Five Ways to Raise Your Board’s Digital IQ
Download our article by veteran board director, Betsy Atkins, who shares five ways companies can raise their boards' digital IQ.
There can be little doubt in today's business environment that adding board members with broad experience in technology (including software, services, cloud, analytics and A.I.) will bring critical insights into the boardroom. According to a recent study by Deloitte, the percentage of public companies that have appointed technology-focused board members has grown from 10% to 17% during the past six years. For high performers—those companies that outperformed the S&P 500 by 10% or more for the past three years—this figure almost doubles to 32%.
However, board refreshment may not happen soon enough for some companies, and adding a few tech experts may not raise the digital IQ of the entire board to a level where decision making becomes nimble. In the interim, the question is, how can companies raise the digital expertise that existing board members bring to the table?
Conduct a technology IQ assessment
An appraisal of the board's digital IQ should be incorporated into the annual board assessment to identify any areas of weakness. A digital IQ assessment will be different for each board depending upon the company it serves or the industry it operates in.
Embark on a technology learning tour
Every company is a technology company in some way, and all boards should be continuously researching macro trends in technological innovation and digital enablement.
Invite subject matter experts into the boardroom
Continuing education can take place in the boardroom as well as outside of it. Boards can engage external digital experts to update members about emerging tech-related innovations, disruptions and risks.
Allocate time on the board agenda to technology transformation as well as cyber risks
There is a lot of buzz right now about cyber risk and how boards should manage oversight of that—and rightly so. However, companies today face a much greater risk than data breaches and ransomware attacks: business model obsolescence.
Refresh the board with directors who lean in to change
To be effective, every director today needs to have past experience navigating a company through rapid and truly transformative change.