Thursday, January 3, 2019

The BoDs as Digital Qualifier

 The BoDs as the senior leadership role need to learn how to fill blind spots, break down silo thinking, and become the digital qualifier to improve leadership profundity and maturity.

The digital era upon us has the “VUCA” characteristics - velocity, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. It implies both business opportunities and risks on the way. Digital boards play a crucial role in guiding the business in the right direction and setting good policies to encourage positive changes. They are also the digital qualifier who work closely with management to ensure the overall business quality, performance, and maturity.

Qualifies the areas of business you're going to review such as key strategies, mission, vision, brand, and performance targets: The corporate boards play the directorial role by scrutinizing both vision and strategy to ensure business effectiveness, fueling the passion and guiding the top executive teams in the right direction. If the company has a clear vision, everything starts moving in the right direction. A digital strategy is a process of specifying an organization's vision, goals, opportunities, and initiatives in order to maximize the business benefits of digital initiatives to the organization. Digital boards are like the steering wheel of their company, leading the business toward the uncharted water. Board directors as the top business leadership and directorship role, need to build the solid thinking blocks, have sufficient knowledge and unique insight to understand the business ecosystem. They can sense that the digital transformation is multifaceted, help the top management identify blind spots, clarify priority, and avoid pitfalls on the way of strategy implementation, to ensure the quality of management.

Assess the “hard” business competency and differentiation: The digital paradigm arises out of new knowledge, and the emerging trends as the digital shaper reinforce the digital characteristics of the business such as enlightenment and people-centricity. Every business is different, they are also at a different stage of its business life cycle, with their unique business competency at a different level of business maturity. The important components of business capability include resources, processes, information & technologies and human capitals, etc. Digital management is fundamentally an iterative cycle to design, build, scale and optimize business competency and achieve the desired effect under specified performance standards and conditions. The board should work with business management to make an objective assessment of the “hard” business competency and differentiation by asking the right set of questions such as: Which core capabilities underpin the business strategy? Which products or services in which markets with what emphasis? Which capabilities need to be developed or acquired to make that happen? Which processes need to be improved or transformed? What capacity for marketing, sales, manufacturing, and management, will you need? The highly competitive organization should not only have competitive necessities but also keep developing unique competencies based on multilayered and integral business capabilities.

Evaluate the “soft” business elements such as leadership, communication, culture, etc: Because digital transformation has to be expanded in every dimension and permeating into underlying organizational structure and functions. The soft forces such as leadership, communication, or culture will become the key factors for the success of changes. The corporate board as one of the top leadership pillars should set principles, exemplify digital leadership, open to criticism, and encourage innovation. Typically, strategy execution fails often due to invisible soft factors; many gaps and problems at either business or society level are caused by miscommunication which is soft. Further, successful strategies and a successful culture are interdependent. The degree to which culture supports strategy depends upon the degree to which culture unifies its efforts to realize critical success factors, and thus implement successful strategies. A digital-savvy board will have the advantage of scrutinizing both hard and soft business success factors, pulling enough resources and setting digital tones for preparing, launching, and accelerating changes to ensure a smooth business transformation.

High-quality enterprises are comprised of high-quality leadership & talent, high-quality products/services/business models, and high-quality business capabilities/processes, etc. To effectively lead an organization to good practices, the BoDs as the senior leadership role need to learn how to fill blind spots, break down silo thinking, and become the digital qualifier to improve leadership profundity and maturity.


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