Thursday, April 4, 2019

How to Bridge Insight Gaps in the Boardroom

Gap-minding leadership practices in the boardroom are important because if you are not taking steps now to shrink that leadership gaps, you will not be prepared to lead the digital business in the future.

Leadership is about envisioning and leading the business towards its future. Top leadership roles such as board directors are supposed to be the guiding force in the enterprise. In practice, the digital era is volatile, complex, uncertain and ambiguous. Many say that the multitude of gaps (thinking, knowledge, innovation, strategy execution, etc.) are enlarged because different industries, organizations, functions, and individuals evolve with varying speed. To lift up the board leadership maturity, minding the insight gap is challenging, but a critical step for improving leadership effectiveness. Leadership is an influence, influence comes from progressive mindsets, profound insight, and step-wise actions. Insight is an understanding of cause and effect based on the identification of relationships and behaviors within a model, context, or scenario.

The comprehensive understanding of the business and its ecosystem enable the board to bridge insight gaps: The more complex the situation is, the more different approaches and role gaming is needed to reach for in-depth understanding. To practice effective governance disciplines, BoDs should have sufficient knowledge to understand the digital business ecosystem,  as well as collective insight to present today and foresee the future. The insight of the situation requires in-depth understanding. Insight is the intersection of analytic thinking and synthetic thinking; the linear logic and non-linear thinking. It’s about the profound understanding of business possibilities, adversaries, environments effects and other stakeholders’ behavior. In the boardroom, the business insight should lead BoDs as the top leadership role, not only understand, but also predict; not only oversee the strategy, but also participating in designing; not just monitor business performance, but also provide invaluable advice to management. They help to identify and frame problems, strengthen the weakest link in strategy management and ensure the business success for the long run.

Maintaining the great board dynamic and embracing cognitive difference help to avoid groupthink and improve board leadership effectiveness: Digital leaders change the course of the business by seeing beyond what all others see and by understanding issues from new perspectives. Therefore, to get into the deep, deep digital reality, corporate BoDs should accommodate the value of alternative perspectives, respect diverse opinions, bridge the insight gap, assess and converge the diverse thoughts into sound judgments and making wise strategic decisions. Insight takes both creativity and reasoning, intuition and logic, perception and discernment. An insightful thought can go beyond a moment, even take certain systematic planning. To assess the corporate board maturity, BoD should ask themselves or other shareholders tough questions such as: What tends to be the biggest gaps and “blind spots” in achieving and maintain the right board composition? How do you define diversity and embrace inclusiveness? What do you see as the most important types of diversity in terms of filling decision blind spots at the boardroom? How willing are directors to make ways for new directors when fresh skills and diversified experiences more closely aligned to the digital strategy are called for? Which steps is your board taking to position itself for the future? Etc. The board directors need to be diverse by mindsets, industry background, knowledge, expertise, skills, experience level, and perspective for bridging the gaps and improving the board leadership effectiveness.

Leadership in itself is a constant learning process that requires BoDs to keep knowledge update and build competency to bridge the insight gap: Knowledge is gained via the learning process, and insight is the integration of learning and thinking scenario. Knowledge is often in the box; insight is thinking into the box after thinking out of the box. In the digital age, the knowledge life cycle is significantly shortened, from the boardroom to front desk, digital leaders and workforce today have to learn and relearn all the time, and then apply those lessons to succeed in new situations, and make a linkage to capture the insight for understanding things thoroughly and making decisions effectively. Learning becomes a knowledge builder and we can define learning through the information it absorbs and the capability it builds. With knowledge as the building block, insight can be shaped through practicing the power of acute observation and deduction, questioning, connection, penetration, analysis, synthesis, or discernment. Furthermore, the corporate board plays a critical role in setting good policies for cultivating a learning culture that has awareness and understanding the importance of learning in order to build a high-innovative and high-mature digital organization.

Leadership is about the future and change, innovation, and progress, which are all based on a clear vision and profound insight. The senior leadership such as the board should reflect on how profound of your thinking and how persuasive of your communication. The insight of the situation requires deep observation, in-depth understanding, and fresh perspective. Gap-minding leadership practices in the boardroom are important because if you are not taking steps now to shrink that leadership gaps, you will not be prepared to lead the digital business in the future.


Post a Comment