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

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

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

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Weekly Insight of the “Future of CIO” 9/22/2017

Blogging is not about writing, but about thinking, brainstorming, innovating and sharing.
The “Future of CIO” Blog has reached 2 million pageviews with 4100+ 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” 9/22/2017
  • Stretch Out to Reach the Stage of Digital Renaissance Organizations large or small are on the journey of digital transformation. Digital is not a single dimensional technology adoption, but a multi-dimensional business expansion and optimization. Transformation efforts need to be undertaken as the means of getting to a defined different capability to accomplish a set of defined business goals. Digital transformation represents a break with the past, with a high level of impact and complexity. To reach this stage of the digital renaissance,  organizations have to stretch out in every business dimension, strengthen organizational capacity and build business competency for driving the full-fledged digital transformation.
  • The Monthly “Digital Boardroom -100 Q & As Book Tuning:  Build an Inquisitive Digital Board  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 curiosity to ask insightful questions, agility to adapt to changes, and build abilities to advise, inspire and motivate a group of people toward accomplishing shared visions and goals.



  • Digital CIOs’ Three Role Shifts: Information and Technology are permeating to every corner of the business, IT is no doubt becoming more critical in either making or breaking a business. IT transformation means rationalizing current IT department and planning to partner with the business to provide tailored services and solutions in new ways.


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

The New Book “Digital Fit: Manifest Future of Business with Multidimensional FIt” Chapter IV Introduction: Knowledge Fit

Knowledge Management is a human problem and not a technological problem.

Knowledge is power, it couldn’t be truer in the digital era. On one hand, the fresh knowledge can be captured from the abundance of information, on the other hand, it doesn’t take long for the knowledge to become a commodity and even outdated soon. Thus the only sustainable competitive advantage is the people's learning agility and how quickly they can keep updating knowledge to capture insight through it, and how well businesses can adapt to changes via managing their information and knowledge effectively.


Information fit: Nowadays, organizations large or small, collect an enormous amount of data. Data is a raw material, information is processed data. When businesses manipulate information in meaningful ways which give you something to interpret and utilize, then you have established the value from the information you get. Information is a key enabler to help you achieve your strategic business objectives - have the right information to make informed management decisions to develop the right products for serving the right customers. There is no limit to the value of information in our economy or better stated in today’s digital business ecosystem. Information Management fit is the key differentiator between digital leaders and laggards, high-performing organizations and mediocre companies.


Insight fit: The gap between knowledge and insight is about the depth of understanding. Because knowing something is not equal to understanding it, understanding it doesn’t mean you can communicate and coach it effectively. Knowledge is limited and can be out of date shortly, but insight is more universal and transcendent. A masterpiece of work, either literature, art, science, or philosophy, etc, is rested on insight. The insight of situation requires in-depth understanding. The more complex the situation is, the more different approaches and role gaming is needed to reach for understanding. Too often people may take an easy path, think and work at a superficial level rather than spend the time to understand what is going on underneath. Insight is an understanding of cause and effect based on the identification of relationships and behaviors within a model, context or scenario. Such insight should lead us not only understanding, but also predicting; not just managing problems, but also pursuing solutions and purpose seeking, as a mode of thinking and action.


Knowledge Management fit: Perhaps in organizations there seems to be the expectation that if you have a great business in one place and it’s working OK, then knowledge, ideas, solutions, and advice will easily transfer and that piece of the jigsaw will fit snugly into somewhere else. In less complex situations, people can see how this easily work. However, organizations become more complex than ever, knowledge needs to be facilitated and managed more systematically. Knowledge Management is a human problem and not a technological problem. It is important to prioritize efforts and take a phased approach to addressing Knowledge Management objectives and identify problems accurately. It is also practical to take the hybrid knowledge management solution to balance the two ends - centralization and decentralization to achieve effective knowledge management.

Knowledge is the power, you have to apply it at the right time in the right circumstance with the right attitude. Being in awareness of how much we know is essential for applying it authentically in real life. Knowledge is important, but openness is more difficult. When we truly become knowledgeable, then we become more aware of what we do not know and that should ideally fuel our imaginations and push for progression.

The Monthly “Digital Boardroom -100 Q & As Book Tuning: Build an Inquisitive Digital Board Sep. 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 curiosity to ask insightful questions, agility to adapt to changes, and build abilities to advise, inspire and motivate a group of people toward accomplishing shared visions and goals.

               Build an Inquisitive Digital Board



  • The New Book “Digital Boardroom: 100 Q&As” Chapter 1 Introduction The Digital Board’s Composition Inquiries Contemporary boards play the crucial directorial role in business strategy oversight, performance monitoring, business advising and policy setting. The boardroom composition will directly impact on how they lead and which tone they will set for the entire organization to follow. The question is whether there are enough people with proficient skills and expertise to do the job in the heat of today’s boardroom facing business uncertainty, rapid changes, continuous digital disruptions, and unprecedented competitions.?
  • The New Book “Digital Boardroom: 100 Q&As” Chapter 2 Introduction: The Digital Board’s Digital Inquiries Digital is about the accelerating speed of changes and abundance of information. The board needs to retain the ability to capture immediate and future opportunities which will enhance their shareholders’ benefits. To lead effectively, the board needs to be able to leverage diverse viewpoints via listening, brainstorming, and questioning, make effective decisions via critical thinking, independent thinking, strategic thinking, and system thinking, and become the “mastermind” behind the digital transformation.


  • The New Book “Digital Boardroom: 100 Q&As” Chapter 3 Introduction: The Digital Board’s Digital Vision/Strategy Inquiries Digital Boards help the business oversee business strategy via identifying and closing decision blind spots, pinpointing decision fatigue, and monitoring business performance. The most important judiciary duty of any corporate board is the oversight of a holistic strategy management of the company through focused leadership, monitor its implementation, and performance results, amend wherever necessary to match changing marketplace conditions, and by doing so to ensure the long-term prosperity of the business. However, many board directors are undereducated about their role while the business change is accelerated across global scope and knowledge life cycle is shortened.

  • The New Book “Digital Boardroom: 100 Q&As” Chapter IV: The Digital Board’s IT Inquiries? The digital new normal means that the change is inevitable and the speed of change is increasing due to the exponential growth of information and robust digital technologies. Digital board directors today need to become information friendly and technology savvy. The board's oversight of information management agenda helps to highlight the strategic perspective of IT and improve its differentiated value. An IT-savvy board will keep curious to ask insightful questions, have the advantage of pulling enough resources and pushing the business model of technology.

  • The New Book “Digital Boardroom: 100 Q&A” Introduction Chapter 5 The DIgital Board’s Leadership Inquiries: At today’s “VUCA” digital dynamic, organizations face both unprecedented opportunities to grow and hyper-competition or great risks to survive. A high-mature digital board is like a lighting tower to navigating the business toward the right direction and taking all these significant responsibilities more thoughtfully. The digital board directors should be mindful, insightful, innovative, and decisive, and become the mastermind behind the digital transformation.

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


Three “DE” Efforts to Rejuvenate IT to get Digital Ready

Due to the disruptive force of technology and exponential growth of information, more and more innovative organizations empower their IT organization to lead digital transformation at the front.  IT organizations today can no longer hide behind the scene and get stuck at the lower level of maturity to keep the lights on only or feel struggled to make an alignment with the business. IT organization has to reinvent itself for adapting to the increasing speed of changes and becoming more nimble about updating technology and managing information effectively. IT has to learn how to disrupt itself first, here are three “DE” efforts to rejuvenate IT.

Deprogram old mindsets: The traditional IT organization often has a controller’s mindset, and “we always do things like that” mentality. However, to improve its management maturity from reacting to changes to proactively driving change and business transformation, IT has to deprogram old mindsets, let go of “the voice from the past,” figure out the better way to do things and do more with innovation. We need an intuitive and innovative approach for the logical breakthrough! Forward-looking IT organizations strive to become the innovation hub of the business, keep information flow, idea flow, and reprogram the collective minds with new perspectives, norms, and attitudes. To deprogram old mindsets, IT leaders should empower their innovators and intrapreneurs who live and breathe in an intellectual world, brainstorm a lot, experiment a lot, debate a lot, to build a culture of creativity. It is like recode the DNA of the business,  challenging, but establishing a new blueprint for how top management should create the digital future reality.

Demystify IT investment puzzle: Organizations invest significantly in IT with the intention to gain the long-term competency. But many business stakeholders feel IT investment is still like a mysterious puzzle with too many variables. Is IT too costly? That’s debatable. IT is too costly if it only keeps the lights on without adding further value to exceed the business’s expectation. The high-performance IT organization has higher performance-cost ratio today than ever. If you break down the costs into functional units, though the overall spend is higher as IT intends to achieve more, the cost has come down. Lack of business justification and miscommunication are also the causes to make IT investment mysterious. Often times the business crowd wrongly equate IT solutions with concerns of expensive technical difficulties and the IT crowd builds more out of its own know-how than the need of the business client, thereby not serving its wish to earn that seat at the table. The optimistic view is that technology becomes cheaper than ever these days, IT leaders have to enforce communication with different stakeholders and build an effective IT management portfolio with transparency and measurable return on investment.
De-risk IT management: The digital era is full of uncertainty, velocity, complexity, and ambiguity. Digital organizations are always-on and hyperconnected. IT is not a function that can be handled only insight the IT department or by IT managers only. IT failure is caused by the management of IT rather than just IT management. Without top management’s support and cross-functional collaboration, the managers in the IT department are perhaps working in the dark to exercise mushroom management, which increases the risk and decelerates digital transformation.  To de-risk IT management in the digital transformation, it is important to identify the chasms. We live in an era of information abundance, the result is the higher risk of conflict and inertia, not something the organization wants in a global business environment that demands responsiveness, innovation, speed, and flexibility to succeed. Thus, it is important to de-risk IT management via enforcing communication and collaboration cross-functionally, cross-organizationally, and cross-industrially.

CIOs have to reimagine IT on how to unleash the full potential of running a digital organization via management innovation with some necessary “DE” efforts. IT and business have to work as the whole to achieve “the art of possible,” derive the most appropriate strategy and deployment. It is important to take a structural approach and make a continuous improvement in running a highly responsive, high-performing, and highly mature digital IT organization.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Popular Innovation Quotes Collection of “Digital Master” Book Series

Innovation is the art in the eyes of artists, the science in the eyes of scientists, innovation is the bridge between art and science.

“Digital Master” is the series of guidebooks (19+ books) to perceive the multifaceted impact digital is making to the business and our society, help forward-thinking organizations navigate through the digital journey in a systematic way, and avoid “rogue digital.” Here is the set of popular quotes about digital innovation, for conveying the digital vision and sharing the unique insight about the digital transformation.




“Innovation is to connect the dots - synthesizing that goes in one mind, and teamwork through collective insight.”


“Innovation journey is like taking a hiking trip at the trail very few or even no people ever went before, it takes courage and emotional maturity.”


“The innovation classification is not just based on the required investments, or on the potential market, but on its evolution abilities.”


“Innovation is a question of ambition, and imagination, not a question of investment only.”


“The very nature of open innovation is to take advantage of all sources of creativity in a more open way and make a leap of innovation management to the next level.”




“To strengthen the IT-business link, it takes more resources to doing innovation, not just IT innovation, but business innovation.”


“As a CIO, you need to understand what the organization’s expectation from IT through innovation lenses.”


“For IT, information management is fundamental, and innovation management is value-added.”


“IT has to continue to evolve the digital dynamic and reinvent itself as an innovative game changer.”


“A CIO as “Chief Intrapreneur Officer” has creative, logical, hybrid, and abstract thinking traits.”




Creativity is not a “thing,” it’s a process that happens as a proactive mental activity to a problem.”


“Many creative minds, just like many light bulbs, lit up simultaneously, could lead to brainstorming and breakthrough innovation.”


“The ultimate aim of assimilating knowledge is to create new ideas or gain wisdom.”


“Dissatisfaction with status quo is the psychology behind creative disruptions.”


“Creativity is a higher level of thinking because it often imposes a higher cognitive load as you think “harder” via different thought processes.”

The New Book “Digital Fit: Manifest Future of Business with Multidimensional Fit” Chapter 3 Introduction: Change Fit

Change is a continuum and once you accept that life will be a constant shift going on around us, then you are able to seek ways and means of adjusting your perspective and those around you.

Closer to reality is that change is continuously happening in the dynamic environment of a company. Change is inevitable, and the speed of change is accelerating. The desires of stakeholders, clients, and employees are evolving naturally. However, changeability and resourcefulness - the response to change are woefully underrated by many businesses as keys to success. How do you assess an organization that is ready for change? How can you engage with today’s management and make them change themselves into the role needed today for modern Change Management? What is needed to be done in order to execute a successful change? And what are the further aspects of managing change successfully?


An organization is on the road to success when change is part of its nature: Too many organizations are mechanistic, control and command hierarchies, and thus, they are rigid to change. Overcoming silo thinking and change inertia in an organizational culture is key to streamline business execution and accelerate digital transformation. Sometimes it is not the change that needs management, it’s management that has to change its paternalistic view and give space to what the people in the organization think about the change, or understand the psychology behind changes. Dynamic and changing organizations cannot operate with stable unchanging people. Successful organizations see the changes coming and with pre-planning and strategy, and most importantly, execution. Well-planned execution will greatly reduce and practically eliminate the fear of change that derails good or even great intentions. An organization is on the road to success when change is part of its nature.


Change Management is an ongoing business capability: Either for individuals or organizations, change is not a few random initiatives, but a cohesive and strategic ongoing capability to keep moving forward. Change Management capability which often not goes alone but integrates with other management capabilities such as strategy management, talent management, innovation management, performance management, etc. Fundamentally, change is about solving problems to lead progression. Problems that arise in organizations are almost always the product of interactions of parts, never the action of single parts. Thus, Change Management is a complex management discipline. Tactically, it helps to take a complex issue that needs to be changed and break it down into easy parts and then allocate them, then it can be easy to implement to create the overall change. Change cannot be just another thing needs to be accomplished, it has to be woven into communication, process, and action of the organization and make it an ongoing critical business capability and differentiated business competency.


The term “Change Fit” can be interpreted with a degree of variability: At the individual level, change fit starts with digital mindsets and a set of digital skills and capabilities. At the business level, the digital fit is about operational excellence, high-innovativeness, high-effectiveness, and high-maturity. Fit doesn’t mean that everyone needs to have the same thought process, the same personalities, the same preferences, the same experiences or take the same approach for changes. Where you want to look for fit is in relation to the collective capability you want to build or maintain within your team or organization, the kinds of attitude or behavior that you would expect to see as a result of, or in alignment with. What is important is that everyone feels committed to the common goals, and are comfortable with the behavioral expectations associated with those goals.

Change is a continuum and once you accept that life will be a constant shift going on around us, then you are able to seek ways and means of adjusting your perspective and those around you. A changeable organization is to creating organizations where change is the norm and happens the whole time thereby delivering with faster speed. That requires the right people, the effective processes, and productive tools fine-tuned to make it happen.

Three Aspects to Scale Digital

Digitalization implies the full-scale changes in the way business is conducted so that simply adopting a new digital technology isn’t insufficient.

Organizations’ digitalization is surely a transformation journey, it has to permeate into business vision, strategy, culture, communication, and processes. etc. It represents the next stage of business maturity which will improve how the enterprise works and interacts with its ecosystem. During the journey, there are many accumulated steps from doing digital to going digital to being digital. Here are three aspects to scale digitization and make a leap of digital transformation.  



Scale digital ecosystem: Digitalization is about hyperconnectivity and interdependence, always-on and information savvy. The digital ecosystem expands when the digital business territories blur and the business communities broaden their scope and consume all sorts of resources. The 'reach and range' flexibility that now exists removes barriers that have existed in the past. If businesses can recognize the barriers to reach the next level of high performance, it can empower employees to apply technologies to perform their work in a way that benefits the enterprise. Nowadays, organizations can easily invite their business partners or customers to participate the strategic conversations and provide invaluable feedback on how to run a high-effective digital organization. With the advance of the digital technologies and fast growing information, organizations can build integrated business platforms, capture real-time business insight, and integrate organizational processes into differentiated business competency seamlessly, to shape products, services, and customer engagement dynamically. It's about creating a structure that continually delivers what the business needs and takes further steps for maximizing business potential. The most successful organizations have a very clear vision and understanding of why they exist and the value they bring to customers and the very reason for digital transformation. So, they not only survive the fierce competition but thrive in the expanded digital ecosystem. For those lagging organizations, the ecosystems have evolved without much attention or planning.  The real challenge is to understand where and how you can and should improve to get the biggest effect and scale up across the digital ecosystem effortlessly.


Scale digital innovation: Innovation is about transforming the novel ideas to achieve its business value. It’s about figuring out the new way to do things. At the digital age, innovation is not “nice to have,” but must have business competency. With “VUCA” business new normal, the pervasive digitization requires digital professionals to rethink how things are done in organizations, and brainstorm better ways to do things. Every organization needs to develop the tailored innovation practices via leveraging effective tools or methodologies and use them wisely with the expertise to really add value or drive innovation. More and more firms are learning and implementing best practices for improving the success rate of innovation. The highly innovative organization can expand and amplify its influence with the ability to co-create and scale innovation practices in a digital ecosystem. These innovation business champions treat customers, channel partners, suppliers, and industry ecosystem participants as active agents who have permission to combine the modular capabilities exposed in a platform to create new experiences and expand its impact with faster speed. Hence, the innovation best practices are not for making static or rigid processes, but for setting the principles and standards to achieve innovation management excellence.


Scale Information Management: With fast-paced changes, IT is no longer just the tangible hardware boxes which are heading into the commodity, it must shift from an isolated function to important or even significant business partner; from functioning to firm to delight. The pervasive digitization requires both business and technology professionals to rethink how things are done in organizations. IT organizations have to step out of the traditional technology box, to understand the business and customers better via the longer time frame and different angles. IT has to spend more time and resources on strategic management and innovation, spotting the opportunities to increase revenues. At today’s information-driven business dynamic, there’s no shortage of problems to tackle. It's about to be able to get all the way around the task, to see it from all interests. CIOs need to be bold and innovative, and take IT to the next level of the business maturity, for increasing the significance of the digital IT. Scaling the power of information is about creating a structure that continually delivers what the business needs and takes further steps for maximizing business potential. To scale IT influence, it is important for IT to look for providing business solutions which will directly benefit the external end customers and improve the competitive business advantage, and in-turn brings in increased revenue. The significance of IT is about having a purpose such as staying ahead of the competition and become the business differentiator.


Digitalization implies the full-scale changes in the way business is conducted so that simply adopting a new digital technology isn’t insufficient. You have to scale up and dig underneath. To effectively respond to the digital dynamics, companies must begin thinking about ways with strategic planning to broaden their ecosystems and revenue streams while becoming more responsive and scalable. It also needs to transform the underlying business functions and structures to ensure the business as a whole running with digital speed.