Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Digital BoD’s Digital Inquiries IV

The digital board needs to know when to push the gas pedal to accelerate the business speed, and when to push the brake to practice governance discipline.

The corporate board plays a significant role in overseeing business strategy, setting principles and policies, monitoring and making the judgment on and assurance of corporate action within a framework of practical knowledge. The level of the board accomplishment vary but the essential competencies will remain the same, BoDs need to be informative, insightful, influential and become the mastermind of digital transformation. Here is a set of digital BoD’s digital inquiries.

What are the different digital forces affecting your organization? In what ways are they likely to affect the business and how do you prepare for the challenges? The digital shift can be disruptive, digital organizations become more complex due to the accelerating speed of changes; nonlinear connectivity, information explosion and hybrid nature of organizational structures. Imagine the complexity and digital disruption that come in due to these characteristics (lack of linearity and increased flux, diversity, volatility, ambiguity, unpredictability, complexity, emergent digital technologies, rules, and regulations, etc.) These are emergent digital normals affecting organizations to a different degree. The matter of fact is that the changes sweeping the world are hugely disruptive and there is nowhere to hide. And lots of the new things that happen appear and disappear just as fast as summer rains. To prepare for the challenges, companies have to build the skills at managing complexity by pushing the boundaries of a more complicated business mix that provides opportunities to create inter-business value and ultimately building an evolving digital organization with the digital fit. At the business level, the digital fit is about operational excellence, high-innovativeness, high-effectiveness, and agility.  Building an evolving digital organization is about putting people at the center of the business. When customers are delightful, employees are engaged, and shareholders are satisfied, the business is in the healthy life cycle to run, grow and transform.

Is your business vulnerable to the increasing speed of changes, new competitors or an erosion of revenues and profits from new customer behavior? Digital means explosive growth of information and the increasing speed of change. The digital business ecosystem with all the aggregates-spanning challenges/paradoxes and opportunities propels organizations further towards the challenges. To overcome the business vulnerability to the change, new competitors or a new breed of customer behaviors, digital organizations today should have a degree of variability - If the organization understands itself in relation to its context (the business ecosystem), it should be able to determine whether it requires changing something to become viable. It is about building dynamic business capabilities, influence the emergent properties of the environment and enable emergent change in its own behavior, function, and structure to propagate through itself change how it couples with the environment. One of the key determinants of whether an organization can move to the digital new normal is the digital maturity of its people. When people are ready to changes and processes are not overly rigid, organizations are frictionless to catch up the change speed. So part of the digital transformational journey is to prepare people for the new structures and speed and to recognize this is a crucial step.

Do your customers want to engage with the business in different ways than in the past? How do you optimize customer experience and improve customer satisfaction? Digital is the age of customers. Today’s customers are becoming more selective because of the abundance of information flow and the multi channel digital convenience. Hence, businesses are always on the journey to optimize customer experience and improve customer satisfaction. Because the customer's experience is about how they encounter, observe, or undergo a company's events or stages, and think the company’s brand. Building customer-centricity consistently in a way that delivers the right experiences to the right customers at the right times is, in most companies, enormously complicated. It’s excellent to leverage the social platform and digital technologies to urge a sense of customer-centric innovation via online conversations and listening outside-in customers’ viewpoint. Try to digitally connect key assets or context to the resource-rich innovation hubs and cluster across enterprise ecosystems. Hence, customer experience should be a common topic at the boardroom. You need to believe that, the customer is the lifeline of the business. Once you have this basic premise right, everything flows naturally. Set agendas and start new conversations that galvanize inspiration and gain traction on a powerful theme of renewal and growth.

Digital boards today have to deal with a lot of emergent business challenges. Perhaps one of the dilemmas of the modern board is that at one time, they need to push the gas pedal to accelerate the business speed; at the other time, they will be the brake for practicing governance discipline. Still, it is not about stopping the corporate vehicle, but ensure it’s running at a premium speed, and in the right direction.


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