The impact of technology on​ Strategy & Business Models

This blogpost is shared as part of a series of insights from INSEAD Directors Network, based on roundtable discussions held during INSEAD Directors Forum October 2018. The Directors Forum Round Table Discussions were held with IDN members led by IDN board members or IDN Ambassadors. Other blog posts shared. 

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(Photo: Pixabay)

How to breathe with the marketplace to stay stable or grow, how to stay consistent and be able to incorporate a change that enables the company to stay healthy.

I was happy to lead a discussion for INSEAD International Directors Forum 2018 in Fontainebleau: “Understanding and managing how technology impacts strategy and business models”    Does it require a closer board oversight?

For the past 20 years, companies have spent a good % of budgets and CAPEX in the process of  1) “Digitization,” converting data to digital and implementing the ability to manage data.  Also, 2) Launching and applying business models that exploit digitization, setting up digital platforms to capture consumer data, technology platforms to reach consumers and aligning offerings to that of consumers need.

As we reach now  Digital Transformation, the restructuring of economies and institutions along with society – the need to understand its impact to our industry’s business model, to our companies structures, their strategies are ever so crucial not only for executives but for its boards.   As board members, our direction on  “How to breathe with the marketplace to stay stable or grow, how to stay consistent and be able to incorporate a change that enables the company to stay healthy.”

With representation of Investment Banking, Commercial Banking, Energy, HR Services, Transportation, Mining, and some family boards,  We reflected and discussed as a team on what are the concerns of our boards today and what areas are critical to understand  what it means—impact wise – disruption wise—to harness that power of digitalization and help our companies navigate and extend or renew their relevancy in the market.

Some concerns raised included AI in consumer data and technology platforms – optimizing consumer knowledge in real time to product portfolio, and consumer offerings and how or companies are dealing with Operational Risk (Physical and Cyberinfrastructure interdependencies not only of owned sites but with clients and partners), Labor and Regulations (where complex task automation in manufacturing, transportation and logistics impact our workforce.) Lastly, Innovation (Promoting and protecting the creation of new products and offerings.

We concluded that for our boards today to be effective and efficient,  we need to

  • Review Strategy more – build a committee if not existent.
    Communicate more with stakeholders, internal and external.
  • Expand perspectives on the impact of technology on our industries and regulators.
  • Listen to a more significant sample in our companies employees to N-2
    Encourage a culture of change and innovation – call for  “Failure Presentations.”
  • Bring diversity to the board – expand the perspective to match the markets served.
  • Expand the need to understand the impact of technology not only of our companies but of our companies clients, our companies partners.

Remember that to what we transform to – might not exist yet:  Our boards need to be diverse to help us navigate with the impact of technology on strategy and business models.  The actions we can help develop today should bring humanity to the business of the future.

_4820454214  Mary Francia is a Management Consultant in Strategy, Technology & Operational Risk.  She is a Certified Director from INSEAD International Directors Programme and Board Member of its IDN Alumni Club.

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Other blogpost in this series: 

Governance in a Disruptive World by IDN Board Member Liselotte Engstam

From Board oversight of Strategy, to creating a Sustainable Business, by Helen Pitcher OBE, IDP-C, Vice President IDN

Anticipate and manage for geopolitical trade, corporate governance codes and regulatory changes by Cleopatra Kitty, IDN Cyprus Ambassador 

The impact of technology on​ Strategy & Business Models by Mary Francia, IDN Board Member

Align Risk Management with Strategy and Operating Performance, Reward and Remuneration by Susana Gomez- Smith, IDN Portugal Ambassador

Accelerate Board Effectiveness by IDN Board Member Thomas Seale

 

More insight from INSEAD Directors Network, will be shared based on INSEAD Directors Forum 2018, Round Table Discussions – Look out for more upcoming blogposts!

Anticipate and manage for geopolitical, trade, corporate governance codes and regulators changes

This blogpost is shared as part of a series of insights from INSEAD Directors Network, based on roundtable discussions held during INSEAD Directors Forum October 2018. The Directors Forum Round Table Discussions were held with IDN members led by IDN board members or IDN Ambassadors. Other blog posts shared last. 

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The roundtable discussion was led by Cleopatra Kitti, IDN Ambassador Cyprus, with the introduction

Anticipate & manage for geopolitical, trade, corporate governance codes & regulators changes

  • Anticipate: Define, Measurement, Audit
  • Proactive VS Reactive: crisis management, resonse mechanism, measurement and evaluation
  • What does this mean for the Board? (perspective, information, connecting the dots, risk measurement, scenario planning, regular review)

* Pre-Reading:

Measuring Geopolitical Risk, Dario Caldaraa and Matteo Iacoviello
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As disruption is the key word for business society and of the wider operating environment for boards, there is much discussion on how to anticipate and navigate through such a complex environment. Especially when decisions need to be taken within short, medium, and longer term horizons.

The context: The benchmarks and guide books of performance shift goalposts:  In capital markets there is much debate on assessing performance and return on investment not in quarterly results but over a longer horizon; governance codes differ region by region or country by country; whilst disruption by politics, trade wars and social movements add an additional layer of complexity for performance.

This complexity calls for strong business ethics, culture and values at the top, at board level.

Our pre-reading looked at how different global institutions and boards identify, measure and respond to risk and opportunity. How markets, politics and society interact and intercept progress. How Information flow for proactive and reactive decision making tools are important elements to board work and decision making.

The discussion: after setting the context and key parameters for our discussion, we centered on two case studies brought forward by fellow IDN directors:

  • One case study dealt with governance and decision making at board level of a sovereign wealth fund, required to decide on a cross border investment decision that had political significance with less significant investment value. This is a real time case study;
  • the other case study looked at a national, publicly listed telecommunications company where the board decision on international expansion led the company down the path of missed opportunity and eventual loss of market share.

We identified these important parameters:

  • Geopolitics is seen as a “long term” impact and usually falls outside the core competence of most directors
  • Proactive and reactive measurement tools, scorecards, or benchmarks of success are required tools for level playing field decision making
  • The unclear landscape of differing governance codes and regulations across jurisdictions creates unclear paths to decision making
  • The board must understand the “timing” element of its decision making
  • The composition of the board must reflect the differing dimensions today’s complex business environment.

 

Conclusion:  Boards are operating in an increasingly complex environment of politics, markets, trade wars and social movements, which calls for in increased focus from directors setting the agenda and decisions based on ethics and values driven by the top of the organization’s leadership.

Image: courtesy of www.ceopatrakitti.com

By Cleopatra Kitti

Certified Independent Director IDP-C, NED and IDN Ambassador Cyprus

www.cleopatrakitti.com

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Other blogpost in this series: 

Governance in a Disruptive World by IDN Board Member Liselotte Engstam

From Board oversight of Strategy, to creating a Sustainable Business, by Helen Pitcher OBE, IDP-C, Vice President IDN

Anticipate and manage for geopolitical trade, corporate governance codes and regulatory changes by Cleopatra Kitty, IDN Cyprus Ambassador 

The impact of technology on​ Strategy & Business Models by Mary Francia, IDN Board Member

Align Risk Management with Strategy and Operating Performance, Reward and Remuneration by Susana Gomez- Smith, IDN Portugal Ambassador

Accelerate Board Effectiveness by IDN Board Member Thomas Seale

 

More insight from INSEAD Directors Network, will be shared based on INSEAD Directors Forum 2018, Round Table Discussions – Look out for more upcoming blogposts!