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, January 17, 2018

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

Compare to the other executive positions, the CIO role continues to be shaken up, refined, reinvented and reenergized. The magic “I” of the CIO title sparks many imaginations and modern CIOs need to wear different hats and play multiple roles. Here are a set of blogs to brainstorm digital CIOs’ contemporary digital leadership profile.

      


The Contemporary Digital CIO’s Profile & Practices


The New Book "12 CIO Personas" Introduction: The Digital CIO’s Profiles, Personas, and Personalities? Compared to other CxO positions, the CIO role is considerably new with about three decades of history. But the contemporary CIO is one of the most sophisticated leadership roles in modern businesses. Due to disruptive nature of technologies and exponential growth of information, IT leadership role also has to be continually reimagined, refined, refreshed and reenergized. The CIO is no longer just a glorified geek, but a business savvy strategist and a transformational digital leader. Great CIOs have multiple personas, varying personalities, and impressive leadership profiles.

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

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

Three Clarity to Excel CIO Digital Leadership Effectiveness The disruption of IT will continue. IT matters not only because it’s pervasive, more about it continues to advance, and it’s the nature of the "constructive disruption.” Embracing digital is inevitable as that is now part of the reality. IT needs to become the game changer for the business. Thus, the CIO role also continues to be shaken up, refined, reinvented and reenergized. CIOs have to both walk the talk and talk the walk, master learning, change, and innovation. Here are three clarities to excel the CIO digital leadership effectiveness.

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

The blog is a dynamic book flowing with your thought; growing through your dedication; sharing your knowledge; conveying your wisdom, and making influence through touching the hearts and connecting the minds across the globe. The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2.2 million page views with about #4300 blog posting. Among 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating the new ideas; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes the time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify diverse voices and deepen digital footprints, and it's the way to harness your innovative spirit.


The New Book “12 CIO Personas” Quote Collection II

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

35 Organization changes should be built into strong management practices.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Five Stages of Digital evolutionary ecosystem

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

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

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

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

 


Sparkling Innovation in the New Year


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

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

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

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


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

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2.3 million page views with about #4300th blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating the new ideas; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify diverse voices and deepen digital footprints, and it's the way to harness your innovative spirit.

The New Book “12 CIO Personas” Quote Collection I

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Accelerate IT Driven Innovation via Three lenses

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

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

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

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

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

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




Monday, January 15, 2018

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

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

Digital makes a significant impact on every aspect of the business from people, process to technology, both horizontally and vertically. Digital becomes the very fabric of high performing business, being outside-in and customer-centric is the new mantra for forward-looking and high mature digital organizations today. At the heart of digital, it is people and how to build a customer-centric organization. More specifically, what are the very characteristics of digital business maturity?

        

The Characteristics of Digital Business Maturity

Hyperconnectivity as the “Nature” of Digital Businesses Hyperconnectivity is one of the most critical characteristics of the digital business. Digital organizations arise when the scale of the interrelations, interactions, or interrelational interactions brings the new cycle of the business growth, information flow, innovation, and maturity. The digital organization is a living thing, it cannot be taken apart. As you cannot understand a cell, a living thing if you isolate it from its context. It is a cohesive whole.

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

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


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

Enforcing Three Fundamental Business Factors for Improving Business Maturity: Forward-looking organizations are reaching the inflection point from doing digital to being digital, from being digitally disrupted to be a digital disruptor. Digital Maturity matters, because digital transformation discipline is not just about some stand-alone initiatives, it requires a vision for 'WHY' and a solid strategy for "WHAT" and "HOW" you want to transform radically. Companies are gradually opening up to the next practice to enforce digital ways and build up digital competency with a set of unique capabilities. More specifically, how to enforce these fundamental elements of the business: People, process, and technology, in order to expedite change and improve business maturity.

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2+million page views with about #4300+ blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. blog posting. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom, to inspire critical thinking and spur healthy debates. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating the new ideas; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify diverse voices and deepen digital footprints, and it's the way to harness your innovative spirit.

Breaking Three Bottlenecks to Digitize Boardrooms

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

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


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

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

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

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

The New Book “12 CIO Personas” Conclusion: Enhance Digital CIO Personas with Enriched Leadership Portfolio

Digital CIOs have multiple personas to practice the situational leadership accordingly.

With increasing pace of changes and fast growing information, the role of IT and that of the CIO is going through significant changes. Overall speaking, the digital CIO is the leadership role, how CIOs provide the appropriate leadership and how they convey to leverage IT for the business value depends on the CIOs’ vision and their leadership strengths and styles. Further, whatever the management team needs or wants at the time out of the CIO will be different, and by the type of business needs will be different as well. Thus, the CIO role needs to be continually reimagined, refreshed, and reinvented. Digital CIOs have multi-faceted personas and need to practice the situational leadership skillfully.

Digital CIOs are born to change: Due to “disruptive” nature of technology and overwhelming growth of information. Digital CIOs are born to change as well. They must understand the issues or opportunities, listen to a wide range of opinions and approaches to think the new way to do things. Refreshing IT leadership is to keep the digital tempo for creating business synergies and accelerating digital transformation. Digital CIOs are often the outlier visionaries who are good at the perception of technology trends, emerging business opportunities or alternative business solutions. They are skeptical about conventional understanding of the problems so that they examine everything before accepting it for its real truth or advising it to others. They are informative, persuasive, and empathetic to close digital leadership and communication gaps via their niche talent and skills. A unique set of digital thinking helps IT leaders think broader, deeper, use longer-term frame, and take a holistic lens, to improve IT performance and maturity.

Digital CIOs should practice creative leadership to run an innovative IT: Digital is the age of innovation. Digital CIOs need to be creative enough to dream bigger for envisioning the future of the business and “sell the dream” via creative communication and vivid storytelling, bold enough to inspire the team, and also logical enough to implement it. Digital CIOs need to have the capacity to learn, relearn, and adapt. It is particularly important for practicing innovative IT leadership effortlessly. That means to have the willingness to try something new, to test, to learn what you knew again, with new perspectives, to listen and remain balanced. Digital is the age of options, it provides the opportunities for IT leaders to get really creative on how to delight customers and orchestrate changes, to ensure IT is strategically positioned to be ahead of where the business is moving next.

Digital CIOs have multiple leadership and management responsibilities, and have to practice situational IT leadership fluently: Digital CIOs need to be the business strategists, technological visionaries, customer advocates, talent masters, process overseers, and governance champion, etc. Digital CIOs also need to be able to communicate skillfully to avoid the “Lost in Translation” syndrome. Although the title is not as essential as responsibility, the digital standard needs to be built and the priority should be set. CIOs should present their leadership authenticity, enhance their leadership strength, practice the digital leadership philosophy they believe in, and tailor their own leadership style to make a digital fit.

Every leadership in unique and every CIO is unique. The focus of IT upon digital transformation is not about changing the title, but updating mindsets, skill sets, and toolset, set up the digital standard to improve IT competency and maturity in a continuous way.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

The Monthly “100 Creativity Ingredients” Book Tuning: The Key Traits in Innovators Jan. 2018


All humans are born with raw creativity ability. Creativity has many dimensions, with multi-faceted truth and myth, manifold knowledge and multidimensional insight. Creativity is wings of our mind and tempo of our heartbeat. Creativity is a constructive disruption, not so bad addiction, and a sensational phenomenon. The purpose of “100 Creativity Ingredients - Everyone’s Playbook to Unlock Creativity “is to classify, scrutinize, articulate, and share insight about one hundred special creativity ingredients, to paint the picture with them, to add colors on them, to embed the music into them, and to make the story via them, in order to unleash our collective creativity potential.       

                   The Key Traits in Innovators   


Creative Personality with Paradoxical Traits Creativity is the #1 needed skill now because digital is the age of innovation. The problem is that creativity cannot be taught, it’s not an ability which can be imposed by instruction, calculated via algorithms or practiced with linear thinking only. History teaches that those gifted with ingenuity don't need stimulating, while those without it are barren ground when it comes to original thinking. In fact, creative personality has some paradoxical traits. Creativity, originality, ingenuity, and insight need to be discovered by talented people on their own, though they cannot be completely taught, they can be developed and nurtured to reach the abundance of creativity.

The “A” Factors in Creativity We all have unlimited creative potential and intrinsic ability to think outside of the box and come out novel ideas via connecting unusual dots. But we need to learn how to unlock it. Creativity is a function of imagination, high-level thinking, knowledge, psychology, activities, and motivation. Here are three “A” factors in creativity.

Three “U” Traits in Innovators Innovation is about figuring out the better ways to do things. Innovation is an exceptional, exclusive, and realistic idea that separates you from others without a second thought. Being innovative is a state of mind to think and do things from new perspectives. Innovators are the rare breed, but they are around us and within us. Here are three “U” traits in innovators.

How to Spot your Innovators? Creativity is an essential building block for innovation in business. And innovation is the light every business is pursuing. Everyone possesses a certain level of creativity, but how does creativity manifest itself in the workplace? What's the best work environment to stimulate creativity? And how can digital leaders spot their true innovators and improve innovation success rate?



Three Styles of Innovation Leaders The leadership in any organization must have the ability to guide, inspire, innovate, and motivate a group of people toward accomplishing shared visions and goals. Innovative leadership is essentially anchored on the leader's overall multifaceted resourcefulness and multidimensional competencies to formulate creative alternatives or unconventional solutions to resolve problems, to show versatility and flexibility in response to unpredictable or unanticipated business circumstances. Here are three styles of innovation leaders.

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2 million page views with about 4300+ blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify your voice, deepen your digital footprints, and match your way for human progression.

“Simplexity” as the Characteristic of Digital Maturity

Either at individual or business level, we should follow the “simplicity” principle to handle the over-complex digital reality with “VUCA” characteristics. 

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

Complexity: Due to the “VUCA” nature of digitalization, business complexity is unavoidable. It becomes complex if things do interact, particularly in the case of "nonlinear" interaction, you can't separate things properly or you cannot predict the actual effect of interaction straightforwardly. Considering there is no universally agreed definition of complexity, in the corporate scope, there are hierarchical complexity, environmental complexity, information complexity, collaboration complexity, design complexity, governance complexity, etc. Imagine the complexity that comes in due to these characteristics such as, less structure, rules and regulations, diversity, volatility, ambiguity, unpredictability, lack of linearity and increased flux, etc, working and impacting together. In fact, complexity has increased exponentially and has become the part of digital new normal. The complexity can be good or bad for businesses depending on your strategy and capability. There are needed complexity and unwanted complexity. One one side, there is no intelligence without the certain level of complexity, complexity is a property of intelligence. On the other side, complication or unwanted complexity will stifle innovation and decrease productivity. From management lenses, typically look at complexity from a business impact perspective as well as from a business solution perspective. Companies that are skilled at managing complexity can gain advantages by pushing the boundaries of a more sophisticated business mix. Complexity usually involves early in the life-cycle and careful examination of numbers and types of stakeholders across the organization. The effective complexity management can provide opportunities to create inter-business value and differentiated business competency.

Simplicity: Simplicity means or is related to too many things such as manageability, availability, scalability, flexibility, reliability, robustness, sensitivity, comprehensiveness, speed, responsiveness, etc. Take a close look at simplicity from different management lenses as well - Is it “the simplicity from developer’s perspective” or “simplicity from customers perspective” or “simplicity from management perspective-solution lifecycle maintenance cost perspective.” As the saying is going, simplicity is the optimal level of complexity. Simplicity is the building blocks. There is a relationship between simplicity and clarity. Simplicity is the design of looking for what is common for maximum reuse. But how do you know that simplicity is "just right"? How do you know you have the minimum required complexity, as to support flexibility without hurting the support/maintenance costs? To achieve simplicity, you would have to address the complexities of the subject matter. Simplicity can be expressed via comprehensive abstract. Simplicity is a behavioral attitude to see things as and what and where they are and be content and cool as it is. An organization achieves the state of digital equilibrium through its optimized management layers, resilient process, and elastic capacity.

Simplexity: “Simplexity” is a portmanteau word to reflect the digital reality. In the core of simplicity lies complexity. Often, the more simple people perceive in any system, problem or living being is inherently more complex. When a business becomes overly complex and people get frustrated and annoyed by not being able to accomplish things easily, this drives the search for simpler concepts and methods. The emergent digital complexities include hyper-connectivity, hyper-diversity, hyper-dynamism, and the non-linear complexity such as less structure and multi-dimensional views, or design complexity such as highly productive complexity, value/cost/risk ratio complexity. Simplicity is the pertinent portmanteau word mixing with two words "Simplicity," and "Complexity," which well-describes the digital new normal philosophically. The art of digital management is not to complicate things, but to eliminate unnecessary complication. That means over-complexity in a business may be hiding simple and innovative ways to achieve things because the people involved just don't get the time to step back from the complexity. Therefore, the management needs to encourage desired complexity, simplify and optimize the business for reaching the next level of digital maturity.

Either at individual or business level, we should follow the “simplicity” principle to handle the over-complex digital reality with “VUCA” characteristics -Velocity, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity. “Less is more” needs to become the digital principle for tuning modern enterprise structure and design, not about less intelligence, but about debureaucracy and optimization, as well as on how to improve business adaptability, responsiveness, flexibility, speed, and equilibrium.


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The New Book “12 CIO Personas” Chapter 12 Introduction: The CIO as “Chief Influence Officer”

Good leaders are continually practicing, experiencing, learning, reflecting, adjusting,  both "walk the talk and talk the walk," to be fluent in mastering leadership influencing via their own leadership strength and unique style.

Contemporary CIOs face many leadership dilemmas: Being sustainable or disrupt? Keep status quo or being innovative? Act as a business executive or an IT manager? Traditional CIOs have been perceived as tactical IT managers, running IT as a support function to keep the lights on. Digital CIOs today must develop their leadership competency to make multidimensional influence across the organization and the digital ecosystem. There are many personas for digital CIOs today, one of the most pertinent ones is “Chief Influence Officer,” who develops influential competence to amplify leadership effect and master both business understanding and technological knowledge to practice expert power.

The multitude of digital CIO influences: The CIO role by nature is fraught with paradox. The CIO needs to be both business strategist and IT manager; innovator and cost-cutter; visionary and hands-on manager. IT now is considered a driver of a company’s growth strategy rather than just the “keeping the lights on”support function. As a result, CIOs now have more accountability and visibility than ever before. They should make the strategic influence on key business decisions, as IT strategy and the “art of the possible” in technology influence the development of business strategy. IT would reduce risks of surprise disruptions and better involve in bolstering competitive advantage. Digital is the age of innovation. Innovation is the execution of new ideas that create business value. And technology is often the engine of innovation. Thus, CIOs also have to practice innovation influence via envisioning and sharing technological visions, refine information to capture the business insight of growth opportunities or customer insight. In the face of the digital new normal, the only thing wise CIOs have to influence is to persuade the business about the potential cost of the current situation and benefits of the business solutions. IT can also make an influence on modern businesses’ culture and talent strategy via information-based reasoning and tangible measurement. Overall speaking, CIOs should play position influence, expertise influence, and social influence to improve their leadership effectiveness. High mature CIOs are high influencers through their breadth of business knowledge and the depth of IT insight.

The daily grinding of leadership development: The CIO is the leadership role, not just a management job. Leadership is not a setting-hour work, but a continuous self-awareness, self-motivation, and self-mastery journey. CIOs should spend time on developing self and others, set the strong leadership tone to build the culture of learning and innovation in their organization. Only a CIO who is proactively learning every day, empowered or trained via tailored approaches by the organizations, can make things happen and fulfill the expectation of his/her organization. It is also important for CIOs to have open door time for people to come and discuss any challenges, share innovative ideas, brainstorm varying solutions to business problems. For those IT leaders who move up the IT ranks will need to have the inherent knowledge of the business in order to become the well-rounded leadership role to succeed as a top business executive.

The recipe for highly influential digital IT leadership: Digital CIOs should have their own unique leadership voice based on their differentiated leadership competency. The multitude of leadership competency includes courage, temperance, openness, adaptability, emotional excellence, sound judgment, creativity, inclusiveness, etc. and a set of leadership skills such as persuasion, motivation, decision-making, interpersonal communication, conflict management, and finally conceptual understanding skills, etc. The effective digital leaders are both confident and humble, they don’t care about others think about them to feel valued, but strongly believe in themselves; they have no problem to lend empowerment, encourage people to grow, improve, and innovate. Also, CIOs have to learn the new ways to do the things or the trends that may not be known to you before. The world is moving so fast, remember you can always change the tone of an old song, rearrange and make it better. There is no secret recipe for digital leadership, every CIO must both "walk the talk and talk the walk," to be fluent in mastering leadership influencing via their own leadership strength and unique style.

Leadership is an influence and practice. Good leaders are continually practicing, experiencing, learning, reflecting, adjusting, and they understand that the ultimate mastery of leadership does not exist. The path to mastery is something that unfolds day by day. CIOs just have to manage their time wisely and lead profoundly.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

The Monthly “IT Innovation” Book Tuning: The Innovation Core in Digital Masters Jan. 2018

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

                 The Innovation Core in Digital Masters


The “Digital Master” Book Series- Innovation CoreDigital Master is the series of guidebooks (21+ books) to perceive the multi-faceted impact digital is making to the businesses and society, help forward-thinking organizations navigate through the journey in a systematic way. Digital Master refers to those high-performing, highly innovative and high-mature (less than 15%) digital organizations; they have both clear digital vision and well-crafted digital strategy; they are courageous to be in the vanguard of digital transformation with a quantum lead. At the individual level, Digital Masters are those cross-generational digital professionals who are equipped with the advanced digital minds and build a unique set of digital capabilities.

Three “F”actors in Innovation Management
Digital is the age of innovation. The art of innovation is that it involves new ways of bringing together the latest technologies, ideas, and resources to create something novel. The challenging part is that innovation is not always equal to the latest gadget, it’s about people, process, culture, partnership, manners, etc. Digital organizations have to orchestrate all those important ingredients into the unique innovation capability of the business.

The New Book “12 CIO Personas” Chapter 2 Introduction: The CIO as “Chief Innovation Officer”:
Digital is the age of innovation, one of the most appropriate tiles for the CIO is “Chief Innovation Officer,” because digitalization opens the new chapter of innovation. Digital CIOs need to present entrepreneurial spirit, learn to think and lead innovatively, have the right dose of risk appetite and take the calculated risk to accelerate IT performance and unleash its full potential.

CIOs as “Chief Intrapreneur Officer”: How to Sow IT Innovation Seeds via asking Open-Ended Questions?
Intrapreneurship is about creating new venture from within an established company to look for changes and explore new opportunities. Many IT organizations become the change department of their company and they have to become the innovation engine of the business as well. Intrapreneur CIOs need to be dynamic people with vision, openness, inquisitiveness, growth and complexity mindset. Intrapreneur leaders practice entrepreneurship in the large enterprise to rejuvenate culture, advocate digitalization, inspire innovation and accelerate the speed of changes. They master at asking open-ended questions to sow innovation seeds and reimagine IT to reach the next level of organizational maturity.

The Digital CIO’s Three “ALWAYS” to Make IT COOL again and Get Digital Ready
Traditional IT organizations are often perceived as the cost center or support function only. Although technology is more often than not, the disruptive force for business and industry innovation, IT organizations seem to have a tendency to align with the slow changing parts of the organization. With continuous digital disruptions and exponential growth of information, the business needs IT to deliver services or solutions that drive business productivity and effectiveness, the business also needs IT to provide better information to achieve improved profitability and build the organizational competency. In reality, different companies evolve digital with varying speed, how do you view the role of your IT organization today? Is it a service provider, a solution provider, or a game changer? How can CIOs make IT cool again to get digital ready?

The blog is a dynamic book flowing with your thought; growing through your dedication; sharing your knowledge; conveying your wisdom, and making influence through touching the hearts and connecting the minds across the globe. The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2 million page views with about #4300 blog posting. Among 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating the new ideas; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes the time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify diverse voices and deepen digital footprints, and it's the way to harness your innovative spirit.