Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Three “Views” to Advance Digital Boardroom

The board of directors as top directorial roles need to be able to view things from different angles and become the mastermind behind the digital transformation.

The BoD role sets the top leadership’s tone for progression and affects most through cohesive communication, congruent behavior, and continuous endorsement of the change to keep the momentum. Digital boards are the guiding roles, like the steering wheel of their company, leading the business toward the uncharted water and blurred territories for reaching the ultimate digital destination. Which views can help the board clear their vision and enable them to stay focus and advance their leadership to get digital ready?

Look beyond the horizon: The advanced board as the senior leadership team can look further, much further than the rest. Because those board directors have the breadth of knowledge and the deep understanding of the business ecosystem, including customers, employees, business partners, and all other stakeholders, the business's competitive landscape, industries, so they can sense that the digital paradigm shift is multifaceted, and they can predict the emergent trend of business, technology or industry, and zoom into the future as if it were closer and assertively monitor strategy management progress. Board directors have to think longer-term and clarify the vision to fuel the passion and guide the top executive teams in the right direction. Boards oversee strategy and monitor performance when they can look beyond the horizon, they won’t get overly distracted by quarterly results, and they can help the management team build the business capability and capacity to unleash the full potential of the business.

Observe out-of-the-box: Digital is the age of innovation, it is one of the requirements of the board members to be able to see out-of-the-box, participate both innovation management and management innovation, or even lead, in constantly proposing areas of innovation. Further-looking board directors are both creative and critical thinkers who live out of the box, ask open questions to collect relevant information, and think alternative solutions to tough problems. Because innovation is too important to leave solely in the hands of the management team without any oversight or guidance by boards. The advance board not only can think out of the small box but also shape the bigger box of thinking, set good policies to encourage creativity and improve innovation effectiveness. 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.

Notice underneath and around the corner: Board directors as the top business advisor role need to build the solid thinking blocks; have sufficient knowledge and unique insight to observe deeper, see-through underneath and notice around the corner. Many say superficiality has gone global. The BoDs as the senior leadership role need to learn how to fill the blind spots, break down silo thinking, and improve leadership profundity. The insightful board directors have the ability to influence the leadership team as they undertake a broad range of crucial decisions involving issues such as vision, strategy, branding, changes, culture, etc, an advanced mindset has influential intelligence if it can discover the patterns or inter-relationship among all those disciplines and contribute deeper insight into the nuances of why and how.

The board of directors as top directorial roles need to be able to view things from different angles and become the mastermind behind the digital transformation. They should be mindful, insightful, innovative, and decisive, to envision and lead the organization towards its future steadfastly.


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