Friday, July 15, 2022


To lead effectively, corporate boards need to look into an unknown future and attempt to define the landscape with its risks and opportunities. They provide guidance about what core to preserve and what future to stimulate the business progress toward.

Fundamentally, leadership is about the future and direction - how to navigate their organization in the right direction under rapid changing business circumstances, to achieve high-performance results. 

Corporate board directors as top directorship roles are supposed to be the guiding force in the enterprise, help the top management sense growth opportunities, identify blind spots, clarify priorities, predict risks and avoid pitfalls on the way.


Corporate boards set good policies and oversee core processes to enforce accountability: As the senior leadership team, the corporate board plays a significant role in taking ultimate accountability to shareholders and the account for the performance and conformance of the organization. Accountability needs to be embedded in the organizational culture. And behaving accountable is the result of a culture with values that need to be organized and nurtured.

The corporate board needs to be engaged at the most senior levels, set good policies to influence and shape the business of the future, cultivate a culture of accountability. Accountability goes hand in hand with the delegation of authority or power, to advocate the digital style of autonomy and self-management. The BoDs develop the best & next governance practices to encourage desired attitude and behaviors, enforce accountability at every level of the organization, to assure the corporations’ operation under the correct directions and behaviors correctly to produce higher than expected business results.

Corporate boards oversee risks, identify opportunities for business growth or improvement: With the increasing speed of changes and digital velocity, every opportunity has the risk in it, and every risk might also embed certain opportunity in it. There are all sorts of risks such as planning risks, operation risks, innovation risks, expansion risks or reputation risks, etc. Some are downward risks such as loss of value which significantly hurt the business’s growth potential; some risks are upward, as it implies the opportunity to create multifaceted business value, expand the market share, etc. Some risks can be quantifiable; others can only be approximated. Lacking risk awareness creates more blind spots uncovered and gaps unfilled. BoDs do not manage risks but oversee risk by asking tough questions and scrutinize risk management effectiveness and efficiency.

Technically, most of today’s risk and risk management is reserved for huge and costly endeavors. Regardless of what methods or indicators are used, the key is to oversee risks in business terms that can really make a business impact. The corporate boards work closely with the management to set the right risk appetite, develop an effective risk management framework to improve organizational risk intelligence, and ensure that management has put in place an effective risk-management process. Building a risk-intelligent board requires multidimensional intelligence, take a periodic risk assessment; weigh risk and reward, and focus on GRC effectiveness and maturity.

Corporate boards should develop global cognizance and navigation competency:
In the fast growing companies or well-established organizations with cross-geographical locations, business leaders such as board directors need to develop global competency, understand and act on critical business issues with global impact, develop cross-boundary leaders and manage cross-cultural workforce effectively. It means insightful board directors need to build global mindset, interdisciplinary knowledge, professional expertise, cultural cognizance to bridge differences, practice leadership disciplines crossing not just geographical borders but also cultural divides between business, government, and social sectors.

Forethoughtful board leaders scan the external environment and make sure they see signals, patterns, and trends that are going to have an impact on the company’s ability to continue to thrive and grow, to seek out the potential and capabilities the organization will need for the future development, drive competitive value and global growth. The world-class board leaders are open minded to embrace different perspectives, demonstrate cultural empathy, harness trustful professional relationships in a dynamic digital and global working environment for leading global changes promptly.

To lead effectively, corporate boards need to look into an unknown future and attempt to define the landscape with its risks and opportunities. They provide guidance about what core to preserve and what future to stimulate the business progress toward. From a leadership development perspective, the issue of raising the corporate board director’s profile must be addressed through better grooming and selection of board candidates and mentoring/coaching them, improving corporate board performance and leadership maturity.


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