Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The Corporate Board Director’s Digital Profiles

Board directors with digital fit profiles can think independently, advise confidently, oversee the strategy effectively, and lead transformative changes internally, culturally, and holistically.

With the fast speed of changes, the exponential growth of information, blurred business borders and hyper diversified digital workforce, the composition of Boards should reflect approximately the profile of the company' stakeholders, shareholders, employees, customers, and suppliers, etc. To improve leadership effectiveness and governance maturity, BoDs need to do some check up such as, which challenges do you face, when and how do you tackle the issue of change in the boardroom? Do you have corporate board directors with the digital fit profile to steer the business in the right direction and drive changes effortlessly?

Independent thinker: The corporate board plays a significant role in business governance in modern companies. Independent thinking enforces governance, and diversity strengthens independence. From the business case standpoint, candidates from diverse groups can bring up different perspectives to improve governance effectiveness. These different perspectives will enable the board mitigating “group thinking” and help the board better relate to their stakeholders. The non-executive members should be selected for their ability and willingness to constructively challenge management and this is less likely to happen if they are related to, or are close pals of, the executive members. Every decision requires a different way of thinking. Every fitting board needs individuals who can think outside the box and bring a pair of creative eyes to share fresh insight. We live in the world with an abundance of information, having the mix of signals and noises, it is important to collect and analyze sufficient information, but ultimately make your own mind by practicing independent thinking for making sound judgments. In the context of the desirability of diversity in the boardroom, choosing someone based on only one criterion may limit the board's performance and potential. It's critical to examine the current board make-up, identify who (mindset, expertise, creativity) is currently sitting at the board table, ponder who is perhaps missing, with the goal to close blind spots in decision-making and fill leadership gaps to improve the board governance maturity.

Specialized business generalist: Business understanding is a prerequisite for being a board member in the first place; in addition, you need different members to have important experience/competence in many other areas. Put simply, board directors today need to be the specialized business generalist with “T” shaped talent who can give an insightful overview, but also "drill down" into some specific topics with significant details. It's all a matter of teamwork. With the abundance of information and shortened knowledge cycle, having subject-matter experts with updated knowledge in each domain dramatically increases the board’s governance effectiveness and leadership professionalism. A professional board as a top leadership team can set a clear digital tone by providing in-depth knowledge/insight, diversity of thought regarding culture, economics, geopolitics, competition, technology, demographics, innovation, and environmental perspectives, etc. Thus, the issue of raising the board director’s profile must be addressed through better grooming and selection of board candidates and mentoring/coaching once they are on the Board; help them bootstrap their members to raise themselves to the level of knowledge and sophistication required to fill the board oversight and fiduciary responsibilities.

Strategic adviser: The corporate board as the advising role is responsible to steer the organization in the right direction. The directorship in any organization must be able to adapt to changes, build abilities to advise, inspire and motivate, leverage candor and diplomacy. The board provides an “outside-in” view of the business and take multi-dimensional lenses to oversee business strategy, monitor performance, and steer the business in the right direction. That role is similar to strategy management adviser in the digital era. The board directors need to be able to guide senior management team through effective questioning, coaching, advising, and assessment of strategic management and performance, as well as the overall organizational maturity. Under today’s “VUCA” business dynamic, strategic oversight is challenging, board directors must gain an in-depth understanding of the organization and its eco-environment in order to become the digital mastermind and a credible business adviser. An effective board enables and directs management towards good outcomes, and ensure the business is on the right track to reach well-defined business goals. If the business results are lacking, and then the board effectiveness must be questioned.

Digital savvy Board of Directors understand what's required and how as a high-level basis of going digital mean to the business. Board directors with digital fit profiles can think independently, advise confidently, oversee the strategy effectively, and lead transformative changes internally, culturally, and holistically.

The Corporate Board Director's Digital Profile Blog Series

The Corporate Board Director’s Digital Profiles 

The Corporate Board Director’s Digital Profile II

The Corporate Board Director’s Digital profile III 

The Corporate Board Director’s Digital Profile IV

The Corporate Board Director’s Digital Profile V


Great tips, many thanks for sharing. I have printed and will stick on the wall! I like this blog. BPM en la nube

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