The Board and Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation is a reality for all companies and Boards representing opportunity and threat – often in equal measures.

That Digital Transformation is on the Board Agenda is not in doubt. Fidelio sees this clearly through our Board Evaluation and Search assignments with a frequent focus on Candidates who bring experience and track record in Digital Transformation.

But given the pace of change there is no standard definition of what constitutes Digital Transformation, the skills needed at Board and Executive level to deliver it, nor indeed the very role of the Board in ensuring Digital success.

To help answer this question, Fidelio was pleased to welcome an acknowledged Digital expert, Christian Gladwell, Global Managing Director at M&C Saatchi Performance to join a recent Board Breakfast.

Drawing on extensive experience in digital marketing strategies for leading organisations globally (including in the technology sector) Christian shared with our guests – Chairs, Non-Executive and Executive Directors from a range of sectors and geographies:

  • Frameworks to enable Boards develop their thinking about Digital Transformation
  • Sector specific corporate strategies
  • The Board’s role in ensuring success
  • And what to do if change isn’t happening fast enough

Recognising that there is a lot of nonsense talked about Digital Transformation, clear messages for Board Members emerged:

  1. Hyper-Connectivity is what allows us to be more customer-centric – a prime goal of transformation
  2. You cannot put digital in a box and isolate it
  3. Digital Transformation is the discipline of folding relevant components of hyper-connectivity into your business to affect top or bottom-line or both
  4. It’s not just about algorithms

And clear priorities for the Board emerged:

  • Keeping the executive team focussed, ensuring the right degree of pressure and maintaining momentum
  • Measuring progress
  • Developing a clear picture of how the Board adds value
  • Assessing Risks and bringing external insight from other sectors

And if it’s all happening too slowly, sharpen focus on talent, diversity, learning. An organisation that’s failing to embrace digital will fail to attract talent. Keep at front of mind the Board’s obligation to promote the success of the company, as risk aversion is a common trap. Boards need to align themselves around taking (well-thought through, measured) risks.

For full details, please click here.

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