Is your board up to the task?

We live in coronavirus times. These times call for new and better ways to work.

For long, boards were encouraged to conduct virtual meetings to improve collaboration and value addition. The main forum in which board members add value is during board meetings. Boards that achieve the most at the board meetings improve their organizations.

But not all boards are the same.

Your board must embrace technology and new ways of working. As the lockdown period continues to be extended, we must start getting used to the new world order. Remote working.

#covid19 is inviting the world to fast track technology adoption and development across all spheres of life.

For long, homeschooling has been taunted as the best type of education. The parents have the highest stake in the education of their children.  At home, they have an opportunity to expose them not only to academics but house chores and other life skills. For the parents that lack education, it could be a challenge. But that is an opportunity to embrace online self-study education.

We all know that self-study is the best education. Classroom style setup in schools tends to train as opposed to educating people.

Back to the main subject: is your board ready for the coronavirus era realities? How would your board answer the following questions?

  1. Are the top management team convinced of the importance of technology and innovation in creating and sustaining the value and improving performance?
  2. Are there systems and capabilities in place to enable technology use at the board level in value delivery?
  3. Does the company link her core technology capabilities and competencies to market opportunities?
  4. Does the company have an innovation champion? Are staff aware of the innovation processes and how to leverage technology to win?
  5. Have processes and tools been developed to support technology strategy? Is the technology strategy aligned with the enterprise strategy?
  6. What is the company’s technology portfolio? Is it approved at the board level? How is implementation monitored?
  7. How does the company optimize technology investments? Does the company have in place a board-approved IP (intellectual property) strategy that links to the overall business strategy? Who manages the IP strategy?
  8. Our technology partners adequately managed for proactive value delivery? Are the defined tech partners frequently challenged to set the bar and keep providing proactive solutions that exceed the needs of the time? Can technology partners offer value beyond the SLA? Can partners supply needed technology within a short time? For example, now during the covid19 lockdown, can technology partners offer solutions needed within a short turnaround time?
  9. Are the board members responsive and open to new ideas? Are your innovation processes supported by capital and adaptable to emerging market needs?
  10. Have you created and established a strong ‘culture of innovation’?

Answering the above questions helps define your board’s maturity to win during these tough times.

Great companies should have anticipated the potential business disruption caused by a global pandemic like what the coronavirus has caused.

The world will never be the same. Many talented people are dying. For the second time, the Olympics games have been postponed. Some competitive football leagues have been completed prematurely. So many people are living their livelihoods.

Now is the real test of business continuity and disaster recovery.

People are being challenged to work remotely without direct supervision.

Your board must now be thinking of how to deliver value without people coming to work. That should be agenda item #1 on the next Board meeting.

Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, 2020. All rights reserved.

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