Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The Board Director’s Digital Profile V

Leadership is complex and situational and there are numerous variables need to be leveraged in assessing leadership effectiveness.

Digital means rapid change, abundant information, the era of options, expanded spectrum of innovation, and people centricity. Digital board leadership is the adventure to explore unknown, have confidence and insight for steering the business in the right direction, and taking the right path of reaching the business destination. The ever-changing business dynamic brings significant opportunities and responsibilities for the new breed of digital BoDs who drive changes and lead by envisioning, global influencing, innovating, and multidimensional intelligence with their distinctive digital leadership profiles.

Insightful mentor: Corporate directorship as one of the strongest leadership pillars should exemplify digital leadership all the time, advise and mentor the management for achieving the next level of leadership maturity. Great leadership includes the mentoring capability. The digital leader today is more as a great mentor than an entitled commander. Coaching or mentoring is going to be increasingly important now because the "command & control" style of management is gradually losing its steam in the digital era of abundant knowledge and hyperconnected business normality. Mentorship is about guiding, advising, interpreting, and influencing. that’s why expert power can truly win the minds and gain respects. The mentor style leaders have both interpersonal (understand others with empathy) and intrapersonal (deeply understand oneself) communication skills to enforce their leadership influence. Digital boards advocate open leadership, provide constructive feedback to the management and each other and set the tone for building the culture of learning and continuous improvement. To mentor well, the board directors need to keep improving their own leadership quality, show learning plasticity, continuously seek new knowledge, solicit direct feedback and constructive criticism to improve their leadership maturity. Excellent mentorship is both art and science. Board directors have the ability to listen and observe; the ability to ask probing open questions; and show a degree of imagination and empathy. The mentor style board directors play a critical role in developing next-generation leaders and help the current leadership stay attuned to the realities of their industry and business ecosystem.

Digital Guardian: The Board provides an “outside-in” view of businesses and multi-dimensional lenses to oversee strategy management and digital transformation. It needs to be remembered that governance as a discipline is a living breathing thing which continually requires stroking and attention. Otherwise, it will stagnate and lose its ability to be one of the prime enablers contributing to above average board performance. Digital encourages autonomy and innovation. It is important to understand that digital transformation is multifaceted, business optimization and integration need to be done with a “big picture.” The board works closely with management to set good policies for enabling changes and encouraging innovation. It presents there is a very real risk that governance as a discipline will begin to lose focus of its prime purpose if it does not address strategically important emerging issues. That means the guiding principle and management oversight, in fact, become more crucial to lead change at a steadfast pace. More specifically, the BoDs need to capture the oversight of assessment - gauging business conditions and choices which impact the business growth and competency; the oversight of matching business priorities and resources to ensure that management can see and agree on what has been done and what should be done next ; and the oversight of accountability - scoring activity and net business results. Good governance is less about structures and rules than being focused, effective and accountable. The ability of boards to oversee and advise management as a digital guardian is to ensure the best fit between (short term) profitability (shareholders) and long-term sustainability (stakeholders: employees, government, society).

World-class leadership practitioner: Companies don’t exist in silos but within systems, especially global businesses. Being global is about crossing not just borders but also cultural divides between business, government, and social sectors. The world-class board of directors demonstrates leadership traits such as self-awareness, critical/independent thinking, inquisitiveness, creativity, influence, optimism, ethics, global perspective, and cultural intelligence, etc, to deepen board directorship effectiveness and maturity. A board leader needs to be able to gain the world-class insight which is based on the update global view that looks at problems or issues in such a way that a solution emerges through a collaboratively interdisciplinary and multicultural approach involving global psychological capital, intellectual capital, and social capital. The world-class leadership competencies at the board level also include such as self-regulation, social judgment skills, abstract thinking, empathy, motivation to work in a global environment, cognitive skills, acceptance of complexity and its contradictions, the tolerance of ambiguity, cultural flexibility, learning agility, and handling complexity. The global organizational leadership is shifting toward grooming digital leadership skills embodying effective communication and collaboration in networks of global conversations that inspire creativity in diverse domains of expertise. The board directors as the world-class global leaders should become "creative flat world communicators" or “round global ambassadors,” who can appreciate, facilitate and orchestrate the multitude of differences in global context, connect global dots, inspire and nurture the evolution of businesses, walk the talk when it comes to innovation as well as fosters the global-scope digital transformation. Allow the difference to exist and leverage on the difference. From the board composition perspective, the board is responsible for ensuring an appropriate mix of skills, knowledge, and experience are present or available for it to fulfill its judiciary function.

Digital Paradigm means holism, hyper-connectivity, interdependence, and integration. Leadership is complex and situational and there are numerous variables need to be leveraged in assessing leadership effectiveness. One of the most important traits for any senior leaders is self-awareness which is about understanding your impact on others and the surrounding.  Like any type of leadership, BoD leadership needs to be future-oriented, steer the organization towards the digital journey with a clear vision, a solid strategic roadmap, and effective feedback system, build a high-performance top-tier leadership team with complementary skills and experience to reach the next level of leadership maturity.

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

The Corporate Board Director’s Digital Profile VI


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