As a safety professional it is an honor to be published in the ASSE Professional Safety Journal, June 2016.
Directorship 2020® is a NACD National initiative created to help directors identify and prepare for shifting issues and opportunities that boards will have to address in the future. Technology is and will continue to be an item that directors must understand in order to drive strategic change in their companies.
When it comes to technology, the boardroom has been learning a new language: mobile, social, cloud, cyber security, digital disruption and more. Recently the NACD released an eight-part video series on the board’s role: The Intersection of Technology, Strategy, and Risk.
We have spent much of the past year focused on cyber security, an essential discussion given the widespread theft of intellectual property, privacy invasions and data breaches. A report on cyber crime and espionage by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C. last year estimated that cybercrime costs the global economy $300 billion a year – an entire industry is growing around hacking! Research by PwC shows cyber insurance is the fastest growing specialty coverage ever – worth around $1.3 billion a year in the US.
As our boardroom agendas often get filled with discussions on risk, I asked Frontier Communications board director Larraine Segil how to shift the conversation to strategy. Larraine has a keen focus on opportunity and suggested we delve into solutions for governing “The Internet of Things (IoT)”. My favorite part of sitting on the NACD SoCal board with Larraine is her interest in what is emerging on the business horizon.
As a director it is critical to be educated constantly about new trends, products and opportunities – competition is fast moving and customers are better educated about their options than ever before. Strategically the board has to think way ahead of the present status quo – and with the help of management and outside domain experts, explore opportunities for alliances.
This requires using strategic analysis at every board meeting (not just at one offsite a year) and welcoming constant director education and brainstorming both within and outside of the company’s industry. The board should continually identify and evaluate strategic directions to keep the company ‘fresh’ and nimble.
What exactly is the “Internet of Things” and what are the implications for business strategy? Think about connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet and/or to each other. This includes everything from cell phones, thermostats, and washing machines to headphones, cameras, wearable devices and much more.
This also applies to components of machines – for example, the jet engine of an airplane. If the device has an on and off switch then chances are it can be a part of the IoT.
The technology research firm Gartner says that by 2020 there will be over 26 billion connected devices. Think about Uber, the company that connects a physical asset (car & driver) to a person in need of a ride via a website. That simple connection has disrupted the taxi industry.
AirBnB has done the same for the lodging industry by directly connecting people with spaces to rent to those in need of accommodations. What does this mean to for our companies? Larraine, what are you thinking when you hear about the IoT for business opportunities? [Read more…]
Steven M. Davidoff @StevenDavidoff
Wonder if @VinnyJindal , CEO at @Stockr thought ” Why do my friends post this stuff when they know I have a business presentation?”
Society #13 Conference Chair Jim Brashear@JFBrashear
Doug Chia @dougchia moderating the panel. [Read more…]
“You need to have short term performance to get to the long term.”
Bill is the leader that makes following easy. He likes to keep it simple and focus on the alignment of three primary stakeholders: customers, investors and employees. He brings his interest in people into view with this wisdom “let’s build a company that provide meaningful benefits not at the expense of each other.”
His eye for talent focuses on people who understand priority and bring persistence till they get it right. As a leader he wants to ensure people who demonstrate these skills are given new opportunities.
It is great to see a self-aware leader who can say “As a CEO I don’t want to overstay my welcome and accept I only have a certain range of capabilities.” Boards, are you ready to hear this from your CEO?
The plan is a lot easier than the execution. Business is about people and change. You need the right critical mass of people. Opinion leaders are not on the formal organization chart. Find them and bring them in on the vision.
The board’s role is critical and is the most senior level of leadership. The role they serve for the CEO is holding the team accountable to the plan and being supportive of transformation. Things get worse before they get better so the board needs to understand the cycle of the strategy.
The right board leader has an agenda that brings out the strengths of the board. It is structured to:
- Focus on a few key things
- Bring balance on compliance and strategy
The board leader is the architect of the agenda. It is their duty to make sure the board does not spend too much time powerpointing which take time away from engagement. The way a board chair sets up the agenda builds a board intelligence culture. The chair should ask themselves “How can the board be most helpful to the CEO.” [Read more…]
July 10-13, 2013