Thursday, January 28, 2021


An implicit corporate board is forethoughtful, knowledgeable, innovative, situational, and committed in order to contribute to strategy oversight when required and effectively at all times.

Due to “VUCA” digital new normal, the real BoD’s dilemma is that driving the business forward is extremely difficult. It means looking into an unknown future, gaining implicit knowledge, discovering hidden clues, and attempting to define the landscape with its risks and opportunities. 

Digital boards are diverse, innovative, and implicit, so they can set the right culture tone. Because at every level of organizations today, we need different perspectives, the multitude of insights, both explicit and implicit knowledge, and alternative ways to solve emergent and old challenging problems effectively.

Leverage implicit cognitive abilities: Implicit cognition is automatic, unconscious or intuitive (gut feeling) cognition: Making decisions at the strategic level is one of the most critical responsibilities of the corporate board. Both conscious reasoning and implicit cognition are important in decision-making. Gut feeling and other implicit cognition are very good at prediction as long as the environment is highly predictable and stable. An example of where either explicit or implicit cognitive abilities seem to outperform any data-driven methods is the vision. In fact, many moral judgments, and indeed the moral judgments of institutions, are made without full conscious awareness. In practice, 'gut feeling,' is the key to really solving problems in some cases, such as human factors which can think outside the box.

Information and gut feeling are both important for making many critical decisions. Gut feeling isn't a random loose arrow. It's an internalized knowledge that has developed through theoretical knowledge, unconscious learning, and practical experience that guides the gut feeling so that people can make the right decisions intuitively. The sentiment of trusting your intuition is spot on, but attempting to break it down into conscious, and unconscious, etc, and consistently leading to a perspectival minefield. It is not so good to go with intuition when there is an excuse not to put in the effort to think critically. Besides leveraging quality information, the right dose of the “gut feeling'' of BoDs allows the decision-maker to exercise their judgment and helps them find "the right answer" intuitively.

Catch “implicit” elements: In reality, the business system is complex and the organization is contextual today, opportunities and threats cannot exist without a context of interactions, which constitutes an implicit system. So many business "managers" focus on the tangibles, but lack an in-depth understanding of invisible or intangible things; just getting them to consider the list of intangibles would be a breakthrough. BoDs need to provide the strategic oversight of the business and frame the right problems for the management to solve. They are true critical thinkers who are able to see things underneath and around the corner, perceive the invisible behind the visible, catch “implicit” elements, recognize connections and interdependencies, and have an in-depth understanding of cause and effect in order to solve complex problems in a structural way.

At the board level, to break through thinking ceilings, you need to think profoundly by leveraging critical thinking, have sufficient knowledge and unique insight to observe deeper, capture explicit elements and see things underneath. Decisions that affect the lives of people, and the vitality of an organization, should be executed on the heels of history and information. Thus, to drive transformative change, the most effective way in confirming senior leaders’ (such as BoDs) buy-in is to show how the data, directly and indirectly, affects performance and profitability.

Influence implicit culture: Not only is the culture of the board/executive important, it is a determinant of the culture developed within the whole organization. Thus, the development of organizational culture starts with the board and executive. Culture is not a mythical "thing" that comes automatically. It will change how the process works and how collaboration works and most importantly "How to identify Innovation" and deliver it for the success of all- employees, customers and shareholders. Great leaders with a cultural design lens ought to be concerned not only with the here and today but prayerfully with their legacy to future generations, a better future and brighter workforce.

In reality, the company's culture, which is heavily ingrained, implicit and not directly perceptible, is very hard to change and changes slowly if at all. If Boards and Management do a good job of defining Mission, Objectives and Strategies, exemplify and oversee the culture, and successfully align resources toward achieving them, business culture will take care of itself. To achieve great results, the boards have to figure out what the culture is, decide what it should be, to make the implicit culture more tangible, and move everyone toward the desired culture, but it is through clear business vision. Companies with an adaptive culture which is aligned to their business goals routinely outperform their competitors.

With overwhelming growth of information and continuous business disruptions, today’s digital organization simply just can’t stand still. An implicit corporate board is foresightful, knowledgeable, innovative; and committed in order to contribute to strategy oversight when required and effectively at all times. It has “sense and sensitivity” to know the business, know the corporate direction and can even influence that direction and make significant impact


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