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

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

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

Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Five Digital Ready Mindsets 7/2016

Having Digital-Ready mindsets is truly about "Never stop imagining & learning, and never lose the character & curiosity to take new adventures and reach the next level of maturity.

Change is about moving forward and improving. If you change people’s behaviors, more often you try to fix the symptoms; the critical step in change both at the individual level and organizational level is to change one’s mindset, in order to cure the root causes. Perhaps our mind should never get set, but keep flowing, to compete with the speed of digital.


The Five Digital Ready Mindsets    7/2016

Whole Brain Thinking: According to the theory of left-brain or right-brain dominance, each side of the brain controls different types of thinking. Additionally, people are said to prefer one type of thinking over the other. It has been shown that in many ways the two parts of the brain work separately yet without apparent conflict. Do they process information differently? Are you "left-brainer or right-brainer"? Shall we encourage whole brain thinking to deal with the "VUCA" digital new normal?
  • Agile is the State of Mind Almost every organization is using agile today, but the misunderstood idea is that people can 'DO' Agile only. There's not so much to 'do,’ "mechanical agile" will stop at some point because Agile is a state of mind. Ultimately, you need to 'be' Agile.

  • A Balanced Mind with Emotional Brilliance: We have come to this lovely beautiful planet, Being a human being is great. We can imagine, we can create and we can appreciate many things. We have so many faculties. It is a rainbow, full of colors and fragrances. However, the world is far away from perfect, and most of the problems are caused by miscommunication, poor decision making, or dig deeper, the unbalanced mindsets lack of Emotional Intelligence. So what’s Emotional Intelligence, and how to cultivate a balanced mind with emotional brilliance?


  • A Digital Mind with System Intelligence: System Intelligence (SI) and System Thinking (ST) might well be considered emergent properties of the complex adaptive system we call the human mind. System Intelligence sounds like a blend of Systems Thinking, evolutionary psychology and complexity science. SI and ST might well be considered emergent properties of the complex adaptive system we call the human mind.
  • A Maturity Mind: What is maturity basically? Is it a perception depending on our understanding? Or is there any scientific attribute which decides maturity level? Is it possible to develop maturity? Will it come automatically through the experience and people or is it gained over a period of time? Is it always true when you get older, you get more mature? How to decide a person's maturity level? It is subjective or is there any objective standard?

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.

CIOs as Chief Insight Officer: Three Important Things are the "Means to the End"

The business leaders and digital professionals today must clarify the “means and end,” in order to stay focus, without getting lost in the middle.

The business world and human society are becoming over-complex but hyperconnected, full of uncertainty and ambiguity. There are both opportunities and risks in it. Hence, either being a digital leader or professional today, you must clear the vision, keep the “end in mind,” otherwise, you would get “lost,” at the certain point. and often won’t reach the destination. There are three important things that are the MEANS to the end, not the end. What are they?





INFORMATION is the means to the end: We live in the era of abundance of information. Either at individual or business level, people often can not digest the overwhelmed information smoothly and the organization can not process the overloading information seamlessly. If dealing intellectually, individuals or organizations become more knowledgeable via information, but often they also get more confused due to misunderstanding or blindly following. Information is the means to the end, you have to know how to swim more effortlessly in the sea of information, but you should always keep in mind that information only has a value when it has been used. Different information is required at different points in the decision and operational delivery chain. Information is the gold when it has been used to make an informed management decision to develop the right product, enter a new market, exploit a new channel or having the information to be able to conduct day to day operations which have an output value etc. The purpose of Information Management is to process raw data, abstract information from it, then gain knowledge and insight/foresight from the abundance of information, in order to build an intelligent business.

Technology is the means to the end: Digital is the age of technology advancement, but still, either the latest fancy technology gadgets or powerful enterprise digital technologies, they are the MEANS to the end, not the end. Hence, keep the simplicity in mind, do not get distracted or overwhelmed by them. From IT management perspective, while technology is still complex on the back end, it has become much simpler from an end user perspective. IT is a business solutionary to simplify and optimize business processes while IT infrastructure pieces are still complex. The real issue is that IT needs to stop touting how well it does infrastructure, and start demonstrating how they help the company achieve business objectives like accessing new markets, generating new products or becoming more operationally effective. There are many issues facing IT that need to be addressed. Hence, CIOs as IT leaders need to sell the right things - often “the END”- business benefits, not the “MEANS” - how complicated technology is or business irrelevant technical details.


Education is the means to the end: Digital is the age of lifetime learning. Education, either formal or informal, is the means to the end, not the end itself. From talent management perspective, the digital professionals today shouldn’t have a “graduated attitude,” worship the elite education as a destiny, or thought the education they took a decade (or decades) ago is sufficient to overcome today’s business challenge or deal with the complex issues facing in the digital ecosystem. The knowledge life cycle is significantly shortened, and the modern education has its limitation. Often it can still knowledge, but can't really teach people how to think. A quality education, hence, should open, not close one’s mind. “Quality" would be associated with an "Education" that fosters critical thinking, excellent problem-solving skills, ability to turn new ideas into innovative products, innovative thinking, ability to apply specific knowledge as tangible applications in some field or another. The very quality of education is to assess how well it shapes the right sets of mind (growth, progression, creativity, open and learning. Either assessing or developing talent, keep in mind: Education is the means to the end, not the end.


All those “MEANS” discussed above are important ingredients of innovation which itself is also the means to the end - for either delighting customers or keeping business growth. So the business leaders today must clarify the “means and end,” build a clear vision which is the end, but taking advantage of the means such as intensive technologies and information based insight, in order to reach the end for problem-solving and societal advances


The Root Causes to Innovation Failures

See innovation as a system, capable of delivering organization-wide capability.

Innovation is the light every forward-looking organization is pursuing. However, for most businesses, innovation is still a serendipity, and innovation management has an overall very low success rate. The reasons why innovation failure occurs vary widely, but dig further, here are some root causes to fail innovation.


Innovation as a lip service: For many less innovative organizations, innovation is just a buzzword, everyone talks about it, but very few people, especially leaders are creative enough to live on it and knowledgeable enough to really work on it. They still keep “the old way doing the things.” Innovation is utilizing what you already have in a unique and creative way that has not been done before and using that thing to MAKE PROFIT. But most organizations cannot walk the talk, to truly get innovation spurred and reap the benefit from it.

Lack of the comprehensive innovation strategy: At highly innovative companies, innovation is a crucial component of the strategy. A good innovation strategy will alway be aware of the business strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats, and set the guidelines and take risk-intelligent actions. Therefore, innovative leadership should always have the greater vision in mind and strive to return sustainable development and growth back to the business or society they are working for. With a good innovation strategy, the innovation management can be iterative, evolutionary, revolutionary, or disruptive, but it must be marketable and implementable. It is not just a new design or invention, it is taking the holistic approach to tuning it, tweaking it, changing it in a way that it brings the business benefit via mid or long term. Innovation is similar to as "the sum is larger than its parts." Innovation comes with a risk of failure, usually not well tolerated in a market governed by risk-allergic mindset. Innovation is costly most of the time. That is why you should really concentrate innovation on the main issues of your strategy. As you innovate, you might find helpful changes to your strategy. At today's modern organizations, it is essential for developing a company strategy that encourages realistic innovations which will prove successful in the market.


Lack of innovative leaders or practitioners: Great innovative leaders are those who can inspire a culture of innovation, be resourceful, have a clear vision and strategy to manage a healthy innovation portfolio, identify and develop innovation practitioners. Spotting and scoring individual as an innovator needs to focus on individual capabilities and potential to innovate. Creativity becomes significantly important in the age with the advanced technologies because the leaders of the future will not be mere automatons, but continue to discover, explore, and improve the surroundings. Innovative leadership relates to intelligence, empathy, idealism, process understanding, communication skills, cultural understanding, influence, and definitely - understanding what is wrong with the status quo.


Poor innovative culture: Culture is the collective mindset, attitude, and behavior. For less innovative companies, their people often get stuck in the “comfort zone,” having the “compliance only” mindset, because the processes and system are designed decades ago are too rigid and slow to change, and the talent/performance management are not synchronous with innovation management. Companies of all sizes, especially large corporations, are designed to suck at innovation. Because they become too dependent on satisfying corporate regulation or protocols, and never get around to developing a culture that fosters/rewards innovation until it is too late. It takes true leadership; with less protocol, to listen to the other people in the company, in order to build a culture of innovation.


Lack of innovation execution capability: Innovation is not a one-time business initiative or an IT project only. Innovation is a disciplined approach to discovering and building opportunities in creating new meaningful sources of value to targeted users. Looking at innovation from the perspective of developing business-wide innovation capabilities: Innovation has three phases: discovery of a problem or new idea, designing a prototype solution and the ultimate delivery of a commercially astute outcome. That the best point of view is to see innovation as a system, capable of delivering organization-wide capability. More specifically, building a balanced innovation portfolio is a practical approach for optimizing resource and improving risk intelligence. There are many areas within a company where the innovation process can be applied to create value, including both “hard” innovation such as products/services/processes/business model innovation and soft innovations such a communication/culture/management innovation. It is an ongoing business capability.


Innovation is the sustainable and scalable way that can be learned and practiced. Because how an organization orchestrates to generate ideas, manages the activities, measures the results, etc, is determined by how that organization has decided to craft the innovation effort. Craft a good innovation strategy, groom innovative leaders and practitioners, shape a culture of creativity, and build a set of innovation capabilities. Innovation is relative and has a context. The key to innovation success is just as simple - innovation is nothing without exploration and exploitation.





Saturday, July 30, 2016

Mirror, Mirror: Who are the Brightest People in your Organization

Being bright means more about the altitude to envision further and beyond, the attitude to learn and grow, and the aptitude to solve problems.

Compared to the industrial organizations, digital organizations are more hyper-connected, informative and innovative. The “aura” of the organization is reflected through its people, how people think, act, and influence surroundings. How bright future the organization has can perhaps only be read on how bright the people are. So: “mirror, mirror, who are the brightest people in your organization?”  



The brightness of leaders is based on how clear their visions are: A great leader is a visionary. The leadership vision is like the light tower brightens the surroundings. Visionary leadership is crucial to zoom into the future as if it were closer because leadership is all about future and change.  Leadership is one's ability to paint a vivid picture, a vision of a future state and motivate others to achieve it. Vision differentiates transformational digital leaders from transactional managers. The vision of leadership is based on how forethought the leader can think and how persuasive he or she can convey the message. Thus, leadership vision is to serve as an enabler to make profound influences. Leadership vision is being great by making positive influence which makes the organization look brighter, and without affecting anyone in any negative way. Lack of vision will dim down the leadership effectiveness and mislead the organization. The “spirit of an organization comes from the top.” Being a brighter leader takes one to envision and influence, to clear the path, whether that be the elimination of obstacles or to provide coaching and guidance and make an influence so that the talent employees are limited only by their imagination.


The brightness of people managers/HR professionals are based on whether they have the “wise” eyes to identify talent and open mind to innovate people management: Businesses are functioning by people and for people, hence, HR professionals plays a crucial role in managing the most invaluable asset of the business -PEOPLE, via setting talent management principles and making influence on business culture. The brightness of HR can be reflected via the sound judgment they make and professionalism they bring, their brightness can amplify the bright effect of the organization. Unfortunately, the mediocre HR staff can become part of problems, not the solution. Not every people oriented person is a good HR staff if he or she lacks high-professionalism. When they behave unprofessionally, the whole business would also act in the dark. When the narrow-minded HRs hire people less brighter than themselves, the organization would absolutely be dimmed down, the passion would fade away, and the creativity gets shut off. Therefore, always assess the assessors first, you need an innovator to hire innovators, and you need a change agent to hire the change champions.


The brightness of IT folks are not based on their “geek image,” but on their learning agility and a strong focus on the intense work and complex problem solving: IT folks may be hidden in the corner, but they look bright due to their high skill of problem-solving -the technique brilliance plus business acumen. IT skill gaps are not fiction, but reality. But the IT professional's outlook will turn dark if they can’t solve real world problems or become a “Status quo,” with “stereotypical look,” with arrogant attitude. Top IT performers are those who keep themselves updated with the latest in technology. Top IT performers don't think of themselves as IT guy/gal only, they understand the business as well as the business people they work with and focus primarily on solving business problems and creating business capabilities. Top IT performers are more competitive, "adaptive, adaptive, adaptive, adaptive," have a knack for meeting the business requirements.


Yes, the finance folks are bright because they can crunch the number to manage the organization’s finance management, and make wise investments on the future of business development. Sale/Marketing/Customer Service folks are bright because they would directly deal with customers - and because now building a customer-centric organization is the top priority of any forward-looking organization. Regardless which function you work for, being bright means more about the altitude to see further and beyond, the attitude to learn and grow, and the aptitude to solve problems and make a difference. Get the shadow out of your mind, bring the hidden rules to the table, and amplify the bright effectiveness in building a strong business brand and a future driven organization.

The Insight-Driven Digital Transformation

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

Digital makes a significant impact on every aspect of the business from people, process to technology, both horizontally and vertically. Digital is not just a one-time business initiative or an IT project only, it’s a journey which has to be driven via insight, catalyzed via innovation, enabled by people and for the people, with the ultimate goal to build a high-intelligent and high-effective digital organization. Here is the three aspects of insight-driven digital transformation.


Digital insight to build strategy execution capabilities: Digital means flow, data flow, information flow and insight flow; knowledge does not stand still! It flows into the company,  and it flows out of it, it erodes, and it gets created again, hopefully, it flows to the customers of the company in terms of product and service delivery as well, and it flows within the digital ecosystem just like the river merged to the sea. In reality, digital brings unprecedented opportunities for business growth, also causes significant risks in the business’s bottom line. The hyper-connected nature of digital accelerates the business speed. However, Digital also enlarges the gaps when different organizations, functions, and individuals evolve with varying speed. As companies around the world transform themselves into the digital business that is based on ‎information, innovation, and intelligence, it depends on their ability to well align the strategy and execution, for delivering the solid result; their digital insight about customers’ need and employees’ engagement; their capability to explore intangible assets (leadership, culture, innovation, knowledge etc). Digital insight helps digital leaders and professionals discover, then consciously manage the communication gap between self-perception and the perception of others in transforming, generating, ascending and core-shifting individuals, teams, even the whole organization up to the next level of digital maturity.


Digital insight to make effective decisions: At traditional companies, the big or small decisions are often based on static or often outdated information available and the “gut feeling” of decision makers. The abundance of information flow and the more advanced technologies make it possible to gain real-time insight and business foresight if organizations are truly being digitized underneath, at the process level. What should be focused on is the integration of IT into the business decisions and processes to be highly responsive. Even the speed of change is increasing, businesses still do have contexts of relative certainty, while simultaneously having contexts reflecting both complexity and chaos. Each of these contexts requires in-depth digital insight into effective decision making and taking a different management approach. So delivering a high level of digital impact to your organization is not about finding a way to replace the old information management system. It is about getting insight to the right user in a way that supports a better decision life cycle. It is about looking for an enterprise level solution that cleans and combines data from multiple sources, supports the secure sharing of information, presents them in an "end user-friendly" format, reduces the manual work required of the analytics team and ultimately delivers insight in decision-making to your organization.


Digital insight to manage talent innovatively: Digital is the age of people and innovation. The goal of talent analytics is not to get the report built, but to capture business insight holistically and craft an information-based talent strategy accordingly. In the digital age, organizations need to redefine and reinvent themselves to digitize their talent management perspective. They need to understand the extent to which digital technologies enable the people to manage an integrated ecosystem of stakeholders and operate as an efficient and effective strategic business partner. They also need to work more closely with management and take a proactive approach to purposely creating a defined corporate culture and the competitive difference. It’s about capturing insight not about the talent performance today by crunching numbers, but also gain foresight about human potential, treat people not just as cost or asset, but as the capital to invest in. It’s about having talent managers and professionals getting more comfortable on information-based people management solutions, and understand their people in a more objective and holistic way, and put the right people with the right talent to the right position.


The insight-driven digital transformation can create synchronization of all functions running seamlessly. Digital synchronization occurs on multiple levels, but it presupposes the ability of each 'link' to articulate their 'strategic intent.' If strategic intent can be understood both within and without the organization, the alignment process becomes an analytic and harmonized process where the actual configuration of the organization's strategy is a consequence of design and implementation of strategies. Digital synchronization and strategic alignment occur when all parts of the choir sing their respective parts in harmony to achieve a higher purpose, the music as a symphony of voice.   

Friday, July 29, 2016

The Monthly Insight of Running a High Mature Digital Organization July 2016

Being outside-in and customer-centric is the new mantra for forward-looking digital organizations today.
Change is inevitable, organizational change has become a common practice within an organization, but too often changes are made as a reaction to outer impulses, crisis, and demands. This is the bureaucracy’s way of meeting the challenges. How to fine tune the process of Change Management, and overcome the obstacles to managing a high mature digital organization?


    Running a High Mature Digital Organization

  • How to Assess and Improve Change Management Maturity: Change is inevitable and needed in every business. But organizational Change Management is always challenging with a high percentage of failure rate. The successful businesses are the ones that have learned how to implement change time after time, and build it as a solid ongoing business capability. Change Management requires a well-defined strategy with comprehensive change agenda as well. Is there any ideal route for the change, and how to improve the success rate of Change Management and improve overall Change Management maturity?


  • How to Build a CHANGEABLE Organization Riding Above the Learning Curve Change is inevitable, and the speed of change is increasing. However, organizational change is always difficult. How can you ride above the learning curve, is there any ideal path to change, how to improve the success rate of change management and build change as an ongoing capability of the organization?


  • Three Digital Effects to Catalyze Business Maturity Digital transformation represents the next stage of business maturity which will improve how the enterprise works and interact with its ecosystem, with the customer at the center of its focus. Digital becomes the very fabric of the modern business, being outside-in and customer-centric is the new mantra for forward-looking digital organizations today. So how can businesses amplify positive digital effects and grow into the high-performing Digital Master?


  • How to Build a High-Mature Digital Organization: Digital makes a profound impact on businesses across industrial sectors, from specific functions to the business as a whole; the purpose of such radical digitalization is to make a significant difference in the overall levels of customer centricity and achieve high performing business result. But how to build a high mature digital organization which has the multitude of digital capability to achieve long-term business prosperity than their less digitally mature competitors? Or to put simply, how to build a "Digital Master" philosophically, strategically, and methodologically?


  • Three Hybrid Elements in Running a Digital Organization? With emergent digital technologies, organizations large or small reinvent themselves to become more agile, flexible and innovative. Digital doesn’t mean just tear down all the old things in the previous era, in reality, digital means to strike the right balance between the new way and the “old way,” the physical building and the virtual platform, the face-to-face communication and the always-on online presence. Here are three HYBRID elements in running a digital IT and organization.
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 the 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.

Digital CIOs’ Elevator Pitch

Digital IT has multi-faceted fitness, multidimensional intelligence, and multi-level capabilities.

Digital IT plays a significant role in business trainsformation. CIOs as IT leaders also have to envision and convey the clear message about IT reputation. So what's the CIO's elevator pitch for getting BoDs, executive peers, and shareholders' buy-in?

IT is more like the “Digital Brain” of the organization: Because information allows you to build an actionable insight, to help the business make right decisions at every level, to capture insight & foresight for the future of the organization. IT should not only act as a “left brain” of the organization to focus on analysis and logic, more importantly, it needs to become the whole brain, to leverage the creativity of right brain and boost business innovation.


IT can be both the connective tissue and nervous system to the business' blood, bone, and muscle: If you relegate IT to "computers and servers," you’re basically not engaging a core part of your body that is critical for growth. IT and the business are intertwined but must be on the same page. IT enables the business to operate effectively and successfully and catalyze it to grow, change and adapt to future needs.


IT is the lubricant to a well-designed business system: Software and hardware by themselves will never make a profit if a company’s products, people, and processes are not good and strong enough to compete in the marketplace. IT helps to integrate/optimize/orchestrate business processes to facilitate the business outcomes and build an effective digital ecosystem.


IT is an innovation engine of any business in the digital era: To equip people with the latest technology and information, visionary IT leaders re-imagine IT as an innovation hub, but an innovative IT can only happen if IT is regarded as a strategic business partner and given the role in catalyzing innovation and driving the business transformation.


IT needs to become the digital capability builder of the organization: Defining your enterprise business capability is part art and part science. Because business capabilities are fundamental pillars to achieve the corporate strategy, IT role is to enable the business to exceed customer expectations, increase profitability and maintain a competitive advantage. IT should provide innovative solutions to meet business needs.


IT as a business ‘Solutionary’: IT needs to understand how the organization works and then give solutions that will increase the functionality to lower cost. IT provides a progressive technology-driven business solution, from business enabler to digital transformer, helps to shape up the high-performance organization in today's hyper-competitive environment.


IT as a business catalyst: IT can leverage the power of information and the efficiency of the latest technology to catalyze any organization to achieve their business goals and toning ecosystem. It has to enable the organization by increasing profits, reducing cost and increasing value for shareholders, customers or consumers, employees, and business partners.


IT as a conductor: IT as the information steward of the business needs to break down the silo and leverage the holistic digital enterprise platform to enhancing cross-functional communication, collaboration, and innovation in achieving customer-centricity or improving operational excellence, and orchestrate a digital symphony.








The Weekly Insight of the “Future of CIO” 7/29/2016

The digital business and the world need more transformative visionary leaders and profound and original thinkers in dealing with the "VUCA" digital new normal.

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 1.3 million page views with 2900+ blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom. Here is the weekly insight about digital leadership, IT Management, and Talent Management.


The Weekly Insight of the “Future of CIO”  7/29/2016
  • Three Practices to Scale Up Digital Transformation Organizations large and small are on the journey of digital transformation. Besides building a set of principles to follow, it’s also important to develop a series of best/next practice to scale up and amplify digital effects The business practice is always a combination of people and how they are used to doing things based on the set of principles and standards to adapting changes in the business or technology shift. Here are three practices to scale up digital transformation efforts.

  • "Digital Master" Book Series Summary, Quotes Slideshare: Digital Master” is the series of guidebooks (5+ books) to perceive the multi-faceted impact digital is making to the business and our society, help forward-thinking organizations navigate through the digital journey in a systematic way, and avoid “rogue digital.” It perceives the emergent trends of digital leadership, advises on how to run a digital IT to unleash its full potential and improve agility. It explores the breadth and depth of digital wisdom, also instructs digital workforce on how to shape game-changing digital mindset and build the right set of digital capabilities to compete for the future. The purpose of "Digital Master" Book series intends to help forward-looking digital professionals and organizations navigate the digital journey via planning, innovating, taking structured approaches and leveraging the right technologies.
  • Managing Innovation in a Structural Way Digital is the age of innovation. And innovation is what leads to differentiation. There are many ways to differentiate and, therefore, there are many ways to pursue innovation. For many organizations getting stuck at the lower level of maturity. Innovation is still a serendipity, with a very low success rate, often the ROI is not proportional to the investment they pour in, and lack of a balanced portfolio to both managing incremental innovations and embracing disruptive innovations. Is there a magic formula to build a highly innovative company and how to manage innovation as a core business capability in a structural way?

  • Running a Differentiated IT to Reach the Zenith of Digital Maturity: The majority of IT organizations today still limit their role as a support center to keep the lights on. Bottom line thinking is one of the great limitations of modern IT organization. The true ITvalue is hard to derive from support services since measuring productivity can be elusive and difficult to quantify. Also with explosive information flow and disruptive digital technologies, all forward-thinking organizations claim they are in the information management businesses. Hence, IT as an information steward of the business has to be run as a strategic partner and a key differentiator of the company, in order to improve business competency and reach the zenith of digital maturity.

  • The Multiple Confusions to Drag Down Digital Leadership Effectiveness: Leadership is all about change, to navigate the direction both for oneself and others. The digital world today is much more complicated and that requires an ability to juggle multiple and competing demands and clear the vision under cloudy climate and uncertain circumstances. Businesses need to recognize the change and help leaders meet the challenge via business savvy and agility. In reality, there are many well trained transactional managers, but very few visionary transformational digital leaders; there are many skillful communicators, but very few deep and original thinkers. Under today's uncertainty and ambiguity as the digital new normal, what are possible confusions to drag down leadership effectiveness and how to improve overall digital leadership maturity?

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 “PEARL” Principles to Spark Creativity

Always dig through the thoughts underneath the words, and be authentic of being who you are!

Creativity is the high level of thinking and innovation is the light businesses are pursuing, We all just fumble around from the dark to pursue creativity and chase new ideas. Is there such a magic formula to double or triple of your innovative ability, what’s your principle to follow for living with creativity?

Profundity: Back to the root of the word “profundity,” it means insightful and understanding. The digital ecosystem is dynamic with velocity, it’s important to filling cognitive gaps and spark the fountain of collective creativity via profound thoughts and inclusive culture. However, often at the traditional business setting with restrictive hierarchy, people normally 'close' the boundaries of the system, so that less energy is transferred and, therefore, fewer changes happen in the system, little creativity gets inspired, and the little box called comfort zone turns to become one of the biggest roadblocks for innovation. To keep the digital flow, leadership profundity and wisdom have to be enforced via practicing multidimensional thinking, such as critical thinking and embracing holism and nonlinearity. Innovation effectiveness is dependent on how capable the business can manage changes and keep the digital flow. Because workers now are more educated than what they used to be, they are at least more informed as to what is going on and the changes taking place around them. It is the responsibility of each leader to examine themselves and to make sure they are open to true understanding. Climbing Knowledge-Insight-Wisdom pyramid is an important step in gaining profundity and reach the next level of innovation management maturity.


Excellence: A progressive mind is to make continuous improvement either via creativity or excellence. Achieving excellence is more about “perfecting,” not about “ perfection.” There's a word of difference between the noun 'perfect' with the implication of a 'perfect' entity and the verb 'perfecting,' through progressive problem-solving. The key is striking a balance between opposing forces, each with its own set of pros and cons. Excellence mind can cultivate innovation, but perfectionism may diminish enthusiasm and slows down progress, or leads to analysis paralysis and no endpoint at all. Striving for perfection is an asset to the implementation of an idea while at the same time it is a detriment to the idea's creation. For the works need a certain level of creativity, and whose creations and output do not require precision, you should spend more time on brainstorming, no need for wasting precious time striving for perfection. Instead, good enough, will be and is good enough when bringing innovative, inventive products and services to the marketplace!


Authenticity: Being authentic means to discover “Who You Are,” your inner strength and personal traits. Being original is one of the important characteristics of authenticity because you don’t just blindly follow other people’s opinions or conventional wisdom. You discover and explore your own path. Originality means creative and independent thinking. In other words, make our own mind up, or formulate our own conclusions, or ideas, or expressions. Originality is valuable as authenticity. Original thinking is independent, creative, original, special or different. This world needs more of an original thinker than ever to handle the ever increasing complexities, and organizations need to be able to recognize them not least in order to innovate and adapt. The traits like, character, self-motivation, creativity, uniqueness and confidence can be the indicator of original thinking which is also a trait of being authentic. The organization and our society will become more naturally digital fit with an abundance of authenticity. When digital professional are inspired to discover who they are, their inner genius, and empowered to grow into who they want to be, the negative emotions and unhealthy competitions are discouraged and every member can bring some wisdom to the workplace.

Resilience: There is no innovation without failure. And there is no great leadership without resilience. Digital leaders and professionals must have resilient mindsets in order to adapt to the continuous digital disruptions or unexpected setbacks either in career or personal life. It's the ability to respond to change, dare to be creative when facing difficulties, to recover quickly from setbacks, as well as the capacity to respond to the unexpected in a way that increases gain or minimizes loss. Resilience is about B.O.U.N.C.E. It’s about regaining one's footing which could be bouncing back, forwards or restructuring your life integrating the change in some way that works. It's also about being able to keep working and focusing, even during stress and disturbances, rather than reacting to stressful situations. A person with resilience lives in a grounded and centered place, being flexible and adaptable in the midst of adversity, threat, and stress. It’s an important trait to be an innovator and a digital leader today.


Logic: Creativity and logic seem to be opposite, in fact, it’s not unless you misunderstand logic with conventional wisdom. Logic is not always linear or just blindly following the authority's opinion. Logic is part of the deep universal structure of all languages. More precisely, logic is a PART of language, a deep part of the language that was always there and is discovered by an analysis of language, or doing philosophy of language. And logic can be abstracted across disciplinary domains as well. Logic was discovered, much as we discover mathematical truths. Fundamentally, thoughts, words, and actions, in this order, this is the logical way to be either creative and persuasive. People, even well trained digital professionals or leaders today often confuse the means with the end or substance with style, they need to retool the mind and think in a more logical way.

Creativity is a flow, an abstract and an imagination. You can put creativity in a box and say it's "all just creativity," or you can pull it out of the box and look at it through different lenses. It’s your perception. Set your own principles and practice, practice, and practice more to spur the abundance of creativity.

Making a Leap in Digital Transformation via Mixing Hard & Soft Elements Right

The "hard" and "soft," are not opposite, but the complementary ingredients in running a dynamic digital organization.

With the digital paradigm shift, forward-looking organizations are reimagining how to run and grow a dynamic or a "liquid" digital organization via both "hard push," and "soft pull." Hence, business managements need to make the proper adjustment as well to run an organic business with “living cells,” not just the mechanic firm composed of “hard nuts and knots.” Digital organizations as a whole are agile, flexible, dynamic and innovative. So how to make a leap in Digital Transformation via mixing hard & soft element right, and how to run, grow and transform your business effortlessly?


Mixing the hard data and the gut feeling (soft) in decision making: Digital business is complex and uncertain, decision making is more often a complex scenario.The decision makers should overcome bias which comes in many forms and is difficult to recognize if you are the decision maker. Hence, collecting necessary information is an important step in making an objective decision, Decisions are based on information and generate information. The amount of data required for a decision, and the amount of information generated by a decision, can both be measured in bits & bytes. There's soft and"human" side of decision making as well, hence, it's important to leverage intuition - the right amount of “guts,” in order to make effective decisions. Decision making is the discipline of both the "soft" art and "hard" science; gut feeling and data driven; confidence and humility; and more often than not, it takes both multi-disciplinary knowledge (hard) and light bulb type intuition (soft) to make effective decisions.

Managing a healthy portfolio with both “hard” and “soft” innovation: Innovation management means to transform novel ideas to achieve business values via creating a need for, or finding a demand for a 'pull.' Innovation is all about doing things better, differentiate yourself from your competition. Look at innovation management from the perspective of developing business-wide innovation capabilities, and the digital innovation has expanded spectrum which includes both “hard innovation” such as products/services/processes/business model innovation and soft management/culture/ communication innovation. Digital drives all sort of innovations, proactively pushing ideas on how to leverage creative thoughts (soft) and the latest technology (hard) to drive revenue growth, increase business productivity, flexibility, and agility. Innovation follows basic rules, which are adapted depending on the company's situation and ambition, in order to mix the “hard” and “soft,” elements and manage a healthy innovation portfolio with business blossom.


Managing a hard strategy enabled by “aqua” like soft business elements such as culture: The strategy is defined by vision (hard) and culture (soft). If the strategy is about growth, whatever the way you make it. A culture defines people's attitude and the organization's process. and then if there's no culture of execution, there would be no positive attitude and no good behavior. People have been the driving force of much of what mankind has accomplished. Culture is soft, but one of the most critical success factors to support strategy execution. The success factors have to filter all the way through each layer of the organization for a unified execution. Culture unifies different groups of people. First, you have to build a company culture that encourages staffs to think of new strategies to be implemented, then you've got to define a process to improve this idea by stimulating the development of it, or to shut it down as smoothly as you can, but not to discourage new ideas. Successful strategies and a successful culture are interdependent. The degree to which culture supports strategy depends on upon the degree to which culture unifies its efforts to realize critical success factors, and thus implement successful strategies. Then you'll have to define the metrics to measure the success of the strategy, whether it's a strategy concerning growth, or employees satisfaction or clients satisfaction. The success of strategy execution is the right mix of both (hard and soft).

Digital means flow, mind flow, information flow and business flow with a change management continuum. It is a healthy business life cycle to close the gaps of the industrial age and the new digital era, and mixing the “hard” and “soft” business ingredients accordingly. There is no magic formula or prescribed solution to digital transformation. To build that bridge requires enthusiasm, belief, determination, hard capabilities and soft skills, and commitment to a more responsive way of working in general and be agile to adapt to changes, to run, grow and transform the business.