In reality, more than half of organizations were experiencing a leadership shortage, it becomes an even more serious problem at the senior leadership level such as corporate boards. To improve corporate board directorship effectiveness, the BoDs need to cultivate a set of core competencies to enhance governance and steer the organization in the right direction.
Inquisitiveness: Corporate boards as one of the important governance bodies play a significant role in advising management and steering the business in the right direction. They don’t always have answers, but demonstrate the willingness to ask insightful questions about strategy, leadership, and performance outcomes. In fact, inquisitiveness is the human’s cognitive improvement for thought provoking activities to either define the right problems or solve them step-wisely. Asking the right questions helps to engage stakeholders, validate how thoroughly the corporate board is thinking about strategic issues, avoid group thinking, harness leadership effectiveness and enhance GRC discipline.
Unbiased viewpoint: Corporate board leaders need to gain contextual understanding of business issues, diagnose the problems underneath the symptoms; be unbiased and objective as they are consciously aware that data is filtered and do their best to make sure their filters support thriving. Their unbiased view can significantly help the business identify knowledge gaps and close them skillfully. High-performance corporate board directors are real “thought partners” with senior management as they bring up fresh viewpoints, identify crucial issues that the management perhaps ignores. Cognitively, perception is sometimes a false reality; being unbiased means to gain an impartial perspective by exploring the multitude of thought processes; willing to listen to diverse viewpoints; becoming insightful to define the right problems and solve them effectively.
Advising: Under today’s “VUCA” business dynamic, strategic oversight is challenging, advising and coaching are crucial for BoDs to fulfill their duties and amplify their leadership influence. BoDs who can bring the outliers’ fresh eyes, out-of-box thinking, and interdisciplinary expertise are in strong demand to advise, inspire and motivate, leverage candor and diplomacy for guiding senior management team through effective questioning, answering, brainstorming, problem-solving.
Accountability: Leadership and accountability must go hand in hand. Accountability goes hand in hand with the delegation of authority or power. Lack of accountability causes business ineffectiveness and decelerates business performance. The leaders and managers should be more interested in finding “causes,” not interested in assigning blame, in order to build a culture of accountability. In fact, accountability should be a common thread throughout all global boards, regardless of national diversity. Therefore, the corporate board has to contemplate how to encourage responsible communication, decision-making, and action, bridge the accountability gaps with the intention to build morale and improve business manageability cohesively.
While corporate board directors bring many competencies to the table, they should keep learning agile, and continually improve leadership maturity. As the top leadership team, the corporate board just has to step into the unfolded future with clear vision, exemplify digital leadership effectiveness, and walk the talk in driving the business transformation smoothly.