Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Five Boardroom Digital Practices

The real BoDs dilemma is that driving the business forward is extremely difficult. It means looking into an unknown future and attempting to define the landscape with its risks and opportunities.

The corporate board directors are the top leadership role, leadership is the adventure to explore unknown, have confidence and insight to steer the organization in the right direction and take the best path for reaching the destination. It’s important to develop the best and next boardroom digital practices, encourage the board directors making their influence over volatility, managing uncertainty, simplifying complexity, and master the art and science of the board leadership.

Practice deep listening: Traditional boards discuss various topics and practice compliance-driven governance discipline, but digital boards should listen empathetically and encourage debating to stimulate creative tension and draw constructive criticism. Listening & debating become the new normal in the digital board. The digital BoDs need to be good listeners, act like a sponge and absorb information, abstract unique insight from it. Being insightful means that you need to dig into the root cause, not just pointing out the symptoms. With rapid changes and shortened knowledge cycle, digital leaders like BoDs should listen to different propositions, approaches to a problem or new interpretations for varying situations. When the board builds the listening and learning culture, it could be also on the right track to build listening and telling organization. Communication has occurred when the message is received and understood. Listening and communicating are critical to deal with conflicts or even constructively advocate the fresh point of view and build the trustful business relationship.

Make structural inquiries:
At the age of exponential growth of information and business complexity, leaders may not always have the right answers; but they should always ask the right questions. In practice, the high performing digital board shows the ability and openness to "question itself and its decisions/ discussions." Critical Thinker BoDs do not just ask one or two random questions, they ask in a structural way continually on important issues where the management's answers do not make sense, continue looking for new perspectives, insight or alternative solutions. BoDs with insight and foresight about the business can ask profound questions because they observe thoroughly, have better critical thinking ability and learning agility. They not only ask the right questions but rather absorb information, forecast potentials, risks, and benefits; mitigate, compare and contrast options, facts, ideas against logic and creativity. Asking good and pertinent questions are critical for governing changes so that the board 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 true critical thinking and constructive criticism are very important for the business’s improvement continuum. The corporate board plays a crucial role in overseeing business strategy. Asking good questions is not the “wasting time” activity, it can help to clarify the vision and bring the new insight about how to steer the company in the right direction.

Set Strategic priority: The modern digital board has many responsibilities, also gets a lot of distractions and hits many pitfalls on the journey of digital transformation. In order to steer the business in the right direction. BoDs nowadays have to spin many plates (accountability, strategy, policy, and monitoring) at the same time, become more performance driven, not just compliance focus. High-performing boards have to prioritize and put significant effort into governance and risk management, laser focus on the most critical issues, pulling enough resources and pushing the business model of technology, trustworthiness, innovation, and mastering digital fluency. The boards need to understand how to delegate, which means articulate what is delegated and then monitor, not micro-manage what is delegated. It also means taking control of the softer issues such as making good policy or setting the proper risk appetite in order to lead the business forward steadfastly.

Feedback and feedforward:
The board directorship and leadership need to be future oriented. Accountability and oversight are all part of the game changes that boards must address. Feedback is always about how to improve performance so it is always about the future to keep it relevant. Eventually, feedback should always be genuinely proper, precise, and substantive. The board feedback on business performance and outcomes help the business management make the timely adjustment for making continuous improvement. Feedback becomes so critical to not only improve business performance but also enable either people or the organization as a whole to maximize their potential. What has passed can easily be evaluated but what will and should happen in the future is difficult to assess. Rightly we focus on the future, but the past is never far away just hidden from sight. Feedback helps to not only act but aids to feedforward for either managing change or accelerate performance. Thus, feedback-feedforward practices are important to improve board effectiveness.

Make dynamic facilitation: Either at the boardroom or the different layer of the business hierarchy, effective communication is like the thread to connect all important business gems, for building the trustful relationship, enforcing collaboration, and improving digital readiness. Quality boardroom communication ensures that information is concise and update in enabling decision-making and goal tracking. For the majority of the time, the board agenda should be focused on the business performance progress toward the goals, targets, schedules., etc, of the value maximization planning. You better have information in hand because at that level, it’s all about direction, strategy, cost-effectiveness, and customers. You should always perform research on hot topics, anticipate questions and formulate answers. Much of the boarding process or deep boardroom discussions around the business progress is the process that facilitates high-level management accountability and orchestrates change and digital transformation.

The real BoDs dilemma is that driving the business forward is extremely difficult. It means looking into an unknown future and attempting to define the landscape with its risks and opportunities. The board needs to be able to leverage diverse viewpoints via listening, brainstorming, questioning, and breaking down leadership bottlenecks to accelerate changes. They should focus on their own performance as well as the performance of the management team. They need to develop the best and next set of digital practices and proactively participate in the varying conversions such as innovation, information management, and digitalization, for steering the business ship to the uncharted water or the blurred digital territories.


Post a Comment