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, January 18, 2018

The Weekly Insight of the “Future of CIO” 1/18/2018

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.

CIOs as “Chief Improvement Officer”: How to Apply Maslow’s Hierarchy to IT management Abraham Harold Maslow was an American psychologist, who stated that people are motivated to achieve certain needs and that some needs take precedence over others. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a motivational theory in psychology comprising different tiers of human needs, at the bottom is the basic "surviving" needs to the middle tier for" belonging" to the top tier of "self-actualization." In fact, it is an invaluable theory not only for understanding and managing people with empathy but also for providing the insight to the multitude of modern management discipline. Nowadays, organizations rely more and more on technologies, IT organizations have more and more to offer, it also has a lot of obstacles to overcome for achieving the high level of business maturity. So, CIOs as “Chief Improvement Officer”: How to apply Maslow’s hierarchy in IT management

Conformance vs. Performance: What’s Board’s Priority Corporate Board is one of the most important governance bodies to oversee strategy and enforce GRC disciplines. Many directors think that the role of the director is conformance. The underlying question is actually fundamental: What is corporate governance, when is it necessary and how should it work? Conformance vs. Performance, which is more important for the Corporate Board? Is it possible that companies are burdening the boards with so many different tasks that the main task and focus of the board, which is to create long-term profitable companies, will be inundated by all other types of issues

The New Book “12 CIO Personas” Chapter 11 Introduction: The CIO as “Chief Integration Officer” Traditional IT organizations are often seen as one of the weakest links in the company. To close the gaps and enforce the business-IT relationship, the CIO as the “Chief Integration Officer” needs to know how to play a bridge between what businesses understand and what technology understands. The highly effective corporations need to embed the power of information in its fiber to ensure IT is an integral part the business to build the differentiated business competency. And IT can truly become the digital integrator, accelerator, innovator and trusted business partner.

“Simplexity” as the Characteristic of Digital Maturity Modern businesses become over-complex every day, they also become part of the dynamic and complex digital ecosystem. If we accept the business and the world are complex, somewhat unpredictable or not completely predictable, we have to accept uncertainty. Because uncertainty comes with complexity. Simplicity vs. complexity is not only an age-old dilemma but also the opposite ends of the same spectrum. Complexity can either stimulate or stifle innovation. In fact, “Simplexity” is a portmanteau word to reflect the digital reality and how to strike the right balance to achieve the next level of digital maturity.


The Monthly “IT Innovation” Book Tuning: The Innovation Core in Digital Masters Jan. 2018
Within abundant information and emergent digital technologies, IT is a key component of holistic business mindset to re-imagine “what is possible” - unleashing business potentials and improving business efficiency, effectiveness, agility, and maturity. The art of possible to reinvent IT for the digital age is to deliver the value of information in helping businesses grow, delight customers and doing more with innovation.

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 New Book “12 CIO Personas” Quote Collection III


This book “12 CIO Personas: The Digital CIO’s Situational Leadership Practices” is the extensive brainstorming and logical content expansion of my book “CIO Master: Unleash the Digital Potential of IT,” to reimagine and reinvent CIO leadership via practicing multitudes of digital influence.

46 CIOs are fluent in both business language and IT terminology to sure the seamless cross-functional communication without “lost in translation.”

47 The top leaders such as CIOs have to be fluent in both business and IT dialogues, and switch them back and forth without “lost in translation.”

48 The CIO needs to be an enterprise polyglot, to master both business language and IT terminology, and beyond.

49 IT leaders need to build the leadership capability, not only communicate, but connect, inspire, and motivate.

50 Communication, collaboration, and creativity are the keys to run IT as a better business partner.

51 The CIO as “Chief Interpretation Officer” is the new digital leadership perspective of harnessing communication and people-centricity for accelerating digital transformation.

52 A bridge-like CIO has the mind to think via the multidimensional lens; has the gut to innovate fearlessly; has the strategy to lead wisely and has the skill to move progressively.

53 Great CIOs are great storytellers, envision and communicate a full-fledged, people-centric digital transformation.

54 Only by putting all fresh views out there to provoke “diversity of thought,” can IT possibly enact or act as a catalyst for change.

55 The quality check of IT management is to ensure IT is the enabler and even a game-changer of the digital transformation.

56 The quality of your life is given via the quality of thinking you have done.

57 The most important thing is that you need to define the quality as leadership and quality as management.

58 The most important thing is that you need to define quality as management and quality as leadership.

59 IT management quality check-up is important for improving IT and the entire business performance and maturity.

60 Quality management ensures that an organization, product, or service is consistent, effective, and meet customers’ expectation.

61 Software quality begins with the quality of the requirements.

62 There is quality data, but there’s no “perfect” data in “Big Data” world.

63 Take a hard look at IT from a different angle is critical to ensure IT management is steering in the right decision.

64 Modern CIOs as “Chief Interaction Officers,” can master how to well manage different dimensions of relationship to improve leadership effectiveness.

65 CIOs need to communicate effectively via tailoring different audiences.

66 CIOs should be at the table helping the board and executive colleagues maximize ROI and competitive advantage.

67 Modern CIOs are “Chief Interaction Officer,” to envision, communicate, connect, and innovate.

68 CIOs need to be IT evangelists, learn to sell and speak business, but it's a two-way street.

The Monthly “Digitizing Boardroom” Book Tuning: The Digital Board’s Next Practices Jan. 2018

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 a set of Digital Board profiles.

               The Digital Board’s Next Practices


Three “C” Practices in Digital Boardroom Digital transformation represents a break with the past, having a high level of impact and complexity. It takes visionary leadership to drive changes and steer the corporate ship navigating through uncharted water and blurred territories in the right direction. The importance of the corporate board’s responsibility for overseeing strategy, monitoring performance and setting business tone has become much clear in today’s business dynamic with velocity and uncertainty. The BoDs need to become the mastermind behind digital transformation and change agent to advocate digitalization. Here are three “C” practices in the digital boardroom.

Breaking Three Bottlenecks to Digitize Boardrooms The corporate board plays a significant role in overseeing business strategy, setting principles and policies, monitoring performance to get digital ready. They are the advocate for changes and the mastermind behind digitalization. To lead effectively, they are able to break the bottleneck of digitalization and bridge the gap of opportunity between where they are and want to become, cascading the changes from the boardroom to the front line of the company in order to accelerate performance and get digital ready.


What’re the Next Practices of Board Succession Plan Generally speaking, Boards have a couple of main functions such as strategy oversight, governance practices, providing advice to executives, and resource provision, etc. The spirit comes from the top, the board also plays the significant role in setting culture tones and encouraging innovation. At today's business dynamic with digitalization and globalization trend, what’s the elephant in the Boardroom, and how to bring the new blood to digitize the Board? What're the logical steps, the next and best practices of Board succession plan?

Three Views to Keep Board Directors Evolving in Exponential Digital Age The corporate board as one of the top leadership pillars plays a crucial role in overseeing strategies and leading changes and digitalization. Adopting a different paradigm is like changing the glasses and new possibilities continue to emerge. Those who look through the lens of the previous industrial era see their own reality very differently from those who leverage the lens that the new era has crafted. Thus, the board directors need to learn and master the multitude of digital views of the business and understand the exponential digital age profoundly.

A Strategic Board One of the most important responsibilities of Board is to oversight business strategy; however, it doesn’t mean Board itself is being strategic enough. In some cases, Board members time is stretched thin so they do not allocate enough time to understand key issues and in many cases board members are not motivated; others wonder why many Boards aren't active enough to catch the derailment of strategies.

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



The Promises and Perils of IT Performance Management

"Continual improvement" is the IT mantra in the digital era; there is never "enough" to optimize operations and improve business efficiency. To reinvent IT reputation from a cost center to a business value creator, it is important to shift IT performance from inside out - IT lenses with the metrics only IT care about to outside-in customer lens; start with the noble business purposes of IT, and then, select the right set of metrics for measuring the right things and measure them right. Digital leaders need to understand the promises and perils of IT performance management in order to improve its performance and maturity.

CIOs need to keep a measure and periodicity at which the measure is reviewed against setting targets and business goals: An effective CIO’s job is to improve operations to reduce the burden on the company while trying to stay current with ever-changing technologies and business dynamic. Typically, CIOs would need to remain on top of various parameters such as costs, production issues -especially business-critical applications, risks, technologies, customers, long-term business transformation, etc, that includes reducing costs, improving system efficiency, streamlining processes and providing continually expanding services or business solutions. Thus, it is important to select the right set of measures and leverage metrics that substantiate the ROI. The promise of IT performance management needs to be able to map to the business objectives and strategic business goals, and track the progress of IT portfolio management to ensure on-time and on-value delivery. Selecting the right key performance measurement is a crucial step in IT measurement because the processes include to answering why you are choosing that, how you will use them and whether you have enough resources to manage measurement data, can you present them persuasively. How have they been able to impact the top and bottom-line and facilitate growth and competitiveness, etc? To keep improving IT management maturity, IT metrics have to evolve from being a cost center to become a revenue generator. The right metrics can be helpful are to track progress in an improvement initiative. IT should continue to review upon the ROI of existing IT investment, whether depreciated life cycle is completed or not; whether new technology/ product mature enough in the business market to adopt.

Another promise of IT measurement and performance management is to help stakeholders understand what is going on: It is important to practice strategic thinking - keep the end in mind for managing IT performance. Identify the purpose of the information and the stakeholders who will be interested in the measurement. Then, ensure IT raises the bar on a continual basis to ensure the stakeholders get a real picture of how well IT management, such as business optimization efforts are bearing desired results. Ask whether the metrics can reveal anything meaningful for the identified purpose and varying stakeholders. Contextually, the measurement method is to persuade management the progress of strategy execution. Companies are highly dependent on IT executives who make the proposal to change or replace the technology based on the need for the business. Continually accelerating changes in IT consumption and production require faster responses and better performance metrics. 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. Focuses on corporate performance and should be based on a sound and understandable vision and company strategy. This is an important step to building IT reputation as a strategic business partner and growth engine.

The peril of IT performance management is about how to avoid vanity metrics:
Don't collect metrics for the sake of collecting metrics, or measure things from IT lens only, or based on convenience, look only at cost, schedule or quantitative numbers only. Metrics are not just numbers, they should tell the stories. Give those responsible for collecting the metrics a reason for doing so. Ensure management buy-in for the metrics collection process, and really focus on key metrics that correlate to better business outcomes. The peril of IT performance management such as the wrong metrics selection or ineffective measurement practices perhaps lead to misleading or conflicts in what value is as it does not address the portion of value without telling the full story. Without appropriate measurements, it is hard to tell whether attempted improvements make the situation better or worse objectively. The well-selected set of metrics are those used to inform the business of multidimensional IT performance and value. It is important to set the criteria for metrics selections and performance practice development to achieve qualitative business objectives: Measuring IT performance for improving revenue (enable the business to gain market share, enter new markets, etc). Measuring how well you are delivering to your customers is relatively easy but developing a true measure of how well one understands their customers is the hard part. IT value can also be measured by optimization and consumption of IT assets in support of the business solutions.

IT leaders need to be fully aware of those promises and perils, play the number game wisely to present IT value proposition on how to increase revenue, reduce cost, improve service/solutions, manage risks, both accelerate business performance and realize digital potential seamlessly.


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Monthly “CIO Master” Book Tuning: The Contemporary Digital CIO’s Profile & Practices Jan., 2018

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 Contemporary Digital CIO’s Profile & Practices


The New Book "12 CIO Personas" Introduction: 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.

Three Digital Traits to Become a Sophisticated Modern CIO Due to the disruptive nature of technology and fast-growing information, and in a world where practically every aspect of nearly every business, as mundane and detached from IT either sales or accounting, is wholly dependent on IT to a high degree, the CIO role is perhaps one of the most sophisticated executive positions in modern businesses because they have to wear multiple personas to practice situational leadership, and keep reinventing IT to adapting to changes all the time. For the modern CIO, that simply means being a proper "C-level" leader to amplify leadership influence and a tactical manager to keep IT running flawlessly at the prevailing level of sophistication. Here are three digital traits to become a sophisticated modern CIO.

The Digital-Driven CIO’s Three Focuses? The digital world is so technology-driven and information-intensive, information & technology needs will only expand, and most likely expand hyperbolically. To effectively respond to the business dynamics, digital companies must begin thinking about ways with strategic planning to broaden their ecosystems while becoming more innovative, nimble, and intelligent. Here are three focuses of digital-driven CIOs.

Three Clarity to Excel CIO 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.

The “Digital Master” Book Series- IT Leadership Core Three digital CIO and IT leadership books in “Digital Master” series through some light on how to rejuvenate IT leadership and reinvent IT to get digital ready. The business paradigm is shifting from the industrial age to a new digital era. Digital organizations are hyperconnected and interdependent, and they have to continue to adapt to the digital new normal with “VUCA” characteristics -Velocity, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity. IT plays a pivotal role in digital transformation with many expectations from business partners, and IT has many challenges to overcome for achieving the high level of digital 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 New Book “12 CIO Personas” Quote Collection II

This book “12 CIO Personas: The Digital CIO’s Situational Leadership Practices” is the extensive brainstorming and logical content expansion of my book “CIO Master: Unleash the Digital Potential of IT,” to reimagine and reinvent CIO leadership via practicing multitudes of digital influence.


29 “Continual Improvement” is the IT mantra in the digital era.

30 Digital transformation is an arduous journey with the long jump and it takes time and a real commitment to getter the higher level of digital maturity.

31 Making continuous improvement is the way how IT can improve itself, the business, the interrelation between IT and the business, to get digital ready.

32 CIOs are going to prepare for continuous digital disruptions, build changes as an ongoing business capability, and create some capacity to make changes.

33 The planning fallacy is common inside and outside of the business at both strategic and operational management level.

34 Running IT as the digital energizer is about accelerating business performance, unleashing business potential, and nurturing collective creativity.

35 Organization changes should be built into strong management practices.

36 Performance metrics are numbers in context, results related to the strategic goals of the business.

37 The goal to run a nonstop and real-time digital IT organization is to create business synergy and achieve digital synchronization of the entire organization.

38 A high-mature organization always looks for opportunities across the business to increase the usage of emergent digital technologies accordingly and charter the digital paradigm shift seamlessly.

39 The digital CIO needs to be the proactive, visible, and influential top business leaders.

40 IT continues to grow in importance to organizations, both operationally and as a competitive advantage.

41 CIOs need to lead the department with the balanced mindsets, activities, and speed so that every level of the organization has great working relationships with IT teams.

42 IT leadership needs to shift from “surviving to striving to thriving” mode; IT also needs to shift from “controlling to change to innovate.”


43 To Survive the fierce competition and thrive with the long-term business advantage involve more real-time planning, adjustment, and speed.

44 It is the time to better understand the digital evolution with zigzag patterns and harness its power to make a leap of human progress.

45 The digital CIO role is like the spinal cord for the organization.

Five Stages of Digital evolutionary ecosystem

Don’t rest until you’ve done everything you can do to make your organization as resilient, inventive, inspiring, and accountable as it can be.

Digital is the new paradigm shift to deeply connect the business with the natural ecosystem. The digital business ecosystem is dynamic, nonlinear, expansive, and complex. Digital makes the business flatter and the world smaller because of its very characteristics of hyper-connectivity and interdependence. Digital management also needs to shift from linear and reductionistic to nonlinear and interdisciplinary for dealing with the new “VUCA” digital reality. Therefore, digital leaders today must frame the bigger thinking boxes and approach problems via multidimensional lens, technically, scientifically, holistically, and culturally. They need to understand the five stages of the digital evolutional ecosystem in order to lead innovatively and progressively.

Exploring: Digital disruptions are inevitable, and digital transformation is unstoppable. It is the transformation that is reshaping our thinking and recasting the way we view ourselves, the systems of which we are the part of the environments. The goal of change or digitalization is either for innovation or improvement, to riding above the learning curve via pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, strategic planning, process, actions. Many organizations are at the stage of experimenting and exploring the new opportunities to grow business and better ways to do things. The emergence of potential opportunities for exploiting digitization is likely to follow a nonlinear pattern as the pervasiveness of an organization's digitization journey increases. The business pioneers cross the industrial sectors are blessed with intuition and risk-taking attitude, they can practice out-of-the-box thinking, introduce new business concepts, develop cross-functional platforms, systems, and procedures for efficient use of natural and human resources. Intuition is the key to business innovation. Ultimately, these companies would grow into digital leaders who can set the trend for changes and lead digital paradigm shift. In systems terms, transformational change often comes from outside and the good businesses will always be seeking and embracing the influences beyond their own company which is just the digital switch of the entire business ecosystem. They are experimenting, exploring, learning the lessons, and developing the best and next practices for reaching the next level of digital adaptability.

Expansion: Digital is about hyperconnectivity and interdependence. The digital ecosystem is dynamic, hyperconnected and expansive, it expands when the components broaden their community scopes and consume all sorts of resources, and the digital business territories blur. The most successful organizations have a very clear vision and understanding of why they exist and the value they bring to customers and the very reason for digitalization. However, for many, the ecosystems have evolved without much attention or planning. To effectively respond to the digital dynamics, companies must begin thinking about ways with strategic planning to broaden their ecosystems and revenue streams while becoming more responsive and scalable. The highly scalable digital organizations can expand and amplify its influence with the ability to co-create and amplify innovation in a digital ecosystem -treats customers, channel partners, suppliers, and industry ecosystem participants as active agents who have permission to combine the modular capabilities exposed in a platform to create new experiences and expand its impact.

Corpetition: Competition has different connotations and meanings under different situations or context. In biology, competition is part of the natural dynamics of life. It means the cutthroat struggle for the life's essentials. It is part of the genetic bias of every living thing in nature as a survival-seeking mindset. However, when the world moves up to the more advanced digital era, many digital professionals also reach up to the high level of Maslow’s pyramid of need, from surviving to thriving to self-actualization. Collectively, it is also the time to step into the new hybrid era of corpetition (cooperation + competition).With today’s digital hyperconnectivity and interdependence, say, organizations are competitors to take the market shares in the same geographical territories, but the partners to co-solve some common challenges in the industry. Over time things change, we humans are developing, growing, competition and choice are part of that process. The goals of competition can be bad and the competitive arena can produce a myriad of negative externalities, but competition can also lead to enhanced quality of life through innovation and progress. The real issue is the motivation or purpose behind the competition. Competition, in and of itself, is not inherently bad. Competition between ideas and values drives social progress.

Renewal: Today’s technology enables companies to leverage their various environments, or ecosystems, to chase innovation and accelerate performance. Digital is the new age paradigm associated with deep ecology - the digital organization is more like the living things with self-adaptable and self-renewal capability. Digital organizations are like the living systems that can self-renew in striving to become high-performance businesses. The digital transformation is now spreading rapidly to enable organizations of all shapes and sizes to reinvent themselves. To understand the business or the world as a complex adaptive system requires an understanding of how the things have come together, being 'built.' Either at the individual or the organizational level, to self-renew and create a positive change tomorrow, you need to start today understanding self. Not knowing yourselves as best as you can, how can you do any change and aim for a positive change? And how can you continue innovating for the community to thrive? There are no shortcuts to getting to that state, it takes holistic understanding, fluid structure, and a real commitment to getting there. Digital organizations need to emphasize participation, relationships, communication, and realize that organizations will need to renew themselves periodically to cope effectively with change and have a fluid structure that responds effectively and makes an impact on the hyperconnected digital ecosystem.



Maturity: To reach the high level of digital maturity, an organization of today or the future needs to be organized in such a way that it is a part of the modern world. In other words, it cannot be organized using the outdated or mechanistic paradigm that resulted in bureaucracies. Digital organizations are all about information savvy, adaptation, people-centricity, high-performance, and speed. High mature digital business can provide a more intensive and creative working environment enabling the organization to get all the right people with the right capability in the right position to solve the right problems from right angles all at once, and ultimately achieve high-performance business results and maximize the full digital potential. It can create the synergy for desirable emergent property under the high-mature digital ecosystem via participation, relationships, and communication. Don’t rest until you’ve done everything you can do to make your organization as resilient, inventive, inspiring, and accountable as it can be.

An organization of today or the future needs to be organized in such a way that it is a part of the modern world. A business ecosystem is just like the natural ecosystem, first, needs to be understood, then, needs to be well planned, and also needs to be thoughtfully renewed as well to move up its maturity from one stage to the other stage with the four seasons of changes and the steadfast speed.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Monthly “Dot Connections” Sparkling Innovation in the New Year Jan. 2018

Digital is the age of creativity and innovation, and creativity is all about connecting the dots.

The effects of an increasingly digitalized world are now reaching into every corner of businesses and every aspect of organizations. Digital is the age of creativity and innovation, take a break in the holidays to recharge your energy, and boost creativity via connecting dots and spreading the wisdom.

 


Sparkling Innovation in the New Year


Creativity vs. Innovation : Creativity is infused with an inner cohesion and comes from a vision of uniqueness. Creativity needs a problem, and a creative person needs a purpose; Innovation is to reinvent business, but not to reinvent the wheels. Innovation is about reinventing the business direction and purpose at any time. It defines strategy, profitability, and relevance at any given time. If you do not, you become commoditized and just like so many others who offer the same product or service. Innovation allows one to stand out and above the rest.

Innovation vs. Inclusiveness Creativity is innate with many special ingredients; creativity can be developed if the conditions are right and there is inspiration, inclusiveness, encouragement, and abundance of knowledge. Innovation is then the management discipline to transform those novel ideas and achieve their business value. Many think there is no innovation without inclusiveness. The most advanced societies are diverse mixtures of peoples that can spark creativity and amplify innovation effect. So, how to involve people with different talent in creative thinking and actions? And how can you help to improve the harvest of the creative seed and accelerate the advancement of the society?

Innovation vs. Rules
Innovation is to transform novel ideas and achieve its business value. Innovation is doing something better than it currently is. Hence, it requires a sound and competent understanding of what is currently being done. Innovation is not serendipity, it's a mindset, a process, and the strategic business capability nowadays. From innovation management perspective, should innovators break rules, or does innovation need rules, and how to improve manage innovation effortlessly and improve its success rate?

Creativity vs. Consciousness
All living beings are creative and we, humans, like to think that we are the most creative beings of all, not too sure about that. But speaking of humans, our creativity fluctuates, seems to disappear at times, get blocked, or sparkle in abundance and flow out of us some other times. So what’s the correlation between creativity and consciousness?


Creativity and Incubation: Creativity is still a serendipity, for both scientists and artists. In the case that it is a means to creativity, how do you reconcile intellectual isolation with ideological statements like "never stop learning"?! What’s the specific way to stimulate your creativity?

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2.3 million page views with about #4300th blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating 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 New Book “12 CIO Personas” Quote Collection I

This book “12 CIO Personas: The Digital CIO’s Situational Leadership Practices” is the extensive brainstorming and logical content expansion of my book “CIO Master: Unleash the Digital Potential of IT,” to reimagine and reinvent CIO leadership via practicing multitudes of digital influence.

1 The digital CIOs have to wear different colors of hats and master multiple leadership personas and management roles effortlessly.

2 Information by itself is meaningless until it’s interpreted and analyzed to capture insight and harness innovation.

3 Information Management is to make sure that the right information is shared with the right persons at the right time in the right place.

4 Everything exists in a constant state of change and knowledge of an evolving thing must evolve with the thing at the faster pace.

5 Well-designed and relatively simplified information/knowledge solutions bound to unlock the enterprise knowledge, to turn a downward spiral into an upward spiral.

6 The value of information management is never for its own sake, but to provide insight and make a leap of innovation.

7 Information-based problem-solving is about how to capture information-based insight and foresight in making right business decisions timely and solving problems effectively.

8 Information Management is a differentiated business capability and plays a crucial role in running a high-performance business.

9 Being an innovative CIO means learning fast, being inclusive, embracing multiple viewpoints and taking calculated risks.

10 IT acts more as a conductor than a constructor for “doing more with innovation,” to conduct an information-mature, customer-centric digital organization.

11 Digital CIOs shouldn’t classify creativity and logic as two completely different disciplines; they are interconnected and need to be mixed seamlessly.

12 There are quite a lot of components in IT innovation management playbook, and importantly, IT has to walk to talk.

13 Innovative CIOs with bold leadership styles are the key to re-imagine IT for achieving the art of possible.

14 Innovation shouldn’t be serendipity. It is a management process and the differentiated business capability.

15 Either dealing with innovation dilemmas or handling innovation paradoxes, it is part of innovation management learning curve.

16 Modern IT has many faces. Understanding the element of art in digital IT is for achieving the art of possible.

17 Fundamentally, innovation is the state of mind to think and do things from a new angle.

18 CIOs need to have an in-depth understanding of the organizational interdependence in order to fine-tune business structures and improve the strategic responsiveness of the business.

19 The digital CIOs are mindful, not necessarily over-thinking, they are imaginative, inquisitive, and innovative.

20 With digital awareness, the CIO can transform from a technology manager to a business-savvy leader; from a hands-on technical manager to a strategic adviser; and from a support-center supervisor to a proactive change agent.

21 Digital transformation is “pushed” by both visible forces and invisible forces; hard forces and soft forces from multiple directions.

22 IT shouldn’t be the afterthought of the business because technology is often the disruptive force.

23 CIOs can provide the holistic business insight via effective information management.

24 The companies that are working to bridge the insight gap will be the most successful businesses going forward.

25 The paranoid CIOs are not weak, they are just mindful, inquisitive, and innovative.

26 The insight-driven digital transformation can create synchronization of all functions running seamlessly.

27 Knowledge does not stand still; it flows into the company, and it flows out of it; it erodes, and it gets created again.

28 Digital synchronization and strategic alignment occur when all parts of the choir sing their respective parts in harmony to achieve a higher purpose.

Accelerate IT Driven Innovation via Three lenses

An innovation happens when you change the game; you bring a different twist to what is currently established and perceived. 

Many IT organizations are still struggling to keep it relevant and moving up its maturity from a cost center to a revenue generator; from a support function to a business partner. Innovative organizations today have explore the full spectrum of innovations and deploy a range of different management, technology, process, and structural solutions. An innovation happens when you change the game; you bring a different twist to what is currently established and perceived. How to accelerate IT-driven innovation via different lenses?

The business lenses: IT is the means to the end, technology is often the disruptive force behind digital innovation, and exponential growth of information is the gold mine all forward-looking organizations across the industrial sectors dig into in order to capture the next growth opportunities or avoid the potential risks. The highly innovative organizations depend more heavily on its technological knowledge and market capabilities to develop and commercialize innovation. Thus, IT leaders need to break down the IT thinking box and clarify innovation management goals via the multitude of business perspectives: Are you talking about the enterprise-wide innovation via leveraging information and technology for getting the entire business to work together on new business opportunities? Can you manage a balanced digital innovation portfolio to make an impact on the company scope? Can you identify the barriers or pitifalls on the way stopping you from improving innovation management effectiveness? CIOs should think as an intrapreneur and act as a startup manager, go out and talk with varying shareholders, business executives and customers to know their pains and gains and understand their tastes and current and future needs, for sparking more innovative ideas and managing innovation from the business lenses. In practice, the logical scenario to drive innovation within an organization is to commit it, develop the differentiated business capability to innovate, from discovery to development and deployment. By empowering IT and leveraging digital platforms and technologies, businesses can be more effective in executing innovative ideas, relying less on silo functions, and more on cross-functional collaboration and innovation.

The customer lenses: Digital is the age of customers, focusing on customer needs should be the right path to grow the innovation fruit. Innovation is to transform novel ideas for achieving its commercial values. Innovation happens at the intersection of people and technology. Innovation is in the eye of the beholder -customers. Customers must be willing to pay for it, be it a products/processes/services innovation. If you're going to innovate without knowledge of "evident customer needs," and then the things that you are good at may distract you to build something which can really increase customer value and help the business success for the long term. Thus, people must be the center of innovation, and the outside-in view is more important for people-centric innovation because you need to understand how customers encounter, observe, or undergo their stage of purchasing experience, and then come out the innovative ideas to delight them. The only test for whether it is or is not an innovation is whether it makes any difference to a dimension that is valued by whoever has a stake in your offering. The biggest challenge to business success is IT and IT has to do more with people-centric innovation to propel the business growth and profitability. It’s important to first understand your customers and what they value, and then identify how to best characterize that value through IT innovation management. Responding to the true human need is the very goal of doing innovation. When managing innovation life cycle, customer involvement at all stages often elicits highly valuable information.

The digital ecosystem lenses: Digital ecosystem is dynamic, expansive, interdependent, and hyperconnected. Many companies have never been better positioned to engage in multi-industry collaborations to enforce innovation, especially breakthrough innovations. But few leaders can think out of the static industry box due to limited knowledge or tradtional management training. CIOs are in the unique postiion to overee the cross-functional business functions and IT is the fabric to connect the dots in the digital ecosystem. Thus, they should look to businesses outside their industry to spur “out-of-the-box thinking,” and inspire dot-connecting innovation capability. Today’s technology enables companies to leverage their various environments, or ecosystems, to chase innovation and accelerate performance. Instead of being rigidly grouped around a specific function or business, ecosystems draw together mutually supportive companies from multiple industries that collectively seek to create the differentiated value they could not reach alone. They treat customers, channel partners, suppliers, and industry ecosystem participants as active digital agents who have permission to combine the modular capabilities exposed in a platform to create new experiences and brainstorm fresh ideas for overcoming the common challenges. High-mature digital businesses and emerging markets offer particularly fertile ground for developing cross-industry ecosystems and innovation opportunities. Thus, digital CIOs are on the unique position to see things via the digital ecosystem lenses, either for scaling their innovation practices or discovering the blue ocean to catching more IT-driven innovation opportunities and managing digital innovation portfolio holistically.

Innovation is the differentiated business capability enabling the business to ride on emerging trends and beat down competition effortlessly. The reach and range flexibility that now exists in the business removes barriers that have existed in the past and provides important opportunities to digitize and innovate IT and leverage IT to get the entire business ready for opening the new chapter of digital innovation.




Monday, January 15, 2018

The Monthly Insight of “Digital Maturity”: The Characteristics of Digital Business Maturity Jan. 2018

Digital organizations arise when the scale of the interrelations, interactions, or interrelational interactions brings the new cycle of the business growth, information flow, innovation, and maturity. 

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. More specifically, what are the very characteristics of digital business maturity?

        

The Characteristics of Digital Business Maturity

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 interrelational 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.

Three Aspects to Run a People-Centric Digital Organization? Digital becomes the very fabric of high-performing businesses, being outside-in and customer-centric is the new mantra for forward-looking and high-mature digital organizations today. One of the key determinants of whether an organization can move to the digital new normal is the digital maturity of its people. People have to be ready for moving to a fluid structure, hyper-connected & dynamic state and get used to the complex digital ecosystem.

The “Interdependence” Characteristic of Digital Organizations
Digital makes a significant impact on almost every aspect of the business from people, process, to technology, both horizontally and vertically. It does make a smaller world, but also makes businesses and the world super complex and full of uncertainty and ambiguity. Due to the latest digital technologies such as social and mobile, the business and world are always on and have become hyper-connected and interdependent. What’s further understanding of interdependence as one of the significant characteristics in the emergent digital era?


Adaptability is not just a soft Skill, but a hard Capability While turbulence is not new, and uncertainty is the new normal. Adaptability is to be understood as the ability of systems or people adapts themselves smoothly and fast to changed circumstances. Adaptation is an inherent characteristic of humans to survive. Self-adaptation is a phenomenon strictly linked to see learning and knowledge increases if shared and consumed. In the ever-changing digital dynamic, adaptability is not just a soft skill, but the hard capability.

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.

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.

Breaking Three Bottlenecks to Digitize Boardrooms

Breaking the bottlenecks for improving organizational responsiveness and changeability is a strategic imperative.

The corporate board plays a significant role in overseeing business strategy, setting principles and policies, monitoring performance to get digital ready. They are the advocate for changes and the mastermind behind digitalization. To lead effectively, they are able to break the bottleneck of digitalization and bridge the gap of opportunity between where they are and want to become, cascading the changes from the boardroom to the front line of the company in order to accelerate performance and get digital ready.


Communication bottleneck: The best in class board think differently and lead innovatively. Great boards are heterogeneous, inquisitive, intelligent, effective, innovative and influential. They also continue to add the new blood for enforcing digital acumen in the boardroom. Either at the boardroom or the different layer of the business hierarchy, effective communication is like the thread to connect all important business gems, for building the trust relationship, enforcing collaboration, and improve digital readiness. Often, communication gaps are caused by cognitive difference, ambiguous process, or management bottleneck.The BoD as the directorship role who have to make sound judgments and steer the organization in the right direction. Thus, the important issue is how the board accommodates diverse opinions and how they assess them and converge the diverse thought into effective decisions. It needs to first categorize what kind of communication bottlenecks existing and which communication gaps should be closed. There’s “lost in translation” syndrome in cross-functional conversations, there are all sorts of miscommunication at the different level of the organization, which are caused by perception gaps because people have the different knowledge base and cognitive understanding to articulate things. Therefore, it’s important to pay more attention to communication content (what's your message), communication context (what will indicate to a different audience) and communication style (one to all, one to one., etc, direct vs. indirect., interpersonal vs. intrapersonal, etc). To break communication bottleneck, the hard communication barriers such as out of date processes, procedures, practices should be updated, and the soft communication obstacles like culture, politics or leadership style, etc., need to be overcome. The board needs to be able to leverage diverse viewpoints via listening, brainstorming, questioning, and break down leadership bottlenecks to accelerate changes.

Performance bottleneck: The Board's role, in large part, is to make good decisions that enhance the value creation for the organization. They need to focus on their own performance as well as the performance of the management team; and, that performance is not limited to financial performance, but also to the firm's performance in creating value for employees and customers. Performance and compliance are both important issues in the boardroom. However, many boards spend too much time on compliance or operational issues at the expense of the future. High-performing boards set goals for their own performance and regularly evaluate how they are performing as the board and where are the board’s performance bottleneck. They frequently brainstorm issues such as board composition, structure, and leadership - take the periodic risk assessment and fine-tuned succession plans. The board plays a critical role in monitoring the business performance. Historically, performance measurement systems for most businesses have been financing driven. However, in many business situations, financial indicators only cover part of the story. To identify and break business performance bottlenecks, they need to help the management understand the whole story behind the scene, and ensure the business as the whole is superior to the sum of pieces. There is no doubt that the board only fulfills its role to shareholders and the management team when it is focused on unlocking performance and unleashing digital potential.

Innovation bottleneck: Innovation is not serendipity. Innovation is about transforming the novel ideas to achieve its business values. It needs to be the hot topic in the digital boardroom as well. Because the board should set the guidelines for both innovation management and management innovation. They can provide insight on when to break the outdated rules, when to bend the rules, and when to set new rules. There are different innovation bottlenecks such as idea management bottleneck, process bottleneck, resource bottleneck, innovation execution bottleneck, resource bottleneck, or talent bottleneck, etc. A company has finite resources to apply to get the best yield possible to meet a stakeholder expectation. There are always some constraints for businesses to explore the new opportunities or deploy the new ideas. The board’s oversight of innovation management helps to criticize innovation strategy which is an integral component of the business strategy, identify innovation management bottlenecks, de-bureaucratize process, derisk innovation implementation, and scale innovation effect systematically. Management innovation means to accelerate innovation at the multitude of organizational levels. The BoDs exemplify innovation leadership, create the space for dialogue and debate about digital innovation, develop a common understanding of it, and create the necessity and motivate for innovation blossom.

Breaking the bottlenecks for improving organizational responsiveness and changeability is a strategic imperative. It starts from the boardroom, and take the top-down approach for keeping the digital flow. Through breaking the bottlenecks in communication, performance, and innovation, digital-savvy boards have the advantage of pulling enough resources and pushing the business model of technology, trustworthiness, prepare, and launch change or innovation to accelerate performance and get digital ready.