It’s time for boards to undergo their own digital transformation
Last month the giant UK betting company William Hill announced that it was replacing its existing Chief Executive with the company’s Chief Digital Officer, Ulrik Bengtsson.
Bengtsson, who only joined William Hill in April 2018, previously ran a Swedish online gaming company.
William Hill said the change “formed part of its strategy to become a digitally led and internationally diverse gambling company” and to reverse falling profits in its online division.
The significance of this appointment is that it’s part of a growing trend towards digital leadership. Across the globe, more and more companies are seeking digitally–knowledgeable leaders to help them navigate massive disruption.
In the past, they may have chased a CEO with a background in marketing or customer-centricity. Or, as Apple did in 2011, they may have chosen a CEO with experience in procurement to put a new focus on the bottom line and basic profitability.
But today things are very different. Traditional companies with roots in the pre-digital age are waking up to the fact they need to change dramatically or face extinction.
So, what does the mean for the board that needs to govern this change – and how should they respond themselves?
It’s not just management teams that are changing. Search the management journals and you’ll find plenty of advice from experts on what boards need to do to become more digitally aware. Boards are frequently told that they need to become much more aware of cyber risk. They’re also told to understand the risks and benefits of new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Blockchain.
This is all perfectly true. However, what’s generally less well covered is how boards themselves need to transform. To keep up with the pace of modern change, boards that want to stay fit for purpose simply can’t rely on outdated approaches.
To achieve this, boards should lead by example and make better and more efficient use of technology themselves to carry out their own roles. In practice this will mean replacing paper-based ways of working with digital systems.
A digital board portal platform, for example, assists with providing your board:
- More efficient and faster ways to prepare and distribute board documents
- Increased security
- Enhanced collaboration
- Better ways to organise meetings
- More efficient ways to manage post-meeting activities and discussions
Perhaps just as importantly, a digital portal will also help to engage and support the work of digitally-focused executives and directors that today’s organisations are trying to recruit.
Find out more about making your board processes digital by contacting us on +47 2283 6100 or request a demo.