Monday, July 3, 2017

The Digital Board’s Digital Innovation inquiries

Digital directorship must be extremely visionary, mindful, creative, empathetic, curious, conscious, passionate, and humble.

The board with digital savvy BoDs understand what's required and how as a high-level basis of going digital mean to the business. So, they can make a significant impact on accelerating digital transformation with a premium speed. Vision is the destiny, it is basically a qualitative statement defining the "perception" of the organization, the strategy is the roadmap to get there. And innovation strategy is an integral component of the strategy. The effective board as a directorial role oversee the business strategy and provides the guidance about what core to preserve and what future to stimulate progress toward. Here are a few innovation inquiries of digital boards.

How can the boards set the right policies to embed innovation in every aspect of the organization, including strategy: Innovation is what leads to differentiation. There are many ways to differentiate, and therefore, there are many ways to build innovation into a corporate strategy. Put more C-suite people for innovation even when the company performs well, that make innovation more naturally become part of the strategy. Boards oversee strategy, and therefore, boards need to pay more attention to innovation. A good strategy will include where the company plans to focus its innovation efforts such as product performance, cost effectiveness, speed, business model, etc., and how this links to the rest of the corporate goals and action plan must be put in place to achieve the innovation goals. Innovation should be embedded into every aspect of the organization, including strategy. So, the innovation-driven organization should not only pursue an innovative strategy but also have an innovation strategy (innovation business model) that holds all innovation initiatives.

Innovation needs the certain level of guidelines and rules, therefore, the corporate board has the role in it to set digital principles to management innovation. Innovation is too important to leave solely in the hands of the management team without any oversight or guidance. Innovation governance needs to advocate, steer, and sustain innovation. Digital brings both unprecedented opportunities and risks to the businesses today. Every innovation pursuit has risks in it, and every risk has opportunities in it, Therefore, it is important to set guidelines for managing innovation risks in a structural way. The Board of Directors can make the proper policies to encourage innovation, as well as manage risks. It requires acknowledgment, involvement, and commitment. The principles and guidelines help to further frame processes, measures, and control.  

In addition, the board should ask how the enterprise measures innovation and how it compares to “Best in Class” performance and be sure the measurement is accurate from the eyes of the customers and their constituencies. One important role the Board must play in making sure management reports on whether and how investments in innovation are yielding forecast results. Whether it is a major IT project, launching a product, or reshaping culture, assuring excellence in predicting and tracking results falls in the domain of anyone with fiduciary responsibility.

The digital board plays a crucial role in innovation governance because innovation is too important to delegate to management only. An innovative board brings the outliers’ fresh eyes, out-of-box thinking, and a tremendous set of skills and experience mix to create new value, and contribute to both innovation management and management innovation.

How can an ultra modern board help to oversee innovation strategy and set an innovation climate that is sustainable and drives the future growth? Digital is the age of innovation. No longer are boards sitting in a room and just voting on various policies, to focus on compliance only. If innovation represents creating a significant change to the company, this must be presented to the board. The board directors should oversee the innovation strategy which is an integral component of the corporate strategy. Every board should have an innovation committee or have innovation somehow weaved into its oversight responsibilities.

Digital means to break down the past and lead toward the future with a quantum leap. An ultramodern board can set a clear choice among future scenarios that advocate innovation, advancement and promotes positive behaviors. The role of Board is to help and encourage the senior management team to set an innovation climate. So, the leadership team must create a corporate culture where innovation thrives. And the management team can gain a huge advantage for their organization if they seek and utilize innovation in equipping their organization to build and maintain multiple cultures and connect all the right dots.

Asking the right questions helps to validate how thoroughly and deeply the board is thinking on a particular issue; avoids group thinking and sets the tone for building a culture of innovation. It's always about the questions, particularly to come up with the new perspective to solve a problem or address an issue.

The important principle of building an ultra-modern Board needs to be open-minded, foresightful, knowledgeable, innovative and committed in order to contribute to strategy oversight effectively when required at all times. Boards must continually evaluate the management team to determine if the right strategy and culture are thriving in the organization and to proactively nurture creativity and drive the future growth of the business.

Digital directorship must be extremely visionary, mindful, creative, empathetic, curious, conscious, passionate, and humble. Modern BoDs themselves are also innovators who can break down the old rules, and build new rules to inspire businesses to step into the new chapter of innovation blossoms.


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