Saturday, February 10, 2018

The Digital Board’s Digital Playbook

 Digital transformation is rarely a straight line, it’s is all about interaction, incrementalism, and innovation. 

The advanced board is the mastermind behind digital transformation because it plays a crucial role in setting tones for the digital paradigm shift, making good policies for the management to follow, and creating digital principles for inspiring learning and creativity. Digital boards co-develop the digital vision and oversee the business strategy, and recommend comprehensive digital playbooks to guide the business through the journey of digital transformation.

Digital principles: The board of directors plays a critical role in setting policies and principles for changes and digital transformation. There needs to establish digital principles and set updated digital rules for guiding the digital transformation. The digital principles and policies are like the compass to guide through the business for moving in the right direction. The digital principle of building a contemporary board needs to be open-minded, foresightful, knowledgeable, innovative and committed in order to contribute to the strategic oversight when required effectively at all times. An ultra-modern digital board can set a clear choice among future scenarios that advocate advancement and promote positive thinking and behavior, to encourage communicating and collaborating across geographical borders, industrial borders, and functional borders. Digital principles and rules, the business lifecycle could be viewed as resulting in emergent means of reorganizing, refocusing, rebalancing resources, and redirecting people to understand the whole, in terms of its inner processes, its interactions with external systems, its components, the specific interaction among them, etc. These well-defined principles or policies should be communicated frequently, and followed uncompromisingly, to ensure the right things are easy to do, and bad things are hard to do.

Digital frameworks: The well-defined digital framework has many sub-components such as communication, process, technology, culture, or performance measurement, etc. Because digital transformation cannot be just another thing that needs to be accomplished, it has to be woven into communication, process, and action of the digital organization. The process of strategic planning is the best indicator of how well a board really understands and invests time in learning about their companies and also identifies the levels of organizational digital maturity. Digital maturity matters because the digital transformation is not just a one-time business or a stand-alone initiative, it needs to expand in every dimension, enable developing inter-relational interactions and management processes for harnessing relationship building and cross-functional collaboration to ensure the organization as a whole is superior to the sum of pieces. A well-defined comprehensive framework enables managing interactional management processes to help communicate concepts and ideas with clarity and encourage two-way feedback flow seamlessly. It also helps clarify the vision and objectives of digital transformation and make the proper adjustment for driving changes, create synergy, build confidence and enforce trustful relationship that exists between the board and executives of the organization.

Digital practices: Board directors are the top leadership role, leadership is the adventure to explore unknown, and have confidence and insight to take the right path to reach the destination. No longer are boards sitting in a room and just voting on various policies, they need to develop the next set of digital practices and proactively participate the varying conversions such as innovation, information management, and digitalization. A tech-savvy board will have the advantage of pulling enough resources and pushing the business model of technology, trustworthiness, prepare, and launch change, innovation, and ensure what happens next. The BoDs can provide excellent feedback which gives the top management accurate information to improve, great questions to self-aware; and keen insight to gain an in-depth understanding of the digital ecosystem. The boardroom digital practices help the board directors exercising leadership influence over volatility, managing uncertainty, simplifying complexity, and mastering the art and science of ambiguity.

Under today’s “VUCA” business dynamic, practicing digital leadership is challenging, evaluation, analysis, and strategic or long-term planning should top the list in the digital board’s agenda. Board directors must gain an in-depth understanding of the organization and its eco-environment in order to co-write the digital playbook, become the digital mastermind and a credible actor in the strategic dialogues. Digital transformation is rarely a straight line, it’s is all about interaction, incrementalism, and innovation. The journey is far more important than the destination.


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