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, February 22, 2018

The Weekly Insight of the “Future of CIO” Feb. 2/22/2018

Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking, brainstorming, innovating and sharing.

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2 million page views with 4500+ 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.

To Celebrate the 4500th Blog Posting: The Thoughts and Quotes of the “Future of CIO” Blog (Part I)? Blogging is to pursue the digital communication way for envisioning, brainstorming, sharing, and debating. It’s the journey to make the continuous leadership influence and connect the dots for spurring creativity and advocating digital innovation. It’s the time to celebrate the #4500th blog posting of the “Future of CIO with all those alphabetic thoughts and quotes. Slideshare Presentation

The Strong Pillars of the Digital Organization
Digital transformation is the long journey with many bumps and curves on the way. The digital transformation means that companies need to infuse digital into every aspect of the business, expand to every dimension of the organization, shape the enterprise-wide digital capabilities and orchestrate a hyper-connected ecosystem which is interwoven with people, process, and technology, and form all important pillars to build a high-performance and high-mature digital organization.


The Monthly “Digital Boardroom: 100 Q&As” Book Tuning: The Digital Board’s Composition Inquiries Feb. 2018 Modern corporate boards play significant roles in guiding businesses toward the right direction and achieve expected business results. Due to the “VUCA” characteristics -Complexity, Uncertainty, Ambiguity, and Velocity of the Digital Era, the directorship in any organization must have the agility to adapt to changes and build abilities to advise, inspire and motivate a group of people toward accomplishing shared visions and goals. Here is the monthly “Digital Boardroom” summary of the digital board’s composition inquiries.

The New Book “Problem-Solving Master” Chapter 3: Creative Problem-Solving
Running businesses is an iterative continuum to solve problems large or small. Creativity needs a problem, and a creative person needs a purpose. Creative thinking and critical thinking often work in tandem for problem-solving. Collectively, innovation allows an organization to stand out and above the rest for solving problems creatively and maximizing the commercial value to the company.

The Monthly “Digital Gaps” Book Tuning: Minding Critical Thinking Gaps Feb. 2018 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 the 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.

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.

To Celebrate 4500 Blog Posting: The Thoughts and Quotes of “Future of CIO” Blog (Part II)

Blogging is 5% of inspiration +creativity with 95% of dedication + perseverance.

Blogging is to pursue the digital communication way for envisioning, brainstorming, sharing, and debating. It’s the journey to make the continuous leadership influence and connect the dots for spurring creativity and advocating digital innovation. It’s the time to celebrate 4500 blog posting of the “Future of CIO with all those alphabetic thoughts and quotes.



N- Niche:
The leadership niche is based on leadership substance + leadership strength + leadership style + Leadership brand.

Leadership is all about future and change. Leadership now becomes more open, trans-disciplinary, influential and innovative. The digital leadership effectiveness is not based on how loud you can speak, but how profound you can influence and what’s the leadership niche you can bring to the table. Leadership niche or strength is different from leadership style, the style is often at the skin level, but strength is built underneath. The leadership niche is based on leadership substance + leadership strength + leadership style + Leadership brand. The power of effective leader depends on a number of factors, the purpose to lead, leadership intelligence, the mix of knowledge and experience, the quality of information they receive and their collective leadership ability to operate as a team.


O- Openness
A mind is like a parachute, it works best when it’s open.”

Many say an open mind is more important than talent, as the state of your mind (open or close) will directly impact on how you make decisions as well as how you judge others. The people with the beginner’s mind are more open, they naturally treat each situation with freshness and novelty, no matter how many times they’d seen it or done it before, they would enjoy exploring the new possibilities or pursue the different way of doing things.  In order to change anyone’s mindset, the individual must have an open mind. Some say, "the most expensive thing anyone can own is a closed mind.” We can look at changing our own mindsets in the context of ourselves; we are all part of social systems with both individual and collective mindsets. Everyone has the ability to change their mindsets. Because every person has degrees of both open and closed mindsets in different contexts.

P - Profundity: A profound mind is like a big ocean, deep, but also open.

Back to the root of the word “profundity,” it means insightful and understanding. Climbing Knowledge-Insight-Wisdom pyramid is important steps in gaining profundity. It’s not just about knowing, but in-depth understanding; it requires a person's ability to grasp or comprehend information. Indeed, profundity is one of the crucial traits to differentiate average, mediocre, good, great or extraordinary person. Assumptions and prejudices are due to lack of deeper understanding. It is the responsibility of each individual to examine themselves and to make sure they are open to true understanding. The maturity of both individuals and an organization as a whole depends on how thoughtful they are - to make effective decisions or sound judgments; and how deeply they can go - to gain the insight or cure the root cause of both existing problems and emerging problems.

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

As a degree of quality is in everything people do and experience. People are always the weakest link in organizations. What is required is clarifying the purpose and engaging all the people involved working together as a team to excel in the delivery of product/service, as quality management is to help them in doing what they are doing better, easier and so on. Quality employees are the ones who can think and work independently, have excellent problem-solving skills, well disciplined, have a "customer focus," and bring positivity and wisdom to the workplace. Therefore, high-quality people should also improve the quality of products, services, and overall organizational maturity.

R - Resilience
Resilience is a property of an elastic component of a person.

Resiliency is about bouncing forward- includes bouncing back. The thinking skill of "putting things in perspective” can support the person to bounce back from disappointments and thus will provide the bigger picture for the person to move on from any kind of adverse situations.  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 the ability to respond to change, to recover quickly from setbacks, as well as the capacity to respond to the unexpected in a way that increases gain and/or minimizes loss. Business resilience is the business capability to make organization more risk intelligent, not just controlling, but managing it effectively. Because businesses are faced with more opportunities and risks in the digital era, being resilience is about failing fast, failing cheaper, and failing forward, also recovering more promptly.

S - Simplicity
Innovation is progress, and progress is in simplicity.

Innovation is often to make things more intuitive and easy to use. As Einstein wisely put: “Things should be as simple as possible, but no simpler.” With simplicity, what we are adding is clarity and purpose. By nature, innovators often enjoy simplicity, though they also have the complexity mindset to come out creative ideas, because creativity is the high level of thinking via integrating multiple thinking processes. Progress is in simplification, which often follows complexity. When pioneering and solving problems, initial solutions are often more complex than required, and then adoption and progress come with simplification. Unnecessary complexity arises not from nothing. Humans create, though unintentionally in most cases their own problems. Therefore, they have to untie the knots they made themselves. People complicate the simple things when they don't have the answers. The masters decode complexity and make it simple, elegant, and purposeful.

T - Transdisciplinary knowledge

In the “VUCA” digital new normal, organizations and human society will be confronting a number of high-complex problems in the hyper-connected world, the solutions will require integration of different sets of knowledge and fluency across multiple disciplines. The purpose of managing business via interdisciplinary discipline is to ensure that the business as a whole is superior to the sum of pieces. The digital transformation is now spreading rapidly to enable organizations of all shapes and sizes to reinvent themselves. But dealing with the significant challenge of digital transformation requires accelerated digital mindsets, leveraging multidisciplinary knowledge and insight, taking an end-to-end response and a structural approach. It involves applied Science (Engineering), Art (Design), principle (Philosophy), Cognition (Psychology), Social norms (Culture) and group behavior (Sociology). 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. It needs to leverage information to overcome uncertainty and unpredictability, and it takes a holistic approach to unleash the digital potential of today’s organization.

U - Uniqueness
Every person is unique, put the right people with the right capability to the right position to solve the right problems.

Every person is unique, no two snowflakes are the same. Being unique means to be authentic. Because when you always play safe, afraid of being different, you might lose the character or block your creativity. Compete with uniqueness is more effective than competing for everything. Being real is much more important than being perfect. The next step for discovering professional uniqueness is investigating what’s your strength, your passion: defining your task, things you want to do and do better than others. Self-awareness is important for the recognition of one’s strength and weakness, cognition ability, and style, intellectual engagement, creative problem-solving capabilities, personalities, innovativeness, plasticity, pattern discovery, dots connection, adaptation, and emotional intelligence. Either at individual or business level, the unique set of capabilities will help you to achieve career or business goals.


V- Versatility
The professional versatility is not just separate skills, but onion-like cohesive abilities or integral & recombinant capabilities.

Having enriched knowledge or versatile talent is foundational to create more fresh ideas in today’s sophisticated digital world. Talent is neither just about "busyness" nor linear skills, you need to keep your hands on the wheel, eyes opened, and ears to the ground.  It’s harder to build the robust and coherent ability which become an integral element of their unique professional capabilities to do things differently. Talent and versatility need to be measured in both quantitative and qualitative way. Work hard and work smarter need to go hand in hand.And sometimes, spreading time on doing too many things even turns to be a distraction from building their strength based on the innate talent. The digital workforce is more dynamic and digital workplace needs to be more people-centric. The competitions between machine and humans are intensifying. Thus, building integral capabilities such as multi-dimensional thinking abilities or creativity become imperative for digital professionals. To achieve success both as an individual and an employee, it is important that you understand your work environment, understand what is required to be done, have the right resources; and include the appropriate mindset. It takes versatility to shape new, new box, especially noted for transforming old mental maps or paradigms and creating strategies that are “outside the box” of conventional thought. They embody a balance of right brain and left brain thinking. "

W -Wisdom
Wisdom has something to do with making a sound judgment.
Wisdom is the full learning cycle: Learning, unlearning and relearning. Wisdom is not knowledge; one cannot have wisdom without knowledge, but one cannot substitute wisdom for knowledge as well. Wisdom is a full awareness of the situation and applying it right. Wisdom is to be understood within this context, wisdom is the ability to learn from every experience, to be able to gather small bits of information from all sources, and apply that to current or future challenges. Wisdom mainly consists of having experience and yet knowing when to discard that experience, when you come across new knowledge, new frontiers of existing knowledge. Plus an open mind. Wisdom is a function of knowing what you don't know and keeps curiosity to know more. Knowledge tends to be linear, but wisdom is multidimensional.


X- X Factor
‘X-factor’ has been defined as ‘a variable in a given situation that could have the most significant impact on the outcome, and it’s a noteworthy special talent or quality.’

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 key factors accordingly. In order to solve business problems effectively and unlock business performance, it’s important to analyze “CRAMPS” factors.
Cost — what are the costs of the solution, are they acceptable.
Risk — what are the risks associated with the solution. Is the level of risk acceptable to the enterprise?  
Reliability, Robustness part of Availability Sensitivity, depending on how you mean this, it is an aspect of Availability, Performance.
Availability — what availability is required and does the solution provide it.
Manageability — is the solution manageable, and how would it be managed.
Performance — what is the expected performance of the solution, is it within acceptable limits
Scalability — what is the scalability of the solution, is it within acceptable limits.

Y - Youth in mind
Youth in mind is less about age, more about growth mindset and learning plasticity.

Youth in mind is in strong demand because it is audacious, adaptive, aggressive and digital imperative. The mind of the older generation is usually more rigid. Their "know it all" attitude is difficult to erase because they are deep-seated with the life experiences and beliefs. In fact, youth in mind is less about age, more about the ability to learn and grow. It’s important to be equipped with a learning mind because when you stop learning, you are stagnant; especially at the age of digital, information is only a click away, but knowledge life cycle is significantly shortened. Digital professionals with growth mind can step out of their own comfort zone easily, walk the talk and lead change confidently. If you only know two colors - Black and White; then, perceptions are filtered into one of those two dimensions. You can only know what you know, but there are more dimensions which you don’t know; there’s known unknown and unknown unknown, hence, the more you know, the more you feel humbled, because even human as collective species, the things we know, compared to what we don’t know, is just the tip of iceberg.

Z - Zest

A zest for learning and growing are contagious traits for improving digital maturity.

Energy and enthusiasm do fuel your imagination and creativity. On one hand, we have the level of curiosity, desire to learn and natural ability to maintain an open and inquisitive mind; on the other hand, we have the conditions of the environment in which we operate, with all the restrictions, the needs, the gaps and pressures that might push our creative minds to soar. A passion with a good positive chain of thoughts followed by positive actions often brings good results and leapfrogs progress. Optimism is built on a positive perception or a belief linked to one’s expectations some of which may take the time to turn creative thought and ideas into the reality. Be passionate about learning, the skills you develop will help you as your career evolves, having a passion and building a career around that passion would certainly help to discover “who you are,”  fuel creativity, align your focus and therefore potentially aiding you in greater success.


The Timing, Tempo, and Harmony of Digitalization

We live in an information abundant and technology empowered world and every day more and more technology affects the way we think, live, and work. Digitalization represents a break from the past and implies the full-scale changes in the way that the business is conducted so that simply adopting some new gadgets isn’t insufficient. It is a holistic effort and multifaceted discipline to touch every aspect of the business. The journey of digital transformation is all about weighing the following main business elements impacting change -people, process, and technology and balance the timing, tempo, and harmony of digitalization.

Timing:
The high-mature digital organizations are highly conscious about what’s happening in their environment, constantly improving the business and seeing change as an opportunity while keeping a holistic overview of the business are the core messages. It is only a matter of time. Change and the digitalization journey starts with the realization that where you are currently no longer can deliver the business objective, envision of success for your company and your shareholders, especially for the long term, and determine what the future needs to look like. It needs to have a sense of urgency because vision, decisiveness and proactive attitude are crucial to initiate changes in the marketplace. Successful organizations see the changes coming and with preplanning to overcome the resistance before it even manifests. While those businesses that wait for demand to changes are lagging behind the curve. Timing is really important, the good moment to change is when the top management senses the urgency from the strategic perspective and the bottom of hierarchy feel the pain from the daily operational lens. The change inertia is minimized via the common understanding of the necessity and imperatives of changes, grasp opportunities timely and prevent risks effectively.

Tempo:
Change and digitalization are more as a journey than a destination, the organization’s information pulse and digital tempo need to run at the right pace to keep the enterprise body circling well, keep it energetic and healthy. Monitoring the digital pulse of the organization is to help the leadership team make an objective assessment of the business’s change capability via assessing the business’s maturity traits such as adaptability, responsiveness, effectiveness, flexibility, resilience, and speed, etc. Digital is the age of people and options; it provides the opportunity to think the new approach to do things, run in a very entrepreneur way to solve business problems effectively, intensify digital with focus, present empathy to their people, shapen prioritization skills to get important things done; know when to take the gas pedal to speed up and harness innovation; and when to take the brake to control risks. Often, change will not be the straight line, there will be bumps and roadblocks along the way, thus, taking the right pace is important to strike the right balance of the change and stability, to ensure the business can both reap some quick wins and more importantly achieve the long-term strategic advantage.

The harmonies of digitalization: 
Many organizations are still confused digital with general technology adoption. The management and staff need to be working as high performing and creative teams, having both internal and external beliefs around how the business is a movement for ennoblement and improvement. It is the business "harmony." A business organization can only achieve high performance by taking the collaboration road. Creating a context where people can collaborate where they are empowered and respected and make collective decisions. Giving everyone a voice in how the organization and the people in it can prosper and thrive. Understanding and recognizing that everyone plays a "piece of the pie," imagine the true meaning when you say "Teamwork." Creating a context where people can collaborate where they are empowered and respected and make collective decisions is the essence of the business harmonization. The challenge for achieving the harmonies of digitalizing the business is to manage its portfolio of relevant cross-border strategic synergies and organizational interdependence, fine-tune the structure and improve changeability, empower people, engage digital talent and balance effectiveness and efficiency.

Being digital in one's business implies first going digital internally and culturally. It means the deeper you can perceive the holistic digital impact, the further you can reach the digital vision and pinnacle. Fine-tuning all important business elements and striking the right balance of timing, tempo, and harmony of changes are all crucial to make change sustainable and the journey delightful.







Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Monthly “Digital Boardroom: 100 Q&As” Book Tuning: The Digital Board’s Composition Inquiries Feb. 2018

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

               The Digital Board’s Composition Inquiries


The Digital Board’s Composition Inquiries Digital boards are heterogeneous, inquisitive, intelligent, effective, innovative and influential, with the ability to adapt to the “VUCA” digital new normal. The board competency will directly impact business competency. Board must set an example of leadership which permeates through the entire organization. An effective and efficient board can reflect, identify and mind the gaps on their own boardroom turf, they also continue to add the new blood for enforcing digital acumen in the boardroom.

The Digital Board’s Composition Inquiries (II)
Digital transformation is in every forward-thinking company’s top agenda; innovation is the light every organization is pursuing, and digitization becomes the new normal of business expansion. All of these bring the significant opportunities and responsibilities for the new breed of digital BoDs. Because the board in a high-level directorship position plays a crucial role in strategy oversight, business advising & monitoring, as well as setting key digital tones in leadership development and talent management. Here are a set of the digital board’s composition inquiries.

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

The Digital Board’s Leadership, Composition, and Succession Inquiries The contemporary corporate board as the directorial role plays a significant role in overseeing strategy, advising corporate executives and monitoring business performance. The BoDs should also walk the talk to digitize the boardroom with strategic imperative because often the digital tone is set at the top and echo spirally to all levels of the organization. Here is a set of the digital board’s leadership, composition, and succession inquiries.

The Digital Board Composition/Refreshment Inquiries Contemporary boards play the crucial directorial role in business strategy oversight, performance monitoring, business advising and policy setting. They are also the mastermind behind the digital transformation. Not only do today’s BoDs need to have sufficient knowledge to understand the digital business ecosystem, but also they need to have the collective insight to present today and foresee the future. The matter of fact is that the changes sweeping the business are hugely disruptive and there is nowhere to hide. Leadership is all about change and directorship is about steering the business toward the right direction. From board composition and refreshment perspective, which challenges do you face, when and how do you tackle the issue of change in the boardroom? And how to build high-performance boards for today and the future?

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2.3 million page views with 4500+ 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









The New Book “Problem-Solving Master” Chapter IV: Leverage Systems Thinking in Problem-Solving

Although Systems Thinking might slow down the problem-solving scenario, it’s worth its weight in framing the right problems before solving them.

The world has become so dynamic with the exponential growth of information, it is full of opportunities and problems. Many problems do exist because they are either ill-defined or the concept cannot be adequately captured contextually. Further, there’s the problem that the same word means different things to different people because they carry different emotional baggage or have the cognitive difference. So, what’re the logical scenarios for problems diagnosing and solving? And how to leverage Systems Thinking in problem-solving?

Applying Systems Thinking to frame the problems: Systems Thinking provides a more holistic way to view the problems. It offers a better and more accurate understanding of the overall situation and problems, and hence, better defining the problems and subsequently how you should go about solving them and in what sequence. Systems Thinking also provides insight into emergent issues, both the positive emergent issues required and the negative emergent issues that come about, particularly due to the combination of parts and the interactions within the system and between the system and its environment. Systems Thinking provides the tools and methodologies to define problems under uncertainty. It helps you actually understand the problem, you need to be clear about one of the common features of systems. The way any element within a system affects the whole depends on what at least one other element is doing. Systems Thinking provides a structured process and takes consideration of the range of options.

Take systematic approaches and well-tested methodologies to solve problems:
For large and complex problems, it is often a good idea to first split problems into different categories and to assess the relative importance of the different categories for them and what could be done about it. High mature digital leaders encompass the ability to address the systems, processes, and the human elements to improve problem-solving effectiveness. Behind every problem is a relationship dynamic out of alignment, in relation to fixing root causes of problems. A high-performing culture will invariably have a management process to address this. Thus, the top management needs to have their finger on the pulse in order to steer the organization in the direction that they are able to expeditiously defuse, minimize, or eliminate some workplace problems, and create a workplace culture and climate that is conducive to that.

Preventing problems requires people/systems to analyze and predict the possibility of a problem: Risks are simply potential problems. Solving problems requires people who have excellent analytical and problem-solving skills. It is also important to integrate risk into resource prioritization and planning processes. The risk process helps the business prioritize the activities they are committed to resources in addition to serving as a cross check for anything that they may have missed or are doubling up on. It is also important to leverage Systems Thinking and tools for developing the forward-looking assessment framework which is able to identify risks and report to the board in a manner that brings about the right conversation and improve the risk management effectiveness.

Although Systems Thinking might slow down the problem-solving scenario, it’s worth its weight in framing the right problems before solving them. Digital business leaders today need to ask questions and facilitate dialogues and build the culture of collaboration to improve the effectiveness of problem-solving.

Digital CIOs’ Three Practices to Amplify Leadership Influence

Due to the speed of changes, especially in the technology arena, digital CIOs need to be the dynamic leaders with open and growth mindset.


With the exponential growth of information and emerging digital technologies, CIOs will continue to be put on the front line for driving innovation and leading digitalization. They need to ensure their organizations are ready for change, space and time are made to scope, plan and execute. CIO role should be continually reinvented to fit for the new digital paradigm shift. IT leaders have to play multiple personas and leverage multidimensional management disciplines to explore the breadth and depth of the role and go deeper in order to lead forward. Here are CIOs’ three digital practices to amplify their leadership influence.




Play the crystal ball to share the technological vision: “Keeping the lights on only” is not sufficient to run a highly effective IT organization. Digital CIOs need to be both artists and technologists in boldly imagining IT vision and the business model of tomorrow while orchestrating the digital symphony to harmonize key business factors to succeed in the business models of today. CIOs have to know how to play the crystal ball because vision is particularly important for CIOs and because nowadays information and technology are often the game changer to either leap and fail the business even overnight. The role of the CIO should be able to envision not only where a company believes it is going, but how it will get there, and how it might be missing out on opportunities or face the risks because of limitations on understanding of disruptive technology and information flow. They need to master the art of creating unique and differentiating value from piles of commoditized technologies. The future-driven IT focuses on building core business capabilities to catalyze growth and improve overall business competency and become a digital engine and innovation powerhouse of the organization.

Play the oddball to enforce innovation: Forward-look IT organizations are “digital disruptor” of their company because information technology is the disruptive force behind digital innovation.Technology changes so quickly and information grows overwhelmingly, you must first be aware of new technology before you can learn to apply it to the business. Innovative CIOs play the oddball to enforce innovation which involves both opportunities and risks. They have to deal with situations that they have not dealt with before, possess confidence and experience to be entrepreneurial. To reinvent IT as the innovation engine of the business, IT leaders have to play the oddball when necessary and develop the unique digital practices, step out of the “comfort zone,” and “we always do things like that” mentality. They need to be creative thinkers who can bring up the fresh perspective of the business and discover the better way to do things, supply differentiated solutions that contribute to both top line growth and the bottom line success of the organization. Innovation happens at the intersection of people and technology. CIOs with innovative leadership styles are the key to re-imagine IT to achieve the art of possible. Innovative IT leaders also need to encourage creativity and constructive criticism to build a highly innovative working environment to unleash collective potential.


Play the curveball to improve the business adaptability and speed: The curveball implies particularly tough issues or big obstacles, named after equally tricky baseball pitch, to introduce something unexpected or require a quick reaction or correction. Perhaps that’s also a good practice for digital CIOs to improve their digital leadership effectiveness and IT management efficiency. Compared to the business world decades ago, the speed of change is increasing, digital disruptions are frequent, information is growing exponentially. The reality is that organizations that do not respond to external environmental changes timely will lag behind the change curve and decelerate performance dramatically. Sometimes the problem is the inability to perceive a change in the environment and adapt when conditions require it. In today's volatile economy, nothing impedes the progress more than protective silos which are simply a form of bureaucratic management style designed to preserve the status quo. IT plays a critical role in breaking down information silos and building a real-time digital organization because information management is about how to leverage the right information for making right decisions timely to improve business responsiveness and speed. Technology and its associated methodologies and practices are parts of that leverage mechanism for improving the business adaptability and speed.

Due to the speed of changes, especially in the technology arena, digital CIOs need to be the dynamic leaders with open and growth mindset. They should develop their own set of leadership practices, build the reputation as the business strategists, change agents and digital advocates.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Monthly Insight of “Digital Balance”: The Multitude of Digital Equilibrium Feb. 2018

We are experiencing the dynamics of the most significant business transformation since the industrial revolution. The majority of us will work in an organization that is somewhere between old and new; at both industrial speed and digital speed; It is more critical than ever to maintain the right level of digital balance. In fact, striking the right digital balance is a never-ending business life cycle.

          

The Multitude of Digital Equilibrium

How to Strike the Multitude of Digital Balances for Achieving a State of Dynamic Equilibrium Digital makes a significant impact on every aspect of the business both horizontally and vertically. Due to the “VUCA” nature of digitalization, change is unavoidable, firms that are skilled at managing digital dynamic can gain advantages in profitability, speed, business growth, and innovation enforcement. Organizations have to strike the multitude of digital balances which impact with each other as well in order to achieve such a state of dynamic equilibrium.

Achieve Digital Equilibrium via Delicate Balance
Digitalization means hyper-connectivity, over-complexity, and interdependence; it blurs the geographical borders, functional borders, organizational borders, industry vertical borders and knowledge domain border. Many come to believe that boundaries are not tangible places of resistance but are only self-imposed limitations we place on ourselves to hide our own fear to move forward. The black and white boundaries continue to diminish in the 21st century due to the occurrence of increased economic integration, digital dynamic characterized by the movement of information, people, and businesses. Therefore, it is more critical than ever to maintain the right level of digital balance. In fact, striking the right digital balance is a never-ending business life cycle.

"CIO Master" Book Tunig XXII: Running IT with Digital Equilibrium: Organizations large or small on the journey of digital transformation, as we move from using technology as a vehicle to maximize efficiency and minimize costs to using technology as an enabler and catalyzer of totally new business models and growth. IT needs to strike the right balance between innovation and stability, new way to explore emergent digital opportunities and keeping the lights on fundamental, information flow, and risk management. More specifically, how to run IT with digital equilibrium??

How to Manage Digital Balance Cycles Effectively One of the significant characteristics of emerging digital era is interdependence, due to the latest digital technologies such as social and mobile, the business and world have become hyper-connected and interdependent, it does make a smaller world, but also makes businesses and the world super complex and full of uncertainty and ambiguity. Hence, in order to solve both strategic and technical problems facing in business and overcome the challenges facing mankind, the interdependent thinking shall be practiced, it is about how you apply system thinking to view the world and an interconnected and interdependent whole; and how to follow systems principles for solving problems under complex, uncertain and ambiguous circumstances?

Digital Balance: How to Strike it Just Right? We are experiencing the dynamics of the most significant business transformation since the industrial revolution. The majority of us will work in an organization that is somewhere between old and new; at both industrial speed and digital speed; in the physical building and remote environment; or will remain to be a mixture of old and new. It is the biggest management challenge to be a change agent, where we respond to the current state of the organization and we try to take it from there to a next level. Just like running up to the string, the point is how to strike the right digital balance?




The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2.3 million page views with about #4500+ blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. blog posting. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom, to inspire critical thinking and spur healthy debates. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating the new ideas; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify diverse voices and deepen digital footprints, and it's the way to harness your innovative spirit.

The New Book “Problem-Solving Master” Chapter 3: Creative Problem-Solving

People who can solve problems in a new way are innovators. 

Running businesses is an iterative continuum to solve problems large or small. Creativity needs a problem, and a creative person needs a purpose. Creative thinking and critical thinking often work in tandem for problem-solving. Collectively, innovation allows an organization to stand out and above the rest for solving problems creatively and maximizing the commercial value to the company.




Unless there is a problem, there is no creativity: Any problem is the right problem if there is an attempt to find a solution. It becomes about addressing the correct need and perhaps the problem becomes how to identify the need at the right level. When you encounter a tough problem, you need to think it in a creative way. There is as much creative thinking that goes into problem identification as solution discovery. Sometimes lack of creativity becomes the problem after many people refused to deal with it for various reason and ignored it until it becomes a problem and later, the bigger problem and the harder problem, and even the business survival problem or the career breaker problem. Therefore, always encourage critical and creative thinking at every level of the organization, it is important to applying creativity in a recursive way to the creative process for effective problem-solving. Change, creativity, and problem-solving are all important perspectives for driving the business forward. If you don’t have a sound solution to each newly created problem, you’ll have very little chance to successfully run a high-performance digital business.

Creative problem-solvers have the ability to reframe the circumstances or conditions around a problem and solve it creatively: An innovative problem-solver doesn’t do different things, but they do things differently. It is important to experiment, explore, and encourage the new way to solve either old or emerging problem. Because with increasing pace of changes and frequent disruptions, the best practices are outdated sooner than ever and “commonly known” method is no longer working anymore when the circumstances change. In fact, it takes courage to get out of the conventional thinking box, practice creative thinking to come out novel ideas, broaden thoughts and connect wider dots for coming up alternative solutions to tough problems. In short, being creative is about how to solve a problem intelligently and come up with elegant solutions. It is important to get out of the fear that blocks our genius, learn how to liberate imagination and come up with a new approach to problem-solving.

Develop employees entrepreneurially and build a culture of problem-solving: People who can solve problems in a new way are innovators. With a culture of learning and creativity, individuals will be more innovative if they are passionate about their work, encouraged to think creatively and enjoy the problem-solving jigsaw puzzles. Let them do things and solve problems in their own way to meet good results. What many see as innovation is actually problem-solving scenario - a simple process of deduction to derive a solution drawing from knowledge, experience, and out-of-the-box creativity. Innovation Management needs to set the guidelines, establish a framework to “keep focus” and apply efficient tools to improve innovation effectiveness - solving the right problems and efficiency - solving them in the right way.

Digital is the age of innovation. There are both hard factors such as policy, process, performance and soft factors such as leadership, culture, and communication, which need to be woven seamlessly in order to build creative and collective problem-solving capability.