Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Monthly Insight of Digital Board Room June, 2016

The new breed of the digital board needs to be inquisitive, heterogeneous, and agile.

At today’s “VUCA” digital dynamic, organizations face both unprecedented opportunities to grow and hyper-competition or great risks to survive. Therefore, the corporate board plays a more significant role in overseeing business strategy, setting principles and policies, and making the judgment on and assurance of corporate action within a framework of practical knowledge. So in order to drive digital transformation smoothly, how to run a digital savvy board and improve digital organization maturity?

       Running a Digital Savvy Corporate Board

  • A Visionary Board: The corporate board plays a significant leadership role in modern businesses, with multidimensional responsibilities, such as strategy oversight, policy setting, corporate governance and monitoring -  accountabilities of the environment - regulatory, shareholder, etc. Not only do today’s BoDs need to have sufficient knowledge to understand the business ecosystem, but also they should have the business vision to predict the emergent digital trends of business, technology or industry, so they can guide the executive team toward the right direction and play the management advising role effortlessly.

  • An Inquisitive Board: Generally speaking, Boards have a couple of main functions such as strategy oversight, governance practices, providing advice to executives, and resource provision, etc. So the Board should be knowledge enough to set broad strategic goals. They need to educate themselves by hearing different views about the organization, its environment, and strategic alternatives. Even the majority of BoDs are senior executives, they need to break down the “status quo,” present learning agility and show the inquisitiveness to ask the tough and right questions. The board represents the ownership and they really cannot do a good job if they don't have the courage and knowledge to question and challenge and set the broad strategic goals, culture tones, and the digital theme of boardroom itself. As an inquisitive BoD: How do you ask the tough questions?

  • A Heterogeneous Board: There is no question that businesses need digital leadership in today's boardrooms, with “VUCA” characteristics of business dynamic, overloading information, and globalization as the new normal of business expansion, all of these bring the significant opportunities and responsibilities for the new breed of digital BoDs, and it is crucial to brainstorm on how to build a highly effective board with a heterogeneous viewpoint, and right mixing of Individualism and collectivism nature, to set the tone of directorship with innovation and influence.
  • An Agile Board: Many forward-looking organizations are shifting from doing Agile to being Agile. Agile is more as a mindset, a set of principles and a type of digital culture, rather than the methodology or technology only. Corporate Board as one of the most important governance bodies in the modern business, defines governance principles and practices, oversees business strategy, provisions resources, and sets business culture tones as well. The agile shift is one of the most significant aspects of digital transformation, but how to build an Agile Board that help lead the business toward the right direction?

  • A Tech-Savvy Board: Forward-looking organizations cross-sector claim they are at information businesses, as IT touches every facet of business today, from strategy to operation; from key processes to competitive capabilities. Based on an industry survey, the majority of BoDs think IT is critical to their companies, and more and more organizations also put IT oversight in their boardroom agenda, does it mean it is the right timing to shape a tech-savvy Board, if so, what shall they focus on?

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