Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The World-Class Board: How to Create Top Leadership Niche

 The leadership challenge to build a world-class corporate board is about how to fill blindspots, bridge insight gaps and make a leap of digitalization.

Compared to the business world decades ago, information is growing exponentially, the speed of change is increasing significantly, and digital disruptions are happening frequently. The matter of fact is that the changes sweeping the world are hugely disruptive, and from top-down, there is nowhere to hide. Digital boards are the guiding roles, like the steering wheel of their company, leading the business toward the uncharted water and blurred territories. It is a “paradigm shift” to develop world-class leadership and drive the organization up to the next level of business maturity.

The world-class board insight: Many say we still live in the world with abundant information, but scarce insight. Creating the digital paradigm means how to shift from style to refocus on substance; from the classic cookie cutting management approach to differentiation and customization; from taking a polarized viewpoint to making multidimensional discernment. The leadership challenge to build a world-class corporate board is about how to fill blindspots, bridge insight gaps and make a leap of digitalization. The global organizational leadership is shifting toward grooming historic digital leadership skills embodying effective communication in networks of global conversations that inspire creativity in diverse domains of expertise. The world-class insight is based on the update global view that looks at problems or issues in such a way that a solution emerges through a collaboratively interdisciplinary and multicultural approach involving global psychological capital, intellectual capital, and social capital. Ideally, the world-class insight captured either from the BoDs or other top leadership teams are like the guiding light to instruct people at the different level of organizations to gain an in-depth understanding of people or things for making sound judgments and effective decisions. It takes world-class leaders who can connect global dots, inspire and nurture the evolution of businesses, walk the talk when it comes to innovation as well as fosters the global digital orchestration. The board directors need to educate themselves by hearing different views about the organization, its environment & digital ecosystem, strategic alternatives and clarify the business vision in order to move the business forward steadfastly.

The world-class board composition:
The variety of surveys about corporate executive board leadership showed that more than half of organizations were experiencing a leadership shortage, especially at the senior leadership level. The world-class board of directors with leadership traits such as self-awareness, critical/independent thinking, creativity, influence, inquisitiveness, optimism, ethics, global perspective, and cultural intelligence, etc, are in demand to deepen board directorship effectiveness and maturity. The world-class leadership competencies at the board level also include such as self-regulation, social judgment skills, abstract thinking, empathy, motivation to work in a global environment, cognitive skills, acceptance of complexity and its contradictions, the tolerance of ambiguity, cultural flexibility, learning agility, handling complexity, communicating creatively, and working across cultures. While there are many components of leadership, one of the most important ones for grooming the world-class leadership is the ability to adapt, model and influence positive change. 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. Board directors should have the business vision to seek out the potential and capabilities they’ll need for future development. Well-blended insight and foresight can drive competitive value and global growth. Besides being brilliant and master the functional expertise, they must be influential communicators and strategic thinkers and know how to collaborate with stakeholders of all stripes, be able to facilitate and orchestrate the multitude of difference, values, cultures and gain a profound understanding of the global business ecosystem.


The world-class leadership practice to harness innovative impulse: To make a leap of digital transformation, forward-looking businesses leverage innovativeness as a basis for achieving the kind of transformative change that propels global growth. It requires that the top leadership team such as board to be creative as well because creativity is about thinking beyond the conventional wisdom - where you have left the confines of other people's thoughts, in order to lead forward with a clear vision and the world-class insight. Markets change and shift, and for each company attempting to deal with these changes, there is a different path to follow. Not every innovative company uses every best practice. Not every authority agrees on every best practice. The best innovation practice has a certain value to product profitable innovation, but the next practice continues to emerge for innovating the management discipline. Digital innovation is simply too important to delegate to the management without the board oversight by setting the principles and standard to achieve innovation management excellence with agility and flexibility. Senior leaders at the board level must be open-minded for asking open questions to encourage creativity, monitoring innovation performance or exploring new possibilities to solve tough business problems. The board should also develop their next world-class innovation leadership by leveraging the hybrid leadership style such as “pushing & pulling,” “listening & telling,” “asking & answering,” etc, focus on understanding, convincing, persuasion, and collaboration at the global scope.

The digital board is diversified, cognitive, proactive, and instrumental, Building a world-class board is simply not the overnight phenomenon. Because leadership in itself is a constant learning process that requires the leader to apply the growth mindset, leverage the right tools, shape insight, listen carefully, learn continually, discover fresh viewpoint all the time, identify tradeoffs and negotiate them with all stakeholders to collaborate skillfully with digital fluency, global empathy, and interdisciplinary understanding.

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