Archives For Business Transformation

Each day we seem to be bombarded with more and more hype about the need for Proxy Leaders aka Chief Whatever Officers and other Fashion Statements such as Data Scientists. There are specialist recruiters, IT Analysts and Conference organizers who promote these roles along with a chorus of IT people who seem to not have much respect for their boss, the CIO. Frankly, I am sick of hearing/reading all of it and in spite of my best efforts to tune out these voices out they seem to be everywhere. It appears to me that the entire vendor, analyst & pundit community have sold the farm on the success of these IT Superheroes in spite of a legacy of more than 50 years of failure by IT to lead in respect to Data, Information & Analytics. I am not one of these “true believers in the next data prophet”. For my money when it comes to creating effective Data Leadership  I am going to bet on the traditional organizational hierarchy which begins with the CEO (in partnership with his/her Board). To that end that is why I have devised The Data Leadership Nexus in the fashion that I didFor those who have been following my Data Leadership Nexus articles, blogs and tweets you know that I have been promoting the notion that “2015 – The Year of (Top-Down) Data Leadership”.

In support of this, I have been working with Clients and other Like-Minded Thinkers to develop 5-year plans for CEO’s & Boards to transform their Organizations into Predictive Enterprises within this timeframe (if not sooner). To help better understand what that journey looks like from the perspective of those who have already undertaken it (albeit on a slightly different path at times) I am authoring a new series which profiles these Data Leaders.  It is loosely modeled after JFK’s book entitled “Profiles in Courage” something that I was inspired by in my youth.

I have several of these profiles in development now. The first two out of the gate will be;

  • Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley the CEO behind CitiStat (Baltimore) and StateStat (Maryland)
  • Brian Cornell, the new CEO of Target Corporation
  • Jim Smith, CEO of Thomson Reuters
  • Alistair Currie, CEO/COO of ANZ Bank

I believe that you will find all of these profiles very compelling and all will run counter to the many waves of hype that you are subject to on a daily basis in respect to data & analytics advocacy and management. Look for these postings in the coming days. In the meantime you can Recap (or read in full detail) all aspects of The Data Leadership Nexus starting here: (https://infomgmtexec.me/2014/09/16/recap-the-data-leadership-nexus/)

Stay Tuned!

Richard

“Courage profiles” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia

Leadership & Disruption

January 12, 2015 — 1 Comment

I wrote this article for Information Age in the Summer of 2014. It was only available to print/online subscribers, but given my continued focus on Top-Down Data Leadership as a catalyst for creating a Predictive Enterprise I thought that I would share it with my blog readers. It was written for the CIO’s in the audience whom I see as an endangered species at this point.

Leadership in the Age of Disruptive Change

Leadership is a much-touted attribute, highly desired by aspiring entrepreneurs as well as within mature organizations. Much has been written about its virtues and boot camps have been created in respect to “transforming yourself into one”. However, in spite of these endeavors, few current much less future leaders/influencers have been trained in the art of “Leading during disruption”.

What is Disruption? (And yes, it has become a noun). It is the disruption of the status quo by out innovating and out executing an established standard[1]. It typically consists of new offerings that are “good enough” and at a much lower price point. A salient example of this is “the Cloud”.

Clay Christensen (Harvard Business School) launched the Age of Disruption with his seminal work “The Innovators’ Dilemma” in 1997 followed by many other writings & opinions on this subject up to the current date. His work has created a new management & planning paradigm, which has crept into almost every aspect of strategic thinking today. A new credo of “Disrupt or be disrupted” is being taught in every Business School across the globe and drives activities within every organization today.

By now you are probably asking: “How does this impact Leadership, much less in the IT domain?” Good question. IT Management today (executive and line) is all about maintaining the status quo across the enterprise while struggling to improve service levels and fight off cyber threats, while being constrained with finite resources and budget. There is little bandwidth (or money) for innovation or any incremental efforts. By definition it is an area that is prime for disruption.

There are a number of disruptive forces attacking IT Management today, not just the movement to the Cloud, which is primarily an infrastructure play. Other forces include; Big Data & Analytics, IoT, Mobility, IT Service Management, Cyber Security to name several. All of these have created a “perfect storm of disruption” for current CIO’s and IT Managers to contend with. Given that the majority of IT Leaders have grown up in a culture of building and maintaining applications and services within small to large enterprises it is no surprise that they are ill equipped to contend with the idea that their familiar world being turned on its head, in many cases by their own customers and not just by external forces in the IT vendor community. Change of belief sets and behaviors while under the duress of Disruption is not easily achieved, much less comfortable for any Leader. It requires abandoning much of what they have learned and experienced along the way and embracing new Leadership disciplines on the fly. As a result we have seen many IT Leaders exhibit a form of knee-jerk behavior where they are creating new “czar like” roles within their organizations to focus on data, analytics, security, technology, etc. while they wrestle with the complexities of disruption. This approach can provide some short-term relief from but creates leadership anarchy over time as these czars lobby for power and control.

What is required are true Transformational Leaders in IT during this time of disruption as the organization moves from a solutions-driven paradigm to an outcome-based one. In a majority of cases these leaders will come from outside of IT, with many having different career backgrounds and industry sector experience. All will have zero investment in the status quo and will be merciless to those who remain invested in it.

Leading IT in the Age of Disruption requires new leadership skills, few of which can be taught, most being learned by surviving previous waves of upheaval. Battle tested leaders and not IT bureaucrats will lead outcome driven organizations in the near future. Be prepared.

 

Some Parting Thoughts:

The IT Organization of the Future is one where services are delivered in support of strategic, tactical and operational outcomes. These services will be transparent to the organizations’ infrastructure and independent of its business model, with little interface to what many call “the legacy estate”. Few expect to see the large IT organization as it is constituted today, it having been replaced by a relationship model driven by facilitators and business advocates.

Becoming a Disruptive Leader is not a straightforward journey, no matter your background. It requires the embrace of wholesale change, the nurturing of innovative thinking and behavior and the management of outcomes rather than resources. It requires a personal transformation that many will choose not to make.

[1] A permanent or long-lasting thing.

2015 is shaping up to be a busy year for me already. See what I have going so far and check back often for updates and additions. In most cases I will be Tweeting and Blogging live from each conference;

Conferences:

April 2015: “PASS Business Analytics Conference 2015” – April 21, 1:00 PM, Ballroom H, – Santa Clara, CA (http://www.sqlpass.org/bac/2015/Speakers.aspx)

Leadership Track Keynote: “Embracing The Data Leadership Nexus to achieve Strategic Success”.

(“The Roles & Accountabilities that the CEO and his/her Senior Executive Team have when they embrace Top-Down Data Leadership as a management framework for Big Data & Analytics success.” )

May 2015: Information Age (UK): “SDX Leadership 2015”May 14th Central London (Location TBA) – (https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sdx-leadership-2015-tickets-14651696619)

Keynote: (Title TBC)

Blog Series: (www.InfoMgmtExec.me)

Profiles in Data Leadership (multi-part)

Part 1: Governor Martin O’Malley, CEO: State of MD

Part 2: Brian Cornell, CEO, Target Corporation

Part 3…. (TBD)

Articles:

Information Age (UK): “The Decade of the Data Breach: How to Cope” (April – URL TBD)

Information Age (UK): “Why do Most Digital Transformation Programmes Fail? “(March – http://bit.ly/1zsPX5T)

IBM Big Data Hub: “The Privacy Corner” – Data Privacy Day 2015 Feature: “Some Thoughts for Privacy Day 2015” (http://ibm.co/1z6RvUY)

IBM Big Data Hub: “The Privacy Corner”. “Is Privacy Dead?” (December – (http://ibm.co/1BfBs79)

Information Age (UK):  “Personal Privacy, Internet Commerce & National Security – Can they Co-exist?” (February -http://bit.ly/1JsRU6P)

Information Age (UK): “2015: The Year of Data Leadership” (January – http://bit.ly/145Ai2Z)

Information Age (UK): “The State of Open Data” (December 2014 Issue: (http://bit.ly/1xF1HVM)

The Data Leadership Nexus (Blog):

“Leadership & Disruption” (https://infomgmtexec.me/2015/01/12/leadership-disruption/)

“The Twelve Days of Data Leadership (Summary” (https://infomgmtexec.me/2015/01/01/the-twelve-days-of-data-leadership/)

“The Data Leadership Nexus: (Recap)” (Updates throughout the month) (https://infomgmtexec.me/2014/09/16/recap-the-data-leadership-nexus/)

October & November will be frantic months of activities with a strong focus on Conferences. Check back often for updates and additions. In most cases I will be Tweeting and Blogging live from each conference;

Conferences:

Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP): “2014 Change Connect Symposium” – October 1-2 – Microsoft Campus Commons (http://www.acmppnwnetwork.org/?page_id=326)

Digital Analytics Association (DAA): “Monster Analytics Mashup” – October 16th – Microsoft Conference Center (http://www.digitalanalyticsassociation.org/calendar_day.asp?date=10/16/2014&event=260#.VCWfF8LF-yM)

Information Age (UK): “Data Leadership 2014” – October 30th – The Grange Tower Bridge Hotel (London) (http://www.dataleadership.co.uk) :

Keynote: “Embracing The Data Leadership Nexus for Strategic Success”

UK Open Data Initiative: “ODI Summit 2014” – November 2-4 – British Film Institute (London) (http://summit.theodi.org/)

Articles:

IBM Big Data Hub: “The Privacy Corner”. “Discrimination and Other Abuses drive the Need for Ethics in Big Data” (http://ibm.co/1sKmkx0)

Information Age (UK): “Transforming into a Predictive Enterprise” (http://www.information-age.com/technology/information-management/123458506/holy-grail-big-data-becoming-predictive-enterprise)

Information Age (UK): “The State of Open Data” (November 15th (URL to be posted at time of publishing)

IBM Big Data Hub: “The Privacy Corner”. “Have we already lost the Privacy battle?” (November – Date TBD)

The Data Leadership Nexus (Blog):

“Reflections on Data Leadership 2014” (November 4th)

“How to Successfully Execute your Transformational Plan for becoming a Predictive Enterprise” (November 15th)

“The Data Leadership Nexus: (Recap)” (Updates throughout the month) (https://infomgmtexec.me/2014/09/16/recap-the-data-leadership-nexus/)

 

The Data Leadership Nexus is a path to success when it comes to realizing the numerous business benefits of Big Data and Advanced Analytics which have been extolled by so many in recent times and yet realized by so few. It is the linchpin of your Strategic Plan for building & sustaining “a culture of analytics” to foster evidence-based decisioning, deeper & broader insights, full knowledge exploitation and optimized strategic performance while making these behaviors pervasive across your entire enterprise. In my mind it is the path to realize everything data-related that we have been working on for more than 50 years now in Management Theory, Decision Science and Information Technology.

By definition: The Data Leadership Nexus is the intersection of; Top-Down Executive Leadership, A fully aligned Organizational Culture and the full exploitation of Data, Information, Analytics to create strategic outcomes, sustainable sources of competitive advantage and enterprise value within every organization that wants to become a Predictive Enterprise.

I define a Predictive Enterprise as: “The use of Predictive Capabilities driven by data, information & analytics to; optimize decision making, facilitate strategic & operational outcomes, mitigate risks and to exploit insights across the entire Enterprise”

The Data Leadership Nexus is comprised of these basic components;

  • Top-Down Leadership (by the Senior Executive Team)
  • Data, Information & Analytics
  • Organizational Culture 

Each component was discussed in detail in previous postings. They can be found using the following links;

#: Overview & Introduction:  https://infomgmtexec.me/2014/08/05/overview-the-data-leadership-nexus/

#: The Motivation behind The Data Leadership Nexushttps://infomgmtexec.me/2014/07/25/data-analytics-leadership-missing-in-action/

#: Top-Down Leadership:   https://infomgmtexec.me/2014/08/11/leadership-requirements-in-the-predictive-enterprise/

#: Organizational Culturehttps://infomgmtexec.me/2014/08/28/the-role-of-organizational-culture-in-the-predictive-enterprise/

#: Data, Information & Analyticshttps://infomgmtexec.me/2014/09/09/data-information-analytics-as-core-competencies-in-the-predictive-enterprise/

#: Additional Background Material: “Transformational Leadership for Big Data & Analytics Success” (Three-part series): 

  1. https://infomgmtexec.me/2014/06/27/transformational-leadership-for-big-data-analytics-success/
  2. https://infomgmtexec.me/2014/07/11/transformational-leadership-for-big-data-analytics-success-part-2-establishing-top-down-accountability/
  3. https://infomgmtexec.me/2014/07/20/transformational-leadership-for-big-data-analytics-success-part-3-organizational-design-cultural-adoption/

In future postings I will discuss; “How to Build & Successfully Execute your Transformational Plan for becoming a Predictive Enterprise using The Data Leadership Nexus as a Strategic Enabler”. 

The Data Leadership Nexus has five basic components;

1.- Top-Down Leadership (by the Senior Executive Team)

2.-4.- Data, Information & Analytics

5.- Organizational Culture 

We have explored Top-Down Leadership (#1) and Organizational Culture (#5) in previous postings and will now discuss the combined components of Data, Information & Analytics (#2-4).

In the Data Leadership Nexus the role of Data, Information & Analytics are what Michael Porter calls Core Competencies: “a defining capability or advantage that distinguishes an enterprise from its competitors”. They are not the underlying technologies, associated infrastructure and services that the IT Team is responsible for and what most of the industry conversation continues to myopically focus on i.e. Big Data. Instead, they are the inherent intellectual capabilities & acumen found broadly within the Organization and pervasively utilized across the entire Enterprise. It is in these Core Competencies where we manifest the ability to become a true Predictive Enterprise. The Predictive Enterprise is not a technology, it is an Intellectual and Cultural Construct for Creating Strategic Outcomes for each Organization.

The Core Competencies of Data, Information & Analytics compliment others which are specific to the Industry or Service Sector that the Organization serves e.g. Supply Chain in Manufacturing, Logistics in Consumer Goods, etc. They are that critical pillars that every Organization’s Strategies need to be built on and are ubiquitous in use by everyone within the Enterprise i.e. Core.  Every organization leverages and exploits their Core Competencies to create points of differentiation, drive operational excellence, manage risk appetites and to create/sustain other sources of competitive advantage in the modern enterprise.

As Core Competencies; Data, Information & Analytics drive everyday activities to achieve pervasiveness. Sustainable Competitive Advantage comes from the full leverage of these competencies in respect to the competition or other benchmarks (as found in the Government sector). Typical examples of the leverage points within the Core Competencies of Data, Information & Analytics are the following;

  • Data Curation: The continuous development, enhancement & stewardship of historical, reference, transactional & operational data sources to create the highest intrinsic value and agility for the Organization.
  • Information Exploitation: The business contextualization of Curated Data to create maximum leverage points in support of all Strategic, Tactical & Operational Goals set out by the Organization.
  • Pervasive Analysis: The continuous application of statistical, descriptive, predictive and cognitive decision science to Contextualized Information sources for use in Decision Making, Customer Insights, Risk Mitigation, Performance Improvement and Other endeavors that each member of the Organization is responsible for.

Each Core Competency has companion technical domain activities that are the Responsibility of the IT & Service Delivery Team(s). A collaborative framework is established between Data Leadership and IT/Service Delivery to insure maximum effectiveness and efficiency. IT & Service Delivery works in concert with the Accountable parties in Data Leadership (via a mutually defined RACI) to maintain, sustain and optimize the underlying infrastructure and delivery solutions such that the Strategic Value of the Data is maintained/enhanced and that all Information & Analytics competencies can be fully realized. This approach will typically require new structures in the traditional IT functional suite as well as its Leadership Team. These obstacles are easily overcome once the Organization has established a fully accountable Top-Down Data Leadership structure, strong Strategic Direction and a newly defined Organizational Culture which is driven by the beliefs that; Information is an Asset, Evidence-based Decisioning is the norm, and that the pervasive use of Analysis is the critical path to Real-time Insights, Risk Awareness & Business Agility.

Data, Information & Analytics are no longer outliers in respect to the Short and Long-term Strategies of every Organization. They are constituent components of every Organization’s Strategy in the form of  Core Competencies which must be fully leveraged and exploited to achieve the desired Outcomes and to create/sustain Competitive Advantage in a world where differentiation is hard to achieve and razor thin in scale. Each of these must be utilized to their fullest to create and sustain a Predictive Enterprise.

The Predictive Enterprise has three essential elements for Strategic Success; Effective Leadership, A Committed Organizational Culture & The Exploitation of its Core Competencies. In the next installment of The Data Leadership Nexus we will discuss the Integration of all these elements, along with supporting functions which are required, to achieve a full Transformation of the Legacy Organization into a true Predictive Enterprise.

In the meantime you can follow The Data Leadership Nexus discussion on Twitter via the #DataLeadership hashtag, in the September and October issues of Information Age (UK) (www.information-age.com) and at Data Leadership 2014 in London (October 30th) (www.dataleadership.co.uk). Finally, I will also be setting up private briefings for those Enterprises who are interested in how to transform themselves into Predictive Enterprises for this Fall in the US and UK. If you are interested you can contact me via email: richard.lee@infomgmtexec.com

Thanks for following along.

RL

I have a number of interesting Blogs, Articles and Tweet Storms coming up this month. I have listed them in chronological order. Keep an eye out for updates over the course of the month.

Blogs:

Recap: “The Data Leadership Nexus”(IMECS Blog: http://www.infomgmgexec.me)

“Data, Information & Analytics in The Data Leadership Nexus” (IMECS Blog: http://www.infomgmtexec.me)

“Privacy and The Internet of Things (IoT)” (The Privacy Corner: IBM Big Data & Analytics Hub. http://www.ibmbigdatahub.com/blog/privacy-and-internet-things 

Articles:

“The Data Leadership Nexus as a Strategy” (Information Age (UK) Magazine. http://www.information-age.com).

Tweet Storms:

Second NIST Privacy Engineering Workshop (IAPP Conference, September 15-16, 2014, San Jose, CA) – Follow #priveng for all relevant Tweets.

Conferences:

“Cyber Threat: Evolving Best Practices in Framing and Managing the Risk” (NACD – Seattle, September 23, 2014)

“Communicating Cyber Risk to the Board” – (ISACA – Seattle, September 23, 2014)