Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Three Perspectives of Shaping Up the Digital Ready Boardroom

 The BoD plays an important role to inspire, innovate, improve, interact, interpret, influence, exemplify, and orchestrate change and digitalization. 

Digital era is volatile, complex, uncertain and ambiguous, organizations today are hyper-connected and interdependent. However, many say that the multitude of gaps, such as thinking, knowledge, innovation, strategy execution, etc., are enlarged because different industries, organizations, functions, and individuals evolve change with varying speed. The modern corporate board as one of the most important leadership pillars in the business, plays an important role to inspire, innovate, improve, interact, interpret, influence, exemplify, and orchestrate change and digitalization. Here are three perspectives to shape up the digital ready boardroom.

Shape digital mindsets: A leader changes the course of the business by seeing further than what all others see and by understanding issues from new angles, deeper perspectives, or broader lens. Mindset is the most valuable thing to shape every progress. To evolve digital proactively, digital board directors should have the growth mindset, the right dose of skepticism to criticize the strategy, be inquisitive to ask the good questions, be open to embracing the different viewpoint, and be creative to think of alternative solutions. Constructive skepticisms lead to creative problem-solving and innovative business solutions. Because building a high-effective board requires deep thinking, requires asking questions, to complement each other’s strength and balance of multiple perceptions, to avoid group thinking or extreme thinking, with the goal to make sound judgments and effective decisons. The advanced board equipped with digital mindsets are independent and multidimensional thinkers, who can bring unique insight, removes reactive thinking and add proactive interactions no matter what is the situation; and leverages intuitive listening to capture the important information for either overseeing the strategy or monitoring performance.

Shape digital leadership agenda: Corporate board as one of the critical leadership pillars should set the leadership tone and shape digital leadership agenda for steering the organization in the right direction. The digital board’s leadership agenda focuses on inclusiveness, innovation, and influence. Leaders transmit energy to the variety of people, giving them a new sense of hope and confidence in achieving the circular vision. Digital BoDs are authentic, audacious, adaptive, and aggressive. From the board composition perspective, the heterogeneous team with cognitive differences is more innovative than the homogeneous group setting for encouraging innovation and advocating changes. As good ideas are multidimensional, they take root in unsuspected places and they evolve with time and by unexpected connections. Digital directors have the leadership ability to inspire self and others to look beyond limitations and make continuous improvement. Digital board directors are unbiased communicators, they encourage people to think differently, engage diverse viewpoints; they often have interdisciplinary knowledge and cross-industrial expertise to connect wider dots, amplify leadership influence, advise management insightfully, and delegate management responsibilities skillfully.

Shape change and digital agenda: A digital ready board has the advantage of pulling enough resources and pushing the business model of technology, trustworthiness, prepare and launch change seamlessly. The challenge of managing change is tough, and those firms that can accomplish this feat will have the ability to tackle other challenges, put an emphasis on speed, strategic responsiveness, and structural flexibility. BoDs set policies and principles for guiding changes and digital transformation. The board directors help to oversee the business agenda for change and digital transformation. They also must help to push this agenda, pull all important business resources to achieve it. It is important for the board to actively monitor business management for transparency, and analysis of potential long-term consequences must become the agenda in this hyperconnected digital era.

There are quite a lot of things digital boards need to shape up. Digital means rapid change, the era of options, the expanded spectrum of innovation, and people centricity. All of these changes bring the significant opportunities and responsibilities for the new breed of digital BoDs, to avoid group thinking, shape digital mindsets, both talk the walk (setting digital principles, making good policies) and walk the talk (exemplifying leadership and change), in order to amplify leadership impact, and improve the boardroom maturity.


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