Inject digital DNA to power up the boardroom

The idea of digital transformation makes people tremble. It may feel elusive and even frightening. But it doesn’t have to be. By recruiting people with a digital DNA to your board, you can fill two needs with one deed: enhanced performance throughout your organisation and increased diversity.

Most people acknowledge the need for digital competence within organisations. Furthermore, a majority of today’s organisations say they lack proper digital competence. In the Alumni/Harvey Nash Board Report of 2018/19, 56 per cent of surveyed board members said they would like to have more digital experience in the boardroom.

Digital transformation needs to be anchored in the boardroom

Many corporations may be tempted to recruit a Chief Digital Officer who’s not on the formal board. This person then becomes a digital alibi of sorts, while the rest of the organisation carries on as usual. Is that enough? As you may have guessed, the answer is no.

As an organisation, you must understand what digital transformation is, and what it means for you. It isn’t about making an app or SEO:ing your website. It goes much deeper than that.

An organisation’s digital journey needs to be anchored in the boardroom. And ultimately, the purpose of the board is making sure your organisation is doing well and delivering according to your KPIs. In that respect, nothing has changed. What’s new is the opportunities that digital transformation brings for the board.

That’s where people with an understanding of digital tools come in. Adding this expertise to the boardroom means you can contribute to the overall agenda of the business by taking on challenges, using new tools. And infuse the entire organisation with digital thinking.

Can digital transformation help increase gender diversity?

Generally speaking, boards suffer from a lack of diversity. According to the aforementioned Alumni/Harvey Nash Board Report, 49 per cent of respondents are concerned about the diversity in the boardroom. One of the report’s key insights is that diversity and points of difference ultimately stimulates innovation at every level in the business.

Alumni, as a leadership consulting firm, has access to a vast and continuously growing network of people with several specific skills, from all manner of backgrounds. Equally, they inhabit leading positions in innovative companies, which means they know what it means to successfully run organisations.

At Alumni we're strengthening our network of leaders with a digital understanding by attending and arranging different events, and a strong focus on the activation of our existing candidates network. And, fortunately, many of the people in our network are women. They represent a generation that has lived most of its life in a digital world that, in many respects, doesn’t pay much attention to gender. Consequently, the amount of female participants is high, compared to the average board room.

Eager to make an impact

Regardless of their gender, what’s striking about the people in our network is how eager they are to share their digital knowledge in boardrooms. They understand what is expected from them and they want to make an impact.

So, if you’re ready to embark on a digital journey, get in touch. You’re looking at a win-win situation.