Tuesday, December 18, 2018

BoDs as "Digital Master": Practicing Meticulous Leadership at the Board Level

The best-in-class board is heterogeneous, inquisitive, intelligent, effective, innovative and influential. 

Now, we are slowly but steadily moving into the digital economy with an abundance of knowledge and continuous disruptions. Digital board directors play the critical role in overseeing strategies and monitoring business performance. There is room for both microscopes and telescopes in the boardroom, match the thinking and oversight processes to the purpose, and practice meticulous leadership at the board level.

The meticulous preparation: Leadership is an influence, influence comes from progressive mindsets and step-wise actions. To practice effective governance disciplines, BoDs should have sufficient knowledge to understand the digital business ecosystem, but also need to have the collective insight to present today and foresee the future. The board has the advantage of pulling enough resources and pushing the business model of technology, trustworthiness, prepare and launch change, as well as catalyze innovation. There are so many things in the board’s agendas nowadays, preparing, preparing, and preparing. The meticulous preparation enables the board directors to collect enough information, listen to different PoVs, see things from different angles, as everything has more than one side and you need to gain an in-depth understanding in order to make sound judgment and effective decisions. 

The meticulous communication: To steer the organization in the right direction, the digital board leadership should focus on both direction and communication. From top-down, there’s “lost in translation” syndrome in cross-functional conversations, there are all sorts of miscommunication at the different level of the organization, which are often caused by perception gaps because people have the different knowledge base and cognitive understanding to articulate things. Thus, practicing meticulous communication is important for BoDs to be objective and gain a holistic view by considering various perspectives and listen to diverse voices. At the boardroom, asking the right questions helps to validate how thoroughly and deeply the board is thinking about a particular issue; avoid group thinking and set the tone for deepening the digital leadership influence. The diversity of thoughts along with deep knowledge of the business will allow BoDs to be real "thought partners," with senior management as they consider the long-term goals and business prosperity.

The Meticulous oversight: More often, senior business leaders like board directors are telescopes over the majority of the time. They look outwards, and they are good at envisioning the big picture, seeing connections and synthesizing the whole from the parts. But they also could be a microscope when necessary, without losing the sight of a holistic business view. The BoD should institutionalize a robust governance model, to guide and govern the management's decisions and behaviors, pay more attention to significant details, but understand the fine line between governance and management. The directors would have to be able to quickly assess any numbers and facts they are given, against applicable benchmarks and detect relevant hints for further questioning or confirmation. The board must be comfortable that management is identifying and appropriately responding to risk, and that the board itself is apprised of the most significant risks facing the company. The board directors are the leaders of the leaders. Assess assessors before making an objective assessment of either people or issues. The board’s oversight about the workforce helps to make the invisible business forces more visible by hardening the soft cultures and fine-tuning them to unlock collective business potential.

Leadership is all about changes and directorship is about steering the business in the right direction. The best-in-class board is heterogeneous, inquisitive, intelligent, effective, innovative and influential. They continue to add the new blood for enforcing digital acumen in the boardroom, build creative tension between collegiality and challenge, and practice meticulous leadership via complementary mindsets, skills, and experiences.


Post a Comment