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, June 26, 2014

Intelligence vs. Complexity

The intelligent things may not always be complex, but a critical level of complexity is required for intelligence to appear.


"Intelligence" is from Latin word “intellego” -Inter-lego: Bind together, read between the lines, or connect the dots. Intelligence has been defined in many different ways such as in terms of one's capacity for logic, abstract thought, understanding, self-awareness, communication, learning, emotional knowledge, memory, planning, creativity and problem-solving. Complexity is generally used to characterize something with many parts where those parts interact with each other in multiple ways. (Wikipedia)


Complexity is a property of intelligenceIt seems that a critical level of complexity is required for the intelligence to appear. This is where compression (that can be thought as the ability to infer OR simplify OR express OR reduce complexity) comes to the scene. The problem of compression is the same problem of AI in many aspects. Complexity analysis can be used to measure the change in the performance of the business when you apply changes in the processes of the business or in its portfolio of products. As complexity and innovation are related to functionality, complexity analysis can be used as a technique to manage innovation. This is an attempt to innovate inside the innovation management field. To innovate, you must have the right environment and mental peace - fail, retry and retry until a breakthrough "suddenly" happens.

Genius and intelligence are related to innovation. As innovators are someone who can let his/her mind "free" of constraints (education, technology) in the environment in which you can stimulate the "invisible" by spurring creativity through a sounding board resonance or vibration. , and innovation is related to technique, the great artists used different techniques, Monet used a style called impressionism, which involved color matching and mixing to achieve the desired effect. Georges Seurat used dots to make a picture. Tiny dots give rise to a picture. Many dimensions could exist like the dots, but unless you view them in groups or a combination, it’s hard to see the big picture or give credence to the existence. Einstein was not an artist, but he was a great innovator.

Intelligence is mainly comprised of two parts. The first part is the brain ability to preliminarily understand the extent of any problem or condition. The people with what being referred as highly intelligent have a strong aptitude to understand the "complexity" of the given problem. It's like a rating scale of complexity. Some people get the whole picture as opposed to others that can't seem to get a grasp on the problem. Now the second part of intelligence is the brain's ability to call on as many neural circuits and work with as many areas in the brain it needs to solve the given problem. In order to get "intelligence", a brain (a dynamic, evolving network of interconnected neurons) must have a certain minimum amount of complexity (complexity is a function of structure, the topology of that network of neurons, and entropy).

Consider intelligence as a mechanism; it lets one divide the problem into different parts in order to understand its foundations better. Intelligence is the ability to break any complex thought or problem to the most rudimentary parts whereas they either can be acted on or dismissed. It is the level of activity in either case or the means of which activity or lack of activity or alternatives that demonstrate levels of intelligence. Then where does the complexity manifest itself in the intelligence process? What being considered intelligence is a very complex system indeed, and, therefore, is not very amenable to modeling as many scientists have tried to model it and the human brain, have seen the extreme difficulty in doing so.

The intelligent things may not always be complex, and the level of complexity is not always proportional to the degree of intelligence; they are correlated concept, though, a critical level of complexity is required for intelligence to appear, and intelligence enables creative problem-solving for complex matters; and the desired complexities such as design capability are based on high-level intelligence.





Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Creativity vs. Intuition: Does Creativity Stem from Intuition

There is a link between the two, creativity and intuition.


Creativity is an innate process to create novel ideas. Creativity is in all functions (thinking, sensing) and works best if all functions are allowed to do their job. According to Wikipedia, intuition is the ability to acquire knowledge without inference or the use of reason. The word intuition comes from Latin verb intueri which is usually translated as to look inside or to contemplate. Intuition is thus often conceived as a kind of inner perception sometimes regarded as lucidity or understanding.

Four psychological functions: Science starts from sensing in combination with emotion and then intuition in combination with thinking tries out new solutions. In terms of the four psychological functions; thinking, feeling (which stand for judgment), sensation, and intuition (which stand for perception), the numerous combinations of these certainly facilitate many kinds of creative problem-solving!

Intuition vs. sensation: Intuition is the perception of inside images etc. and sensation is the perception of outside images etc. Further, intuition you cannot control and sensation you can control. Intuition is more yin and sensation more yang. Intuition is more receptive, global, holistic and sensation is more active, focal, serial. Jung's definition of intuition is a reference to intuition as one of the functions of the psyche related to Ego-personality. He distinguished also between passive and active intuition. Intuition is a complex concept and perhaps it is impossible to make a single definition that applies to all kinds of situations in which intuition is involved.

There is a link between the two, creativity and intuition. Intuition involved in the development of a scientific theory is abstract and often working together with 'thinking,' Intuition or being intuitive is when you have a gut feeling about something. It is when there isn’t an exact answer to the puzzle because you don’t have all the pieces. Chaos needs to be navigated by intuition, but the Master Creator knows how to put things together; solutions continue to beget new problems and if you think you stop looking for improvement once you have found a solution; then you will have a short life in the marketplace. So, having this creative environment will be necessary for “adaptive actions.

Searching for a new equilibrium or harmony is very important in creativity. Equilibrium is the key, it works both ways; it creates forces to keep or maintain equilibrium (perceived steady state) and it also has tipping points to form new equilibriums (transforming to new steady states). The problem is how you look at it. Steady state is always a temporary situation because complexity has many moving parts. The reason that gravity was such a great discovery is that it allows for equilibrium to maintain structure within the universe. The mind strives to the new whole and is becoming a whole as a person. And this is an ongoing process. What is whole today must be further developed tomorrow by other creative people. When this process stops.

Thinking outside the box” is about being creative with gut-feeling. Intuition is also called gut-feeling; because it seems to have got to do something with the gut. In many of the ancient religions, there is such concept of the fourth brain. It says that the brain not only sits in the head, but there is one part at the solar plexus. That's where intuitions come. Our conscious ego is a small part of the human psyche. Most of the psyche consists of the collective unconsciousness and it is from which that creativity stems. What is "thinking outside the box"? It's being creative because it's getting outside the ruts of our normal consciousness and seeing that "other way." This is the role of the unconscious -- compensation for the prevailing conscious attitude.

There’s critical link between creativity and intuition. Maybe creativity is more a process like flow. It starts somewhere, it is thought over, it is brought into relation and it is worked out; a process with a seemingly beginning and end. Creativity plays its part in all the steps.  

Resistance to Agile

The right agile message: "let's start where you are and we'll equip YOU (team) to figure out how to get even better.”

Resistance to change is the phenomenon when more and more organizations adopt agile as a business philosophy and project management, what’s the root cause and how to overcome such mentality?

Learning agility: Company has started an agile transformation. One of the most critical points organizations ignore in their transformation journey is the ability to quickly learn from failure or the ability to have an honest retrospective and take action. Agile exposes bottlenecks almost every day - managers (teams) are not trained well to deal with these situations which call for core leadership skills. This makes the teams feel very un-secure and gives a cosmetic feel to the whole transformation initiative.

Five-Step U-shape curve: Use the U-shape curve to explain to the organizations the stages that they will go through in the process of adapting to change: Curiosity, Frustration, Contempt, Illumination and Expertise. Imagine five steps in a U where Curiosity and Expertise are at the top of the U opposite and in the same sequence, then Frustration and Illumination middle of U again on opposite sides and Contempt all the way to the bottom of the U. Once they know the game, they are more willing to accept it, since it becomes an intellectual exercise, rather than a power-play or touchy-feely thing. 

Middle management resistance: The businesses are cautious in adopting Agile. But main resistance is from present staff. This is just in part to the fact they are required to change habits. In many cases, top level executives want it, development teams clamors for it, but middle management resists it to the very end. The really good upper management understands the results they are getting, and why the need to change in product delivery approach. Those in the trenches finally have the feeling of being treated as smart as they are. Middle management is usually those left without a role during this transition. Now that teams are self-managing, what do they do? Now that clients are more involved with product development, what's there to bridge? The goal now is to look for places where these people can still leverage on their talents, skills, and experience. Could they be good coaches/scrum masters? Could they be more involved in product visioning? Could they go back to doing technical stuff? Or plug in the holes in the organization?

Deliver the right agile message: "Let's start where you are and we'll equip YOU (team) to figure out how to get even better.”. It's important to acknowledge that as humans we all resist change. It's natural. The decision makers would not be personally involved in the change towards Agile, they are expecting results, and resistance, if not reacted upon properly, can be risk. Focus on the changes that will happen in terms of roles and what is the alternative. Resistance usually stem from uncertainty and threat to careers, or focus on the faulty assumptions, the antiquated scientific management theory, inappropriate analogy of software development and manufacturing, etc. and then propose what they can "experiment" on that may improve things, moving agile among them.

Resistance to change is normal, the point is how to apply the right mindset, process and method to overcome obstacles, there must be committed and continual engagement from the customer/ client/business. They must be part of the WE. To deliver products/services exactly what customers need, with outstanding quality, usability and experience.


An Ecosystem Mindset

Everything is interconnected and the Earth "thinks" as a giant ecosystem.


An ecosystem is a community of living organisms (plants, animals, and microbes) in conjunction with the nonliving components of their environment. The "ecosystem" is a generic name for very specific types of existing ecosystems such as wetlands, woodlands, savannas, and deserts. Also, no single ecosystem is identical to any other, but all have unique and identifying characteristics. Can ecosystems think? What distinguishes an ecosystem? What sets the boundaries of an ecosystem? Does any ecosystem set its own boundaries or are boundaries set by the human observer who is imagining that some perceived systemic properties can be looked upon as an ‘ecosystem? What is the difference between an ecosystem and a non-ecosystem? Is there thinking outside of an ecosystem? Is there thinking in between living systems? Perhaps an ecosystem is an internet of living systems? But who is to judge whether or not such a system can think? Is it possible to 'think' as part of an ecosystem? What’s the ecosystem mindset?

Ecosystem thinking is upon systematic thinking about the ecosystem and environment. Thinking about the ecosystem and the environment in terms of system thinking seems to be the best route to take to develop viable, long-term solutions to a great many of the issues we are facing today. The efforts include the introduction of a subsidiary or secondary ecosystems in order to minimize or negate the harmful effects of the natural interactions between humans and the environment though it does require a substantial amount of management to control and maintain an optimum balance. In reality, much of the prevailing conceptual content in our cognitive interpretive interface is received from previous generations when the integration of our experiences is not adequately advanced. Once our conceptual content is corrected to more accurately represent the integral unity of our ecosystem, we will recognize other life forms and organisms as other manifestations of ourselves, which is all that empathy ever could be. Recognize one another and one's environment, all as manifestations of our being an ecosystem.

The goal of ecosystem thinking is usually to encourage the development of one or more of the points where energy or information is integratedThe power and fundamental characteristic of an eco-system are being composed by very different categories of elements (water, fire, air, trees, earth, etc.), they are interconnected in order to remain alive, and, through the self-organization, to reach a natural sustainable equilibrium. (1) the capability of a eco-system to think as a poetic metaphor or as a true representation of reality; (2 ) the separation between human beings and the ecosystem (3) the possibility of a category of elements to create a ecosystem on their own separated from everything else; (4) the possibility of a super being capable of governing the eco-system.

Ecosystems generally do not ‘think’ in the way we understand thinkingecosystems are complex systems, behaving by way of interactions among the various constituents, including all living but also non-living factors, such as nitrogen, carbon, oxygen, other nutrients, minerals, etc. People are unavoidable and already subsystems within the ecosystem (nature), as all other creatures and organisms. The error that gives rise to the appearance is that people are different from, or outside the ecosystem, lies in the conceptual interface with which the ecosystem processes the sensory inputs one gains through living subsystems.

The communications systems is a collaborative eco-system (more or less); and one which proves theory and possibility of emulating such a system in the interactions. Obviously, language can be viewed as a multiplicity of living systems, and so (de-) evolving and changing. The idea of language is however related to communication. While changing is intended to potentially be able to be used to exchange messages with references to some meaning which might possibly be understood in ways that give some appearance of similarities.

From the ecosystem, the individual components of the ecosystem are used as models of other elements of the ecosystem under consideration. This is to treat all of the ecosystems only to the physical, chemical and biological elements called philosophically "physical materialism", and is suitable for dealing with nature, not man, which contains in addition to the above, the psyche and spirituality, where all these components related in a complex system, the many "systemic" structures work against these individual abilities including traditional organizational structures, educational systems, and the social structures each of us inhabit, etc.

Everything is interconnected and the Earth "thinks" as a giant ecosystem; part of a larger galactic and universal (or multiversal) super eco-system. Self-organization should not be confused with the intentional organization. Evolution in nature does not follow function (giraffes did not evolve long necks in order to better eat leaves on high trees) but by successful trial and error mechanisms. So, it is not the ecosystem that thinks how to evolve itself and behave, but rather it organizes itself through evolutionary dynamics spurred by random events that can later be construed according to a narrative that appears as if responding to some form of thought process.

Like many other digital mindsets, an ecosystem mindset focuses on the wholeness, rather than just the sub-component; as an ecosystem is living, dynamic and continually emerge, therefore, such mindset is a growth mind with adaptability and creativity.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

How to Simplify a Complex Organization

Complexity is not just a phenomenon, it can be perceived as a property of a system.


How to manage business complexity becomes one of the top agendas for today’s corporate management, though complexity does not always mean the bad thing, design complexity or collaboration complexity are the key digital factors in business competency. Still, simplicity is the ultimate level of complexity, to make things simple, but not simpler.  But what are the challenges to simply a complex organization?

 1. Complexity and its Root Causes

 Different types of complexity: Considering there is no universally agreed definition of complexity, there seems to be a lot of hype about organizations becoming more complex (in the sense of the ontological complexity of social systems, rather than epistemic complexity of leaders' minds), but are we clear enough about what we really mean? it would be useful to sharpen up what we actually mean when we speak about the complexity of organizations. In the corporate scope, there are hierarchical complexity, environmental complexity, information complexity, collaboration complexity, governance complexity, etc. For example, hierarchical complexity, as opposed to other forms of complexity, applied to leaders' minds, their roles, their organizational cultures. And to dig through complexity by asking:  
- are they increasing in hierarchical complexity because they need to coordinate more things?
- are they increasing in information density complexity because of advanced in technology and information processing? 
- are they increasing in some kind of fractal-like patterns of self-similarity? 
- are they increasing in network complexity because of the number of nodes and connections in the organizational environment? 

-are they increasing in governance complexity because the management discipline and GRC practices are interdependent than ever?

The root causes of complexity: It may come from senior management "invisible culture" instilling the (wrong) values. Single dimensional business values further Inhibit companies from becoming sustainable and "future proof." More of the "old" does not work anymore. Decision processes and decision makers are in general the unsuccessful kernel. The wrong persons are at the wrong place. Managing risks without taking any responsibilities to avoid behaviors may miss the motivation and expertise.



2. How to Measure Complexity

Organizations are indeed becoming more complex. Some organizations are too complex and need to be more flexible and re-organized in a simple way using a clear measure of complexity. Being able to measure the complexity of a business becomes extremely beneficial when one can plot the trend of the complexity, or especially the resilience, over time. Knowing that the complexity or resilience is increasing or decreasing and looking for changes in ratios like profit/sales, profit/assets, sales/wages or sales by product / total sales etc.

Assess complexity: You may not be able to "measure" organizational complexity directly in the scientific sense of the word, but there is a categorically distinct set of metrics for human/ organizational behavior. You should certainly be able to "assess" it –What you can measure is the consequences of complexity, for example, you can measure costs in dollars or lead time in weeks or days. However, people may stay away from measures because then they can be held accountable. This is why managers in numerous companies prefer NOT to measure. When you make a claim (or a strong claim), because it is backed by quantitative analysis. You have to be consistent and pay the consequences.

Using surveys to measure organizational complexity: Some organizations use surveys that address motivation, inspiration, stress, etc. to measure the complexity of the organization. Then link these properties to the financial performance of the company, which of the above-mentioned parameters impact revenue, etc. Surveys provide an indirect (proxy) measure of complexity. If you want to MEASURE complexity, then you need numbers to start with, you may use surveys on the one hand or financial performance on the other. There are also other aspects, but they are not easy to measure and cast into numbers.

Indirect metrics to measure complexity: You are measuring complexity through the efforts to control it. The more complex organization, the higher number of control actions that are implemented. For instance, the interactive communication such as meeting is a control mechanism to reduce complexity. If people agree or are directly informed, their behaviors will have less uncertainty. The capability of a meeting to reduce uncertainty depends very much on its coordinator (if there is a proper agenda, the higher meeting quality, and effectiveness) and it can be itself another source of complexity because as any control system it is complex itself. 

Providing the complexity measurement data or ratios to management: and looking at the corresponding values of profits has certainly made many of them sit up and take notice of complexity or, rather, the benefits of simplicity. Many of them have taken steps to limit the growth of conditions that seem to make the business more complex and difficult to manage, and they have removed some layers of products, projects, processes or customers, etc and have found that profitability has improved. Organization change is a way to reduce complexity, but there are other actions that can contribute to reducing it such as communication.

Complexity is not just a phenomenon, it can be perceived as a property of a system, hence, managing it well will directly impact business’s bottom line for cost efficiency and top-line business growth.

Why Is It So Difficult to Kill Failing Projects?


The success rate for IT project is very low, for every organization managing multiple projects, there are inevitably some projects that should be discontinued and the resources need to be re-allocated to higher value purposes. However, that rarely happens in many organizations for a myriad of reasons. Instead of concentrating resources to complete major projects quickly, team members worked inefficiently on several projects at once - often long after their purpose no longer existed. Why is it so difficult to kill failing projects?

Emotion: It takes quite a sharp mind to foresee that a project is doomed to failure; and it also takes strong willpower to detach oneself from the project and allow it to discontinue. This is obviously the case when a person has to make the decision about their own project, not decisions coming from up top. As both individuals and teams tend to treat projects as either their baby, or an extension of themselves, so they will either push a failing project along because of a strong emotional attachment to it, or they see the failure of their project as their own personal inadequacy. Furthermore, an organization’s attitude towards failure determines the personal risk to individuals who say "I was wrong." If the personal consequences of (probably) wasting organization resources are more attractive than the personal consequences of admitting you were wrong, then the failing projects won’t get killed smoothly.

Design criteria: A well defined project brief or design criteria at the onset is one of the most valuable tools for a team to reference throughout development process. Businesses often see 'creep' in the parameters of a project, in an attempt to keep it from failing. Or certain disciplines look to add value by including additional features or opportunities, beyond the original scope. This is where the project design criteria is crucial, for a project can either be killed or redefined - often innovation comes from the failure of an alternate task.

Communication: A kick-off meeting that includes teams members from all intended disciplines is also critical, not only allowing everyone to understand the project intent and their roles or responsibilities through a gated process, but also offering a broader collection of disciplines with the ability to recognize if a project is not reaching the intended goal. In redesigning the process, it is good to have a kick-off meeting to the start of every new product development. In this meeting, one of the standard work tasks of the team was to define a set of kill conditions. Many of these were generic across projects and some were specific to a given project. Teams were then empowered to proceed through a stage - gate process informing management at the gates rather than asking permission (proceed until halt). The team was also empowered to kill the project if the kill conditions were reached. This empowerment led to shorter lead-time in the development process and an earlier end to projects that needed to be stopped. Terminating a project was now viewed as an appropriate action rather than a failure. 

Checklist or constant monitoring: At intervals appropriate to the project (milestones, time intervals, etc.) you would have a checklist of these conditions to run through. Or it was more the case of constant monitoring and when a condition was met, the project was killed regardless of the stage. The second approach seems more flexible, but more difficult to manage. This process was admittedly on a smaller scale than an enterprise wide initiative, but a similar up front definition of success and kill conditions could help an organization bring an appropriate early end to failing projects.

Guidelines over rules. The pipeline is crowded with failing projects that continued to absorb resources and clutter the pipeline. In the end, you need to build a process that enables smart people to behave intelligently. Set guidelines, not rigid rules for continuous evaluation, Another key is that at the end of a project, you have a post mortem as part of the standard work. The purpose is to review how effectively the process works and what the team would change for the next project. In the case of a "killed" project, the process review centers on: could you have done something differently early on that would have facilitated success over kill? Could you have made the kill decision sooner?, Can you change the project selection criteria so that this project would not have been selected?

Either initiating business/IT initiatives or killing projects takes strategic view and tacit methodology, it should not be based on gut feeling only. Set the guideline to follow through; both think fast and slow, and  well define the proper process in order to manage the project portfolio at the most effective and efficient way.


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Are you Experiencing Global Leadership Drought

You must always give a person his or her pride and dignity. This is the basis of leadership. 

There are many multi-national companies, but very few global businesses; there are quite many multinational managers, but even fewer truly global leaders. Some say, even worse than brain drain, there’s leadership drought? What makes a global leader, versus a domestic leader? How are the skill sets different?

Openness: An open-minded mentality and appreciation of cultural differences support forging global/cultural relationships and creating business opportunities. Global leaders must be open, adaptive, and comfortable with diversity in many forms. Some of the important "global leadership" competencies uncovered include a high degree of cultural sensitivity, empathy and intelligence, cognitive difference, talent empowerment, and team building. Working with people around the world brings an even broader variety of views to analysis, decision making, and implementation. At the same time, global leaders must realize the implications of their decisions... How implementation will impact customers and teams in various locations.

Learning agility: Ultimately global leaders must be very adaptable and have a high degree of "learning agility". In addition to being experienced living abroad, they study broadly to stay informed about what’s happening around the world; and intend to understand things via the trans-disciplinary lens. They are open for the new perspective, keep objective observation and balanced viewpoint. Since global leaders likely have global customers, they need to understand the climate and challenges the customer may face in each region. As they make strategic decisions and place resources, they need to know what/where to leverage and what/where to avoid. 

Global capacity: Global leaders are leaders in a global capacity. Leaders have a defined set of competencies and skills they all share as being leaders. Most often, the global leaders have lived and, even better, have been raised or educated in more than one country, in very different cultures than his or her own. The vision and mindset of such people, influenced by multiple cultures, is the true cultural sensitivity a leader in a global capacity should have. It comes naturally to handle or lead multicultural teams as a professional if given an international/continental/global capacity. 

Digital paradigm: With dynamic of digitalization and globalization, much of the issue is organizations not understanding new digital paradigms. In particular more open systems and collaboration. For example, good collaboration involves searching for alternative solutions and vigorous debate instead of the political correctness that is dominating much decision making. If you trust and respect your multi-national colleagues and global partners, then the debate can generally occur and expertise can be more respected.

Adaptability: In one way 'global leadership' is synonymous with leading virtual teams across the globe. Global leaders manage people across functional and broad geographic boundaries. They must be comfortable leading virtual teams, multiplexing tasks and time zones, communicating and collaborating in a way that keeps everyone focused and connected in spite of the distances. Adaptability and an innate regard for others ("otherness") seem to be the difference makers that are needed beyond good management/leadership skills. Ex-pat assignments will reveal these attributes rather than guarantee success. Exposure to assignments, such as leading virtual teams, out of country assignments, or in some cases, local assignments that are "foreign" in familiarity to someone who exhibits leadership potential, may be an interim development step.

Culture Intelligence: People are gregarious by nature, they tend to organize themselves and it gives rise to a collective set of attitudes, beliefs, educational systems, notions of time and space, society structures, ways of doing business, etc. These items are -roughly speaking- the elements of a culture (regional, national, continental, age, ethnic background, religious beliefs, the list goes on and on). Hence, global leadership certainly has to take into account cultural intelligence and how that affects things: how you interact with one another, how you manage, and what’s your thinking process and how you make a decision; from the cognitive intelligence about others - as well as themselves! - the global leader's role is to get the most out of each and everyone - in terms of performance, outcomes, and working together.

The right button: Understanding different cultures, and, therefore, pushing the "right or positive buttons" associated with each different culture to attain the highest performance levels is, ultimately, the goal and true quality of a global leader. Business is all about people, and people communication styles and their drivers differ. To effectively engage, you need to adapt your style to align with the others and to respect and understand their drivers from both personal and business perspective. The fundamentals of respect, patience and flexibility cannot change; you must always give a person his or her pride and dignity. This is the basis of leadership. The most effective leader is someone who respect others and who is interested in different culture. A leader, who asks questions about the culture, initiates the process and invites the team to create an open atmosphere for change/ adaptation. Then, the follow through comes with allowing different cultures to be treated differently. This is the most effective way to highlight what that team can bring to the table.

Collective creativity: Global leadership is shifting toward grooming historic digital leadership skills embodying effective communication in networks of global conversations that inspires creativity in diverse domains of expertise. Global leaders of the future sense, feel, read, imagine and intuit possibilities in the breakdowns, competitive intelligence, and conversational moods; the crowd-sourcing or brainstorming is happening in real time with people and plays spontaneous networks of human and business operational concerns. Global leaders articulate strategic visions, interactive designs, and navigating directions where networks of management informally communicate the possibility of generative behavior changes in structure, patterns, and processes. Small core directed teams become experimental breakthrough that eventually produce radical impacts on current dynamic global performance engines.

If leadership is influence and discipline, then global leadership is a ‘meta-influence” and trans-disciplinary practice, from culture empathy to intelligence; from respect to empowerment, it is not only about art and science; but also about the attitude, altitude, and aptitude for authentic leadership.  

Dots Connecting: Business Model vs. Business Plan

Business Plan" follows "Business Model."

A business model is why this business works; it is a multi-level, zoom-able schema of how a business or an organization creates, delivers, and captures value for stakeholders: Customers, businesses, investors, or society. A business plan is a formal statement of a set of business goals, the reasons they are believed attainable, and the plan for reaching those goals. It may also contain background information about the organization or team attempting to reach those goals. What are the further differences between Business Modeling and Business Planning?

Structural vs. Backbone: Business Modeling is structural and can be both created and changed very quickly. Business Planning is far more detailed and is the backbone of your business objectives. However, both Models and Plans should include figures (revenues. costs and profit), sales channels and the key day-to-day activities of your business...  

Foundation vs. Skyscraper: It is that the Business Modeling is the "foundations" (conceptually) and the Business Planning is the "skyscraper" (implementation) you aim to build and what you'll be working on today in and day out to achieve?

 Brief vs. Detailed: Business Modeling is the basic and key business system you need to design, test and validate, before developing a deeper plan, a business plan. In a completely new uncertain environment, you need a faster and better tool to capture opportunities and eliminate risk before sticking to plan A (so the logical scenario is to find the right business model and then create the business plan).

WHAT vs. HOW: Look at the business model as the "WHAT" the business is about or what it will do for customers. The business plan is a more detailed definition of "HOW" the business will execute the model. It is much easier and cheaper to iterate what the business is about using the canvas before ever putting the wheels in motion to build everything in the plan needed to bring the model to life. Validate your business model, there is such a massive leap from validated framework to the detail which is required for a working business.

Mock-up vs. polished: Look at the difference between the model and the plan analogous to software user interface design. The business model is a lower fidelity, less precise "mock-up" of the business that can be quickly iterated on without putting too much detail into it. The business plan is like a detailed, polished user interface design with all interface elements fully designed out and ready for building. The evolution of a business model will evolve through various iterations from a very crude view to a refined view along a gradient of preciseness validated by customer feedback.


Rational description vs. Formal statement: A Business Model describes the rationale of how an organization creates, delivers, and captures value (economic, social, cultural, or other forms of value). The process of business model construction is part of business strategy. A Business Plan is a formal statement of a set of business goals, the reasons they are believed attainable, and the plan for reaching those goals. It may also contain background information about the organization or team attempting to reach those goals.

The most important difference between business model and business plan is the "fitness for use": When do you use a Business Model? Regularly you use it to review, adapt or redesign the basic building blocks of a Business; when do you use a Business Plan? Regularly you use it to raise funds for shareholders and financial Institutions to invest in the business.


What is the ideal Digital Organizational Structure?

Humans progress is made through three stages: dependent, independent, and interdependent;


Due to the hyper-connectivity of digital nature, the trend toward softer and flatter organization structure is clear. And surely it is the right direction, as speed is a key imperative these days and “silo” mentality as a product of rigid hierarchy hinders flexibility. However there are certain limits from an organizational design perspective, and there is a long way ahead of building a high performing digital organization with optimized organizational structure.  

Transformative leadership: The real challenges in any hierarchical leadership model are that people can become entrenched in a position they hold via job title without necessarily being effective leaders. The second is that there are times where the fact of their being top-down leadership gets in the way of the flow of communication as it invariably creates a bottleneck and excludes perspectives that are valuable. Hence, sophisticated environments don't function well unless someone has to realize that leadership requires being not afraid to fail and being willing to tell people things they don't always want to hear. Flattening a corporate hierarchy serves no purpose if at the same time you flatten the will and tenacity of people who are willing to lead and take chances. The purpose of adopting a new social process is "to be a leader of yourself", and explore the talent motivation cycle of autonomy, master, and purpose

Humans progress through three stages: dependent, independent, and interdependent:The higher state being is the collaborative interdependent one. Limited hierarchy works best in a creative environment where the free flow of ideas and their prompt implementation is a key element of success. Also, consider people who feel comfortable being managed the old way because they do not want to be held accountable. They seek approval from formal authority to be on safe side. And this does not necessarily mean they are inefficient at work. So it is about individual mental set-up too, hence inter-dependency is a premium stage. Flatter structures will help to speed up organizational response to changing markets, but this won't always work well where the value of knowledge and skill reflects experience and learning. Nevertheless, experts are needed to challenge convention and break down peoples' natural resistance to change or to new ideas; helping to deliver incremental improvements over time. This helps improve quality, reliability and also productivity, which helps fuel sustainable growth and jobs too. The organizational model used is also a reflection of how much investment is needed in the capital and human training (knowledge) to make the organization commercially viable. Of course, these traditional organizations offer huge opportunities for change.

 A flatter organization is more about collaboration: It's worthwhile to explore new models and be congruent with the words "change management"; and actually consider changing the model to meet what the future may be bringing. Just because something has worked historically, there’s no reason to assume it has value going forward. Everyone has a valuable contribution to make at whatever level in the formal hierarchy they happen to be placed, the goal for optimized organizational design is to get the mass collaboration, innovation through less hierarchy, cross-functional insight and adopt a socialization process designed for the globally connect the world.

Customer-centricity: The challenge for any business is to find a successful structure that delivers what the customer wants at a price they will pay and that provides a sufficient return to owners. In a world that has been transformed by technology, many old and powerful hierarchies became ‘commoditized.’ Currently, the emphasis of an organizational business partner will spread to all employees of an organization and its ecosystem.  Traditional hierarchical lines will phase out and a collective of business partners will emerge working collaboratively to set and achieve organizational goals as well as strategy.

Digital transformation won’t happen overnight, and organizational structure optimization takes planning, experimenting and scaling up. What is further needed is a strong visionary as a leader to drive the organization into the digital age, or successful competition from a dynamic organization created from scratch with a new culture, business model, and organizational structure.



Trans disciplinary Science

"Trans" is a Latin noun or prefix, meaning "across," "beyond" or "on the opposite side."

Complex systems science is not a science in itself, but it may be considered as a 'Science of Sciences.’ Or more precisely, are we ready to recognize a complexity science as a "trans-disciplinary Science" and apply it to understand the dynamic digital ecosystem? 

Non-linearity, adaptability, unrepeatability, unpredictability and denial of control: Evaluation is a good example of trans-disciplinary science.  Evaluation uses methods and techniques deriving from social sciences, political sciences, statistics, economy, and so on, according to the principles of scientific and empiric inquiry. To engage and function in complex environments, it requires fundamentally different mindsets and paradigms such as accepting that influence is attainable, but control is not. And to political leaders whose big programs, ambitious laws, and complicated regulatory frameworks assume that you can predict a future based on what you have today and what programs, laws and regulations will bring about. The challenge is more than technical and scientific, it is deeply cultural. 

The challenge is to move from the individual level to the system level: People can be rational. They know how to design with observability and controllability in mind. They know how to make rational decisions. They can build systems rationally. They can restructure systems rationally.  But the challenge is to move from the individual to system level. In other words, in order to enable systematic macro change.  It involves applied science (Engineering), art (Design), Cognition (Psychology), social norms (Culture) and group behavior (Sociology).

And the challenge is to develop new research methods and to lead innovative methods: It requires a lot of training and skills, also to practice methods of working in interdisciplinary research groups, and it seems that most researchers today prefer to ignore these ideas and to continue with the simple and with their familiar routines. The research could be more scientific and more sustainable when it takes into account complex system perspective. Such research approach requires a lot of training and skills, also to practice methods of working in the interdisciplinary research group, the research could be more scientific and more sustainable when it take into account complex system perspective.

 Understanding that real world development is multifaceted. You can't expect an individual to fully develop such broad-based concepts, it takes the team effort, and more importantly, team coordination. Two things will be important in the future of Complex Systems Science. First, it is gaining the knowledge necessary to understand and manage complex systems. Secondly, the most challenging one is to understanding how the people factor affects the system--and--then managing the complex system and the people of the complex system.

Overall speaking, trans or inter-disciplinary science can be applied to management with integrates multi-disciplinary methodology, it enables leaders to frame a bigger thinking boxes, and approach problems via multi-faceted way, technically, scientifically and culturally. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Running business at Strategic Way

Organizations have personalities in the same way that an individual does

Most of organizations get stuck at low to mid level of maturity today, they are running in silos and not agile to adapt to the changes; at functional level, business managers work at operational mode, rather than strategic way, it may cause short-sighted vision or stifle innovation, so what’s your organization’s 'personality', and what’re the better way to run today’s digital business?

Framing bigger box: Business leaders have to push and encourage themselves and others to "frame and think in bigger boxes"; think outside of your job description and consider company and industry and even societal impacts.  Assume that every problem has multiple solutions and ask yourself and others for three ways, you might address this issue. One may be much better than the others, but push for multiple solutions. Take the time to look at every situation from multiple points of view, customer POV, supplier POV, management POV, and employee POV, etc. The senior executive teams intend to build a future state blueprint for the improvement program; to create a target to focus on the valuable resource; to sell the benefits of thinking more broadly before jumping into action.

Organizations have personalities in the same way that an individual does. Most often, an organization's personality replicates the personality of its leader. Some people may mentally be "planners" while others naturally "shoot from the hip.". The ones that shoot from the hip tend to leave the plans on the shelf and never use them, while planners value the effort and thinking that went into that plan and ensure it is used regularly as a living document. Trying to find avenues where decision-makers can see how different ideas and actions could potentially impact others. The reactive mode without consideration of the impact of their actions on the system often creates confusion as the ripples (unintentionally) affect many others.

The most effective use of a plan of any kind is as a brainstorming driver. In organizations that tend to "shoot from the hip”, there is a lack of strategic and tactical plans for problem solving, or the plan is written on high and passed down in stone without employee participation. All too often, plans are written and stuck on a shelf. The result is an absence of guidance in daily problem solving. The best way to avoid the leadership gap is to have every employee write a section of the plan that pertains to their particular area of expertise. They need to codify who their "suppliers" and "customers" are both inside and outside the company. By writing their personal business plans and communicating that plan to their "suppliers" and "customers", they help to ensure that everyone they do business with on a daily basis understands how issue resolution affects them. By having discussions about the plan at all levels of the company, people learn how best to work together to serve the customer. Without that discussion, it may never be recognized that a plan is not workable. 

The use of open questions is very powerful. For example, exploring how the idea aligns with organization's vision and key strategies. Then looking at what impact it might have in a few years. And exploring what impact the idea is likely to have on other stakeholders - internal and external. However, the ability to operate in the mode to find and implement a quick solution is often rewarded because it is so visible. This quick solution is very focused on the specific problem so the broader picture and potential impact on other things is not explored. These are exactly the situations where the solution may well ripple into more problems that did not exist previously. Organizations, especially the functional managers shall understand the benefits of taking the broader view before jumping into action. If this can become a habit replacing the ‘firefighter’ or 'bean counter' mentality, it would be more advantageous in the long run.

It takes practice, practice and practice to think and act strategically, business leaders shall not only be strategic thinkers themselves, but also help others to be more aware of how to think strategically and to understand that their actions, even if they are small, affect the system, running business at strategic way can ensure its long term prosperity and improve organizational maturity.