Friday, June 4, 2021


Forward looking, or with an eye on the history and culture - both could be essential in lifting leadership vision at the board level.

With rapid change and abundance of information flow, the corporate board is either an asset or a liability; forward-looking organizations today are looking for strategic or transformational leaders in driving their digital transformation journey. 

For the senior leaders at the board level, the interdisciplinary expertise with humble attitude is critical to be the guardian of the business. The board of directors needs to spread their precious time on critical issues wisely, establish digital landscapes, continue updating their knowledge, look through past, present, and the future accordingly, be open-minded to the different viewpoints, in order to set the right tone, and represent the overall quality and maturity of leadership.

Past-(compliance): The seasoned board leaders have enriched knowledge and plenty of experience, look back with rich and invaluable leadership lessons to learn from. Thus, for them, the rear view of the organization is a good tool to make sure they understand where the business is, any immediate gaps or dangers that make the forward view unrealistic. Focus on asking the right questions to help the management assess the past business performance, gain invaluable lessons, understand their organization's historical roots and assess the results of best practices in the past.

As one of the most critical GRC bodies of the organization, the corporate board takes significant responsibility for setting business policies and monitoring performance results. Being proactive definitely means keeping abreast of standards and auditing all regulations that may affect the company. They support and help to achieve 'good governance' by setting risk appetite and outlining the compliance requirements within the confines of the business objectives. It is a continuous process that keeps you current and diminishes the outcomes of not being compliant.

Present (tactical):
Keep in mind though, if you focus too long, too much on the past, you will not be prepared to react when potential obstacles enter your path ahead. Whereby the BoD assumes the dual role of guidance and governance steering, whilst leaving the day-to-day management practices in the hands of the C-level executives and holding them accountable for improving better business results. Corporate boards oversee the performance of the management team and the performance of the business. Also, the corporate board’s business performance monitoring is not limited to financial performance only, but also to the firm’s performance in creating value for employees and customers. Their strategic oversight via present business view helps the management clarify how each part of the organization, including all of the key functions must "put it all together" to be successful in implementing the strategy, so they can support the management team in achieving performance outcomes continuously.

There's a correlation between corporate governance and business performance, and there's a clear connection between bad governance and poor performance. Methodologically, corporate governance has a great impact on corporate performance, not through governance structure directly, but through good governance behavior. bringing tangible business results and reaching the business vision ultimately, looking for the linkage between operation management and governance, to improve the quality of performance through governance improvement. There are positive impacts from corporate governance good practices on business performance. For all companies, the definition of the roles, and drivers to the board and committees are essential to lead and to maintain a productive relationship with the executives.

Future (foresight): The issue is that the rear mirror cannot steer the business vehicle moving forward. The most important thing is to look ahead and move forward by shaping a clear vision and forecasting trends and opportunities. The corporate board as senior leadership team and crucial governance body needs to spend more time looking forward, envisioning and participating in a long-term business transformation and organizational development, having a good understanding of the business mission to ensure that an appropriate Risk and Compliance structure of the organization is realized without being bureaucratic or misaligned with business objectives.

The prediction of the future is based on the analysis of the past. The best prediction is optimal. The digital BoDs’ challenge is how you move the ‘needle’ forward, and really mind the multitude of digital gaps to accelerate your organization’s digital transformation. Corporate boards equipped with an open, intelligent, and growth mindset play a critical role of strategic oversight and set the good policies to drive a seamless digital transformation. It is important to envision the “To-Be” state first, because it creates a paradigm shift in your management approach to building the future state. They need to learn how to strike the right balance between managing complex issues today and forecasting the trends and uncertain issues of tomorrow. They should become great digital landscape designers in sharing their systematic foresight.

Visionary boards have the ability to think about the past, perceive what is now and foresee the future in pursuit of advancement. There are significant paradigm shifts. The operation-centrism is shifted to people centricity; the linear business system perception is replaced by the adaptive digital system perspective, and technical behavior is replaced by socio-technical behavior, etc. Forward looking, or with an eye on the history and culture - both could be essential in lifting leadership vision at the board level. The BoDs need to make an objective assessment of their own performance, time management skills and improve the overall leadership maturity.


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