Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The “Digitizing Boardroom - The Multidimensional Aspects of Digital Ready Boards ” Book Chapter 8 A Culture Savvy Board Introduction

Boards play a significant role in making good policies and setting digital principles for tuning a high performing culture to lead successful strategy execution.

Organizations large or small are on the journey of digital transformation, strategy making is important, strategy implementation is challenging, and one of the most critical business success factors is organizational culture, which is invisible, but powerful to fail a good strategy. In order to drive a successful digital transformation, how can BoDs set the digital tones in building “Digital-Ready” cultures, and how can they fine tune policies for building high-innovative and high engaging digital workforce, and encouraging digital professionals to bring wisdom to the workplace?


A healthy and productive culture is both the cause and result of enterprise success: As culture has much to do with how a group of people thinks and how they contribute and make a difference. If BoDs and Executive Management teams have an open, inclusive, and innovative culture, they also clearly define the strategy of the enterprise and align organizational behaviors toward achieving goals derived from the mission, a healthy and productive culture will be built up. If Boards and management do a good job of defining strategies, goals, and objectives, exemplify and oversee the culture, and successfully align resources toward achieving them, the business culture will take care of itself. A healthy and productive culture is both the cause and result of enterprise success.


The correlation between positive workplace culture and policy: Organizations are transforming from industrial silos to more holistic digital business, but a positive workplace culture is not less important, but more critical. Because culture as a collective mindset and habit is the competency to decide the business’s long-term success. The board as one of the most influential policy makers has to figure out the correlation between positive workplace culture and policy: Could culture be the very reason for the proliferation of policies, or, can a positive workplace culture reduce the number of policies required to manage employees? To maintain the positive environment, a set of guiding principles, grounding rules and policies is important to shape the positive culture. However, the overly restrictive policies will lead to micromanagement or too much control which leads to business bureaucracy and ineffectiveness. Good leaders develop an insight with determining those who work better under the detailed guidance and those who work better given broader goals and support.


Culture is often the #1 root cause to fail strategy: Organizations rise and fall, not on the quantum of plans and resources, but on the capabilities to manage, lead, yet most importantly to execute. In many organizations, more than 70% strategy execution fail to achieve expected results, and culture is often the root cause of such failure. It is about many different matters like resistance to change, silo thinking, or poor communication, etc. Culture should begin from the senior management and board level, and then, it will be followed by others from top-down. In all the conversations about culture, keep in mind that it is the policies, procedures, rewards and retributions that drive behavior and it is the employee behavior that expresses “culture.” Hence, Boards play a significant role in making good policies and setting digital principles for building a high performing culture to lead successful strategy execution.

It is a continuously changing world, and no organization can afford to stick to its old ways of doing things. Increasing competition also demands some cultural changes where rigid practices may have to give way to flexibility in the manner of carrying out businesses. Truly speaking, one of the most important, yet open secrets, of many successful organizations is to nurture an “adaptability trait” in an organization’s culture. The spirit of organizations comes from the top. Not only walk the talk, leaders, believing in the effects and high value of a company culture, need a lot of adaptability, to follow their road map continuously.

"Digitizing Boardroom" Book Chapter 8 A Culture Savvy Board Introduction
"Digitizing Boardroom" Book Chapter 7 A "Talent Master" Board Introduction
"Digitizing Boardroom" Book Chapter 6 A "Governance Champion" Board Introduction
"Digitizing Boardroom" Book Chapter 5 An IT-Friendly Board Introduction
"Digitizing Boardroom" Book Chapter 4 An Innovative Board Introduction
"Digitizing Boardroom" Book Chapter 3 A Performance-driven Board Introduction

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