Wednesday, March 1, 2017

An Exceptional Board

The real BoD’s dilemma is that driving the business forward is extremely difficult, it means looking into an unknown future and attempting to define the landscape with its risks and opportunities.

Corporate Board is one of the most significant top leadership teams and governance bodies in modern businesses. Generally speaking, the corporate boards have a couple of main functions such as strategy oversight, governance practices (monitoring, risk management), advising and coaching (providing advice & support to executives), and resource provision (opening their networks etc.) But more specifically, how to build an exceptional board that can provide exceptional values to the business, and unleash the full potential of the organization?

Exceptional leadership influence: An exceptional board is composite of exceptional BoDs who present strong digital leadership traits such as critical thinking, creativity, influence, inquisitiveness, ethics, global perspective, and cultural awareness. They practice directorship based on the breadth of business knowledge and in-depth expertise in their domain, to help connect the wider dots and set the tones for the business innovation and digital transformation. They are the masterminds of digital transformation and social influencers for advocating changes. The exceptional BoDs also have the synthetic thinking capabilities and strong innovation skills to deal with situations that they have not dealt with before and possess the confidence and the experience to set the entrepreneurial or intrapreneurial spirit for growth and innovating for the organization to follow and ride the wave of digital transformation.

Exceptional business understanding: As businesses change shape, size, expansion, and transformations, they need conditioning and improvement. Further, businesses and organizations that find themselves setting new and radically different trajectories are facing a daunting task of navigating largely uncharted territories. Exceptional BoDs knows the business, knows the corporate direction and can even influence that direction and make gains leveraging advanced digital technologies. Hence, exceptional BoDs need to be an independent thinker, unbiased communicator, wise advisor, flexible facilitator and global leader these days. In the face of vast areas of unknowns; they envision the future via deep understanding the digital trends, advocate change via overseeing the planning and processes, and monitor the progress via leveraging the digital transformation tools, platforms, or frameworks which are needed that addresses both the mechanics of getting the work done and the human factors associated with the major thought paradigm shift that must take place within the organization at all levels in order to transform seamlessly. They make an important impact on lifting the overall organizational digital maturity,

Exceptional performance-driver: Besides compliance, boards need to make laser-focused performance driven agenda. At the majority of the time, the board agenda should be focused on the progress toward the goals, targets, schedules., etc. It is responsible for authorizing and monitoring business strategy, developing business policies, offering further constraint/guidance to implementation of the strategy, monitoring performance and implementation of the strategy, managing risks across all domains of interest. The Board's role, in large part, is to make good decisions that enhance the value creation for the organization. They need to focus on their own performance as well as the performance of the management team, and, that performance is not limited to financial performance, but also to the firm's performance in creating value for employees and customers. Business performance can be affected by numerous factors of which governance is one of them. Ultimately, the board takes the praise or the blame depending largely on their ability to influence the business outcomes. It's not only about now but also about the future and that means an open mindset to change.

Building an exceptional board is challenging. The real BoD’s dilemma is that driving the business forward is extremely difficult, it means looking into an unknown future and attempting to define the landscape with its risks and opportunities. It also means taking control of the softer issues, such as setting tones for policy making, executive succession, innovation, risk appetite, etc. The board today plays a significant role in running an exceptional digital organization.


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