Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Three “Altitudes” in the Boardroom

 The leadership altitudes of the boardroom are based on the breadth of their strategic influence and the depth of business insight and proficient knowledge.

Digital organizations are dynamic, self-evolving, and self-perpetuating. When jumping into the digital future of “VUCA” new normal –Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity, digital leaders today must be able to steer the organization in the right direction. As one of the top leadership pillars, the corporate board plays a critical leadership role in setting guidelines, envisioning the future of business, and empowering changes. Here are three “altitudes” in the boardroom.

Forwardship: Leadership or directorship is about setting directions and inspiring changes. The forward-looking view of the organization is to determine what the future needs to look like, what the digital business must look like; and how to expand the lens for capturing the big picture. The board of directors is the top leadership role, leadership is the adventure to explore unknown, and have confidence and insight for navigating the business through the right path to reach the destination. Forward-looking board has to look into an unknown future and attempt to define the business landscape with its risks and opportunities. To improve their strategic oversight effectiveness, the board as the senior leadership team supplies the framing context in understanding uncertainty, visualize and identify it, work closely with the management team to deal with digital new normal and mitigate risks strategically and systematically. The foresightful corporate boards as the guiding light can change the course of the business by seeing beyond what all others could see; connecting interdisciplinary dots and coming up with fresh insight.

Solve problems really matter: Digital transformation is the journey for solving problems caused by "conflict," "out of balance," “information overloading,” or “lack of logic.” Therefore, the corporate board needs to set the priorities for solving problems really matter and lift their organization up to the next level of business maturity. In many circumstances, corporate boards perhaps do not need to solve detailed problems on their own. However, they should always provide wise guidance and offer trustful advice for strategic business issues, and help the management frame the right problems to solve. The digital business is complex and volatile, for skillful problem solving, understanding context is often the first and the important step in understanding. “Seeing” the context you are part of, allows you to understand the problem with context, look at the problem from as many perspectives as possible, apply systems thinking to generate a variety of options, identify the leverage points of the business systems and then, choose the decisive factors, in an attempt to make the first step right - frame the right problems in order to solve them collaboratively and radically.

Ecosystem perspective: The corporate board as one of the most important top leadership teams plays a significant role in overseeing strategies, leading changes and driving digital transformation. They need to observe, perceive, and pay attention to the myriad of internal and external, visible and invisible, hard and soft forces that define and influence the way we do business these days. They must begin thinking about ways with strategic planning to broaden their ecosystem viewpoint by capturing emerging trends, making information-based decisions, monitoring change progress, and setting tones for digital transformation. The corporate board should not only see inside the business but also understand and even shape the landscape view across the business ecosystem. In addition to the set point changing, the ecosystem perspective as the digital shaper allows the organization to explore digital in all directions, grow the company as a living thing, and perceive the business through the multidimensional lens as the enterprise consists of an amalgam of socio-system, techno-systems, bio-systems, and Econo-systems.

 The leadership altitudes of the boardroom are based on the breadth of their strategic influence and the depth of business insight, be able to adapt to changes and build abilities to advise, inspire and motivate, and to navigate the corporate ship in the right direction. By having three altitudes in the boardroom, BoDs can play the directorial role in scrutinizing both vision and strategy effectively and driving changes confidently.


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