Thursday, October 27, 2022


Innovation, personalization, globalization are a few digital trends that are worth the corporate board’s attention.

The organizational ecosystem environment is complex, dynamic and informative, corporate board directorship is about setting directions and inspiring changes. Forward-looking organizations across the vertical sectors are on the journey of digital transformation which involves a renewed understanding of the future of business, as well as how to update underlying business values, reinvent organizational structures, and recharge business energy. 

Effective corporate board leaders today are often specialized generalists, having multidimensional thinking ability, broad business acumen, interdisciplinary expertise, to set the right tones for innovation, integration, personalization, globalization, and practice expert power to amplify leadership influence continually.

BoDs oversee innovation strategy and practices: Innovation is what leads to differentiation and unique advantage. Although the major responsibility of the corporate board is for practicing governance, which doesn’t mean to stifle innovation, on the contrary, it means to establish good principles and next practices for managing innovation in an effective way. Corporate boards oversee strategy, and therefore, they need to pay more attention to innovation. Innovation has a considerably low success rate. There are different innovation bottlenecks such as idea, process resource, implementation, talent bottleneck, etc. Thus, the commitment from the top and corporate directors’ oversight is very important for innovation to be successful.

In practice, there are many ways to differentiate, and therefore, there are many ways to build innovation into a corporate strategy. Corporate boards as one of the top leadership pillars should set the tone for practicing open-minded leadership, close innovation strategy gaps, create the space for open dialogue and debate about digital innovation, develop a common understanding of it, and create the necessity and motivation for innovation to blossom. One important role the corporate board must play is to oversee innovation strategy and integration, making sure management reports on whether and how investments in innovation are yielding forecast results.

BoDs oversee personalization and design as a sub-component of business strategy:
The digital era upon us is about people, choice, and empathy, or simply put, "personalization.” The purpose of business is to create customers; how to improve customer satisfaction by providing personalized products/services to fit their needs. As the ways of doing business and meeting customer expectations both tend to be more flexible than the siloed industrial age. Forward-looking organizations are shifting focus from inside-out operation driven to outside-in people-centric. Creating the digital paradigm means how to shift from the classic management approach to differentiation and personalization.

Forward-thinking organizations today explicitly consider personalization and interaction design as sub-component of business strategy, and set a top priority to build a people-centric organization. BoDs can make insightful inquiries to the management about people centricity: Do your customers want to engage with the business in different ways than in the past? Did you invite customers in the conversation for constructive feedback? How do you optimize customer experience and improve customer satisfaction? One of the major drivers of change continues to be the impact of technology. Digital technology now allows for both more focused communication and consequent customization than ever before. Senior leaders should take the outside-in customer lenses to oversee customer-centric strategies, and understand the needs of customers. So organizations are getting closer to customers’ needs, also looking beyond today’s solution to improve people centricity in the long term.

BoDs needs to be able to gain the world-class insight which is based on the update global view and interdisciplinary knowledge fluency: The global business world we live in is in the digital paradigm shift, the change from a “multinational” organization that adapts the operations of each country or regional unit for local needs to a “global” firm with holistic, agile, and horizontally integrated information technologies and processes. Global BoDs present global leadership qualities such as tolerance of ambiguity, multi-dialect communication fluency, cultural empathy, learning agility, complex problem-solving skills, etc. In fact, the global leadership is shifting toward grooming interdisciplinary expertise embodying effective communication in networks of global conversations that inspire innovation in diverse domains of expertise.

Insightful BoDs can frame and solve problems by gaining global perspectives with the technological, anthropological, sociological, psychological, or philosophical effects of globalization. Corporate board directors should develop global cognizance and navigation competency by framing a holistic mindset to see the ever changing world via the interdisciplinary lenses, scanning the external environment and making sure that they can see patterns and trends that are going to have an impact on the company’s ability to continue to thrive and grow in the global scope.

Innovation, personalization, globalization are a few digital trends that are worth the corporate board’s attention. Developing global insight and foresight requires holistic thinking, system understanding, and forecasting capability. The senior corporate board leaders need to be future-oriented, see further than what all others see; understand issues from expanded global lenses.The world-class board of directors with leadership traits such as self-awareness, independent thinking, critical reasoning, creativity, influence, global ethic & value, and cultural intelligence, etc, are in demand to deepen directorship influence, inspire and nurture the evolution of businesses, walk the talk when it comes to innovation as well as orchestrate global innovation in a structural way.


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