propositive,’ which is always giving ideas, leading ahead of the pack and leapfrog a seamless digital transformation.

We are living in an information explosive world where technology is pervasive and the masses are looking for their own experiences to introduce new technologies into the business, leverage information in decision making and innovation management. Forward-thinking organizations declare they are in the information management business to improve organizational competency and long-term business growth. CIOs have to deal with rapid changes, constant ambiguity, increasing complexity, and unprecedented uncertainty. Here are a few making and breaking points of IT digital transformation.


The abundance of information can either make or break IT digital transformation: The abundance of information brings both significant opportunities for the business growth and unprecedented risk which could fail the business even overnight. Information Management becomes making and breaking point of digital transformation. Information Systems are the backbone and provide valuable information for key decision making. Information brings about business ideas; business ideas generate lots of information. Businesses need to understand not only the power and the opportunity information could bring in, but also the potential risks they might get exposed to. The problem most organizations has is that they do not understand what raw material they have to play with because of the poor information management. To improve information management effectiveness, perhaps first work to identify how information is associated with the valued tangibles of businesses, products, and resources, like information flows in processes, and then its own value will become readily apparent and quantifiable by association. Poor information management without effective risk management discipline will increase the business vulnerability and even break the business at the certain point. Organizations might also lose the business opportunities if CIOs with “risk avoidance” mentality have tried to reduce technology and IT risk as much as possible. To accelerate change and digital transformation, IT leaders have to weigh risk and reward, take prudent risks and discover ways to mitigate risks rather than eliminate it and embrace business growth opportunities proactively.


IT prioritization could either be the making or breaking point of IT digital transformation: A company has finite resources to apply to get the best yield possible to meet stakeholders’ expectation. Many traditional IT organizations are overloaded and understaffed, assign the large proportion of IT budget and resource to “keep the lights on,” without doing enough for innovating, growing, and transforming their business. IT prioritization mechanism and practices could either be the making or breaking point of IT digital transformation. Prioritization is critical to both improving performance and forcing people to become more innovative for problem-solving. IT leaders shouldn’t just spend all resources on gaining some short-term result.  It takes commitment and discipline to stay focused on the real priorities of the business instead of being distracted by what seems to be more urgent on any given moment. When prioritization helps to focus the strategy of the organization, which has huge benefits in terms of business execution and digital transformation, IT is the rainmaker for the business’s revenue growth. When IT just keeps hands busy without doing enough to deliver “competitive capabilities,” or motivating people to come up with better ideas, the business gets stuck and creates more breaking point; when IT just focuses on providing band aid approaches or simply makes things more complicated, it is perhaps on the way to break the business as well. Thus, it is important to set the right priority and strike the right balance in running a healthy "Run, Grow, and Transform" IT portfolio.


The IT ability to change and speed of changes can make or break digital transformation: Digital means increasing the speed of changes. But change is not for its own sake, it is IT responsibility to identify opportunities for business transformation wherever analysis and assessment indicate the potential benefits of transformation efforts. Thus, the IT ability to change and the speed of changes can make or break digital transformation. The digital dynamic is where the digital disruption threatens to tear down legacy systems and practices just as it generates new opportunities. Traditional IT organizations often act as the controller, slow to change, and thus, business functions do not think IT as their strategic partners. IT can break digital transformation if it cannot ride the learning curve and catch up with the emergent business technological trends, or it simply lacks changeability to make continuous improvement and on-time delivery in a proactive way. IT can make the digital transformation if it can lead changes via getting as many people pulling in the same direction, optimizing underlying organizational structures and functions, and empowering people with the efficient digital platforms and tools to improve their productivity and engagement. IT is the superglue to break down the silo thinking and digitize the management discipline.


IT is at the crossroad, either move up the maturity level to make things happen or get stuck as a cost center or even break down the business. If IT has to break something - break down silos, break down the status quo, and break down “we always do things like that,” mentality. There are different styles of IT management mentality and methodology to run IT today. Actions depend on maturity, competition and customer expectations, IT needs to be ‘propositive,’ which is always giving ideas, leading ahead of the pack and leapfrog a seamless digital transformation.






Monday, August 28, 2017

The Monthly “Digitizing Boardroom” Book Tuning Aug. 2017

The boardroom composition will directly impact on how they lead and which tone they will set for the entire organization to follow.

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 and build abilities to advise, inspire and motivate a group of people toward accomplishing shared visions and goals. Here is the monthly “Digital Boardroom” summary.


  



  The “Digital Boardroom”  Book Introduction



  • The New Book “Digital Boardroom: 100 Q&As” Chapter 1 Introduction The Digital Board’s Composition Inquiries Contemporary boards play the crucial directorial role in business strategy oversight, performance monitoring, business advising and policy setting. The boardroom composition will directly impact on how they lead and which tone they will set for the entire organization to follow. The question is whether there are enough people with proficient skills and expertise to do the job in the heat of today’s boardroom facing business uncertainty, rapid changes, continuous digital disruptions, and unprecedented competitions.


  • The New Book “Digital Boardroom: 100 Q&As” Chapter 2 Introduction: The Digital Board’s Digital Inquiries Digital is about the accelerating speed of changes and abundance of information. The board needs to retain the ability to capture immediate and future opportunities which will enhance their shareholders’ benefits. To lead effectively, the board needs to be able to leverage diverse viewpoints via listening, brainstorming, and questioning, make effective decisions via critical thinking, independent thinking, strategic thinking, and system thinking, and become the “mastermind” behind the digital transformation. Here is a set of the digital board’s digital inquiries.



  • The New Book “Digital Boardroom: 100 Q&As” Chapter 3 Introduction: The Digital Board’s Digital Vision/Strategy Inquiries Digital Boards help the business oversee business strategy via identifying and closing decision blind spots, pinpointing decision fatigue, and monitoring business performance. The most important judiciary duty of any corporate board is the oversight of a holistic strategy management of the company through focused leadership, monitor its implementation, and performance results, amend wherever necessary to match changing marketplace conditions, and by doing so to ensure the long-term prosperity of the business. However, many board directors are undereducated about their role while the business change is accelerated across global scope and knowledge life cycle is shortened.


  • The New Book “Digital Boardroom: 100 Q&As” Chapter IV: The Digital Board’s IT Inquiries? The digital new normal means that the change is inevitable and the speed of change is increasing due to the exponential growth of information and robust digital technologies. Digital board directors today need to become information friendly and technology savvy. The board's oversight of information management agenda helps to highlight the strategic perspective of IT and improve its differentiated value. An IT-savvy board will keep curious to ask insightful questions, have the advantage of pulling enough resources and pushing the business model of technology.


  • The New Book “Digital Boardroom: 100 Q&A” Introduction Chapter 5 The DIgital Board’s Leadership Inquiries At today’s “VUCA” digital dynamic, organizations face both unprecedented opportunities to grow and hyper-competition or great risks to survive. A high-mature digital board is like a lighting tower to navigating the business toward the right direction and taking all these significant responsibilities more thoughtfully. The digital board directors should be mindful, insightful, innovative, and decisive, and become the mastermind behind the digital transformation.

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