Thursday, August 2, 2018

Can BoDs bring The Pairs of Fresh Eyes to the Boardroom

Digital BoDs need to develop a set of digital minds, bring the fresh pairs of eyes, have the ability to guide, inspire, and motivate.

Due to the “VUCA” characteristics -velocity, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity of the digital era, organizations no matter large or small, all face unprecedented change and constant disruptions. The purpose of the board of directors is to direct the organization in the right direction and monitor its performance. The directorship in any organization becomes more critical and challenging for guiding the business through the uncharted water and steering it in the right decision. Corporate governance is to challenge the management and make sure that management is doing its job properly. Can BoDs bring the pairs of fresh eyes for leading change smoothly?

Critical eyes: The board oversees strategies and exercises the supervisory power in organizing the corporate assets toward the achievement of the corporate vision and mission. Thus, it is important to have a pair of critical eyes to check up business assets, relationships, and the organization’s business design, systems, and capabilities. They are the stewardship of the organization’s resources, which typically include financial, human, intellectual assets. Having critical eyer means BoDs are able to see underneath the surface, ask insightful questions, discover the hidden connections. It involves significant critical thinking elements relying heavily on the judgment in evaluating ideas, planning implementations, and evaluating business results. In practice, the board's role is to pull management out of the trees to see the forest; to understand the business landscape via the digital lens, and how it will address it; to continue questioning on important issues where the management's answers do not make sense, continue looking for a new perspective or alternative solutions, and to show the constructive skepticism for brainstorming changes and advocating innovation.

Creative eyes: Leadership is one of the critical success factors for innovation. BoDs have a critical role in both innovation management and management innovation. Having a pair of creative eyes starts at the mindset level - being innovative is the state of mind to think, observe, and do things from a different angle. Having a learning attitude allows you to become more positive and gives you the energy to overcome obstacles and practice creativity frequently. The creative eyes come with the open-minded leadership style, willing to listen to and getting input from a broad range of personalities and cognitive differences of people on a particular matter, to bridge the multitude of digital gaps. Gap minding leadership practices in the digital boardroom are truly about embracing the “diversity in thought,” and close leadership blindspots to improve leadership effectiveness and directorship maturity. BoDs can shape a bigger box of thinking, think outside of the company, connect broader dots, and make an industrial and even societal impact. “The only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes, in seeing the universe through the eyes of another, of hundreds of others, in seeing the hundreds of universes that each of them sees." ~ Marcel Proust

Appreciated eyes: Digital leaders such as board directors today need to have “appreciative eyes” to encourage frank communication and collaboration. An organization's DNA is visible from the collective attitudes - how leaders drive changes, based on both their leadership substances and styles, employees behave at the workplace with co-workers, interact with customers, adapt to changes, and contribute to the organization brand and reputation building. Digital directors with “appreciative eyes” invite people to consider that 'engendering trust' is a complex process in and of itself, because it requires that the individual has a level of maturity and awareness, and ability to 'see' if you will - that can lead to productive and creative team dynamics and trust. The directors with appreciated eyes inspire creativity, they are able to keep innovation alive in the organization, and spot the right change agents and innovators. So, people will dare to be innovative as long as they know they won’t get penalized for a bad idea and get rewarded with a good one. The board can set a clear choice among future scenarios that advocate advancement and promotes innovators and positive behaviors. BoDs can work closely with the management team by setting good policies, focus on encouragement, innovation capacity building, motivation, rewarding, and appreciation.

Due to the complexity, uncertainty, ambiguity, and volatility of digital age, the board directors in any organization need to develop a set of digital minds, bring the fresh pairs of eyes, have the ability to guide, inspire and motivate a group of people toward accomplishing shared visions and goal, to achieve the ultimate business results in the long run.


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