Saturday, May 13, 2017

The "Digitizing Boardroom" Book Tuning: The Digital BoD’s Leadership Inquiries to Celebrate Mother’s Day

Leaders set principles, open to criticism, and take the risk for innovation.

Leadership is all about future and changes. Leaders set principles, open to criticism, and take the risk for innovation. Leadership is composed of three characteristics: Substance, skills, and styles. Contemporary corporate boards play the critical role in strategy oversight, business advising/monitoring. They also set the digital leadership tones and advocate changes. They are the mastermind behind the digital transformation. Here are a set of BoD’s leadership inquiries to celebrate the Mother’s Day.

Does the organization see the leader as authentic? There is a thick layer of passionate people who want to lead, and in fact, it is the great news for both corporations or our society. However, there are many confusions about contemporary leadership, such as leadership substance vs. style, vision vs. communication; creativity vs. status quo. We are still living in the era with authentic leadership scarcity. Leadership is the state of mind, the unique set of capabilities, and the process to solve problems in better ways. Being authentic is truly about discovering your leadership purpose and strength. The authenticity of leadership can be further checked via “3W+1H” leadership inquiries: Who are you? Why do you want to lead? What can you bring to the table? And how can you lead more innovatively and effectively? When you have a fair reason to lead, you can connect with nature so deeply, and you will feel that the whole universe is eager to help. Being authentic is truly about being yourself, practicing independent thinking, no needs to pursue perfection, but being positive and progressive. Digital boards as the senior leadership team should set the leadership tone, make fair digital principles, to ensure the right people with the right capability in the right position to lead more effectively and innovatively.

Do your leaders have the ability to cope with “VUCA” new normal today? The rate of change has accelerated in the current business environment with “VUCA” characteristics. Uncertainty and ambiguity are also the key challenges facing business leaders today. It is indicating that business leaders must learn how to strike a balance between managing complex issues today and predicting the uncertain issues of tomorrow. Hence, today’s digital leaders should have multidimensional thinking capabilities to make sound judgments, and problem-solving capabilities to both frame the right problems and solve them innovatively. Because sometimes, even you have a good intention to solve problems but perhaps just fix the symptom, and causes more serious problems later on. In the past, many business leaders believed their organizations’ long-term goals could wait until they had dealt with the current crisis, this is no longer the case. Digital leaders today need to understand that the linear management skills are not sufficient to lead today’s nonlinear digital world with the deep learning curve. Hence, being learning agile is alway critical for updating your knowledge structure and sharpening leadership skills & capabilities for overcoming leadership challenges.

Are your leaders emotionally aware enough to listen, as well as tell? Digital leaders today also need to present emotional excellence, with the high level of maturity. Emotional Intelligence is the ability to identify your own emotions or even others’ emotions. It is the ability to harness constructive or positive emotions and apply them to tasks like thinking, decision-making, and problems-solving. To avoid the trap of emotional turbulence, bias, or individual perception, you have to think critically and profoundly, and hunt for others' viewpoint as well, and you have to really dig beneath the superficial layer, see around the corner and transcend the interdisciplinary knowledge into business insight, in order to make sound judgments and effective decisions.

Can your leaders manage multiple stakeholders inside and outside the organization proactively? Relationships are undeniably the root of all business. Relationships are critical in business - both internally, and externally. But for those relationships to matter, to add value, they have to be relationships with empathy and in-depth understanding. A professional relationship doesn't mean to hang around or play around but through multi-angle observation and in-depth communication & understanding. In practice, there are multi-layer relationships digital leaders need to manage: Such as business peer/shareholder relationship, customer relationship, vendor relationship, team relationship, etc. Therefore, either making communication or providing the solution, they should target the different audience, speak the common language to avoid "lost in translation" syndrome, tailor the special needs in order to build up the long-term empathic relationship. Trust relationships are the foundation of high-performance culture. Without good business relationships, every decision becomes an argument. The deeper the trust, the more valuable the relationship.

BoDs as top leadership roles need to envision and lead the organization towards its future. Contemporary digital boards should set the critical tones from leadership grooming to talent/culture development, to ensure the right people are in the right positions for leading digital transformation and improving the digital leadership effectiveness and maturity.


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