Sunday, May 28, 2017

Digital BoD’s Digital Inquiries

The digital board provides an “outside-in” view of the business and multi-dimensional lenses to oversee and advise business strategy and execution and steer business toward the right direction.

Due to the “VUCA” characteristics - complexity, uncertainty, ambiguity and velocity of the Digital Era,  today’s BoDs need to have sufficient knowledge to understand the business ecosystem, with the “outside-in,” whole-of-extended enterprise perspective. The digital directorship should steer their organizations toward uncharted water and blurred business territories confidently and reach the next level of business maturity. The goal of the digital paradigm shift should look beyond immediate symptom fixing, the focus needs to be on mind shift and actions designed to solve real problems, sustain performance improvement and anchor change as a new opportunity. Therefore, today’s BODs should be insightful, influential, strategic, and highly effective. They should be able to make effective strategic decisions, as well as have the discernment to assess business competency objectively. Here are a set of digital BoD’s digital inquiries.

Do we know how to assess for the core business competency we need? Digital transformation makes a significant impact on every aspect of the business from people, process to technology both horizontally and vertically. Many organizations are at the inflection point of digital transformation journey. The dynamic digital organizations need to get away from letting things fall through and start creating “integrated wholes.” The Board has to have an in-depth understanding of the organization’s strategic direction and its implementation alternatives. They need to be engaged at the most senior levels to help influence and shape the business of the future. They should help to make an objective assessment of the business strength & competency, or the weakest business link via “SWOT” or other comprehensive business analysis. It is important to identify and fill the business competency gaps because statistically, the capability-based strategy has much higher success rate than the other style of strategy management. The board should help the top executive team pinpoint the possible blind spots or potential pitfalls on the way to achieve the business strategy smoothly. The digital board needs to be more focus on performance progress toward the strategic goals, objectives, schedules, resources., etc, of the value maximization planning. And the deep boardroom discussions around the business progress should be the process to facilitate high-level management accountability.
Do we know how to find the talent we need? Besides strategy oversight and performance monitoring, the board also sets the digital leadership tone and makes policy for talent management. People are the center of any business. However, people are often the weakest link in both strategy management and change management. “Hiring the right person with the right capability for the right position to solve the right problems at the right time,” is the mantra for any forward-looking organization at the digital era. Because there are so many dilemmas to manage today’s digital workforce, with the speed of change and volatility of the economy, businesses become so dynamic, and talent also flows around more frequently. Digital organizations should leverage the latest digital technologies and platforms, explore the alternative digital channels for recruiting, developing and managing their talent effectively and innovatively. The right mindset is utmost quality for being a right fit because the power of the mind is the force to change for the more prosperous business. There are a couple of classic debates reflecting the talent management paradox: “Shall you train your people?” What happens if you invest in developing the people and then they leave? What happens if you don’t invest and they stay? Should you train your people and how to do it just right?" The corporate board can brainstorm talent management/development with the business executive wisely, set digital policies, with the goal to strengthen the people link and accelerate digital transformation.
What leadership development and training do we need? Leadership is all about future. Leadership development is about change. Training isn't going to make you, but it will certainly help you become more knowledgeable, and think about what you are currently doing. Often organizations rely too heavily on the sporadic one-day training to develop and equip managers and directors and leaders. Leadership is both nature and nurtured. Everyone is different, so the 'classroom' alone is not enough to make lasting changes and get a good RoI. Leadership training approaches need to be vertical and developmental moving forward, not horizontal and behavioral like the old days. Digital leaders today not only need to show solid conventional intelligence such as “IQ” and “EQ,” but also have to present a set of unconventional intelligence and multidimensional thinking capabilities for dealing with over-complexity and hyper-competition of the digital new normal, and handling unprecedented uncertainty and ambiguity seamlessly. In essence, leadership training is not just for managers only, leaders also need to engage their people so that this improves company performance and everyone knows that they have an impact/stake in the business in making it grow. People all lead at the different level to unleash collective human potential and achieve the high-performance business result.

The digital board provides an “outside-in” view of the business and multi-dimensional lenses to oversee and advise business strategy and execution and steer business toward the right direction. Their objective assessment of business competency and strategy oversights helps the top management to close blindspots, bridge gaps, and provide an outlier's perspectives for driving changes and making a leap of digital transformation.


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