Monday, March 13, 2017

A Board with High Changeability

BoDs should set the tones for change and proactively drive change to ensure the organization is moving in the right direction with an accelerated speed.   

Contemporary corporate boards play a critical role in overseeing strategy, advising management, and monitoring performance. They also set the tone for digital leadership and business transformation. Change is the new normal, the speed of change is increasing in the digital era. However, many well-run and governed organizations often fail to change or innovate and we are seeing the world where challenging change and innovation is a constant threat to established organizations. So, how can the digital BoDs advocate changes and build a digital board with high-changeability?


Change capability is a strategic skill on leadership qualities: While there are many components of leadership, one of the most important ones is the ability to adapt, model and influence change.  The leadership team such as board must push this agenda, but pull the resources to achieve it. We live in a world where change is the norm and if we don't embrace it, accept it, roll with it or make it happen, we're not going to be successful. It also makes it possible for everyone to be on the same page speaking the same language and fosters an atmosphere of accountability.  Change leadership concerns the driving forces, visions, and processes that fuel large-scale transformation. Leadership is all about change management and also the ability to take initiative (change leadership). So accepting and embracing change has put leaders more at ease because of its consistency. It's also given digital leaders such as BoDs confidence because you know you are able to positively adapt to any given situation.


BoDs set policies and principles for changes and digital transformation: Change/Culture management is an interdependent ecosystem that includes many business factors: The company goals, policies, internal control requirements, customer experience improvements/customer satisfaction, etc., all should be synchronized without compromising the need for any item, staffs want to be involved in developing policies and procedures to achieve the organization’s goals, but this has to be meaningful involvement and be seen to be meaningful.  The systems, processes and so forth are the clear manifestation of the leaderships' culture. It is the culture that clearly impacts how those policies, procedures, and rewards that drive behavior. Hence, the visionary leadership is in demand to take strategic responses towards change management which restructures business strategy, functional strategy, and operational strategy; because to move things in a new direction and to do that without cultural awareness would just cause the leader to likely run into the same brick walls past leaders have encountered. Hence, a digital board with high-changeability can navigate the business toward the uncharted water and drive change more confidently.


Digital boards should oversee Change Management because it is an overarching management discipline, and it often goes hand-in-hand with Strategy Management: Change Management is an overarching concept while the transformation is a business leapfrogging. A crucial lesson to know is that simply rolling out changes and expecting success is wildly naive and generally doomed to failure. "Change management" is the overarching umbrella that encompasses extensive planning, outreach, communications, the discovery of concerns/objections / potential points of failure, addressing fears and resistance, developing a shared vision, communicating valid and compelling reasons for cooperation, recognizing the sacrifice and incremental success. Change can flow on the surface whereas transformation needs to permeate into business vision strategy, culture, communication, processes etc. It is also important to measure change outcomes in a shared and mutually understood and agreed upon fashion, being able to declare an end-point and successful conclusion.

The modern digital board has many responsibilities, also gets a lot of distractions. It has to laser focus on the most critical things to steering the business toward the right decision. Nowadays, the speed of change is increasing and digital transformation is an inevitable journey, BoDs should set the tones for change and proactively drive change to ensure the organization is moving in the right direction with an accelerated speed.   

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