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.

Friday, November 17, 2017

The Monthly “Dot Connections: Interdisciplinary Dots Connection Nov. 2017

There are multiple viewpoints to understand digital, and there is no one size fits all formula for digital transformation.
The effects of an increasingly digitalized world are now reaching into every corner of businesses and every aspect of organizations. There are many views to understand digitalization, and there is no one size fits all formula to pursue it. Each organization just has to connect the dots, "walk the talk," and explore their own way, start creating their own strategy and build their own differentiated business competency and “integrated whole,” to get digital ready.  

               Interdisciplinary Dots Connection


Entrepreneurship vs. Art?  The basic principle of business is to make some monetary profit, whereas the basic principle of Art is simply to express feelings. So what’s the correlation between business and art? Is it difficult to move the needle on perspectives and long-accepted assumptions about artists and businessmen?
Knowledge vs. Imagination Perhaps it is another chicken and the egg debate: Knowledge vs. Imagination, which one is more important? There is no imagination without knowledge, and there is no knowledge without imagination. Putting information in a human memory is not similar to data storage, as you have to sort through,  transform it into the knowledge, and abstract the insight or recreate the new knowledge at the advanced level.
Science vs. Spiritualism  Science hasn't yet to quantify and rationalize things like the human spirit, consciousness, evolution, and quantum particle characteristics. The deeper down the rabbit hole they seem to go, the more perplexed they become. Spiritualism usually implies the existing or the 'calling up' of the paranormal, mediums, communication.
Science vs. Philosophy "Philosophy is the history of ideas and an ongoing inquiry into the nature of things based on abstract reasoning rather than empirical methods. Philosophy involves examining basic concepts such as truth, existence, reality, causality, and freedom. Philosophy comprises logic, aesthetics, ethics, metaphysics, ontology, and epistemology. And science, which was formerly labeled natural philosophy, is now studied separately. Talking about science, it claims to be based on two types of reasoning (a). Inductive: If something has been happening in a particular fashion since time immemorial, it will keep on happening in the same way. (b). Deductive: These are deduced from inductive laws by using a toolkit called mathematics. Science vs. Philosophy, are they competitive or compatible disciplines, and how to leverage them in solving complex problems.
 Brain Plasticity vs. Computer “Plasticity” Brain plasticity, also known as neuroplasticity or cortical remapping, is a term that refers to the brain's ability to change and adapt as a result of experience. (about.com). We can "build" new neural pathways, increase the overall density of the "neural map" and synapses, etc.
The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2 million page views with about #4200th blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking and innovating the new ideas; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify diverse voices and deepen digital footprints, and it's the way to harness your innovative spirit.

Transaction vs. Transformation

A well-run business has a healthy business portfolio to “run, grow, and transform,” focus on both short-term gain and long-term win, to manage a seamless transaction and transformation continuum. Here are more perspectives to connect dots between transaction vs. transformation.

The transaction is about HOW, Transformation is about WHY and WHAT: Transformation is the leapfrogging changes, implying the fundamental changes from collective mentalities to underlying functions and processes. “Being transactional" refers to operational activities, taking an input at one end and churning it out at the other with processes in between. "Being Transformational" means redesigning existing transactions to something new, being innovative and creative; it also introduces completely new transactions hopefully with a strategy that serves the organization well. It's easy enough to churn out the same old things even with minor modifications but to undertake real transformational change requires innovative leadership, technical know-how, and step-wise approach.

The transaction follows cookbook vs. transformation needs to rewrite the playbook: The transactional business capabilities are usually operation driven, to follow the cookbook keeping the lights on and improve business efficiency. Where transactional or operational capability usually makes only minor adjustments in the organization’s, structure, and management, etc., it often takes the linear step for tuning the enterprise machine and ensure it keeps spinning. Transaction-driven operational management may be viewing things from a single side (internally) and transformation-driven strategic management takes a holistic view of things both internally and externally as the way of coming up with actions that will improve organizational performance and conformance in order to achieve the set goals. On the other hand, transformational capability creates something new out of something old, reach the new horizon out of an old vision. So, the transformational capability is the ability to work across disciplines to solve complex problems with contextual understanding and systematic approach. It helps to expand the organization’s horizon and elevate the business up to the next level of maturity. Transformational capability evokes fundamental evolutions in the basic political and cultural systems of the organization for achieving the high -performance business results.

A transaction seeks continuity, a transformation seeks opportunity: In the digital era, we will be confronting a number of high-complex problems in the hyper-connected world, the business solutions will require an integration of different sets of knowledge and digital fluency across multiple disciplines. The transaction is to do things right; transformation is to do a right thing. A transaction is inside a box; a transformation might need work cross boxes. A transaction has a short-range view; a transformation has a long-range perspective. A transaction follows standard operating procedures. A transformation needs strategic guideline and policy. A transaction seeks continuity, a transformation seeks opportunity and change. A transaction focuses on a bottom line; a transformation is on the horizon. A transaction focuses on goals for improvement. A transformation focuses on goals of innovation. A transaction is tactics, a transformation is a strategy.

The organizational management short-sightedness and running the business in a transactional mode only can cause digital ineffectiveness in the long run. Digital organizations today have to strike the right balance of being transactional to keep spinning and being transformational to make a leap.

CIOs as “Chief Interpretation Officer”: How to Improve Communication Effectiveness

The magic “I” in the title of CIO has many indications, such as Chief Information Officer,” “Chief Innovation Officer,” “Chief Influence Officer,” etc. Communications sometimes seem like an oxymoron. As we move from using technology as a vehicle to maximize efficiency and minimize costs to using technology as an enabler and catalyzer of totally new business models, to maximize business potential, forward-thinking organizations empower their IT to lead the digital transformation proactively. Therefore, CIOs need to become “Chief Interpretation Officer,” to bridge the gap between business and IT and improve IT leadership maturity.

CIOs need to be great visionary first and good communicator second: Top business leaders are the visionary role who can steer their organizations in the right direction. Digital CIOs today should envision the future of their business via the technological lens, forecast the upcoming business trends and ride the digital waves, and be able to share their vision to get support from business peers. Vision should have a direction which sets in clarity. Thus, CIOs as “Chief Interpretation Officer” who has a vision can also articulate it in a non-technical manner that clearly demonstrates the business value delivered. They can practice creative communication for describing what happens today, but also convey the vision of “to be,” because future is what really matters. Digital CIOs are visionaries and outliers who have the interdisciplinary knowledge and uplevel communication skills to inspire, persuade, and amplify their leadership voice. The solution should lie in changing how the message is delivered, either through a metaphor or a story., etc. The key is language to fit different audience without “lost in translation.” It’s also about how to leverage more open and interactive communication style to bridge the gaps and connect the minds and hearts.  

The CIO needs to talk about commercial outcomes, not technical throughput: Often CIOs have been stereotyped as geeks who speak the different language from the business. In fact, miscommunication is one of the biggest root causes of IT-business gaps. The communication gaps within IT, between functions and across business ecosystem will directly decrease IT management effectiveness and degrade the business capability to adapt to changes. There are multiple causes for poor communication, but by far the problem most often is the inability of the "speaker" to adequately accept the real nature of the message or the environment. CIOs as “Chief Interpretation Officer” need to know how to play a bridge between what the business understands and what technology understands. If necessary, apply Tell-Listen-Adapt communication framework to ensure consistency in message delivery.  The connection between IT and business lies in using the common language to help businesses cross that bridge to IT,  good “interpreter” can leverage contextual intelligence and multiple perspectives with respect to make the positive influence on pulling progressive conversation ahead, focus on commercial business outcomes, not just technical throughput.

CIOs as “Chief Interpretation Officer” are able to initiate communication in the different level of the organization with clarity: “Lost in translation” syndrome is caused by mistakes that most organizations make in business communication that fails to translate the high-level language of strategy into the professional language of the various staff specialty for execution. From the top-down perspective, in many organizations, typically, one level of leadership communicates with the next level and so on and typically the message is somewhat diluted by the time it reaches the employee responsible for doing their job. Thus, communication gaps decrease productivity, cause mistrust and decelerate business speed. If people at the bottom and middle level don’t get the opportunity to understand the business’s strategic goals via effective communication, they would be easy to get lost and inundated with daily tasks, less engaged or feel anxious, bored and lack of achievement. Thus, CIOs as “Chief Interpretation Officer” should ensure IT folks understanding the commercial end point of their work rather than it being an abstract set of code via effective communication.

CIOs as “Chief Interpretation Officer” is the new perspective for accelerating digital transformation empowered by high-effective communication and people centricity. It’s important to leverage multiple digital channels and methods to communicate both via virtual communication channels and face-to-face meetings. They also need to master all styles of conversations targeting a different audience to develop situational wisdom and influential competency, to rebuild IT reputation as a value creator and innovation hub.







Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Weekly Insight of the “Future of CIO” 11/17/2017

Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking, brainstorming, innovating and sharing.
The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2 million page views with 4200+ blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom. Here is the weekly insight about digital leadership, IT Management, and Talent Management.

  • Three Stages to Reach IT Maturity Digital transformation is inevitable, the outlines of the fully digitalized world have long been sketched, now the phenomenon of digital is reaching the inflection point, yet we are now entering an even more rapid and extensive period of change, leading organizations have shifted from “Doing Digital” to “Being Digital.” IT plays a critical role in the digital paradigm shift. To improve its maturity, IT has to reinvent itself, and top business leaders need to reimagine how to leverage information & technology to build differentiated business competency and reach the next stage of IT maturity.

  • The Monthly “Digitizing Boardroom” Book Tuning: Board Directors as Digital Practitioners Nov. 2017 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 be able to advise, inspire and motivate a group of people toward accomplishing shared visions and goals

  • Flexible Problem-Solving Fundamentally, every work is to deal with problems big or small both from long-term perspectives or on the daily basis. Problems become more complex in today’s changing dynamic and "VUCA" digital new normal. Problem-solving is a critical skill for both life and the business. There is no magic formula for problem-solving nowadays, individuals or businesses must take their own unique approach, be flexible, be learning agile, and develop their own problem-solving methodologies and practices.

  • Digital IT Leadership Checklist? CIO is one of the most sophisticated leadership roles in modern organizations. Compare to other executive positions, the CIO position has a shorter history, but a more dynamic role to play due to the fast growth of information and disruptive nature of technology. There is now a greater need for a CIO to understand business drivers and equip themselves with digital mindsets, co-develop business strategy, make a comprehensive IT leadership checklist, and stretch out in different dimensional for making necessary role shift to get digital ready.


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.

Three “P”s to Digitize Boardroom

Leadership is an influence and a practice, there is no magic recipe otherwise.

The Corporate Board is one of the most crucial leadership pillars in modern businesses. Because they have a significantly broad effect on setting business policy, overseeing strategy, tuning business mentality and personality, driving motivation, defining the appetite of innovation, sharpening leadership skills, advocating learning, pulling teams, and improving risk intelligence, etc. However, many boards today still get stuck with a view of the rear mirror mindset and focus on compliance-driven agendas. Digital board directors exemplify leadership influence. Digitalization starts from the top down, here are three “P” words to innovate boards for achieving directorship excellence.


Perception: We are stepping into the digital era with increasing speed of changes, with the high degree of uncertainty, hyperconnectivity, and fierce competition. Corporate boards play a critical advising role in steering the company in the right direction. Therefore, their perception must be update and objective, otherwise, the outdated perceptions could enlarge leadership gaps, decelerate digital transformation, and stifle human progress. Perception is one's interpretation of the reality. Board directors need to continue clarifying: What are the gaps between our perception and reality? How to overcome cognitive bias caused by prepositioned perceptions, how to close those perception based gaps and steer the business in the right decision? Etc. Insight is perception through multidimensional thinking. To close the perception gap, the mind needs to be open enough to embrace other minds’ perception as well, to always understand things via different angles. The board composition needs to embrace both cognitive difference, functional difference, and other experience/capability/background/ education difference. Appreciates that the value of alternative perspective and insights which say nothing of not trusting, simply looking from a different stance, and asking different questions.


Proficiency: The corporate board directors shouldn’t be just the ceremonial role to vote for a couple of business issues. The top digital leaders need to have a proficient understanding of their particular organization's performance and potential. To lead organizations towards the uncharted water and blurred territories, today’s digital board directors must continue updating their knowledge, build a broad set of skills, develop an in-depth understanding of their domains, and create a comprehensive leadership portfolio with differentiated leadership competency and hardcore leadership proficiency. To reach the state of knowledge proficiency, it is also important to identify and close the gap between knowledge and insight. The digital directors need to understand their environment profoundly and playing field to oversee the strategy for identifying blind spots and harnessing the opportunities identified. The corporate board exemplifies contemporary leadership proficiency. Digital leaders today need to be more original, positive, progressive, courageous, conscious, creative, curious, challenging convention, maximizing diversity and being willing to experiment, as a basis for then being able to think differently, independently, and globally.


Progress: The BoD role sets the top leadership’s tone for progression and affects most through cohesive communication, congruent behavior, and continuous endorsement of the change to keep the momentum. Progress represents change. Progress itself is a change, either by individual or group efforts or induced by environmental and cultural tangible and intangible force. Digital leadership is the unique combination of leadership mindsets and behaviors that develop and achieve high quality and meaningful results over a sustained period of time. Progressive and insightful digital BoDs who laser focus on using energy and resource strategically, have better chances to figure out the “secret sauce” of directorship, to make positive leadership influence and achieve the progressive outcome.


Modern directorship is both art and science, the boardroom culture is engendered by board leaders. It’s all about leadership from the top which sets the tone for changes and innovation. Leadership is an influence and a practice, there is no magic recipe otherwise. The digital leaders should think that every minute of their time counts, to achieve leadership proficiency, because the path of mastery is something that unfolds day by day, there is no time to waste. Good leaders are continually practicing, experiencing, learning, adjusting, and innovating.


The CIO’s Digital Mojo


The charm of digital CIOs is their changeability.


The disruption of IT will continue. Embracing digital is inevitable as that is now part of the reality. In order to lead change and drive digital transformation. IT has to speed up and be nimble to changes. CIOs also need to build their reputation as the top business leader, not just the tactical IT manager or technical geek. What are contemporary CIOs’ digital mojo, and how to reinvent IT to get digital ready?


The digital CIO’s mojo is to dream big, with the ability to make it the reality: Nowadays, technology changes very quickly, you must first be aware of new technology before you can learn how to apply it to the business. As an IT leader, CIOs should have technological vision and awareness, and understand what implies to the future of the business. They should pay enough attention to “WHY” and “WHAT” before jumping into “HOW” to get things done. Digital is the age of innovation, it is particularly important for practicing innovative IT leadership because technology is the disruptive force and information is the invaluable asset of the business. The charm of digital CIOs is their creativity, they can dream bigger for envisioning the full-fledged digital organization, and “sell the dream” via empathetic communication. The CIO’s digital mojo is to lead boldly in grasping the business growth opportunities, but also be logical enough to implement it, manage risks, and guide the team to make it happen. As the great leader, digital CIOs can draw from their expertise and experience of those talented people around them, craft and cast the vision for the ways in which digital technologies can create sustainable business value, challenge the better way to do things and make continuous improvement. Digital is the age of options, it provides the opportunity to think the new way to do things, so it forces IT leaders to get really creative on solving the emergent or old problems in new or alternative ways.


The CIO’s digital mojo is to run IT as the business, with the startup mentality: Digital CIOs play an intrapreneur and transformational leadership role. Practicing intrapreneurship means to run IT as a business, to ensure that IT is strategically positioned to be ahead of where the business is moving next. It is also about running IT as a business, with a healthy and shortened business cycle of planning, funding, designing, building, operating, securing, optimizing and maturing. The charm of digital CIOs is their “intrapreneur’s mindset,” be able to expand their thinking boxes and get a better understanding of the current box, figuring out which of them makes sense to challenge and apply creativity tools via exploring, divergence, and convergence to arrive at a useful new box. So, they can work both in IT and on IT seamlessly, to become a trustful business partner. CIOs need to be clear on what needs to achieve in terms of top line, bottom line, and working in tandem with other departments to achieve the IT goals. The CIO’s digital Mojo is to reinvent IT from a support center to a change agent via breaking down silos or outdated rules or processes. The charm of digital CIOs is their changeability. Where transactional managers make only minor adjustments in the organization’s mission, structure, and talent management, etc., transformational leaders not only make major changes in these areas but also they evoke fundamental changes in the structural and cultural systems of the organization.


The digital CIO’s mojo is to orchestrate their own IT sheet music, not just the background music: Digital CIOs are in a unique position to align process, technology, and people, from generating ideas on applying technology and data assets to drive value, the oversight is needed in managing the full innovation life cycle. With the fast pace of changes and emergent on-demand IT service model,  IT is shifting from a builder to a conductor in knitting all important business factors, to ensure that it is designed for change, and build the dynamic IT competency with shortened products and services delivery model, with the goal to improve business changeability, responsiveness, innovativeness, flexibility, and maturity. Technology by itself is the means to the end, not the end itself. Applying technical capabilities to business opportunities is where the magic happens. The charm of digital IT leaders is their ability to demonstrate in very tangible ways that IT understands businesses and they understand different business dialects to tailor the audience, and convey the clear messages to build a strong IT brand.


Digital transformation is a thorny journey with multidimensional aspects. With increasing pace of changes and exponential growth of information, CIOs are not just the static IT management role,  they generally have greater opportunities to stand out and practice digital leadership in driving innovation and leading digital transformation across their companies.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Monthly Foresight: Brainstorm Digital Futurism Nov. 2017

The digital is the age of innovation, the age of customer-centricity; the age of empathy, the age of collaboration; the age of co-creating.
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, creativity is the most wanted trait for digital leaders and professionals today, and innovation is the light every organization is pursuing. Which themes shall you set to advocate digital transformation?

                     Brainstorm Digital Futurism



Brainstorm to stimulate Digital Mining Many say digital opens the new chapter of innovation because digital technologies and social platforms provide unprecedented opportunities and convenience for people to brainstorm and collaborate. Brainstorming is a creativity technique by which a group of people can come up with multiple solutions to solve the problem creatively. Brainstorming can be made much more powerful with knowledge. There are "Stimulus Mining" areas that can help to fill the minds with information and then- individuals can start to explore from a much stronger point of view and create fresh ideas.
How to Build an Organization of Future? The future is already here, the digital is the age of innovation, the age of customer-centricity; the age of empathy, the age of collaboration; the age of co-creating. But either strategically or tactically, how to build such an organization of future?


The Future of Abundance Abundance is directly related to who we ARE: Behind the eyes, the smile, and the body. The "abundance" is about awareness, within you, is who you ARE. It cannot be rocked, directed, or manipulated by anything. Once recognized, there are no limits, and, this is abundance.  

Future of Work: Connect the Forward Dots Organization of the Future is an organization designed openly for anyone with ideas on how human organizations ought to be contrived in the face of the strategic imperatives of the 21st century. The work is not the place you go, but a live organization and an experiment lab you can connect the future dots.
The Future of IT IT organization is transforming from the infrastructure warehouse into the IT innovation powerhouse, from an application factory into the IT supply chain central hub, from an internal customer’s help desk into business customers (both internal & external) enabled strategic partner, from a back-office cost center to the empowered rainmaker upon the Cloud. What are the trends of the future of IT and how to improve IT effectiveness, agility, and maturity?

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

CIOs as “Chief Innovation Officer”: Innovation Best Practices vs. Next Practices

To be the innovators of tomorrow, people have to keep learning the new tricks, updating their mindsets, knowledge, methodology, and approaches.

The business practice is always a combination of people and how they are used to doing things. Digital is the age of innovation. Innovation is the process which can be classified scientifically and managed dynamically. Besides building a set of principles to follow, it’s also important to develop a set of innovation practices to scale up and amplify its effect. The point is that innovation is change, the overly rigid processes could stifle innovation and outdated practices perhaps fail innovation effort and decelerate the pace of innovation. So, best practices vs. Next practices, how to review and update them accordingly to unpuzzling the serendipity of innovation and improve the success rate of innovation management?


The best innovation practice has a certain value to product profitable innovation, but the next practice continues to emerge for innovating the management discipline: Innovation is a management process, not just a serendipitous magic. More and more firms are learning and implementing best practices in innovation. Originally, all best practices were industry specific and evidence-based, meaning they were based on data. And practice is always a combination of people and how they are used to doing things. And innovation management can be categorized into idea generation and implementation processes. Innovation as a process can be standardized at a certain level, there is a recognizable core of approaches and activities that produce profitable innovation, and there are companies that use them efficiently. With effective tools or methodologies, the best practice can be used wisely and with the expertise to really add value or drive innovation. However, the very characteristic of innovation is about figuring out the new way to do things. When every business or function does exactly the same thing, and then innovation soon becomes the commodity. The practices that are "best" today are almost always not "best" in the future since practices, as well as technologies and markets, are constantly morphing under pressure from the waves of creative destruction that keep the business in innovation mode. Therefore, it is always critical to developing the next practices for both stimulating new ideas and optimizing the innovation process to reach the next level of maturity.


The best practice is more about setting principles and standards, and the next practice is about how to take tailored innovation approaches or apply better methodologies or the latest technologies: Not every innovative company uses every best practice. Not every authority agrees on every best practice. One size doesn't fit all. Markets change and shift, and for each company attempting to deal with these changes, there is a different path to follow. Interestingly, while people may disagree as to what best innovation practices are, they generally recognize poor innovation. Perhaps it is a better approach to strive for using good practice, good enough for a certain organization and for the specific situation and challenges that are faced and that actually requires different priorities or approaches as compared to others. Thus, the innovation best practices shouldn’t focus on making static or rigid processes, but about setting the principles and standard to achieve innovation management excellence via plasticity and flexibility. Keep the old quote in the mind to understand "one size doesn’t fit all": “if all you have been a hammer, you tend to hit everything as if it is a nail.


Organizations strive to adopt the"best practices" for innovation throughout their organization, they also need to explore the next practices for riding change curves: These practices might be different across organizations, across departments, divisions, and affiliates within an organization and can change over time. The key is 'context.' If the best practice you want to adopt is to be implemented in the same context, it could work. If the context is different, it is worth understanding how that difference could impact so-called best practice. Learning from your own or others’ experience will never be as long as we know how to transfer it into our actual context. The real challenge is to understand where and how you can and should improve to get the biggest effect. In fact, best practices should change and evolve over time. With increasing pace of organizational changes and digital disruptions, new innovation practices continue to be developed and there should always be an objective to become even better.


People or businesses who use today’s best practices are innovators right now. However, to be the innovator of tomorrow, they have to keep learning the new tricks, updating their mindsets, knowledge, methodology, and approaches. The “next practices” for innovation continue to emerge. That’s all innovation about: Think differently, see things differently, and do things differently, with a continuous learning mentality and updated methodologies.

Digital Gone Wild: How to Fix It

Having the in-depth understanding of the “Big WHY” before jumping into the technical HOW in order to adapt to the new world of digital business.

Digital transformation is the radical change. The most difficult topic of the digital transformation is to manage uncertainty especially when you change many things such as processes, culture, technologies, systems, and organization on the whole at the same time. It is a complicated moment for all people in the organization at all level. Visionary digital leaders should ask themselves: When the digital transformation is gone wild - how to fix it?

Prioritization is critical because the alternative is a land grab for resources or talent: Setting the right priority is critical to managing a seamless digital continuum because a company has finite resources to apply to get the best yield possible to meet stakeholders’ expectation. It takes commitment and discipline to stay focused on the real priorities of the business instead of being distracted by what seems to be more urgent at any given moment. The challenging is really about helping the sponsors, being able to ask the right questions and fitting together different strategy components. In practice, this means a well defined and structural approach to defining strategic goals and measurements, cascading them out to front-line teams, clear methods and personnel to effect improvements, make regular reviews to chart progress and fine-tune efforts.Continuously try to improve, develop, and change everything in a prioritized order as long as it creates a more long-term business advantage and solves the critical business challenges.


The challenge is on how to prioritize what you know about and keep an eye open for signs of things you don't know about: Running a digital organization is challenging due to unprecedented uncertainty, velocity,  and complexity. There is known known, known unknown, and unknown unknown. There is no surprise, once a while, the digital seems to be going wild, and chaos swallows the order in a moment. Be paranoid to think ahead, but don’t be panic. Make a dynamic planning to evolve the emergent properties and leverage the nonlinear logic for managing the dynamic digital continuum. As a digital leader today, you cannot think in terms of single thread serial actions alone nor can you give undue priority to areas that are covered by the tactical implementation of the strategy. So, the really important thing is to understand the core business of your enterprise and the critical problem to solve. There is no way to create a definitive prioritized list without more business context. The "right" answer about the highest business priority is that it depends on which of these areas are most in need of improvement in the organization in question.


Keep prioritizing, iterating, learning and working on a rhythm of sustained delivery, to bring back the order from chaos: Evaluation and prioritization are taken place to leverage resources in management, bring transparency to the organization, and create healthy internal competitions among new ideas and business initiatives. Setting priority to leverage limited resources and talent to maximizing business value is an important step in climbing organizational maturity. Most of the traditional organizations stick to the lower level of maturity mode (reactive, inside-out, and operational driven), but to bring the new order to the digital setting, they must move up the maturity level to become truly proactive and outside-in, more flexible and people-centric.  

Digital transformation is the ongoing journey, with the updated management principles and practices. Digital has gone wide: How to fix it? Do not just fix the symptom via band-aid approaches. But having the in-depth understanding of the “Big WHY” before jumping into the technical HOW in order to adapt to the new world of digital business. Although you cannot predict every event happening on the journey, surely you need to proactively create a vision, make a good strategy, set the right priority, and execute it via an iterative business continuum.