Monday, December 3, 2018

Developing a Meta-Board: How to Practice Meta-Leadership at the Corporate Board Level?

Be skeptical, be inquisitive, be creative; and apply real critical thinking to practice meta-leadership at the corporate board level.

Meta-leadership is simply about the leadership of the leadership. The board of directors is the senior leadership role in steering organizational towards the right directions and overseeing the business management effectiveness and maturity. Digital leadership is the adventure to explore unknown, and have confidence and insight for taking the right path of reaching the destination. Developing the meta-board to practice meta-leadership is important because the journey of digitalization requires working cross boxes instead within the box; going broader and digging deeper into the “meta” level of management disciplines for getting the business digital ready.

Digging into metacognition to improve leadership maturity: Metacognition is about the thinking of thinking. Which thought processes do people apply to come up with their understanding of things or people? Or what methodologies or practices can they use to improve their thinking capability? In today’s “VUCA” new normal, organizations and human society will be confronting a number of high-complex problems in the hyper-connected world, digging into metacognitive level helps to solve problems from mindset level, eliminate unconscious bias or poor judgment, and overcome silo or rigid polarity. The board as one of the most important governance body in modern businesses plays a crucial role in setting the right tones for shaping digital leadership and envision the future of the business. It’s important to evaluate leadership maturity at the metacognitive level, and develop the digital perspective and practices to improve leadership competency. Organizations not only need good managers to take care of today’s business but also have to grow the future leaders with sophistication to deal with the complex and volatile digital ecosystem. The business leaders must work with the right mindset to develop a modern digital organization with every dip in the business lifecycle. Learn how to shape an objective view without cognitive bias that results from systemic ignorance or neglect of the cognitive layer of the whole. By exploring leadership maturity through the metacognitive lens, board directors are conscious of determining which competencies or capabilities should be used in which combination, and with what level of weight for each, for every different situation, in order to improve digital leadership influence. Put briefly, the BoD as the top leadership role needs to advocate deep thinking and helps to set digital thinking rules for improving governance maturity.

Examine metaprocess (the process of the process) of the business management as a cohesive part of strategy management oversight: The board oversees business strategy and monitor performance. The strategy management is about creating tomorrow's organization out of today. The management process effectiveness and efficiency directly impact strategy management success and business performance. The breadth and depth of the business management include people, process, organizational structure design, and technology update. The reality in most organizations though is that the process which is forcibly jammed within an existing organizational design. Thus, examining metaprocess - the process of the process could become a coherent part of strategy management oversight, to determine how each part of the organization including all of the key functions putting all together to implementing the business strategy successfully. BoDs can contribute a unique viewpoint as the business outlier to examine metaprocess because they don’t evolve in the everyday business. For example, from the risk management perspective, the board must be comfortable with the way how the management identifies and appropriately responds to risks, and that the board itself is apprised of the most significant risks facing the company. In reality, many boards and independent board directors are unfortunately focused on the data and information fed to them, and not on how and where they get the information. In practice, they should examine both meta-process and meta-information - the information of information, where does it come from? How to leverage accurate information from a reliable resource in making a sound judgment? To reach the comfort level, effective boards ensure that management has put in place an effective risk-management process, and the directors assess whether risks are undertaken and managed consistently with the right dose of risk appetite.

Scrutinize meta-diversity - the diversity of diversity in organizational leadership or team-setting: As businesses get more cut-throat in the hyper-connected digital environment, innovation has to become the differentiated business competency and inclusiveness needs to be the part of DNA in a digital organization. Innovation thrives in diversity, and diversity is the hotbed to spark creativity. The corporate board needs to set the good policy to scrutinize meta-diversity and encourage innovation. Meta-diversity or diversifying the diversity is truly about expanding the spectrum of modern diversity, to proactively evolve cognitive diversity, creative diversity, cultural diversity, knowledge/skill/background/ education diversity, and personality diversity, etc. Digital leaders need to always look at the capabilities and skills that they don't have so that they can build a winning team and complement each other. The board’s oversight of the workforce by scrutinizing meta-diversity helps to make the invisible business forces such as communication or culture more visible and fine-tune them to unlock business potential. Create a culture where every employee is a leader - initiative, collaborative, production oriented, learn and develop others, and accountable. Generally speaking, where you find an effective digital workplace initiative or a highly innovative team, regardless of the nature of the organization, you will also find some similarities in culture such as openness, inclusiveness, and risk-taking. The spirit comes from the top. The board needs diversity, more accurately, cognitive difference, to provide a perspective that can fill gaps in board discussion and shares the insight about the multidisciplinary board responsibilities.

Developing a meta-board helps to deepen digital leadership influence. Board governance is the delegate process by which a board carries out the governance of the organization. Be skeptical, be inquisitive, be creative; and apply real critical thinking to practice meta-leadership at the corporate board level to improve the board's governance duty effectively and drive digitalization seamlessly.


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