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, August 17, 2017

The Weekly Insight of the “Future of CIO” 8/19/2017

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” 8/19/2017
  • CIOs as Chief Innovation Officer: Five Types of Innovators to Accelerate Digital Innovation Innovation is about future, without it, you lose sight of tomorrow. Innovation is an exceptional, exclusive, and realistic idea that separates you from others without a second thought. Do innovators belong to rare breed or they are among us and within us? More often than not, innovation is the teamwork, the different strengths and complementary skills of innovators can develop the business’s innovation capability and capacity, and improve the overall innovation success rate. CIOs as “Chief Innovation Officer,” can you identify innovators and manage innovation effectively?

  • 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. Here is a set of the digital board’s digital inquiries.


  • CIOs as “Chief Improvement Officer” How to Run Digital IT Exceeding Business Expectations: Information is permeating into every corner of the business, and technology is an important component of almost all key business processes. But more often, there are discrepancies on how IT perceives itself and how the business perceives IT. In order to improve IT performance, IT leaders should collect the feedback from different business stakeholders. Suggestions would be to ask superiors, customers, and other stakeholders what their expectations are of you, and whether or not you meet these expectations. Because different groups of stakeholders have different perspectives on how IT is doing and how IT can help them succeed. CIOs as “Chief Improvement Officer”: How to run digital IT exceeding business expectations?


  • Running IT as an Innovative Problem Solver and a Relentless Change Agent  IT is at an inflection point to speed up digital transformation, modern IT organizations need to be the explorer for stepping into the deep, deep digital normality with the abundance of information and the sea of changes. Forward-looking CIOs express a need to free up their staff from commodity activities to spend more time on strategic or innovative business initiatives. For IT to break the old cycle, and transform from the ‘weakest link," to the superglue of the business, it has to provide business stakeholders technological insight into how they bring success to the company as a whole instead of being a commodity overcoming the cost center reputation. Digital IT leaders today should practice paradoxical thinking to strike the right balance, drive changes, and solve business problems effectively.  

  • The Monthly Foresight: Decipher the Creative Digital WOrkplace and Workforce  Aug. 2017 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? What are your practices for building a hyper connected and ever-evolving digital business ecosystem?

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 IT: 100 Q&As” Conclusion: Build an Inquisitive Digital Board

Organizations today have to live up with the business dynamic which is uncertain, ambiguous, complex and flux. The board of directors as the de facto guardian of modern organizations has an important role to play in steering the organization toward the uncharted water and blurring business territories. To improve directorship effectiveness, the corporate directors are senior leaders, shall they ask or answer questions? How shall they ask good and pertinent questions for governing changes and driving digital transformation? And how to build an inquisitive digital board to get digital ready?

An inquisitive board sets the tone for building the culture of innovation: Asking the right questions helps to validate how thoroughly and deeply the board is thinking on a particular issue, avoids group thinking and sets the tone for building the culture of innovation. Because the great questions lead to creative problem-solving and innovative solutions, it challenges conventional thinking removes negative self-talk, and great open questions stimulate proactive interactions no matter what is the situation, eliminates blind spots and leverage intuitive listening to capture the important information for decision-making.

An inquisitive board is composed of exceptional board directors with high-intellectual curiosity: This inquisitive board directors present strong digital leadership traits such as critical thinking, creativity, influence, and digital fluency. They practice directorship based on the breadth of business knowledge and in-depth expertise of their domain, help to connecting the wider dots and accelerate digital transformation.

An inquisitive board presents the right dose of skepticism and valuable outlier’s perspective: Digital board directors are independent thinkers, unbiased communicators, wise advisors, flexible facilitators, and global leaders these days. Knowledge is important, but more than that is complete awareness of what is happening in the context, and be skeptical of “we always do things like that,” mentality. The exceptional board directors also have strong innovation skills to deal with situations that they have not dealt with before and possess the confidence and the experience to set the entrepreneurial or intrapreneurial spirit of growth and change.


There is the time to ask, and there is the time to answer. In the face of vast areas of unknowns, digital board directors are the mastermind and social influencer for advocating innovation and catalyzing digital transformation.

A “Structural CIO”: How to Manage IT Systematically

Information becomes omnipresent and technology is the disruptive force behind the digital transformation. IT is an engineering discipline, as always, but adding more enriched digital context. In modern society, computation has become one of the most important disciplines of the science, this is because it is the science of how machines can be made to carry out intellectual processes and capabilities. Hence, an effective CIO’s job is to take the structural approach to improve operations via reducing the waste and burden on the company, improving systems, streamlining processes and providing continually expanding business solutions while trying to stay current and ride the learning curve with ever-changing technologies. Though one of the most magic titles of the CIO is “Chief Innovation Officer,” today’s modern CIOs are also the “structural CIO” who can manage changes & innovation, and accelerate digital transformation systematically.

Structural thinking processes: Due to the complex nature of technology and shortened knowledge life cycle, CIOs today must be able to apply multidimensional thinking and practice engineering discipline for either making effective decisions or improving management maturity. The CIO’s structured thinking processes are the things they bring to the table for solving complex business problems. Because engineering practice requiring systematic thinking and stepwise problem-solving skills. Hence, digital CIOs are specialized generalists who need to both have a bigger picture perspective as well as technical understanding, they need to have a clear technological vision, and have genuine empathy with the users of technology and end customers as well. in order to improve IT manageability. A structural thinking process often includes a cohesive set of multidimensional thought processes such as logical thinking, analysis, and synthesis, critical thinking, systems thinking, etc, so IT leaders can absorb information, refine knowledge, capture insight, and abstract wisdom effortlessly. It enables digital IT leaders understanding the interconnectivity between parts and the whole, and interdependence of the digital business ecosystem. So, they not only know how to break down the large problems into small pieces but also understand how to integrate the small pieces into the holistic perspectives without enlarging the gaps or cause too many side effects. IT is in the unique position to have an oversight of the underlying business functions and processes, thus, a “structural CIO” can have profound insight on how IT can bridge IT-business gaps, improve business processes and integrate businesses to ensure the seamless business execution.

Structural IT management disciplines: IT Engineering practices and disciplines require structural approaches and problem-solving capabilities. With engineering as science, different people specify requirements/design you get the same results, and different people read the resulting specifications you get the same explanation. If idea creation is more art than science, and then the nature of how the "implementation of the idea has to follow a logical path for the solution,” and it provides a great opportunity for IT to shine based on its scientific discipline. It takes a structural approach for enhancing IT business relationship, doing alignment, collaboration, integration, and optimization, etc. Either unpuzzling innovation or overcoming IT complexity require IT and the business working as a collaborative team, this is especially important in today’s digital dynamic in which technologies are continuing to experience dramatic change at an accelerated pace, driving the role of IT to become increasingly more complex and challenging. From IT management perspective, digital leaders need to present the “know-how” technical understanding and take the structural approach to getting better solutions through asking big WHY, peeling back the layers to find the root cause and address it.

A structural approach to managing people: With increasing speed of changes and continuous disruptions, organizations must focus on building people-centric business via leveraging the emergent digital pipelines for recruiting, communicating, innovating, and collaborating. The key differentiator between high performance IT and average IT is people. It is important to take a structural approach to integrate talent management/performance management/culture management/change management/knowledge management to a holistic people management solution. To run a people-centric, insightful digital organization, you need to utilize technology and manage information life cycle systematically. The strategic and structural workforce planning is a responsibility of all functions in the organization, which requires cross-functional collaboration between executive team, managers, finance, marketing, IT and others.

The “structural CIOs” are neither too rigid to stifle innovation, nor too static to adapt to changes. They can practice scientific engineering disciplines and take systematical approaches to manage an insightful IT organization in driving business awareness, gaining contextual intelligence, sensing opportunities, predicting risks, achieving the high-performance business result and maximizing the digital potential of the business.



Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Monthly "Digital IT: 100 Q&As" Book Tuning: How to Bridge IT-Business Gaps Aug., 2017

Debating is not for stimulating conflicts, but for brainstorming better ways to do things.

Due to the changing nature of technology, IT leadership role also continues to involve & shift the focus, to move up the maturity level. More and more CIOs are requested to take more responsibility and many CIOs present the breadth of leadership competency. The proactive IT debates help IT leaders to brainstorm innovative and better ways to do things and improve management capabilities. Here is the monthly “Digital IT: 100 Q&As” book tuning with a set of blogs to brainstorm how to bridge IT-business gaps.

"Digital IT: 100 Q&As" Book Tuning: How to Bridge IT-Business Gaps Aug. 2017

  • CIOs as “Chief Improvement Officer” How to Run Digital IT Exceeding Business Expectations? Information is permeating into every corner of the business, and technology is an important component of almost all key business processes. But more often, there are discrepancies on how IT perceives itself and how the business perceives IT. In order to improve IT performance, IT leaders should collect the feedback from different business stakeholders. Suggestions would be to ask superiors, customers, and other stakeholders what their expectations are of you, and whether or not you meet these expectations. Because different groups of stakeholders have different perspectives on how IT is doing and how IT can help them succeed. CIOs as “Chief Improvement Officer”: How to run digital IT exceeding business expectations?


  • Is Business & IT Gap ‘Artificial’?  The “gap” between business and IT is always a hot debate, and the conclusion is also controversial, some say, the gap is definitely shrinking, as IT is gradually becoming engrained into every aspect of business these days due to internet, technology developments etc. The clear cut divide that used to be there between IT and business in the olden days is vanishing fast; the opposite opinion is that indeed the gap is deepened because the “shadow IT”-business bypassing IT oversight to order SAAS service on their own, causes serious governance issue and communication gaps?

  • How to Rebuild Trust between IT and Business? IT plays an unprecedented role in modern organizations today, information is the lifeblood of business; and digital technology is often the innovation disruptor. However, there is still a lack of trust relationship between business-IT, within IT or between IT and vendors. Is it because most of the businesses still perceive their IT organizations as a cost center or help desk, rarely invite IT to the big table to co-create strategy? Is it because IT speaks the technology jargons the business doesn’t understand, or IT plays as a gatekeeper, not an enabler for taking advantage of the latest digital technology trend. Is it also because nowadays technology vendors walk around IT to directly sell their SaaS solutions to the business functions? What are some effective ways to build/rebuild trust in the IT organization? What are the considerations for the non-IT organizations to gain the trust from IT? What are the considerations for a service provider to gain the trust of IT organizations?


  • What does Business Expect from IT? High-performing IT is leading with empathy, to understand business customers' frustration and pressure points from their perspective and find a way to move the business issues forward in a way that is advantageous to the entire enterprise. First of all, what does business expect from IT?

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. blog posting. 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 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 Boardroom: 100 Q&A” Introduction Chapter 5 The DIgital Board’s Leadership Inquiries

Leaders set principles, open to criticism, and take the risk for innovation.

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. Here is a set of digital board’s leadership inquiries.

  • Does the organization see the lead as authentic?
  • Do your leaders have the ability to cope with “VUCA” new normal today?
  • Are your leaders emotionally aware enough to listen, as well as tell?
  • Can your leaders manage multiple stakeholders inside and outside the organization proactively?
  • Is the next generation of leaders stepping up? Who is choosing to lead in these uncertain times?
  • Is the current leadership asking for help across the organization?
  • Does the culture of the organization allow people to lead without authority?
  • What do positive policies look like?
  • Are your leaders balancing short-term, tactical decision making with the long-term goals of the organization?
  • Does the board do enough to audit corporate culture?


Read more digital board’s leadership Q&As in Chapter V of the book.


How to Drive a Frictionless, Immersive, and Relentless Digital Transformation


Digital management is responsible for designing, enabling, and enforcing a collaborative, innovative, intelligent, inspiring and inclusive working environment.

Due to the abundance of information growth and disruptive nature of technologies, forward-looking organizations empower their IT to drive changes and lead the digital transformation. The thing needs to be clarified is that digital is not just about applying a few fancy technology gadgets or designing a cool website, it is much broader and deeper than that. Digital transformation is also not just about using the latest technologies as a single dimensional enhancement, but a multidimensional evolution based on sociocultural, sociotechnical, socioeconomic, organizational, scientific, philosophical, psychological, and artistic, etc., lens. These dimensions interact and mutually influence each other. It is the digital paradigm shift. The visionary digital CIOs must continually ask themselves: How to run IT as a change agent, and how to drive a frictionless, immersive, and relentless digital transformation?


Frictionless: Digital is all about flow, data flow, information flow, mind flow, and business flow. The goal to run digital IT is to keep the digital flow and enhance communication fluency, to ensure the silos can be broken down, for closing the gap between business and IT, to enable the right people getting the right information at the right time to make the right decisions. Hence, IT effects in digital paradigm shift are to be the business integrator in knitting all critical business success factors: People, process, and technology, to cultivate the frictionless business culture, fine-tune business processes, build a set of business competency and ultimately reach digital premium. The very obstacle to run a frictionless digital organization is thinking silo, functional silo, or management silo, etc. Silos are a typical pattern used in complex systems in an attempt to keep complexity under some semblance of control. Cross-silo or cross-divisional collaboration is crucial to building dynamic digital capabilities. Silos are constant barriers to business advancement or maturity. Often, organizations are too siloed to be able to understand a holistic business with a coherent view, it will take strong leadership vision and high-quality digital professionals who want to bridge the chasm, to discover the unique path to hasten their collective best thinking efforts and respond to changing conditions effortlessly. From people management perspective, bounded groups, homogeneous team setting, or insular tribes are evidence of silos, silos are the root cause for creating the multitude of business gaps and having decision-making blind spots. Silo limits the organizational creativity and stops the business from achieving the higher-level of maturity. In a frictionless digital workplace, self-driven leaders, teams, and employees have the vision to think with the long term perspective, have the passion for catalyzing changes and advocating innovation; possess the capability to manage digital transformation frictionlessly in a structural way.


Immersive: Digital reality is a flexible blend of physical and virtual world, and immersion into virtual reality is a perception of being physically present in a non-physical world. The immersive digital business world must stimulate our senses with realistic feedback. The immersive digital experience can make either individual or the business’s daily journey more interactive, like playing the game. To be interactively creative for accomplishing a task or facilitating the team activity is to suppress automation or disembodiment, and to become immersive with it. The immersive digital experience harnesses visualization, interaction, and fun. Imagine an organization in which the core competencies are explicitly visualized, people are usually associated with a particular business capability, and are charged with improving the flow of work in building it. People are able to take an immersive digital scenario for problem-solving in the whole flow of work, start-to-finish, idea-to-cash, and create an interactive environment with customers as well so that you can reverse engineer from customer feedback to a creative product/service. The most effective digital workplace is one where collaboration and sharing are the norms. Enhancing immersive digital experience is about connecting key resources and assets in the context of the ideas reaching innovation hubs and clusters across the digital ecosystem because in doing so, you can create the shared context for learning, co-creating new knowledge or practicing creativity. That, in turn, will further fuel more collaboration in innovative initiatives and accelerate digital transformation.


Relentless: Digital transformation is more as a journey, not a destination, it could never end, because organizations have to keep improving, evolving, and innovating for reaching the next level of high performance and business maturity. Therefore, digital leaders today must be the relentless change agents and innovation champions, to proactively respond to changes, and execute them seamlessly. Digital leaders also need to be the 'bridge' - a relentless networker and a creative communicator to lead the organizations on the digital journey. Today’s digital companies need to be organized in keeping with quantum world, they have to relentlessly improve their key business elements, emphasize participation, relationships, communication, and realize that they will need to renew themselves periodically to cope effectively with fast-paced changes and have a fluid structure that responds effectively to the business dynamic. There should always, at every turn, be a taste of better days, of continual improvement of retrospective action planning, incremental goal achieving, and creative idea brainstorming. It's only natural to seek some form of organizational structure to manage large numbers of people. Building an ideal digital workplace won’t happen overnight, and organizational structure optimization takes planning, experimenting and scaling up. The digital transformation is a relentless journey with a clear vision, implementable strategy, intelligent and diligent people, seamless processes, efficient technologies, and differentiated business competency.

Digital management is responsible for designing, enabling, and enforcing a collaborative, innovative, intelligent, inspiring and inclusive working environment based on cross-siloed or cross-divisional collaboration, and drive a frictionless, immersive, and relentless digital transformation journey for maximizing the full business potential and achieving high-performance business performance for the long term prosperity.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Monthly Foresight: Decipher the Creative Digital WOrkplace and Workforce Aug., 2017

In an ideal digital workplace, the organizational structure is solid enough to keep people or things in order; but fluid enough to keep information and idea flow.

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? What are your practices for building a hyperconnected and ever-evolving digital business ecosystem?


Decipher the Ideal Digital Workplace & Workforce Compared to traditional industrial organizations running as a mechanical system, digital organizations are more like the living things which need to grow more organically and become more fluid to adapt to changes with self-renewal capabilities. In an ideal digital workplace, the organizational structure is solid enough to keep people or things in order; but fluid enough to keep information and idea flow. What are further perspectives to decipher the ideal digital workplace and nurture the creative and productive digital workforce?  
Three Principles in Building a Creative Digital Workplace? Digital is the age of people, and digital work environment needs to embrace the abundance of information and the culture of innovation, put people at the center of business, and to both engage employees and delight customers. How can digital leaders set principles to encourage creativity, build creative digital workplaces and open the new chapter of digital innovations?
How to Build and Measure Workplace Creativity? “In recent years, creativity has become a very highly valued skill. Creative people combine existing possibilities to reach more often unexpected solutions. Creativity is an essential building block for innovation in business. Everyone possesses a certain level of creativity; some just have more than others. How does creativity manifest itself in the workplace? What's the best work environment for creativity? What products (tangible or otherwise) are creative? Where that creativity arises from. And what acts, behaviors etc. may be examples of the organizational creative process? What risks are associated with creativity not being manifested in the workplace? How might you see a creativity employee?
How to Build a Creative Workforce and Workplace? People are the most invaluable asset in business, at the age of digital, it is, even more, true than ever. Talent employees are treated as human capital needs to be well invested to unleash the boundless potential, not just human resources counted as a cost. HR shall also transform itself from an administration function and gatekeeper to change agent, capital investor and innovator in order to build a creative digital working environment and catalyze the organizational level of digital transformation. However, how do you, as leaders, involve all people in creative thinking and actions? And how can you help improve the harvest of the creative seeds?
How to Build a Creative Workforce? Today’s digital workforce is multigenerational, multicultural and multitasking; today’s digital workplace is always on, always connected, you can work anytime and anywhere, with more seamlessly cross-functional collaboration and cross-geographic interaction. But more strategically, how to build a creative working environment to inspire innovation and encourage creative problems solving in business? What are the best practices, or next practices to reinvent the digital way of work, and what are the roadblocks on the way?

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 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 Boardroom: 100 Q&As” Chapter IV: The Digital Board’s IT Inquiries

The board’s oversight of information management agenda helps to highlight the strategic perspective of IT and improve its differentiated value.

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. Here is a set of digital board’s IT inquiries.

  • How tech-savvy are corporate boards these days?
  • How can boards oversee the IT strategy which is an integral component of the business strategy?
  • How can boards help to strengthen the weakest link of the business -either it’s about people or IT, etc?
  • Can the board help IT set up the right priority to reach the higher level of maturity?
  • Are information, functional or business silos likely to be hurdles as we strive to become more digital?
  • Do we have an incentive structure that promotes collaboration to streamline information flow and achieve its business value?
  • Are information processes and systems compatible with each other and the technologies enabling digital shift?
  • What demand does strategy create for new information technology-enabled business capability, and how will you bring that to reality?
  • What limitations are imposed on business strategy by the constraints of the IT currently used by the company and in its digital ecosystem?

Read more digital board’s IT inquiries in Chapter IV of “Digital Boardroom: 100 Q&As”




CIOs as “Chief Insight Officer”: Timing, Always-On and Digital Synchronization

Digital means increasing the pace of changes, continuous disruption, and timing - how to run a real time business. IT plays a critical role in orchestrating digital transformation. The goal to run a high-responsive, always-on digital IT organization is to create business synergy and achieve digital synchronization of the entire business.



Running a real-time digital IT to accelerate changes: In the digital era with “VUCA” characteristics, timing is everything. Because digital provides abundant opportunities for business growth, also brings unprecedented risks to fail the business even overnight. Digital also enlarges the multiple business gaps because different individuals, functions, organizations, and industries evolve digital with varying speed. Those communication gaps, skill gaps, or execution gaps decrease productivity, drag down the speed, cause mistrust and de-accelerate digital transformation. Hence, to run a real-time, high-responsive digital IT requires IT leaders to first understand their business and industry, and then evaluate the emergent digital technologies based on the value or competitive advantage it brings to the business and the potential risks. And the level of IT responsiveness and maturity depend on how well CIOs can balance the IT needs against the risk tolerance of the business. IT can be like the glue to integrate the multitude of organizational functions, structures, and processes to improve business responsiveness and run a real-time and always-on business with flexibility.

Running a real time IT to provide business insight for either delighting customers or improving business performance: Timing is always important to leverage the right information for making effective decisions. An insightful IT can ensure information fluidity and business holism. There are different factors mainly drive the quality of products/services under time pressure. With business insights provided by IT, organizations acquire the ability to reshape products, services, and customer engagement timely. Though timing does not mean to rush up. Potentially, longer time frames allow the creation of more alternatives from which to choose, using both rational and instinctive knowledge. Time is a critical factor in decision-making scenario. You do not and can’t afford to defer the decision until such time that all facts and information are available. The decision is necessary as a result of limited resources in time, knowledge, capital, and people. The real-time business insight can help business leaders and professionals make effective decisions timely, and this is more imperative when uncertainty, velocity, complexity, and doubts are major hindrances to decision making.  

On-time delivery: IT has been perceived by the business as lagging to changes with controller’s mindset. To reinvent IT as the change agent, IT must make on-time delivery and continuous improvement in a proactive way. Timing is critical. Is the functionality required immediately or is there time for it to be developed in-house? When should IT build, when should IT buy? When should IT take the order from customers? When should IT take initiatives to solve business problems in alternative ways? There are a lot of management dilemmas IT has to deal with. Timing matters in order for the company to run at the digital speed today, so why do you reinvent the wheel? You buy when the solution provider can meet most if not all of the critical requirements without a lot of customization, and with faster speed. Keep in mind, the IT organizational maturity is not based on how many years IT organizations have been around and keep running to support the business; but about how well IT can provide innovative solutions to exceed the business’s expectation and delight customers; or to put simply, making on-time delivery and continuous improvement are much more critical than discover an elegant solution.

With IT as an enabler, digital synchronization occurs on multiple levels, but it presupposes the ability of each 'link' to articulate their 'strategic intent.' When IT plays a role as a conductor skillfully, digital synchronization and strategic alignment occur when all parts of choir sing their respective parts to achieve the high performance result and bring the long term business prosperity.

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Monthly “Performance Master’ Book Tuning: Innovation Performance Management Aug, 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 is a set of blogs to brainstorm Innovation Performance Management.

                    Innovation Performance Management  


Innovation Management Assessment and Measurement For many businesses, creativity is the mystery and innovation is a serendipity. In fact, innovation is how to transform novel ideas and achieve its business value. Due to the hyper-complexity of modern businesses, innovation is also about reducing the unnecessary business complexity to tackle the complexities of business dynamic. It can be managed in a structural way. If you can only manage what you measure, how to measure innovation effectively?  

Innovation Measurement: How to Do it Right? Innovation is the light every organization must pursue now, but most of the innovation initiatives fail to achieve the expected result. Druck is credited as saying: “We can only manage what we measure.” What is stopping you from measuring top line impact from innovation, how much revenue is generated by innovations launched in the last 5 years? Are innovation failures caused by the time lag, inefficiency of financial systems? Is your innovation process not so clear with limited information on what has been done, or something else for ineffective innovation management, like a fuzzy or not well-communicated strategy goals? And innovation measurement, how to do it right??

How to Maximize the Returns on IT Innovations  Businesses today face fiery competition and rapid digital shift either technologically or economically, most of the organizations are focusing on improving margins by reducing the bottom-line cost rather than top-line growth; as innovation and risk are proportional, improving efficiency takes a little creativity and risk, while working on innovation effort usually takes higher risks and creativity. Still, forward-looking companies will spend more resource on innovation investment in order to reap the fruit for out beating competitors and gaining long term advantage. So the question is how to maximize returns on innovation, specifically, IT innovations, as overall IT project has much lower success rate than other business initiatives.       

How to Assess and Improve Innovation Management Maturity For many organizations, innovations are still serendipitous. However, serendipity can be planned into an innovation project. Serendipity is not a lucky accident, and it can be planned and worked upon. Has a lot of determination and divine providence for those who believe in that. Serendipity will always play some part in the innovation effort, but innovation is both art and science,  Innovation Management is a scientific management discipline, how do you assess innovation management maturity, though?

How to Measure Innovation Performance? Innovation is about how to implement the creative idea and achieve its business value. One can only manage what it’s being measured. It is also true for innovation management.  Innovation performance metrics and tools can help companies think systemically about business innovation.

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