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

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

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

Sunday, December 31, 2017

The New Year Celebration: Close your Eyes and Open your Mind on New Year's Eve

Our mind is charming as the blue sea, open, broad, profound, inclusive, dynamic and beautiful. 

It’s almost the time to open the page of the New Year. Will it be a good practice to close your eyes and open your mind in the New Year Eve, make the new year resolution to develop creativity as the new habit?





Creative people are open-minded: In order to be open-minded, do you know what’s the closed mind though? If you have the following symptom, you are close-minded: Have you stopped learning or changing quite a while ago? Do you still keep intellectual inquisitiveness? It is in human nature, people don't like the unknown because they fear; people don’t like people not from them because they don’t recognize; people don’t like new ideas because they fear to fail. People are egoists so, they never confess, they tend to cover the ignorance and weaknesses with exaggerated extroversive behaviors. This is what is called the state of the closed mind. What does the open mind mean then? Is it like the sponge to absorb the new knowledge? Is it like to open the window of mind, let the instinct wind blow up or brainstorm pour through? Is it about breaking down the outdated rules and shape the digital new normal? Is it like to turn on the conscious or subconscious light to brighten up the darkness of thought or shadow mind? Is it like a magnet to attract the brightest or the different point of view? What is creativity then?

Creativity flourished in solitude.

Creative people are expressive.

Creativity is -

spring water, the deeper you dig, the more it flows,

color palette, life is your canvas, and imagination is your brush,

tree, both nature and nurtured, to grow and blossom,

lightbulb, you have to switch it on for brightening up,

the earth, the humbler you are, the more open you become,

the charming sky, full of brilliant ideas and wonders,

The flower seeds, the more you sow, the more you harvest.


An open mind is not full, but free: 
Being open-minded is also about being humble enough to admit known unknown and unknown unknown. There is known known, known unknown and unknown unknown. The more you know, the more you know you don’t know and admit unknown unknown. To know what we don’t know is knowledge. We become informative and intelligent by knowing what we don’t know. To admit unknown unknown is the humbleness and wisdom; not about system or boxes, but about out-of-the-box; not about informativeness, but about openness. You become wise when you are humble enough to be aware of and admit what you don't know and share what you know. Discover what you don’t know yet, every discovery is supported by intellectual curiosity. You cannot envision a discovery as it is still not known to you. Discovery is a process of revealing unknown facts. Close your eyes and open your mind. Make a life a journey of discovery each day we discover something previously unknown to us.


Being open-minded means to see old things in new ways via different angles: Being open-minded means you need to get used to stepping outside the old box to unfamiliar territory, you discover and explore your own viewpoints. Think differently via different angles. Open-minded innovators find more viewing spots than the rest. They find angles to wiggle through where most are unable to even envision a place where there is an angle. They see the old problems from every direction and find different solutions to solve them elegantly. Innovators whose work continues to move forward and, in turn, is profitable to self and others think differently than those who are traditional thinkers.

Our mind is charming as the blue sea, open, broad, profound, inclusive, dynamic and beautiful. Indeed, the mindset is more important than talent! An open mind is for advancement, an open mind is to bridge gaps, and an open mind is to brighten the world. Close your eyes and open your mind on New Year 's Eve.

Digital Leaders’ Holiday Dots Connections: Kindness vs. Toughness

Be kind both from the bottom of the heart and the top of your mind, to reach the uplevel of kindness.


The holiday season is the time to reflect and refresh, it is also the time to share and give. But doing a few good deeds is just the practice to be kind. The true kindness is the state of mind. As the digital leaders and professionals today, how can you connect the dots between kindness vs. toughness, and let kindness flow from the bottom of your heart and the top of your mind?




Kindness flows from within, from the bottom of your heart, not just floating on the surface: Like wisdom tends to come from within. Kindness goes with compassion and empathy. Being kind is not just about warm-heartedness-sympathy, but also about cool-headedness- empathy. It’s important for connecting the minds and touching the hearts to convey the uplevel of kindness. Actually, the world is making the progress moving from apathy to sympathy to empathy. Compassion touches the heart, but empathy connects the minds. Without empathy, a kind mind with good intention can become the part of the problem, rather than solve the real problem. Empathy conveys the RESPECT which is crucial in the binding of peer-to-peer relationship. Helping others recognize the power of self-realization from their vantage point is the deep kindness. Certainly, you can practice kindness; however, you cannot really see it curing sociopathy. It's a thoughtful mind and deliberate action, it requires the person to commit to the action consistently and consciously consider the result. Kindness could be as hot as flame, or as cool as ice water; kindness has to flow from the bottom of your heart and become the state of the mind.

Kindness is achieved via emotional excellence: Being kind as a state of mind can be achieved via emotional excellence. Being kind needs to have the right mix of high IQ and EQ. We are talking about mindsets/ traits /emotions / attitudes /behavior. No humans are perfect. There are brief moments of envy, brief moments of anger, brief moments of despair, all these images play out on the screen of life. The negative emotions such as the malicious envy evoke the unprofessional or even destructive behaviors to build the walls in people’ minds and tie the knots on their hearts. Being kind is about learning to abide by nature and let the positive dominate the negative. Keep the positive emotions flow. When you become self-aware, when you know the triggers to the emotions, it is very important to own up to your faults. It’s something that you commit to before it becomes second nature which overcomes the negative psychology and drives human world progress. That shows the kindness bigger than your ego. Kindness is a mindset that has to be put into practice on a daily basis before it becomes natural for some people.


Being tough is imperative if only you think it’s the right choice to sow more seeds of kindness for the long run: Being kind doesn’t mean you cannot be tough, and being nice doesn’t mean you should compromise all the time. Being tough is neither about rude nor about arrogance, it is about grit and resilience. In fact, the mental toughness enables a person to be kind with consistency, without losing the character. This indicates the person with mental toughness can undergo high-dynamic stress, still makes the sound judgment via emotional excellence, and keep positive energy flow. Being kind also doesn't mean you should always take orders or making compromises, being sheepy or say yes all the time. Being tough is imperative if only you think it’s the right choice to sow more seeds of kindness for the long run.

Be kind and be tough at the same time. As humans, it’s understandable to experience negative emotions, but do not let the negative feelings stay for longer than a moment or two. Be kind both from the bottom of the heart and the top of your mind. Practice to think kindly before doing good deeds, and make kindness as a state of mind.




Saturday, December 30, 2017

The “Digital Master” Book Series- The “100 Series” of “Digital Master”

Digital Masters are the organizations or individuals that have rich digital insight and high-level digital capability. "100" elements imply the holism of digital masters.


“Digital 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.



THINKINGAIRES100 Game-Changing Digital Mindsets to Compete for the Future": The term digital " THINKINGAIRES" we advocate in this book refers to the talented digital leaders and professionals who continue to create new ideas, to practice thought leadership, and to bring the world both content richness and context intelligence. They are the “IMAGINEERS” who can always come up with the fresh perspectives and think differently; they are the “VISIONEERS” who can digest, analyze and synthesize information and knowledge, to visualize the future clearly; they are the ENTREPRENEURS or INTRAPRENEURS who are creative in thinking about the alternative way to do things, and they are the “CHANGE AGENTS” who can create synergies from people, capability and the digital ecosystem that are greater than the sum of their parts. “THINKINGAIRE” is the guidebook to help digital leaders and professionals understand and cultivate digital thinking mindsets to compete for the future.
The purpose of this book “Thinkingaire: 100 Game-Changing Digital Mindsets to Compete for the Future” is not to study the brain from a neurologist’s perspective, but to summarize the different thought processes from the digital management viewpoint, to help digital leaders and professionals cross-industry, cross-generation and cross-culture shape the 100 sets of game-changing digital minds to compete for the future.


100 Creativity Ingredients: Everyone’s Playbook to Unlock Creativity  In recent years, creativity has become a very highly valued skill, and many think it is the #1 most wanted professional capability in the digital era. We all have unlimited creative potential and intrinsic ability to think outside of the box, but we need to learn how to unlock it. Creativity is a function of imagination, multidimensional thinking, knowledge, psychology, activities, and motivation.

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 people who helped to shape our world are some of the broadest and innovative thinkers. Creativity seems to be the free flow of life force energy. It is a wellspring we can learn to tap. Creativity is like a color spectrum. There are commonalities that are relevant to all colors which reflect the spectrum of light. Such metaphor connects the dot back to the nature of creativity. Creativity is innate with many special ingredients; and creativity can be developed if the conditions are right and there is knowledge, love, inspiration, encouragement, and permission. Creativity is a long-term endeavor. Creativity can be abundant.

Digital Boardroom: 100 Q&As: The purpose of the book “Digital Boardroom: 100 Q&As “is to share 100 insightful questions for rejuvenating the boardroom to get digital ready. It is important for boards to make invaluable inquiries and take proactive approaches for leading digital transformation seamlessly.


100 Digital Rules: Setting Guidelines to Explore Digital New Normal Digital rules are not some outdated cliches or overly rigid policies to stifle innovation. Generally speaking, a business rule is a statement to set the policy or procedure. Enterprise policies provide a basis for decision-making throughout an enterprise and inform how the organization sets about fulfilling its mission. A business rule is simply a rule that is under business jurisdiction. It means that the business can enact, revise, and discontinue their business rules as they see fit.

The purpose of “100 Digital Rules: Setting Guidelines to Explore Digital New Normal “ is to establish digital principles and update business policies that can be applied holistically and guide the digital transformation systematically. Digital rules are based on a set of fundamental beliefs behind the methodologies and they help to shape mindsets behind behaviors. Digital rules encourage mindfulness, authenticity, creativity, inclusiveness, and discourage static thinking, silo, and bureaucracy, help to accelerate collective human progress.

Digital IT-100 Q&As: The purpose of “Digital IT-100 Q&As“ is to summarize 100+ classic and emergent digital debates about digital IT leadership and management, brainstorm how to run a holistic digital business from multidimensional lens, share digital holism and strategic insight, keep IT digital fit, deal with both IT management dilemmas and innovation paradoxes effortlessly, guide today’s digital leaders and professionals to learn the valuable lessons across industrial and geographical boundaries, develop the best and next digital practices to tailor their needs, set the right priorities to achieve high performance, and build a solid digital brand, with the goal to accelerate digital transformation.


Digital Masters are the organizations or individuals that have rich digital insight and high-level digital capability, not only to initiate enterprise-wide digital innovations but also have their very nature of digital influence or digital “persona.” They are strong digital business leaders or champions with their own unique strength and style.

The “Digital Master” Book Series Summary
The "Digital Master" Book Innovation Core

The Digital Leader’s New Year Crystal Ball: How to Predict and Prepare the Next Level of Digitization

Going digital is more like a journey than a destination. Predicting and preparing the next level of digitalization is an iterative learning and doing continuum.

Just as the industrial revolution did a century and a half ago, the digital revolution is reshaping the way we live, we think, and we work. The digital world is dynamic, interconnected, and interdependent, with the abundance of information. A digital paradigm is an emerging digital ecosystem of principles, policies, and practices that set limits or boundaries; and also offers the guidance for problem-solving or creating something new to achieve a state of dynamic balance. Leadership is all about making directions and driving changes. Forward-thinking digital leaders: how can you predict and prepare the next level of digitalization at the end of the year?

The next wave of digital disruptions: Organizations large or small are on the journey of digitalization, adapting to changes in faster speed and expand digitalization in every dimension of the business. Digital organizations become more complex due to the accelerating speed of changes; nonlinear connectivity, the exponential growth of information, The matter of fact is that the changes sweeping the world are hugely disruptive and there is nowhere to hide. 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. Though technology is often the disruptive force of digitalization, the next wave of digital disruptions is expansive, will become more volatile, unpredictable, diverse, and overwhelming, due to lack of linearity and increased flux, uncertainty, and complexity. The digital ecosystem with all aggregates challenges and opportunities propels organizations further towards the challenges with faster speed. These are emergent digital new normals affecting organizations to a different degree, and how prompt the organization can respond to the tides of changes, grasp the opportunities and manage risks will make the business stand out as the digital master.

The next gen of innovation:
Digital is the age of innovation. The hyper-connecting nature of digital offers particularly fertile ground for developing cross-industrial ecosystems and innovation opportunities, in part because ways of doing business and customer expectations both tend to be more flexible than the siloed industrial age. To envision the next gen of innovation, digital leaders need to ponder further: Is it possible to integrate the innovative concepts into a comprehensive approach that can generate better solutions to the seemingly insurmountable large-scale problems? How to deal with both innovation management and management innovation in a structural way? Can we develop an approach with a mix of “hard” innovation and “soft” innovation, which also places social, political and ethnic differences within a common framework to generate meaningful progress toward the next level of innovation? What’re the best or next innovation practices, What are the structure for innovation? What can you do differently? You need to listen, convey, inspire, motivate, bring in people to share the vision, inspire the mission, communicate ideas, and advocate people-centricity. There are many components in an effective innovation environment or ecosystem. Each component by itself may not cause a good environment, but collectively, they can weave an innovation ecosystem such as leadership, culture, capacity, practices, tools, recognition system measurements, risk approach to reach the next level of innovation blossom.


The next round of digital practices: The real power of digital technology comes from the innate appeal of interacting socially and intellectual stimulation that people derive from sharing what they know, expressing opinions and learning what others know and think. The real power of the digital organization is based on its intelligence to decide, the capacity to innovate, and the speed for changes. One of the key determinants of whether an organization can move to the digital new normal is the digital maturity of its people. There are many who do not feel comfortable with self-direction, nor do they look to their jobs for the level of potential that is possible. Therefore, the next round of digital practices are people-centric, how to build a work environment for people to communicate and collaborate? How to create the right mix of automation and collective creativity. How to grow a heterogeneous team, and how to define digital fit, etc. Organizations today need to constantly improve the business and see change as an opportunity while keeping a holistic overview of the business, those are the core messages of the text. When people are ready for changes and processes are not overly rigid, organizations are frictionless to catch up the change speed. A high-mature organization always look for opportunities across the business to increase the usage of emergent digital technologies accordingly and charter digital paradigm shift seamlessly. The next round of digital practices should focus on building a set of differentiated digital capabilities which are modular, dynamic and nonlinear.

Going digital is more like a journey than a destination. Predicting and preparing the next level of digitalization is an iterative learning and doing continuum. The new paradigm that is emerging is a digital organization that is more responsive, holistic, vibrant, driven, intelligent, innovative, ambidextrous, and above all enhances and supports the living organization.


Friday, December 29, 2017

The “Digital Master” Book Series- The “Master Pieces” of “Digital Master”

Digital Masters are the organizations or individuals that have rich digital insight and high-level digital capability.

"Digital 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.


Digital Master: 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.

  • A Guide Book to Debunk the Myths of Enterprise Digital Maturity;
  • A Bridge Book to Mind Industrial era and Digital Era
  • A Play Book to Shape Game-changing Digital Mindsets
  • A Framework to Orchestrate Dynamic Digital Capabilities.
  • An Ongoing Book to write the new chapter of Digital Innovation.

CIO Master: The purpose of "CIO Master - Unleash the Digital Potential of IT " is to provide guidelines for building a framework to run a highly effective, highly innovative and highly mature digital IT organization. Also, it provides the principles to reinvent CIO leadership via practicing multitudes of digital influence.

  • Rebrand digital CIOs with multiple personas 
  • Reinvent IT to unleash its full digital potential 
  • Reenergize change as an ongoing digital capability 
  • Refine talent management to bridge IT skills gap 
  • Remaster multidimensional IT to create multi-level business value 
  • Renovate strategy execution continuum to improve effectiveness 
  • Reimagine IT as an innovation engine to catalyze business growth 
  • Reshape IT via leveraging “3P”s: Principle, Portfolio, Performance 
  • Retool IT agility to adapt to change
Leadership Master: The purpose of "Leadership Master - Five Digital Trends to Leap Leadership Maturity" is to convey the vision of digital leadership, share the insight about leadership maturity, and summarize five emergent digital leadership trends:


  • Thought Leadership: Thought Leaders are the ones who sense, feel, read, imagine and intuit possibilities in the digital paradigm shift, bring a new insight or perspective and set a course for others to follow.
  • Creative Leadership: Creative Leaders are the ones who are able to think “out of the box,” capable of predicting future trends, manage the presence and delegate the past. 
  • Global Visionary Leadership: Visionary Leaders are the ones who have the ability to paint a vivid picture, a vision of a future state and motivate others to achieve it.
  • Inquisitive Leadership: Inquisitive Leaders lead by questioning, they are comfortable and confident in asking questions rather than only giving answers, to value collective wisdom and facilitate premium solutions.
  • Profound Leadership: Profound Digital Leaders are the ones who are able to grasp or comprehend information, amplify influence through leading deeper, to touch hearts and minds, to practice the power of pull, and to harmonize via positivity and intelligence.

Performance Master: The purpose of the book “Performance Master: Take a Holistic Approach to Unlock Digital Performance “is to provide an in-depth understanding and share unique insight about how to take a holistic approach to measuring and managing enterprise digital performance. Without measurements, it can be hard to tell whether attempted improvements achieve the expected results or not. It's fair to say that any organization didn't have a systematic approach to performance assessment and measurement at both strategic and operational level has a giant blind spot that is impairing their performance. A well-designed performance management system is a necessary foundation for continuous improvement.

“Decision Master” is the guidebook to perceive digital mindsets with multidimensional decision intelligence, define a set of decision-making principles, articulate potential pitfalls in decision-making scenario, describe digital decision-making styles, summarize the important elements in building the decision-making capability and taking stepwise steps to achieve decision maturity.


Talent Master: The book “Talent Master - 199 + Questions to See Talent from Different Angles“is the guidebook to help digital professionals shape digital fit mindset, improve multidimensional digital intelligence, build a unique set of digital capabilities, inspire creativity, improve professionalism, and unleash their full talent potential. It is also a playbook to help digital leaders and business managers set updated digital principles to innovate talent management, performance management, acknowledgment management and culture management, to integrate them into a holistic people management solution, and leap digital transformation to the next level of maturity.
Digital Masters are the organizations or individuals that have rich digital insight and high-level digital capability, not only to initiate enterprise-wide digital innovations but also have their very nature of digital influence or digital “persona.” They are strong digital business leaders or champions with their own unique strength and style.

The “Digital Master” Book Series Summary
The "Digital Master" Book Innovation Core

The Digital CIO’s Three “ALWAYS” to Make IT COOL again and Get Digital Ready

ALWAYS, ensure doing the right things before doing them right. 

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?

ALWAYS on the lookout for ways to improve and innovate: IT leaders have the multitude of responsibilities. Running IT to provide commodity IT services is not sufficient for survival and thriving at today’s dynamic with fierce competition and increasing pace of change. IT should automate more to support better; IT is also a trendsetter for leading digital innovation and transformation. Thus, IT has to discover its own strength, find its niche, and build a set of core, and recombinant capabilities in order to become cool and more competitive. An effective CIO’s job is to improve operations to reduce the burden on the company while trying to stay current with ever-changing technologies. The digital CIO has to look forward and actively position the IT organization in the right place to take full advantage of opportunities and manage IT in a structural way. IT needs to run as a business, buy what you need, use it the fullest, and ensure that IT can lead to the design of products and services that actually create a return. So, the biggest challenge for CIOs is keeping up and stepping up, recognizing the responsibility for ensuring that the business is better informed than competitors and more nimble at implementing the disruptive opportunities that are constantly emerging. To put briefly, CIOs ALWAYS on the lookout for ways to improve, do more with innovation, and shape a cool organization to get digital ready.

ALWAYS keep the end in mind: 
Digital means exponential growth of information and the abundance of knowledge. Still, either information or technology is the means to the end, not the end, what is the end? The end means the more mature, value-driven, and high-performance business. That means business leaders, including CIOs, need to understand not only the power and the opportunity information & technology could bring in, but also the potential risks they might get exposed to. Therefore, IT leaders must understand the revenue model and understand how IT supports that model and transform IT from a cost center to an innovation engine and value creator. A good relationship between business and IT becomes visible by clearly defining tasks, authorities, and responsibilities to manage both opportunities and risks accordingly. Technology abundance is not for its own sake, but to solve either business problems or human challenge. The seamless rhythm of IT- business integration combined with the process maturity to ensure ROI, information consistency, reliability, and interoperability remains the goal of IT. So, ALWAYS keep the end in mind, not just playing cool gadgets, but running the cool business.


ALWAYS care about 'the people' with empathy: Traditional IT is process driven, but digital IT should be people-centric. IT needs to be run as a people-centric organization to enchant customers, empower employees, evolve business partners, and engage shareholders for feedback, and ensure the right people getting the right information at the right time to make the right decisions. The type of business where the relationship might be a make or break situation is generally where you rely on someone's expertise, you spend extended periods of time with the person, or you build partner-relationship for mutual benefit. Employees do not appreciate being referred to as assets or resources; therefore, empathetic relationships in business need to be considered in a different context. Traditional IT organizations focus on IT and business alignment, digital IT goes a step further and moves up to IT and business integration as well as IT and customer alignment. IT should both satisfy internal users to improve employee engagement and productivity, but also put effort on digitizing every touch point of client experience for end customers. Therefore, ALWAYs care about people, either employees or customers with empathy, to connect the minds and delight them in the right way.

Today's digital environment blurs the borderline of functions, organizations, and even industries. IT, like the nervous system of the business, touches both hard business processes and soft human behaviors. ALWAYS, ensure doing the right things before doing them right, IT has the magic power to integrate all important business elements into differentiated business competency, and run the cool business to get digital ready.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

The Weekly Insight of the “Future of CIO” 12/28/2017

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

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2 million page views with 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. Here is the weekly insight about digital leadership, IT Management, and Talent Management.



Three Aspects to Run Indispensable IT  IT is at the crossroad, either just providing commodity services to gradually become irrelevant, or moving up its maturity to be the differentiated business competency. Ideally, no matter which roles IT professionals fill, they need to remain indispensable because the enterprise's dependence on IT will only increase. However, in reality, business and IT work as the silo, fighting for the limited resources or competing for the never-enough budget in many organizations with the lower level of business maturity. CIOs as “Chief Insight Officer”: How to run indispensable IT to get digital ready?

The “Digital Master” Book Series- The Board Directorship Core The corporate board directorship: 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.

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 Monthly Book Tuning: Practice “Out of the Box” Thinking to Celebrate Holidays Dec. 2017 The holiday season is not just the time to open gift boxes, but also the perfect time to open your thinking box for practicing creativity. 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 practice “out-of-the-box” thinking.

How to Avoid Three Measurement Pitfalls A performance measurement system is a necessary foundation for continuous improvement. It defines how you will measure success in meeting the business purpose and vision. Metrics help stakeholders understand what is going on. Without measurements, it can be hard to tell whether attempted improvements make the situation better or worse. There are both promises and perils about metrics. Metrics provide feedback and metrics are part of transparent visual management allowing pulling. But there are also pitfalls need to be avoided in order to improve business performance and make continuous improvement.


The “Digital Master” Book Series Summary “Digital 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; 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.

Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating the new ideas; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes the time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify diverse voices and deepen digital footprints, and it's the way to harness your innovative spirit.

CIOs as Chief Improvement Officer: How to Take The Walks to get Digital Ready

Digital CIOs should have a leg in both business and IT world and take all those important walks for getting digital ready.

In today’s digital dynamic and technical environments where IT is being used more and more around the globe for revenue generating initiatives and the business is becoming IT. Digital IT needs to become more dynamic and innovative. There are so many responsibilities on the IT leaders’ shoulder, and they cannot stand still, they have to become the pathfinders, bridge the gaps, take different walks to get digital ready.



Walk the business halls confidently: Nowadays IT leaders are not running as an isolated support function, but a change agent organization. IT is core to most parts of the business and must, therefore, adapt to changes with speed. CIOs have to become more visible, present, proactive, and innovative, not just wait for the business’s requests, but harness IT-business communication and collaboration. To keep IT relevant and be proactive to changes, they have to be able to not only articulate the vision but also communicate it in various forms and forums to the different audience, including BoDs, investor relations, C-suite peers, IT staff, customers, business partners, etc. They need to walk the business halls confidently, meet the key operational people, see how they work, ask open questions, what IT can do to make their life easier? Showing that you truly understand the business and what is required to deliver value will create the "trust." Most IT teams aren't as good at cross-functional communication. It’s the CIO’s responsibility to bridge IT and business gaps and move from IT-business alignment to IT-business engagement. Digital CIOs should step out of the conventional thinking box and practice creative communication, to amplify their contemporary leadership voice via taking responsibilities for demonstrating the competence of IT team and building a strong IT brand.

Walk the innovation Talk effortlessly:
Innovation is overused and misused by many, obsessively filling all presentations. Innovation has become a buzzword to the point that those who truly understand it cannot get the real message out through the "hype" and truly implement innovative change. To briefly described, "innovation means implementing  novel ideas to create value.” Innovation is about moving forward. There is no standing still. In any business, if you are not moving forward, you're moving backward. Forward-thinking IT organizations become the innovation engine of the company. Walking the innovation talk needs to be a well-prepared and business-focused journey. Being able to engage in the successful creation of innovations is a very hard work and does include a lot of skills and abilities as well as processes and theories. Innovation also needs to lay out different thinking, structures, and solutions to allow this to develop into its potential where organizations are combining all that is available to them in imaginative or advantageous ways. CIOs should be able to walk the innovation talk effortlessly, take an innovation journey with solid footprints and create its own landscape and unique views.

Walk the digital way steadfastly: In today’s world and in most organizations, technology change tends to be large, complex and frequent and so changing the other parts has tended to become subsumed into the remit of the IT department. Thus, for many organizations, the IT department has become synonymous with the change department and digital engine. IT needs to lead the business in a digital way steadfastly. That ‘digital way” is moving those who practice it to a new paradigm shift smoothly. Perhaps there is more than one road to lead the digital way, and there are many best practices and next practices to experiment and enforce digital shift. It’s important to enhance collective communication via deep listening practices; get teams off on the right foot via the team inception practices, and make continuous improvement via peer-based feedforward practices. The business today just have to navigate “VUCA” digital new normal and walk the digital way steadfastly.

Digital CIOs have to be the Insightful thinkers, creative communicators, and strong walkers, act as “Chief Improvement officer,” be effective as both the strategic leader to steer the organization in the right direction and the hands-on manager to dive into technical know-how, and drive IT with the right speed. They should have a leg in both business and IT world and take all those important walks for getting digital ready.


Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Three Perspectives of Shaping Up the Digital Ready Boardroom

 The BoD plays an important role to inspire, innovate, improve, interact, interpret, influence, exemplify, and orchestrate change and digitalization. 

Digital era is volatile, complex, uncertain and ambiguous, organizations today are hyper-connected and interdependent. However, many say that the multitude of gaps, such as thinking, knowledge, innovation, strategy execution, etc., are enlarged because different industries, organizations, functions, and individuals evolve change with varying speed. The modern corporate board as one of the most important leadership pillars in the business, plays an important role to inspire, innovate, improve, interact, interpret, influence, exemplify, and orchestrate change and digitalization. Here are three perspectives to shape up the digital ready boardroom.

Shape digital mindsets: A leader changes the course of the business by seeing further than what all others see and by understanding issues from new angles, deeper perspectives, or broader lens. Mindset is the most valuable thing to shape every progress. To evolve digital proactively, digital board directors should have the growth mindset, the right dose of skepticism to criticize the strategy, be inquisitive to ask the good questions, be open to embracing the different viewpoint, and be creative to think of alternative solutions. Constructive skepticisms lead to creative problem-solving and innovative business solutions. Because building a high-effective board requires deep thinking, requires asking questions, to complement each other’s strength and balance of multiple perceptions, to avoid group thinking or extreme thinking, with the goal to make sound judgments and effective decisons. The advanced board equipped with digital mindsets are independent and multidimensional thinkers, who can bring unique insight, removes reactive thinking and add proactive interactions no matter what is the situation; and leverages intuitive listening to capture the important information for either overseeing the strategy or monitoring performance.

Shape digital leadership agenda: Corporate board as one of the critical leadership pillars should set the leadership tone and shape digital leadership agenda for steering the organization in the right direction. The digital board’s leadership agenda focuses on inclusiveness, innovation, and influence. Leaders transmit energy to the variety of people, giving them a new sense of hope and confidence in achieving the circular vision. Digital BoDs are authentic, audacious, adaptive, and aggressive. From the board composition perspective, the heterogeneous team with cognitive differences is more innovative than the homogeneous group setting for encouraging innovation and advocating changes. As good ideas are multidimensional, they take root in unsuspected places and they evolve with time and by unexpected connections. Digital directors have the leadership ability to inspire self and others to look beyond limitations and make continuous improvement. Digital board directors are unbiased communicators, they encourage people to think differently, engage diverse viewpoints; they often have interdisciplinary knowledge and cross-industrial expertise to connect wider dots, amplify leadership influence, advise management insightfully, and delegate management responsibilities skillfully.

Shape change and digital agenda: A digital ready board has the advantage of pulling enough resources and pushing the business model of technology, trustworthiness, prepare and launch change seamlessly. The challenge of managing change is tough, and those firms that can accomplish this feat will have the ability to tackle other challenges, put an emphasis on speed, strategic responsiveness, and structural flexibility. BoDs set policies and principles for guiding changes and digital transformation. The board directors help to oversee the business agenda for change and digital transformation. They also must help to push this agenda, pull all important business resources to achieve it. It is important for the board to actively monitor business management for transparency, and analysis of potential long-term consequences must become the agenda in this hyperconnected digital era.

There are quite a lot of things digital boards need to shape up. Digital means rapid change, the era of options, the expanded spectrum of innovation, and people centricity. All of these changes bring the significant opportunities and responsibilities for the new breed of digital BoDs, to avoid group thinking, shape digital mindsets, both talk the walk (setting digital principles, making good policies) and walk the talk (exemplifying leadership and change), in order to amplify leadership impact, and improve the boardroom maturity.



Three Aspects to Reach the Next Level of IT Maturity

IT organizational maturity is achieved via harmonized communication, relentless innovation, and flawless performance with continuous delivery.

Either at the individual or organizational level, maturity is the state of ripeness, quality, fluency, balance, and resilience. IT is moving up its maturity from functioning to firm to delight, running full speed with less friction. IT maturity is based on the overall business maturity. IT maturity can further accelerate business changes and make a leap of digital transformation. Here are three aspects to reach the next level of IT maturity.




Digital communication maturity: IT organizational maturity is achieved via harmonized communication, frictionless IT-business integration, and effortless collaboration. To improve IT maturity, one of the biggest challenges for IT leaders would be the ability to effectively communicate the importance of delivering to business expectations vs. requirements. IT historically has had poor communication accountability within IT or across functions, which further enlarges the gap between IT and business. Lack of trust is an often overlooked barrier to communication. 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, the IT role becomes much more focused on the marketing of technology. Thus, this is the role of the CIO, to both craft a solid communication strategy and practice it effectively. CIOs should be an insightful business leader and empathic communicator, to understand stakeholders' expectations and convey the right messages. IT leaders usually play the role as a translator between the business and IT; they must straddle concepts and translate language between the business and technical staff, to connect, inspire and motivate. CIOs should tell the full story about digital transformation, with shapes and colors, not just part of the plot. IT needs to be telling businesses about the varying opportunities and possibilities, as well as risks or perils. They have to strike the right balance of “over-communication” and “less is more” to communicate both concisely and effectively to achieve the end goals.

Digital innovation maturity: Technology is often the disruptive force behind innovation, and business insight refined from information provides significant clues on what & where to innovate. Innovation happens at the intersection of people and technology. Thus, IT has to do more with innovation. IT plays a bigger role in helping the business achieve the next level of innovation management. The differentiation provided by innovative technologies allows companies to reach the "long-tail" customer that previously was impossible or uneconomic. And the business competency and differentiation provided by innovative technologies usually is more long-lived than differentiation provided by marketing actions that can be copied easier. Digital innovation has the broader spectrum, including both incremental innovation and breakthrough innovation, “hard” innovations such as products/services/ process/business model innovation and “soft innovations” such as management/communication/culture innovation, etc. IT can weave all important innovation elements, optimize innovation processes for minimizing cost, time and risk whilst maximizing scalable solutions, to enable the business reaching the next level of innovation management maturity.


Digital performance maturity: To run high mature IT means that IT leaders must keep tuning IT performance and unlocking IT potential. IT leaders should be able to both manage IT and measure IT performance effectively. Running IT as a business, IT performance has to be clearly linked with the business performance. “Keeping the lights on” only is important, but it’s not sufficient to build a high mature distinguished IT organization. The business goal behind the IT measurement has to be about focusing on benefits generation, return on investment and contribution to innovation. Continually accelerating changes in IT consumption and production requires faster responses and better performance metrics. IT metrics have to evolve from being a cost center to becoming a revenue generator. The only way to do this is to show a clear link to top executives between IT performance and top-line revenues. Every new technology adopted must facilitate business but also bring down the incremental cost of growth and the time to market. IT value is measured by optimization and consumption of IT assets in support of the business solutions that are identified within the organization's revenue producing streams.

IT has to continue to evolve the digital dynamic and reinvent itself as a strategic business partner and innovative game changer. IT needs to set the right priority, make effective communication, harness digital innovation, accelerate IT performance, and maximize IT potential to reach the next level of organizational maturity.






Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The Monthly Insight of “Digital Balance” Understand Two Sides of Coin to Strike Digital Balance Dec. 2017

 Striking the right digital balance is a never-ending business life cycle. 

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. Either initiating communication, making decisions, designing products/services or driving changes, always understand two sides of coins to strike the right balance to get digital ready.

Understand Two Sides of Coin to Strike Digital Balance

Simplicity vs. Complexity Simplicity vs complexity is an age-old dilemma even in English Grammar! The simplicity and the complexity are just opposite ends of the same spectrum. That compounds all "problems." You need complexity to understand and appreciate the simplicity and vice versa. It's all about balance and perception.

Certain vs. Doubt Mind?
To be creative you must set aside both certainties and doubt. Doubts are the driving force behind artistic creation. Doubts about what you see at any given time propel you towards finding other things that haven't been observed yet. Doubts are of unlimited value. Certainties are the functioning of the left brain, while uncertainties are that of the right brain. In any creative process, you need both certainties and uncertainties.

Analysis vs. Synthesis:
The terms analysis and synthesis come from classical Greek and mean literally "to loosen up" and "to put together" respectively. These terms are used within most modern scientific disciplines - from mathematics and logic to economy and psychology - to denote similar investigative procedures. In the emergent digital world with the nature of hyper-connectivity and over-complexity, we have to leave our old mechanistic view of the world behind us and look at the world through new eyes as a world of systems as a living thing. So how would you describe the difference between analysis and synthesis and why is one better than the other?.

Efficiency vs. Effectiveness
Effectiveness and Efficiency are two fundamental goals all businesses over the world are pursuing, however, more often, there is a lack of clarity upon their true means and how to achieve them accordingly.


Standardization vs. Innovation? Modern organizations have many hidden paradoxes, for example, customer satisfaction or employee satisfaction, which one comes first? Analytics or intuition, how to make a better decision? Here is another interesting dot connection debate: Standardization vs. Innovation, which one is more important?






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.

The “Digital Master” Book Series- The Board Directorship Core

Modern corporate boards have to laser focus on the most critical perspectives to steering the business toward the right decision.


"Digital 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.

The corporate board directorship: 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.

Digitizing boardroom: If a Board is to fulfill its fiduciary responsibilities to its stakeholders, it needs to take a professional and systematic approach for assessing strategy, prioritizing agendas, advising changes, overseeing risks and keeping track of business performance via efficient tools. BoDs perhaps do not always participate in developing business strategy, but the Board needs to determine suitability, adequacy, viability, and sustainability of the organization in advance.
The main purpose of the book “Digitizing Boardrooms -The Multifaceted Aspects of Digital Ready Board” is to
  • Envision the future of directorship with twenty-three digital boardroom themes.
  • Oversee business strategies with digital fluidity, digital mindset, and contextual intelligence.
  • Make policies and effective decisions on transforming boards from conformance to performance driven.
  • Rejuvenate boardrooms via participating in both innovation management and management innovation.
  • Highlight the importance of building IT friendly and technology-savvy digital boards.
  • Develop the best and next governance practices towards achieving corporate excellence.
  • Advocate digital fitness and innovate people management to become “Talent Master.”
  • Set digital culture tones, and fine-tune processes to make boards highly effective and highly mature.

Digital Boardroom: The board of directors as the de facto guardian of modern organizations has an important role to play in steering the organization toward the uncharted water and blurring business territories because they oversee strategy management and set the policy for driving changes.
The purpose of the book “Digital Boardroom: 100 Q&As “is to share 100 insightful questions for rejuvenating the boardroom to get digital ready. It is important for boards to make invaluable inquiries and take proactive approaches for leading digital transformation seamlessly.
  • Question and brainstorm on much-needed oversight and additional rigor to the boardroom composition and succession planning process.
  • Practice critical thinking and independent thinking for identifying blind spots, criticizing the strategy constructively and advising management insightfully.
  • Practice “out-of-the-box” thinking to ask open-ended questions about IT and how to build an IT-friendly and technology-savvy digital board.
  • Practice strategic thinking and systems thinking, ask insightful questions, to become the mastermind of digital transformation.
  • Make profound inquiries about the future of leadership, constantly question the status quo and set the digital leadership tone to get digital ready.


100 Digital Rules: Digital rules are not some outdated cliches or overly rigid policies to stifle innovation. Generally speaking, a business rule is a statement to set the policy or procedure. Enterprise policies provide a basis for decision-making throughout an enterprise and inform how the organization sets about fulfilling its mission. A business rule is simply a rule that is under business jurisdiction. It means that the business can enact, revise, and discontinue their business rules as they see fit.

The purpose of “100 Digital Rules: Setting Guidelines to Explore Digital New Normal “ is to establish digital principles and update business policies that can be applied holistically and guide the digital transformation systematically. Digital rules are based on a set of fundamental beliefs behind the methodologies and they help to shape mindsets behind behaviors. Digital rules encourage mindfulness, authenticity, creativity, inclusiveness, and discourage static thinking, silo, and bureaucracy, help to accelerate collective human progress.

The modern digital board has many responsibilities, also gets a lot of distractions. It has to laser focus on the most critical perspectives to steering the business toward the right decision. BoDs are leadership roles, they should not only oversee business strategies and monitor business performance but also set the tone for the culture, become talent masters, they should walk the talk to become more learning agile, information savvy and innovative to adapt to the digital dynamic. A highly effective and wise Board exhibits a creative tension, that hard to define, but you know it when you see it.

The “Digital Master” Book Series Summary
The "Digital Master" Book Innovation Core

CIOs as “Chief Improvement Officer”: How to Avoid Three Measurement Pitfalls

Don’t just play the number game, but connect the contextual dots and focus on the overall business objectives.

A performance measurement system is a necessary foundation for continuous improvement. It defines how you will measure success in meeting the business purpose and vision. Metrics help stakeholders understand what is going on. Without measurements, it can be hard to tell whether attempted improvements make the situation better or worse. There are both promises and perils about metrics. Metrics provide feedback and metrics are part of transparent visual management allowing pulling. But there are also pitfalls need to be avoided in order to improve business performance and make continuous improvement.

Measure the right things badly: It is important to track the right metrics and know what to do with them to see the performance improvement. Performance metrics should well directly link to the ultimate business goals they want to achieve at the strategic level. For example, if the business strategy is an early adopter and rewards innovation, and then the metrics have to accommodate service outcomes that may have a higher level of support for that goal. The digital organization needs to expand the capacity by improving business effectiveness, operation efficiency, setting KPIs to resolve problems, increase in the number of problems successfully resolved, optimize business process, and improve the organization’s scalability and changeability. However, even you have a well-defined set of measurement, it doesn't guarantee you could measure them right. One of the biggest problems with metrics, in general, is that, once you have them, people will try to game them. Metrics shouldn’t motivate a team to game the data, otherwise, they can filter and even distort qualitative evidence and prevent the management from seeing the truth, or distract the business from reaching the long-term business goals. Measuring the right thing badly will mislead the management for decision-making or decelerate business performance improvement. Thus, ensure that the measures are both qualitative and quantitative, and implement whatever mechanisms you need to be able to gather the data. Take a systematic approach, put the cohesive effort into taking the correct measurements, collecting the data obtained, analyzing it, evaluating it, determining what needs to be improved, determining what the actions are to improve it, assigning actions to performance improvements, continue to measure the results and make adjustments in continuous growth.

Measure the wrong things, either well or badly: Wrong selections of key performance setting could get the devastating effect on the business. The most dangerous part is when performance system is connected with motivation system on an operational level, but disconnected from the strategy management. It’s like that the business wheel keeps spinning without going anywhere, just waste time and resource. The whole issue of measuring the right things is to have a starting point and the performance metrics that come first at a strategic level are doing the job. They serve as headings to of chapters of measures that will be defined at tactical and operational levels. Therefore, to avoid the pitfall of measuring the wrong things, the people in the organization need to know and understand why the data are being collected and analyzed, as well as what decisions will be made based on the data. Performance metrics are numbers in context, results are related to your strategic goals. The fewer the better, but they have to be credible and relevant also in the eyes of the stakeholders. It’s important to measure performance that could tell the full story and ensure the business as a whole is superior to the sum of pieces.


Neglect to measure something important: The performance measures should cover all areas that contribute to the business success. There are two levels of performance measurement. At the strategic level, organizations concern about the long-term business result, business competency, customer satisfaction and employee engagement; at the operational level, the business needs to take care of quarterly financial result, employees’ weekly report, customers’ purchasing transaction, etc. Historically, performance measurement systems for most businesses have been financing driven. However, in many business situations, financial indicators only cover part of the story. Neglect to measure something important will create blind spots for business management to make effective decisions or drive changes with speed. The performance measure setting should focus on achieving the ultimate goals of the organization as a whole, not just the individual or the team’s performance. There are always two sides of measurement. The measures to motivate teams to achieve more and the measures to distract management from the ultimate business goals. Hence, don’t just play the number game, but connect the contextual dots and focus on the overall business objectives.

Well defining the right set of metrics will never be an easy job, but always keep in mind of the "simplicity" principles, and do not confuse the means with the end. It takes multifaceted approaches from multidimensional perspectives, to avoid those pitfalls, ensure measuring the right things in the right way, and make sure that the business as a whole is superior to the sum of pieces.