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, July 23, 2017

The Monthly “Digital Gaps” Book Tuning: Bridging Cognitive Gaps in Digital Transformation July 2017

“Digital Gaps -Bridging Multiple Gaps to Run Cohesive Business” is a guide book to help digital leaders and professionals today identify, analyze, and mind multiple gaps with multidisciplinary insight and holistic understanding. Today’s digital organization simply just can’t stand still. Bridging the 'gap of opportunity' between where you are and want to become is a welcomed challenge and a stepwise approach to make a leap of digital transformation.
How to Close Perception Gaps? Perception is one's interpretation of the reality. It is as we see, observe and experience as defined by our mental "band-pass filters.”Perception is one's interpretation of the reality, so it is very subjective and varies from person to person.  When we are “mindful,” we not only see but also perceive; we not only live but also experience; this will have an effect on others and how we interact with the surrounding. But what are the gaps between perception and reality? How to overcome bias caused by prepositioned perceptions, how to close those perception based gaps and make the positive impact on your surrounding?
Critical Thinking Gaps Critical Thinking is the mental process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information to reach an answer or conclusion. There are very few real critical thinkers because it is a complex type of thinking with the multitude of thought process, at the deeper level, critical thinking has creativity embedded in it. The critical Thinking technique can be taught, but Critical Thinking skills can only be developed via practicing independent thinking, insightful observation, and conscious and even superconscious reasoning. There are critical thinking gaps existing which cause leadership blind spots and poor decision making, how to identify and fill them to improve the leadership maturity and digital professionalism?
Three Mentalities Enlarge Digital Gaps? Businesses and the world are hyperconnected today, the oceans, mountains, and deserts can no longer divide us, however, there are still walls in people’s hearts, and there are gaps in people’s minds. here are three mentalities or thought processes which enlarge digital gaps, and stifle digital flows.
Three Practices to Overcome Corporate Silo Mentality? We have transitioned from an industrial to knowledge, innovation, and hyperconnectivity economy - with this shift has come to a change in organizational forms away from the traditional rigid hierarchies managed through command and control to more fluid and responsive network forms. Yet many business managers still apply old silo management mindsets to new ways of organizing and this legacy of the old economy limits many 'networked' organizations. Are silos a mere product of organizational design? Or is their nature tied to a deeper level: the humankind's nature? Despite the mountain of evidence pointing the detrimental effects of these silos, they still seem to be quite common in organizations. The question is: why? In today's volatile economy, nothing impedes progress more than protective silos which are simply a form of bureaucratic amorphous mass designed to preserve the status quo. How does one eliminate bureaucracy? What would be some ideas to assist in breaking down silos in an organization where they are present??
Anti-Digital Mindset: Group Thinking and Abilene Paradox? Group Thinking or peer pressure is a term first used in 1972 by social psychologist Irving Janis that refers to a psychological phenomenon in which people strive for consensus within a group. In many cases, people will set aside their own personal beliefs or adopt the opinion of the rest of the group. In an Abilene paradox, a group of people collectively decide on a course of action that is counter to the preferences of many or all of the individuals in the group. You can see it at work when nobody wants to admit that the project is doomed, so they keep working on it, even though each person on the team knows it is futile. Why is it human nature to go along with what we believe the rest of the group wants to do without taking the time to actually check out if we are all taking a trip to Abilene?
The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2 million page views with about #3900th 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.

Innovation vs. Inclusiveness

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

The collective creativity depends on varying factors: Being creative is the kind to "think outside the box" for ideas and solutions.The most important characteristic of being creative is to act without fear and let you self-conscious express itself.  But the creative spark does not always originate solely in the individual. In that manner, you could say there is more collective creativity happening everywhere than many stops to realize. Would a diverse group of people come up with a more out-of-box idea/solution than a group of identical people? Whether the group of people has an amplified creative ability depends on varying factors such as different intent, different talent trait (compliant vs. creative), different working styles (enforcement vs collaboration), different outcomes (disharmony vs. harmony). In reality, the group of people does not always make creativity blossom. You can get a diverse group of people together in one room and still not have "creativity" if the participating individuals are not particularly creative. What matters is how creative are the individuals, and how open is the working environment. One of the aspects of creativity is the environment where individuals or groups need to generate creative results regularly and frequently. Generally speaking, an inclusive working environment with open leadership can stimulate creativity and nurture innovation success.

The collective creativity can be developed via enforcing divergent thinking and convergent thinking and practicing multi-dimensional thinking processes: Creativity is a combination of divergent and convergent thinking. It’s best to bring a group of people together with the cognitive difference such as different backgrounds, capabilities, strengths etc. together in order to encourage divergent thinking because the team needs to go divergent to explore the space (alternative, diverse ideas via open-ended and contextual inquiry.) Then during synthesis, while the team is analyzing the "problems," it will better go more more convergent to really hone in on the "why." Once you figure out what the true problems are and ready to ideate that needs to leverage divergent thinking. Finally, when down-selecting ideas and eventually prototyping that would take more convergent thinking. From innovation management perspective to a certain degree, the process to transform a novel idea to the business value, is a combination of divergent and convergent thinking, the systematic and synthetic processes.

Inclusiveness is an excellent engine for creativity, although it does not necessarily mean it’s the only success factor to spur innovation: It is a facilitator for merging significant building blocks of new and existing ideas and concepts. It is important for a creative team to have people who do not have the same view of the small part of the world that the team is dealing with so that they can complement with each other’s viewpoint. When people leave the inside box thoughts and standards to seek additional knowledge and experience, they are stepping outside that box to unfamiliar territory.  We all should broaden our points of interest and try new things to extend our thinking box. Diversity in the people you socialize with can provide you with new perspectives on life and possibly work as well. The inclusive organization is more successful and is always going to be more creative as it has more to draw on. That leads to a better mutual understanding and more advanced society among all humans.

Create a fearless and inclusive working environment to spur creativity. Develop an insightful understanding about fit vs. misfit, diversity and inclusiveness, inclusiveness vs. innovation, and do not just think that diversity is based on their look, not their thought. Encourage thinking differently, by generating scenarios where there is no one solution to one problem, but rather to construct an event where the individual inputs must compound and build upon each other - you can observe a creative result that was beyond the capacity of any one individual. And the collective creativity becomes the business competency.

Running a High-Responsive IT Organization

Embracing digital is inevitable as that is now part of the business venture. IT organization needs to become the change agent for their company. How responsive could IT be in order to ride learning curves, keep the pace of rapid changes, and accelerate digital transformation?

Breaking down the silo thinking and digitizing the management discipline and practices are the first step for running a high-responsive digital organization: The digital dynamic is where the digital disruption threatens to tear down legacy systems and practices just as it generates new opportunities. It's natural to fear the unknown, question the unproven, be skeptical of the latest technology trends. In today's volatile economy, nothing impedes progress more than protective silos which are simply a form of bureaucratic management style designed to preserve the status quo.  If most managers still apply old silo management mindsets to new ways of organizing and the hybrid structure, and this legacy of the old economy limits many digital organizations to unleash their full business potential. The reality is that organizations that do not respond to external environmental changes will quickly outcompete as more innovative enterprises take their customers. Running a high-responsive IT organization also needs to have the flexibility to take the different approach with the adaptability to meet the business’s expectation.  Even the speed of change is increasing, businesses still do have contexts of relative certainty, while simultaneously having contexts reflecting both complexity and chaos. Each of these contexts requires a different management approach. Thus, companies across sectors should be flexible to leverage different approaches to fit specific circumstances, ultimately respond to the external environment as geopolitics, rapid innovation, and social expectations change the business landscape and blur the digital territories.

High-Mature IT is highly responsive to changes and proactively manage innovation: Traditional IT organizations are perceived as the controller, slow to change based on the fact that most IT organizations still run in a reactive and order-taking mode, get stuck at the lower level of maturity. More and more businesses expect the consumerization style responsiveness from IT, digital IT needs to become the change organization of the company. IT needs to ensure its strategy allowing for digital speed, and agility to be seen by the business as an enabler, not an overhead. Business-engaged CIO is the right type of digital leader to run a proactive IT and keep navigating during rough sea because organizations can implement the business strategy execution through constructive business - IT relationships, ensuring the maturity level of the IT organization matches the requirements of the business strategy.

IT has to not only improve its own speed and responsiveness but also overall organizational responsiveness and maturity: Running a real-time digital IT organization means high-responsiveness. The goal to run a real-time digital IT organization is to create synergy and achieve digital synchronization of the entire organization. Unfortunately, the majority of IT organizations today are perceived by their business partners as the change laggard with a controller’s mentality. IT needs to do more with innovation and ride the learning curve to drive changes. A large part of the problem for IT transformation is that while there are both long and short-term goals for the business, far too often these goals are in opposition to each other. The tough choice needs to be made - When should you reap the quick win, when shall you focus on long-term growth. The digital CIO today, as the senior business executive should have the ability to see the big picture to ensure the business as a whole is more optimal than the sum of pieces and respond to change timely. The digital leaders today who can see the bigger picture, abstract the insight from the overloading information, and are not living the day-to-day activities, are needed to clear blind spots, integrate a multitude of viewpoints, and inspire the culture of innovation.

A highly responsive IT means a lot of things for the digital transformation: Speed, innovation, agility, integration, modernization, optimization, intelligence, adaptability, flexibility, and maturity.
To run a highly responsive and highly effective IT, IT management must get a feeler of the business view. IT must be measured through business viewpoint. And IT must become an integral part of the business.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Discover Three Hidden Gems to Shine Through Digital Transformation Journey

The organization’s digitalization is like the treasure hunting journey to discover those hidden gems and create value from it.

We are in a time of tremendous change, the dawn of digital age, the path to next level of innovation, also the era of confusion and information overload. Digital businesses nowadays are fast, always “on,” highly connected, interdependent, and ultra-competitive. The have to continue to discover their strengths, build differentiated capabilities, and unleash their collective potential in order to build competitive business advantage. Here are three hidden gems to help them shine through the journey of digital transformation.  

The Raw intelligence: All humans have their innate capabilities or intelligence, or being called “raw intelligence,” independent of their formal education or accumulated experience; or the innate strength that can be further strengthened into differentiated capabilities. At the collective organizational level, the business potential is the “raw intelligence” of the organization, which can be discovered, tune up, and shine through for helping the business build their differentiated competency. Either at the individual or organizational level, the next step is investigating what’s your strength, your vision, and passion, defining your tasks, things you want to do and do better than others. It is more impactful to work on improving your strengths as this is where you can work in your sweet spot. When organizations implement a capability-based strategy, they significantly improve the success rate to achieve the higher-than-expected business results. So, the trick is to know what your strengths (either at individual or team/organizational level) are (realized and unrealized), like digging into the underground to discover hidden gems, and then polished them, strengthen your strength to build your unique set of capabilities. Discovering the hidden gems inside you is to discover who you are, the genuine self, and ensure that your voices and actions are in synchronization by combined action, endurance, and with the right spirit.

The diversity of thoughts: A creative team should have the cogitative difference and diversified worldview. Do you find yourself getting inspired, challenged or intimidated by people of a different background from you? Can you always discover new perspectives and really valid learning points in work or any social community? In a sense, does diversity spur new perspectives in an individual then? The diversity of thoughts is like the multiple gems shining through at the dim night. The digital fit is less about thinking alike, more about thinking differently. Digital transformation is like the journey to discover those thinking gems and the pearl of wisdom. To produce a high-performing team, we need cognitive differences, levels of capabilities, complementary experiences, the spectrum of skills, unique competencies, cultural perspectives and different personalities. That's what cultivates the culture of innovation and improves performance ultimately. As a digital leader today, it is important to discover those shining gems, because the diversity of thoughts are the fountain of creativity and sparkling of innovation.

Constructive criticism: If traditional organizations focus on compliance and practice command & control style of management discipline. And then highly innovative digital organizations are hunting for constructive criticism and smart skepticism as the hidden gems. But to discern them correctly and act on them actively and precisely takes growth mindsets, skills, and an attitude of intellectual discernment. Because criticism from a "Competent and genuine critic" is really good for further improvement, you must be capable of imbibing such real criticism and discover its true value to help the business improve and innovate. It is also important to know what context are we using the term "critic,” the constructive criticisms such as good advice or timely feedback is crucial to our advancement either individually or at the business scope. Not to have critics could make your path easy, but you might not be able to explore your true potential. However, pay more attention to those destructive criticisms with negative intentions, remember the old saying: Not everything shining is the gem, and applying wisdom to handle them in a positive and intelligent way.

Digital transformation is a journey, compared to the change, TRANSFORMATION is definitely the more ambitious sounding term, and the organization’s digitalization is like the treasure hunting journey to discover those hidden gems and create value from it. It is about discovering the new path to take the adventure for exploring the new possibilities, better ways to do things, refine those raw gems into the differentiated advantage, as well as improve the business maturity with accelerated speed.

CIOs as “Chief Innovation Officer”: How to Improve Organizational Innovation Maturity

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

Many say digital is the age of innovation. Today, innovation can happen anywhere, anytime; it expands both horizontally and vertically. It’s the business’s unique capability to gain a competitive advantage in the face of fierce competitions and business dynamic. More fundamentally, it’s the state of mind to think and do things from a new angle. Innovation is no longer “nice to have,” but “Must Have” differentiated capability of the organizations who want to stay competitive on the market. However, innovation management has a very low success rate, how to manage innovation effectively and improve the organizational innovation maturity?

Creativity must be embedded into the “DNA” of the business: Creativity in the "corporate" world has a lot to do with fostering a creative environment. You have to live it and breathe it every day, otherwise, you would feel stuck. It has to become your business routine, corporate culture to renew creativity energy. Innovation will happen when people are given free space to be creative without rigid structures, bureaucratic management or risk avoidance attitude to hold them back. The company dedicates sufficient human and financial resources to its innovation programs and structures. The company's principles for innovation management are well known and understood throughout. This ensures that innovations will be supported by management and by all stakeholders. Innovative culture is the collective mindset, a way of doing things, risk-taking attitude, doing things differently mentality, asking hard questions, failing and being able to fail again without repercussions. There are three managerial tools for creating a culture of innovation which are policies, programs, and structures, get these management practices right, your organization can build a cohesive set of innovation capabilities and become a high mature innovative business. Get any one of them wrong, and your results will be sub-optimal.

It needs a systematic approach to running a balanced innovation portfolio for building innovation strength continually: Due to the fact that innovating in today’s digital world has become increasingly complex in nature, organizations can no longer rely on a single individual or team to drive innovation. Innovation requires much deeper whole systems, emergent, generative, iterative and integrative approach. There are robust processes and tools that enable any entity to generate winning concepts for innovation management on the consistent basis and via an iterative approach. It requires much more time, energy, passion, courage, experimentation, retreat, and reflection to get clear and focused on the innovative idea, business model, process or solution, and to then enact, embody and execute in a disciplined way. This requires an effective 'innovation ecosystem' that is capable of supporting both widespread incremental innovation in products/services and ways of working as well as the rarer 'step-change' innovation in products/services, methodology, business model, and market positioning. Digital organizations as the information hub can become the hotbed to nurture and incubate great ideas, to design robust, but not overly rigid processes and dynamic capability for innovation management.

Assessing and managing innovation performance effectively is also critical for improving innovation maturity: Assessing and managing innovation performance is challenging because the leading indicators for successful innovation are not only financial. There are efforts to put on both idea generation and idea implementation, hard innovation and soft innovation. But generally speaking, the innovation performance indicators should focus on the business objectives and desired behaviors. An organization’s innovation performance could be measured in terms of its ability to convert the ideas that enter the ‘Innovation Pipeline’ into the desired output, propositions, process improvement etc. It is not easy to define how much was generated from innovation, but there are rough estimates such as new products, improved services, cost savings due to innovation in internal processes. The performance indicators are the best tools available for innovation managers that wish to promote continuous innovation within an organization. The problem is that the KPIs to measure success in business have so often been predominantly financial in nature. The key is to properly measure innovation performance, not only the direct outcome from innovation management but also process innovation which helps to build the culture of innovation and hold people accountable for bringing premium innovation result and improving the maturity level of innovation management.

Improving innovation maturity is important for the ultimate business success. Innovation is a culture more than anything. Innovation can have brand effect as well if the large successful organizations once have established themselves as innovation thought leaders or indeed product/service innovation leaders often trade on their brand. The success rate of innovation can be improved through increasing innovation maturity and optimizing key success factors for innovation management more effectively.

Friday, July 21, 2017

The Monthly “100 Creativity Ingredients” Book Tuning: The Many Faces of Creativity July 2017

  Creativity is an innate ability to create novel ideas.

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

                   The Many Faces of Creativity

The Multifaceted Creativity Creativity is the most needed skill in the 21st century because digital is the era of innovation. Creativity is both innate and a skill. Developing creativity requires both internal motivation and self-awareness. Being original and being yourself is the first step, breaking down the convention thinking box, and practicing out-of-the-box thinking is the mental activities to stimulate creativity as well.

Many Shades of Creativity Human CREATIVITY is perhaps far more advanced than what can be achieved by a machine so far. Our thoughts, emotions, "gut-feel," "intuition," "insight," and many more complex aspects of our consciousness and awareness greatly enhance our learning and thinking creatively.

The Multifaceted Aspects of Creativity? Be it an art, a science, a talk, a humor, a different thought.... creativity can be applied in all the field. if one can develop that skill of thinking differently. There are many shades of creativity.

The Multitude of Creativity? Creativity is an innate ability to create novel ideas. Would you consider that creativity is a response to a stimulus and that individuals will manifest different behavioral responses to that stimulus depending on their individual experiences...? What are the personality traits or working environment which decide how creative the individual or team could be?

Many Faces of Creativity: Generally speaking, creativity means the thinking process to create novel ideas. More broadly, creativity may be more than or perhaps only tangentially related to the making of something new. Creativity is a specific way one or some human brains process information that results in unusual combinations of ideas, metaphors, applications, procedures, insights, and sometimes 'things'. Creativity seems to be a cluster of cognitive behaviors that may or may not result in a product and not necessarily a novel product. Or to put simply, there are many faces of creativity

The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2 million page views with about 3900+ blog posting in 59+ different categories of leadership, management, strategy, digitalization, change/talent, etc. The content richness is not for its own sake, but to convey the vision and share the wisdom. Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking; it’s not just about WHAT to say, but about WHY to say, and HOW to say it. It reflects the color and shade of your thought patterns, and it indicates the peaks and curves of your thinking waves. Unlike pure entertainment, quality and professional content takes time for digesting, contemplation and engaging, and therefore, it takes the time to attract the "hungry minds" and the "deep souls." It’s the journey to amplify your voice, deepen your digital footprints, and match your way for human progression.

Five Systems Thinking Principles

Systems Thinkers shape a worldview based on the realization of interconnectedness.

Systems Thinking by definition is a cognitive process (thinking), a profound thinking process to embrace holism and nonlinearity. Contemporary organizations are complex systems. Indeed, our whole world is a complex system. Setting the right principles is important to perceive the system more objectively and holistically. Systems Thinking Principles are the set of abstract and more “timeless” guidelines of helping to frame the questions in problem diagnosing and solving.

The system is more than its parts: Our visualization of complex systems is a sphere nested within another sphere within another sphere, etc. If you replace the picture of a "sphere" with a picture of a living cell, it is more accurate to understand human body as a complex system. As with any living cell, all the interesting activity happens with membranes. The membrane of mitochondria is nested in the cell membrane. Cells are nested in tissues, tissues in organs, etc. All bound in the "cell" that is defined by the skin. If you consider modern organizations are complex systems, and then, Systems Thinking helps you understand that the business as a whole is superior to the sum of functions because it has a set of cohesive capabilities that each individual function lack of. The starting point of Systems Thinking and exploration would be to understand how any system, as a whole, whether natural or engineered, would disturb by a nonlinear event, to understand interfaces and interactions associated with complex systems. You cannot oversimplify thinking about failures and functions. System Analysis requires many forms of additional thinking: Abstract, holistic, system, quantitative, objective, subjective, temporal (life cycle), and critical.

The purpose of Systems Thinking is to solve problems and creating desirable futures: The purpose of Systems Thinking is to solve problems and creating desirable futures. The majority of people do not know how to connect the dots within complex systems, nor think inclusively or holistically, nor comprehend dynamics, induction or deduction, nor understand expensive variables, interfaces, and interactions. Those who discover their way into Systems Thinking can indeed take a more holistic and integrated way of approaching situations and problems. The purpose of Systems Thinking is to frame-solve problems and creating desirable futures.  Humans feel usually uncomfortable in the presence of uncertainty so they prefer to search for a 'box' where to enter and feel safe, even if this means to accept a 'label' and then, sometimes, get struggled to find the exit from that exactly 'bordered' space. System Thinking is about the agility of decision making in the unfamiliar and rapidly changing environment. Solve problems in a lasting way without creating other and more problems, or, at least, optimize the solution via understanding the trees without missing the forest.

If you break a hologram in two, however, you end up with two holograms: Hologram is a three-dimensional image formed by the interference of light beams from a laser or other coherent light source. If you tear an ordinary photograph in two, each piece shows only a part of the original image. If you break a hologram in two, however, you end up with two holograms, each of which shows the entire original scene, although from slightly different points of view. That's because each spot on a hologram contains enough information to show how the entire scene would look if it were viewed from a particular vantage point. (dictionary.com). So, the idea of hologram makes sense in that it reflects the complexity of a system. It’s important to learn how to think the systemic wholeness. In practices, always listen to the two sides of the stories, and always understand things contextually and holistically. This wholeness comprises various media that are each functionally contrary to the unitive, fluid and seamless nature of the whole.

Systems Thinkers are experts in helping people and the team get the complete and full pictures: Systems Thinking sees the essential components interconnected and interdependent, co-creating lifetimes of shared desirable consequences both intended and unintended. From the behavior perspective, once we fully understand that any act that we have made is having an effect on everything around us, we can truly understand the value and the importance of "Systems Thinking." Until then many may not understand the voice of the Systems Thinkers. From the problem-solving perspective, the systematic structure provides the shell within which individuals can collaborate to create transparency to problems in order to gain insight and understanding the problem more holistically. Within a team, observations come from different viewpoints, different mindsets, life experiences, educational backgrounds. A team must be grounded in the same digital paradigm, which in turn assures the integrity of individual contributions and process transparency. Once a state of transparency has been reached, collaboration turns into cooperation. True Systems Thinking practitioners are those who have integrated Systems Thinking so thoroughly that they see themselves too as being already integrally in the digital flow on a continuing basis.

A possible remedy is by using Systems Thinking as a high level digital "philosophy," create practical methodologies/ practices for solving complex problems: The purpose of a Systems Thinker is determined by the role she or he undertakes in the system she or he perceives as the one she or he inhabits. Everyone performs systems thinking to some degree, whether they're aware of it or not. Systems Thinking per se is a mental construct of the viewer of the system. Systems thinking is a way of understanding complexity; to transposing another term, 'systems,' put an emphasis on 'a way.' It is a descriptive term for an object or an experience. It aims at solving a particular class of tasks in particular domains. Systems Thinkers shape a worldview based on the realization of interconnectedness. Simply a lot of us as humans can and really think systemically, even if we are not aware of this fact or don't use the specific terms by default. It is worth the effort to strengthen your systems thinking muscle for understanding things deeply and solving problems thoroughly. Start with the mediating systemic wholeness with which you experience, remember, know, think, imagine, evaluate, and engage the rest of the intrinsic unity that is the whole.

System Thinking cannot be completely acquired from a theory, or book, or from formal schooling. System Thinking is gained via experience during professional practices. So many organizations are on the journey of digital transformation, the Systems Thinking progression is to be sensitive to the emergent trends, to keep balanced thinking, not via the stillness, but through the state of the flow with the harmony of interconnectivity and interdependence.

Three Aspects of Running an Insightful IT

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

Though nowadays data is growing exponentially and technologies have changed how we think, live and work significantly. The gaps between knowledge and insight are existing, we still live in the world with information rich and insight poor. The insight of situation requires in-depth understanding. Insight is in strong demand because there are so many problems large or small waiting to be solved, and a lot of challenges need to be overcome. From the management perspective, IT organization is usually the information agent of the business, it plays a crucial role in managing information life cycle, and help the business reach the high level of Data-Information-Knowledge-Intelligence-Insight-Wisdom pyramid. Here are three aspects of running an insightful IT organization.

The various IT information can be analyzed to understand trends and will help to develop the business strategy: IT knows the business well and also has access to all sorts of data of the organization. What is needed to do is to develop a high-performing information analysis and management team to identify unknown opportunities for business or help them analyze the data and find out the reason for some business problems and solve them effectively. Information only has a value when it has been used for analyzing future trends or help to develop the business strategy.  The enabling value of information can be captured in this way and an information lifecycle developed from it. Information Management can also help with scaling and capacity planning. So, the logical scenario for running an insightful IT organization should first work to identify how information is associated with the valued tangibles of businesses; products and resources; such as information flow in processes, build acute sensing capabilities to generate business insight and foresight - anticipate as well as react, provide clues to identify growth opportunities and locate business problems, and then its own value will become readily apparent and quantifiable by association. The insightful IT can then earn a commendable respect in respective business because it truly helps to run a highly intelligent and high-performance organization.

An insightful IT provides varying perceptions on how to solve thorny business problems and run a high-mature digital organization: Modern IT organizations have to build a good reputation as the problem solvers of their companies, not just to take the band aid approach to fix the symptom, but to leverage the business insight to diagnose the root cause. Insight is an understanding of cause and effect based on the identification of relationships and behaviors within a model, context, or scenario. IT leaders need to have the strong business orientation and ability to bring the benefits of IT to solve business issues insightfully. Because IT is in the unique position to oversee the underlying business processes and organizational structure holistically. Thus, it can dive deeper to see the hidden causes and has a broader lens to understand business problems with unique insight. How you find a solution to any problem depends on your perspective to that problem, but every problem has numerous angles to take into consideration. In many circumstances, it boils down to how you view the problem from two different outlooks; from above or from below. IT can take both outlooks - strategic view and operational view insightfully, with the intention to solve the problem systematically (without causing too many other problems, or fixing the part but damaging the whole) and ensure the best result for the company’s long term competency.

The essence of information management is to ensure the right people getting the right information to make right decisions at the right time via the right processes: Decisions are based on information and generate information. Information and decision-making are intimately connected and interdependent. Information applies to the context and environment in which decisions are made. An insightful IT organization can process and refine information to capture knowledge, insight, and wisdom, enabling to make the right decisions at the right time for solving the right problems. When information has been used to make an informed management decision to develop the right products/services, attract new customers, enter new markets, exploit new channels or having the information to be able to conduct day to day operations which have an output value, etc, it becomes one of the most invaluable commodities of the business and the life blood of the digital organization. Therefore, an “I”-information-driven IT is like the “digital brain” of the business to store, process, connect and understand the information and capture insight to run a smart business.

The companies that are working to bridge the insight gap will be the most successful business going forward. They see that technology is catalyzing their business regardless of the industry segment they play in. Thus, an insightful IT organization plays a crucial role in driving business awareness, gaining contextual intelligence, sensing opportunities, predicting risks, and maximizing the digital potential of the business.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Weekly Insight of the “Future of CIO” 7/21/2017

Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking, brainstorming, innovating and sharing.
The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2 million page views with 3900+ 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.

  The Weekly Insight of the “Future of CIO” 7/21/2017
  • The Organizational Autonomy and Digital Transformation Digital disruptions are inevitable, and digital transformation is unstoppable. Organizations shouldn’t just respond to them in a reactive way. The new paradigm that is emerging is a digital organization that is more responsive, holistic, vibrant, self-driving, innovative, and above all enhances and supports the living organization. In fact, autonomy becomes one of the most critical characteristics for digital organizations to thrive as well as the symbol of achieving high-level digital maturity.

  • The Digital Board’s IT Inquiries The contemporary boards play the directorial role in driving changes, overseeing the business strategy, and monitoring business performance. They are also the “mastermind” behind the digital transformation. They should continue to ask insightful questions about IT to get digital ready.

  • The Monthly “Performance Master” Book Tuning: Five “WHAT”s in Performance Management July 2017 Corporate Performance Management is a management control from strategy till shop floor. "If you can't measure, you can't manage," legendary management guru Peter Drucker once asserted. He was right. Managing performance means understanding results, setting metrics, fixing plans, and making decisions to ensure it happens. It takes multi-faceted approaches from multidimensional perspectives. Here are five “WHAT”s of Performance Management.

  • Three Aspects to Enforce IT Innovation: Innovation, as an individual process or collective processes, is about figuring out the better way to do things; it helps us adapt, improve, grow and integrate. From the business perspective, innovation is the mechanism through which you grow and evolve something to something great with higher value-add or ever breakthrough or something new or better based on a combination or modification of previous attributes or approaches. Businesses, especially the well-established large corporations and within that environment, innovations can range from small to game changers. As more often than not, information technology is the disruptive force behind digital innovations, and thus, forward-thinking IT organizations strive to become the innovation hub of the business. Here are three aspects of enforcing IT innovation and building it into the business competency.  

  • The Monthly “Unpuzzling Innovation” Book Tuning: Take a Structural Approach to Manage Innovation July 2017  Digital is the age of innovation. And innovation is what leads to differentiation. There are many ways to differentiate and, therefore, there are many ways to pursue innovation. Talking of innovation is not new nowadays, everybody, every organization now is talking about innovation. It's been at or near the top of the business or economics agenda for a long time. However, there’re a lot of confusions about innovation and there is no magic sauce to guarantee its success. Back to basic, what is innovation, the more you look into this topic, the more difficult to give a definition of innovation, as it is such a broad topic? One of the good definitions of innovation is: "to transform the novel ideas into commercial success.” In essence, innovation is, "intentional novelty bringing sustainable benefit."

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.