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.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Popular Quotes of “Digital Master” Book Series to Celebrate Holidays: Thinking, Change, Innovation Nov. 2017

Being innovative is more important than any specific innovation. Innovativeness is a way of thinking.

“Digital Master” is the series of guidebooks (19+ books) is to perceive the multifaceted 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.” Here is the set of popular quotes about thinking, change, and innovation to celebrate the holiday.





Innovators are pioneers, great problem-solvers; and creators of a better context.


The foundation for innovation has to be grounded in the “vision” which is linked to “hope” and seeking justice or truth.


“Innovators find more viewing spots than the rest.”


Fundamentally, innovation is to solve old or emergent problems creatively.


“Being innovative is more important than any specific innovation. Innovativeness is a way of thinking.”




Self-discipline is nothing but self-consciousness.”


Inspiration is the result of moments of insight and a key component of internal “drive.”


“A mind is not profound by itself, just like a tree without a root.”


“Digital is the age of empathy.”


The mind is an innovation engine of any human progress, but also the root cause of almost all human problems.”




“It takes courage, motivation, discipline, and persistence to get out of comfort zone.”


“Awareness is the first step of Change Management, it starts from the mindset level.”


“It takes critical thinking to frame the right problem and empathetic thinking to address the correct need.”


“The psychology of the change is that “People like to change, but do not want to be changed and there is the difference.”


“For humans to move to higher ground, we must have different views, but share the common ground as well.”


Three Conditions to Achieve IT Excellence

IT is the huge and expensive investment in most of the organizations, whether it is "planning" or "performance," "process" or "people," “Information” or “innovation.


With the fast pace of change and overwhelming growth of information, IT management excellence is one of the most important pillars of running a high-performance digital IT organization. To keep IT relevant, IT needs to shift from the “surviving mode” to “thriving mode.” IT leaders should practice digital management disciplines and create the right conditions for achieving IT excellence and lift the overall business maturity.


Prioritization: Every business and IT organization is at the different stage of business growth life cycle. Therefore, the “right” answer about the highest IT management priority is that it depends on which of these areas are most in need of improvement in the organization. Businesses struggle on how to assign the limited resources and assets to bring the maximum business return, this is particularly true for IT because many IT organizations are still perceived as the cost center, overloaded, and understaffed. Prioritization helps to focus the strategic focus of the organization, which has huge benefits in terms of execution and transparency, to align IT portfolio management with strategic business goals and objectives seamlessly. It’s not easy because it requires changing the culture and getting the buy-in of IT resource. The breadth and depth of IT management include people and process (skills, organizational structure, workflow, process efficiency and effectiveness); To achieve IT management excellence, information, technology, and other IT assets need to be centralized, re-allocated, updated, or replaced if needed to optimize “people and process.” IT operational excellence can only be achieved through consolidation, modernization, integration, optimization, performance management via a broad range of monitoring, and risk management, etc. IT leaders need to create a condition that IT management should work both in IT and on IT, to get the business buy-in, and ensure that IT optimization should not be the be-all and end-all at the expense of the health of the overall organization. And IT can do more on innovation.


People-centricity: People are the most important asset in any business, but often the weakest link. To achieve IT excellence,  the more difficult challenge is not just launching successful teams, but maintaining the motivation and focus of the people. IT leaders need to create the working condition that talented people are empowered, intrinsically motivated, creative to take initiative and self-confident because they are well trained and supported because the change train becomes unstoppable. When people are at the center of the organizational management, operational excellence, customer relationships, corporate brand reputation and others are built on. In the people-centric organizations, management creates the “digital fitting” condition that the right people with the right skills and capabilities are put in the right positions, if necessary, rotate the position to keep them engaged and developed, to solve the right problems timely. Without the right people, excellence cannot be achieved. People make or break a company, therefore, should be given the highest priority.


Continuous improvement: Achieving IT excellence is more as the journey than a destination. Making continuous improvement is the path in pursuit of verb “perfecting,” not for being “perfect” though. An effective CIO’s job is to improve IT management effectiveness, to reduce the burden on the company while trying to stay current with ever-changing technologies and fast-growing information. IT leaders should create the condition that “making continuous improvement” is the organizational culture -the collective mindset and attitude. Otherwise, complacency is maligned when it comes to optimizing IT operations both in terms of cost and efficiency, people cannot get out of their comfort zone, and IT gets stuck at the lower level of maturity.  Thus, the digital CIO has to look forward and actively position the IT organization in the right place to take full advantage of opportunities and manage IT in a structural way. Digital IT needs to become the change agent of the business. A change agent IT should get deeper understanding the issues facing both internal customers and end customers, identify opportunity for growth and business transformation wherever analysis and assessment indicate the potential benefits of change efforts, to create the “continuous improvement” organizational culture, for enabling and catalyzing the business transformation.


IT is the huge and expensive investment in most of the organizations, whether it is "planning" or "performance," "process" or "people," “Information” or “innovation.” IT leadership teams need to create the condition for achieving IT management excellence and strive for innovation; for proactively adapting to changes and accelerating digital transformation.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Monthly “Digital Boardroom: 100 Q&As” Book Tuning: The Digital Board’s IT Inquiries Nov. 2017

Information is the lifeblood of the business and technology is the disruptive force behind the digital transformation.

Modern corporate boards play significant roles in guiding businesses toward the right direction and achieve expected business results. Due to the “VUCA” characteristics -Complexity, Uncertainty, Ambiguity, and Velocity of the Digital Era, the directorship in any organization must have the agility to adapt to changes and build abilities to advise, inspire and motivate a group of people toward accomplishing shared visions and goals. Here is the monthly “Digital Boardroom” summary about innovative inquiries in the boardroom.


          


The Digital Board’s IT Inquiries


  • The Digital Board’s IT Inquiries Information is the lifeblood of the business and technology is the disruptive force behind the digital transformation. Nowadays, information technology can either lift or fail the business even overnight. Therefore, an IT-friendly board should change the perspective to understand the power of information and the potential of technology. Companies can leverage IT to improve the top line business growth and build the long-term business advantage if it always has IT-literate board director to participate in the conversation
  • The Digital Board’s IT Inquiries As technologies permeate into every corner of the organization and information provides invaluable foresight to enable business growth, IT is no longer just as an isolated function or back office utility only. Nowadays, IT has to add more business value and delight both internal and end customers to improve both the top line business growth and bottom line efficiency.



  • The Digital Board’s IT Inquiries Nowadays, information is the lifeblood, and technology is the disruptive force behind the digital transformation. Thus, today’s digital board need to become more technology savvy and information friendly. The IT-savvy board should gain an in-depth understanding of IT, set the right digital principles, leverage technological visions, and pull all necessary resources for strengthening the weakest links. The digital board’s IT inquiries help to clarify the strategic role of IT in maximizing the digital potential of the company.


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


  • The Digital Board’s IT Inquiries (II) The contemporary boards play the directory role in driving changes, overseeing business strategy,  and monitoring business performance. They are also the “mastermind” behind the digital transformation. The matter of fact is that the change is inevitable and the speed of change is increasing due to the exponential growth of information and robust digital technologies. Given how applying IT is becoming so intrinsically important to so many different enterprises across industrial sectors, digital BoDs need to become information friendly and technology-savvy. While directors bring many competencies to the table, most do not have access to information about technology-driven innovation and its potential related to the businesses they oversee.y?

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2 million page views with 4200+ blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify your voice, deepen your digital footprints, and match your way to human progression.


The "Digital Boardroom: 100 Q&As" Slideshare Presentation

















CIOs as “Chief Innovation Officer”: Three Management in Innovation Management

Innovation is not serendipity. There is the multitude of management disciplines to get it right.

The definition of innovation is simple, it is about transforming novel idea and achieving its business value. It is about gaining benefit by doing something different. Innovations in the digital era are coming at seemingly much fast space, with changes and potential disruptions, and therefore, innovation management also becomes more complex and dynamic. Here are three management disciplines in innovation management.


Observation Management: Today’s business become hyper-competitive and super-complex, and the world has also become more interconnected and interdependent than ever. The first step for innovation is always observation, following by questioning, experimenting, and networking. The progressive enterprise needs to learn and grow through observation; by observation, you recognize the pattern, by observation, you connect the things; by observation, you associate the best services cross the industrial or geographic boundary. The "Observing" phase is all about the 'sensors' that you can deploy. There are three stages of “Observation”: The best observations come from staying still and trying to understand what you're observing is all about. Secondly, what you see depends very much on what you are familiar with and on the parading, your personal perception. Thirdly, cognitive science confirms that what you see depends very much on your goals and on what you concentrate on given the limited amount of working memory available. Before taking actions, start a deep observation to understand your business, and assess the business stage in an innovation life cycle of the business. To fuel innovation, staying a novice of some sort, keep fresh eyes, with the beginner’s mind, to observe deeper: By observing the industry and emerging technology trend, the business can adjust the strategy, capture the business innovation opportunities, set the right priority to strike the right balance of functioning well today and prepare for the future. By observing people - either customers or employees deeper, the business can understand their pain points, and figure out how to provide innovative products/services to delight them. Therefore, observation is not just some “nice to have” activities, but needs to become the digital management discipline which can fuel innovation.


Resource Management: Organizations have limited resources, many businesses took a big bite of resource to keep the lights on, only left very little for doing innovation. Thus, resource management becomes an important management discipline to improve innovation effectiveness and efficiency. In fact, the essence of innovation is about how to manage people, assets, and resource to meet the business goals for innovation. You need to make sure the right people are put in the right position with the right talent to manage innovation. You need to make sure the management is forward-looking enough for “doing more with innovation.” The resource is assigned scientifically, to make sure that your company has a steady flow of fresh ideas floating in your innovation pipeline, and you need a methodological platform that allows you to do that in an efficient way. Innovation needs to be the collective habit of the business, you have to live it and breathe it every day, otherwise, you don’t feel accomplished. Innovation is a management process and business competency. It requires much more time, energy, passion, courage, experimentation, retreat, and reflection to get clear and focused on the innovative idea, business model, process or solution, and to then enact, embody and execute in a disciplined way.


Metrics Management: You can only manage what you measure. There is no exception for innovation. Thus, metrics management is a crucial component of innovation management. Metrics provide feedback. Metrics are part of transparent visual management allowing pulling all resources for orchestrating innovation. It’s important to set guidelines for developing customized innovation metrics. Normally organizations look for metrics for measuring business results generated by innovation efforts. There are good reasons to focus on top line vs bottom line benefit from innovation. You choose the Key Performance Indicators by deciding which are seen as critical to making progress in order to deliver more innovations. Often, poor-defined metrics can mislead, create the other layer of complications, cause confusion or suck the energy. Innovation performance indicators need to focus on measuring quality, quantity, time, cost, revenue growth, profit improvement, margin targets, product variety for stability, turnover, shareholder/owner return and talent sustainability, etc.


Innovation means something new and valuable. Innovation is relative and has a context. But innovation is not serendipity. There is the multitude of management disciplines to get it right. Innovation Management needs to take a balanced approach to provide maximal freedom for ideators, and then set straightforward process for converting an idea into an implementable innovation, to achieve its commercial value and bring high-performance business results.

Monday, November 20, 2017

The Monthly “Digital Gaps” Book Tuning: How to Bridge Digital Communication Gaps Nov. 2017

“Digital Gaps -Bridging Multiple Gaps to Run Cohesive Business” is a guidebook to help digital leaders and professionals today identify, analyze, and mind multiple gaps with multidisciplinary insight and holistic understanding. Today’s digital organization simply just can’t stand still., bridging the 'gap of opportunity' between where you are and want to become is a welcomed challenge, it is important to bridge communication, knowledge and insight gaps and take a stepwise approach to make a leap of digital transformation.

How to Close Communication Gaps? Communication is key to improve leadership effectiveness and modern management efficiency. However, communication is not just the soft discipline, it’s both art and science. For example, there are communication gaps between management and employees, there’s “lost in translation” syndrome in cross-functional conversations, there are all sorts of miscommunication at the different level of the organization, how to close communication gaps and overcome such challenges?  
CIOs as “Chief Interpretation Officer”: How to Improve Communication Effectiveness?  The magic “I” in the title of CIO has many indications, such as Chief Information Officer,” “Chief Innovation Officer,” “Chief Influence Officer,” etc. Communications sometimes seem like an oxymoron. As we move from applying technology as a vehicle to maximize efficiency and minimize costs to leveraging technology as an enabler and catalyzer of totally new business models, to maximize business potential, forward-thinking organizations empower their IT to lead the digital transformation proactively. Therefore, CIOs need to become “Chief Interpretation Officer,” to bridge the communication gap between business and IT and improve digital leadership maturity.
How to Communicate Effectively in Digital Dynamic? The speed of change is significantly increasing. Decentralization, globalization, and diversified workforces can all be practical reasons for communicating barriers. How do you communicate a common message across the globe with empathy, and, in particular, make sure the message you want to communicate resonates effectively?
Three Missing Links in Digital Transformation? Digital Paradigm means holism, hyper-connectivity, interdependence, and integration. Digital transformation is not just one-dimensional stretch, but a multi-dimensional expansion. The digital ecosystem expands when the digital business territories blur and the business communities broaden their scope and consume all sorts of resources. However, for those digital lagging organizations, the ecosystems have evolved without much attention of planning and having multiple missing links. So, to shift from "Doing Digital" to "Being Digital," the real challenge is to understand what are exactly those missing links, where and how you can and should connect all important dots, improve to get the biggest effect and scale up across the digital ecosystem effortlessly?

The New Book “Digital Gaps” Chapter 5 Introduction: Digital Professional Gaps Generally speaking, a professional is an individual with the expertise of some specific area, who earns his/her livings from that expertise. Being professional also means that the individual not only has the skill but also presents the high-quality professionalism such as positive mentality, fair judgment, and good behaviors. So, how to identify digital professional gaps, and improve the workforce quality, creativity, collaboration, productivity, and engagement?

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2 million page views with about #4200th blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating the new ideas; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify diverse voices and deepen digital footprints, and it's the way to harness your innovative spirit.