Wednesday, June 12, 2019

The Corporate Board Director’s Digital Profile IX

The board in a high-level leadership position plays a crucial role in business advising and monitoring, setting key digital tones in organizational culture styles and leadership quintessential.

The business environment today is full of uncertainty and ambiguity, corporate boards play a crucial role to direct the business in the right direction by dealing with a lot of uncertainty and unknowns, high velocity and continuous disruptions. Building a high-effective digital board requires thinking, dots connection, asking insightful questions to complement each other’s strength and balance of multiple perceptions. Great boards are heterogeneous, inquisitive, intelligent, effective, innovative and influential. Here is a set of the corporate board director’s digital profile IX.

Inquisitive explorer: In the industrial age, people in leadership positions assume they have all the answers because the business is considered static and there is a scarcity of information. As in many instances, there is a perception that leaders, especially at the senior level, should be the most experienced people and thus, have all of the answers. That’s a fallacy. As now we steadily move into the deep digital reality with the exponential growth of information, shortened knowledge cycle, and the increasing pace of changes, the business leaders including board directors have to not only provide answers but more importantly appreciate collective wisdom and facilitate better solutions. True leaders have always been intrigued and they have always asked questions to themselves, to circumstances, to books, to experiences, and to other fellow managers or colleagues. Effective leaders navigate their leadership and gain an in-depth understanding of issues by asking insightful questions. The main role of a board is to oversee the strategy with executive management by asking tough questions and clarifying its effectiveness and practicality. They will always ask questions to people around them, get views of everybody, learn about the subject when necessary and then use their leadership qualities to resolve the situation or make effective decisions. Confidence comes from being comfortable in your role as a leader, acknowledging that your job as a leader is not just to provide answers but facilitate solutions, and show learning agility.

T-Shaped expert: We live in the knowledge economy, the expert power can make leadership influence profound and empathetic in order to connect the minds and improve leadership empathy and effectiveness. The board directors today should be the specialized generalist to practice expert power, provide an in-depth understanding of the varying topics in the boardroom and make profound leadership influence. They should build the breadth of leadership capabilities and wisdom to handle many situations smoothly. The highly influential leaders make the splash based on their knowledge and insight and continuous delivery, not just the follower to chase the waves blindly. The board directors are senior leaders who should have the breadth of knowledge to bring up an outlier’ view and embrace the seemly paradoxical point of views in order to gain the deep understanding of varying strategic topics holistically. They are both experts and explorers and synthesizers of new world-views or future views to the business and the world, to enforce governance effectiveness and leadership competency.

Wise decision maker: Decisions are based on the information and generate information. Thus, a decisive mindset is information enriched and knowledge empowered. One of the significant duties of the corporate board is to make effective decisions at the strategic level. Decision power is a mind-power; it guides what to select from available choices, how to accommodate constraints, how to avoid distractions, and where to show firmness and flexibility. In the boardroom, the same is a shame. Having different views and opinions does not mean a lack of teamwork. It is how the differences are conducted that is the real test of the board. If everyone thinks the same, you do not need board governance. Individual Board members will express their concerns, questions, issues, or disagreements early in the decision-making process. The important issue is how the board accommodates diverse opinions and how they assess them and converge the diverse thoughts into wise decisions. Hence, the corporate board can complement the executive team's cognition and skills for improving decision effectiveness. Building a decisive board is both art and science. The high-effective board can make effective decisions in deliberation, moving the enterprise forward, scrutinize the management decisions to ensure the organization makes sense and on the right track to achieve the business goals timely.

The board in a high-level leadership position plays a crucial role in business advising and monitoring, setting key digital tones in organizational culture styles and leadership quintessential. Due to the “VUCA” characteristics -complexity, uncertainty, ambiguity, and velocity of the digital era, the directorship in any organization becomes more critical and challenging to steer the business in the right direction and drive change effectively.


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