Thursday, June 28, 2018

A Distinctive Board

A distinctive board exhibits a creative tension and unique leadership strength, that hard to define, but you know it when you see it. 

The purpose of the governing body, or board of directors, is to direct the organization in the right direction and monitor its performance. Corporate governance is to challenge the management and make sure that management is doing its job properly. In a world of well-defined problems, directors are required to exercise leadership influence over volatility, manage uncertainty, simplify complexity, resolve ambiguity all the time. Every board is unique, with its own strength and focus. A distinctive board can stand out as the mastermind behind digitalization and lead change effortlessly.

Distinctive perspective: A distinctive board is a composite of extraordinary BoDs who present strong digital leadership traits such as critical/independent thinking, creativity, influence, inquisitiveness, ethics, global perspective, and cultural cognition. Corporate boards set principles, ask tough questions, bring fresh perspectives and outliers’ view to mitigating “group thinking.” Distinctive board directors have cognitive differences, intellectual sophistication, and differential strength to lead effectively. Appreciate the value of alternative perspectives and insights to close blindspots and the multitude of digital gaps. Innovation and digitalization are too important to leave solely in the hands of the management team without any oversight or guidance. It is one of the most important reasons to build a distinctive board to bring fresh perspectives, participate, oversee, or lead confidently in constantly suggesting areas of digital innovation. They should also set principles, develop the best and next practices, to drive digital transformation relentlessly.

Distinctive board practices: Due to the increasing pace of changes, digital boards can no longer just follow the old governance practices. 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. The distinctive board consisting of independent directors not just provide a critique of the ideas they are presented with, they develop their own set of best and next practices, to row together in the boat. There are numerous occasions with managing board restructuring exercises and each situation is different with varied and multiple drivers, and each with its own unique problems that require addressing. The distinctive digital board also has a global touch and in-depth understanding of the digital dynamic and make the evolutionary change to improve board effectiveness and performance.

Distinctive leadership styles: Leadership is complex and situational and there are numerous variables need to be leveraged in assessing leadership effectiveness. Digital leadership needs to be highly intelligent, highly influential, highly adaptable, consistent, profound, and empathetic. Corporate directorship as one of the strongest leadership pillars should exemplify digital leadership all the time. Fear or mistrust will significantly diminish leadership effectiveness. Digital directors must lead by envisioning, influencing, innovating, and multidimensional intelligence with their distinctive leadership style. Coaching and mentoring is going to be increasingly important now, and that’s why expert power is perhaps more powerful than other types of powers in the age of digitization. Creating a balancing act is a challenge for today's leaders to lead by influence, not brute forces.

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. A distinctive board exhibits a creative tension and unique leadership insight, that hard to define, but you know it when you see it. A distinctive board looks differently, thinks differently and steers businesses in the right direction based on their unique leadership competency.


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