Wednesday, May 3, 2017

What are the “Thinking Blocks” to Build a Mindful Digital Board?

BoDs as the top business advisor role need to build the solid thinking blocks and have sufficient knowledge and unique insight to understand the business ecosystem.

The corporate board as the top leadership team plays a significant role in business advising, leadership exemplarity, policy setting, and governance practices. BoDs as top decision makers require multidimensional thinking and bring different viewpoints to improve business effectiveness and maturity. So, what are the “thinking blocks” to build a mindful and insightful digital board?

Strategy thinking: The contemporary board oversees the business strategy. Hence, BoDs need to master of strategy thinking which is the thinking process to “keep the end in mind.” Strategic thinking is more about making decisions directly towards achieving defined outcomes as a purposive activity. Casual strategy leads to superficial results. The BoDs need to gain deeply understanding about the enterprise in order to be a credible critic in the strategy dialogue. Strategic thinking is more analytical, decision-oriented and directional. At the higher level, strategic thinking is about where you are, where you want to be, how to diagnose the key business problems/issues, how to close the gap, set the policies and guidelines, make choices, and including a series of actions.

Systems Thinking: Systems thinking is the thought process to understand the interconnectivity between parts and the whole. Systems thinking look at things by looking at the whole, where the parts are never as important and should always work to benefit the whole. BoDs as directorial roles should leverage Systems Thinking for effective decision-making. Because Systems Thinking as a thinking practice promotes a better strategic awareness; as it encourages looking at the wider aspects around any problem space. In order to operate most effectively, systems thinking should be a part of every step of a strategic process, including strategy oversight in the board. At a high level, system thinking is more often the integral thinking of analytics and synthesis, brings an awareness of an entire system, and how changes to any part of that system impact the other parts of the system and the whole.

"Independent Thinking": “Independent Thinking” is not just the thinking practice of independent directors. All digital BoDs need to practice thinking independently. We live in the world with an abundance of information, having the mix of signals and noises, it is important to collect and analyze sufficient information, but ultimately make your own mind for reaching sound judgments and effective decisions. This is particularly important at the board level, because “group thinking,” is one of the biggest pitfalls to compromise the board governance effectiveness. One of the most crucial roles of boards is to practice independent thinking in a certain collective way and provide valuable feedback and deep insight (not rubber stamp) to the management team of the organization and help them improve the management effectiveness and maturity up to the next level.

The digital enterprise consists of an amalgam of socio-systems, techno-systems, bio-systems, and econo-systems. BoDs as the top business advisor role need to build the solid thinking blocks and have sufficient knowledge & unique insight to understand the business ecosystem and sense that the digital transformation is multifaceted. They need to become mindful, insightful, innovative and decisive for leading digital transformation effortlessly.


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