The Future-Prepared Company and the Value-Add Board

Hello. Times are uncertain. This brings opportunities for growth, and new, complex threats. It places considerable demands on leadership at executive and board level. When managers are tasked to improve outcomes in the face of future uncertainty, boards are inescapably party to that, if it they are to fulfil their mandate to protect and increase shareholder and stakeholder value.

The future-preparedness audit and guided interventions offered here improve organization readiness for shifts and surprises in future industry environments. This is far more than risk management: it is navigating and optimizing in the face of industry landscape change.

A future-preparedness audit provides the board with a way to determine whether adequate direction and optimization for change exists in a company, and guides to where and how to improve this.  

Audit

A board future-readiness audit, like any audit, is designed to test for the presence of competence and compliance. In this case, for the presence of adequate future-preparedness at executive management level. It addresses both strategic risk and the ability to perceive and address opportunities.

The audit is an online questionnaire customized to the particular characteristics of a company or insitution (off a standard, verified base.) After discussions and customization, it is made available to a broad base of relevant participants in questionaire format, which is followed by phone-interviews with key players. The data is confidential, and if represented externally, will be aggregated by industry and be completely anonymized.

To start a discussion towards a future-preparedness audit, please contact: mail (at) boardforesight.com

Solutions

A future-readiness assessment tells the board whether management strategies and solutions are robust and ready for the future. Or if not, specifically where they fall short.

The next step is to close the gaps of need and vulnerability, guided by the assessment results. This will take different forms, depending on the state of the company and its external industry conditions.

Generally, the road to future preparedness means taking two paths simultaneously: the strategy-innovation path, and the organization design path. Both are, of course, the remit and responsibility of senior leadership.

Strategy-innovation is rendered future robust by way of the strategic foresight toolbox. These are tools and frameworks for orienting the organization to external change, reconsidering its current viewpoints, collecting and prioritizing the foresight dashboard data, developing future frameworks or scenarios, and probing and prototyping initiatives to navigate new technologies and changing markets.

The organization-design path deals with where internal structural changes need to be made, to improve the organization’s external change-orientation, and the ability of its functional units to flexibly enact their future-preparedness.

These paths to future-robustness are developed in leadership debate and idea-exchange and are specifically created to be used by the Board in developing its future-preparedness conversation with the executive management.

Where applicable, interventions will include board simulation workshops, knowledge exchanges, and briefings from experienced board members and experienced faculty.

Materials

CIOs Should Be Asking Questions In The Boardroom, Not Just Answering Them. Here Are 5 To Start With

First published at Forbes.com Leadership. A Gartner initiative that has seen nine UK CIOs appointed as non-executive directors (NEDs) on listed company boards, came earlier this month to New York in the form of a dinner attended by senior tech executives from Facebook, First Data, Disney, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Blackstone, among others. Information and digital …

If You Watched Senators Question Zuckerberg You Know Why CIOs Belong On Company Boards

First published at Forbes.com Leadership. At a moment in history when billion-dollar companies are made from a clean sheet of paper and digital is eating everyone’s business model, you’d expect technologists to be in hot demand as non-executive directors on company boards. And you’d be wrong. According to Gartner research of publicly available information, just …

Education Leaders Could Learn Sideways From Sectors Further Ahead

First published in Forbes Leadership July 24, 2017. Most leaders never learn that predictive modeling is a false prophet in fast-changing industries, the siren that lulls them to sleep even as their companies smash on the rocks of outdated assumptions. But for the few willing to kick addiction to false certainties and grapple with the …

About

Boardforesight.com audit and board foresight development services are provided by Adam Vigdor Gordon, MBA PhD and a team that is created according to specific client location, situation and needs.

Adam is head of the Strategic Foresight Research Network at Aarhus University, the author of Future Savvy (Amacom), and has been advisor and speaker at more than 50 organizations worldwide. He is an INSEAD MBA, and also a graduate of the INSEAD IN-Board Nordics board development program.