In today's fast paced changing world it is the Board (or C-Suite as it's called in the US) that sets the pace, culture and strategy for the business.
It is the board that people look to for the direction and guidance and leadership. Too many companies seem to think that a "do as I say, not do as I do" culture is still fit for purpose in an Uber, Airbnb, Facebook world.
Digital disruption and the business opportunity that social media offers is something that leadership needs to embrace and lead. No longer is the "we don't need to understand digital and social, we have employed interns" is a an attitude that can be tolerated.
This often means that leaders have to put themselves outside of their comfort zone. Often forgetting that the very notion of putting yourself outside your comfort zone was what go them to the board in the first place.
We sit in countless meetings were the shop floor say to us, that "we should have got into social years ago" and are amazed it has taken until today to get on board with change through social.
They look upon their leaders to show, guess what, leadership. They don't expect them to be perfect, but we all know that unless the leadership, lead and sponsor a project, the project isn't as effective as it could be.
So leaders time to claim that social dividend, competitive advantage and incremental revenue.
Embracing innovation and its inherent risks requires that boards and senior management develop new ways of working together. As Mark Ganz, the CEO of Cambia Health Solutions—a company at the forefront of innovation in the health care space—told us, board meetings no longer consist of PowerPoint presentations by management followed by a few perfunctory questions from the board. “The model has changed,” he explained. “We now bring the board ideas that are not fully baked and say, ‘Help us with this.’” It took some time for the board to realize that management was asking not for the answer but for engagement, he said, but “once they got used to it, it dramatically improved the board–management partnership and the value board members bring to the work of the company.”