Friday, October 28, 2016

"Digitizing Boardroom" Book Tuning: The Digital Savvy Board with High “Tech IQ”

A board with high “tech IQ” will have the advantage of pulling enough resources and pushing the business model of technology, to improve directorship agility and effectiveness.

Although Information Technology nowadays makes significant impacts on almost every aspect of the business, there is still a propensity to try to make the technology changes "go away" or to ignore them. The matter of fact is that the changes sweeping the world are hugely disruptive and there is nowhere to hide. While directors bring many competencies to the table, most do not have access to information about technology driven innovation and its potential related to the businesses they oversee. So how to build the board with high “tech IQ,” to produce a wave of response at board level, improve directorship effectiveness and innovate digital leadership?

Ask tough questions about IT strategy which is an integral component of the business strategy: One of the major responsibilities of the board is to oversee business strategies, which include sub-components such as IT strategy, innovation strategy, talent management strategy, etc. The main issue is the knowledge gap of BoDs and business executives to the trends of new technology and its impact on the business. The main role of the CIO is to demonstrate to the BoDs and other executives the added value provided by technology using the business language as businesses cases. To build the digital board with high “Tech IQ,” it is important for BoDs understanding how IT can make or break the business easily these days. Create an innovative boardroom with “ free atmosphere,” so directors are inquisitive to ask great, tough questions for understanding better as well as providing invaluable input for integrating IT strategy into corporate business strategy. It is also crucial to invite IT savvy BoDs to the table with business communication skills to convey concepts and ideas without lapsing into technology acronyms and encourage brainstorming and knowledge sharing.

The boards with high “tech IQ” can have interdisciplinary understanding about the “triple bottom line” of digital business dynamic: In the digital world with enormous transformations, more often, technology is the disruptive force or game changer, companies with a digital strategy driven by the CIOs at a board level can better weave digital into every fabric of business and bring different perspectives on governance and risk intelligence. As a Board member, one of the fundamental accountability is ensuring the organization acts in accordance with the relevant regulations. So the boardroom with high “Tech IQ,” can phrase your contribution, or potential contribution, in the "triple bottom line" of economic, social and technological environmental ramifications of the organization's activities. These points can help confirm that the "IT" contribution is not constrained or limited to technology only, it needs to optimize business processes and build business capabilities for improving overall organizational maturity.  

Leverage critical thinking to enhancing decision effectiveness: Digital BoDs today need to have both critical thinking skill as well as the multitude subject domain knowledge for improving decision effectiveness. IT plays a crucial role in the full strategy management cycle. For this, you need background knowledge on the subject matter (such as IT) under discussion. And often this background knowledge spills over into the knowledge of the intellectual history of the debate regarding the topic at issue, which can include debate over the meaning of important concepts, methodological standards, pragmatic and institutional context, and so on. Hence, the digital board with high “tech IQ” will know by listening to or looking at; understanding through critical thinking and reasoning, and responding with what needs to be said or done, and walk through the full learning cycle which includes (1) The ability to organize knowledge into understanding. (2) Gain the right knowledge with understanding to abstract wisdom. (3) Learning, sharing and coaching. Critical thinking with interdisciplinary understanding makes the board more effective in evaluating the plausibility of a premise or whether all the relevant considerations about strategic issues are on the table for improving decision maturity and governance effectiveness.

Foresightful companies should establish on-going avenues to information which will regularly feed BoDs understanding about trends and potential innovation for their businesses. A board with high “tech IQ” will have the advantage of pulling enough resources and pushing the business model of technology, trustworthiness, prepare, and launch change, innovation, and ensure what happens next, for improving directorship agility and leadership effectiveness.


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