Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Digital Board’s Digital Leadership Inquires

Digital boards are like the steering wheel of their company, leading the business toward the uncharted water and blurred territories for reaching the ultimate digital destination.

The corporate board as high-level governance body plays a crucial role in business advising and monitoring, as well as setting key tones in organizational culture style and leadership quintessential. Corporate boards also need to advocate changes and become the mastermind behind the digital transformation.

Do your leaders have the ability to cope with complexity? People are complex, business is complex, and the world is complex, as a matter of fact, they are becoming more complex due to the explosive information and the accelerated speed of changes. Complexity is diverse, ambiguous, and dynamic with unpredictable outcomes. On one side, modern organizations spend significant time and resources to deal with complexity, and thus, it needs to be optimized to make it simpler. On the other side, organizations "become complex," as an evolutionary trend, not for their own amusement, they do it to respond to environments more proactively. And much of that environment is experienced by trying to get things done. The hyper-connectivity nature of digital organizations can bring a new level of business complexity. Complexity is a systematic thinking concept, and it’s not the opposite of "simplicity.” In systematic thinking, systems such as organizations, biological systems, enterprise as a system, etc., can be characterized as being complex if they have non-linear feedback loops; such systems can exhibit emergent behavior. Simple systems can have complexity in that they have non-linear feedback loops which can result in emergent properties and outcomes. The complex nature of digital business will influence how the strategy should make. It is precisely the element of chaos or that feeling of things being out of our control that supports the need for strategic planning - so that a set of values and goals can be applied to every situation and assessed. Organizations, companies or individual leaders can then determine how best to respond in accordance with the strategic direction instead of reacting.

Are the people in key leadership roles prepared and able to develop the business strategy and make the necessary operational changes? Organizations and their people learn through their interactions with the environment. It is the responsibility of the leaders to initiate his or her team to break the silos to realize the common goals or strategy which are far more important than the personal and departmental goals. Emergence which is a characteristic of all complex systems is, not always predictable but is both an inspiring and intimidating phenomenon. In the world where change is significantly speeding up, that business leaders couldn’t predict the future with a certain degree of accuracy, and the strategy can no longer stay static, the business goals can no longer be well framed in advance. Business leaders should realize the breakthrough success in digital business requires not only forward-thinking strategies but also a transformation of the company's underlying functions and organization. The strategy is no longer a static document sitting on executive’s desk for years, but a cascading strategy-execution continuum.The fact is that change is happening at a much faster pace than ever before, requiring a much more rapid response in order not only to survive but to succeed. The days when businesses spent months doing all sort of analysis and preparing detailed plans are gone. Today is about being prepared and having the organizational capability to deal with the unexpected, without losing sight of the business objectives and priorities. In such a new normal, efficiency and productivity no longer guarantee the business’s survival, agility-the ability to change with speed, flexibility-the alternative options to do the things; and antifragility-the new trait to thrive at volatility are the new capabilities for business to success.
What leadership development and training do we need? Leadership development is a strategic imperative. Leadership development, especially for large corporations is not only a continuous process but also one which has a high focus on top management. There is a surging demand for training future leaders, the current need is related to the realization that the gap is widening between boomers and the next group of workers. Whether this is related to just the generation gap or the gap between the industrial age and the digital age, they are now recognizing the need to prepare employees for the not so distant future. Until there is enough sponsorship from the topmost echelon the organizations cannot get the desired results. Succession planning, reviewing the current talent and talent pipeline, building very clear time-bound action plans for the current and pipeline is extremely important. Leadership development has to be integrated with all other policies and procedures. Organizations not only need good managers to take care of today’s business; but also have to grow the future leaders to leapfrog their companies for long-term prosperity. The key to organizational success is to integrate the next generation of leaders, tap into their way of looking at the world, solving problems in very collaborative working style. It starts at the hiring process, needs to be linked to company culture, mission, vision, and values, and of course, there is a direct link to performance management.
Digital boards are like the steering wheel of their company, leading the business toward the uncharted water and blurred territories for reaching the ultimate digital destination. Although you can not predict every event happening on the journey. The important issue is how the board accommodates diverse opinions and how they assess them and converge the diverse thought into wise decisions all BoDs support.


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