Company directors and governance professionals embrace change, build flexible organizations and uncover new strategic opportunities.
These were the key messages at the recent SID Directors Conference 2019 . Hosted by the Singapore Institute of Directors (SID), its theme is “Transformation: From Ordinary to Extraordinary”, which was well-observed in the day’s sessions and addresses.
Diligent attended the Conference, and we are happy to report it did Showed SID members are not just rising to meet the challenges of 21 st -century business, they ‘re Adopting a modern governance approach to meet them. This involves giving leaders the technology, insights and processes needed for strategy development, crisis response and stakeholder engagement in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world.
The conference’s program has published: “Businesses to respond to many changes – including climate change, consumer behavior, demographics, culture and trade” to produce a mindset change beyond technological developments “.
An ambitious program, to be sure, but the key messages were simple in concept even if complex in execution.
Technology alone is not enough
Critically, responding effectively to change is as much a cultural challenge as a technological one.
As a software platform vendor, Diligent understands the value of technology. However, we understand its limits. Even the best platform in the world is of little value unless the organization is committed to good governance.
At the Conference, we saw that business leaders are committing themselves to go beyond simply embracing new technologies and helping them to become more competitive – the very essence of modern governance.
Every business faces unique and unpredictable challenges. Regardless of size, industry or location, the only way to prepare for your organization is flexible. Business tools, business processes and company culture must all be addressed. Embracing change, adapting to new technologies and looking for new opportunities are just as important to business success as having the right hardware and software.
Transformation: From ordinary to extraordinary
The morning sessions focused on transformation and disruption. Sincerely, Mr. Sam Choy and Minister of Education Ong Ye Kung, BCG Professor of INSEAD Business School Chan Kim dispelled the myth that disruption must be destructive.
Instead, he advanced the idea of nondisruptive creation or innovation without disruption. By expanding their thinking beyond competitive growth, Professor Kim believes companies can not be successful.
Executive Chairman of Aviva Asia and Aviva Digital Executive Chairman Chris Wei then addressed one of disruption’s great opportunities: for collaboration with regulators, competitors and startups to create compelling new customer propositions. Alike – truly a disruptive notion.
Bain & Co.’s partner, Charles Ormiston, addresses the need to break boundaries and develop strategies to overcome disruption. It’s a challenge every company wants to face, so every board needs to deliver strong leadership in the face of economic, demographic and political change.
Finally, Founding President of the Innovators’ Institute and Ambassador of Singularity Charline Ang spoke on the end of the digital era (defined by cloud, mobile and social technologies) and the beginning of the ‘fusion era’, which wants to be powered by cognitive, immersive and trust technologies. The 2020s promise further disruption and Mr. Ang’s address was a clarion call to action.
The breakout tracks then allowed to choose a focus for the afternoon sessions: technology, strategy or connectivity.
Technology: Preparing for transformation
The technology track focuses on organizations’ need to be – or to become – agile. The session kicked off with a discussion of ‘purpose-driven transformation’ and the importance of embracing digital technology with a clear goal and purpose in mind.
It then explores some real-world examples; using data to build a ‘smart airport’; optimizing business operations with Internet of Things (IoT) technologies; and transforming tourism experiences. The track is wrapped up with a group discussion on what’s coming next in digital transformation.
Strategy: Risk and transformation
The strategy track focuses on two key topics: ‘aligning strategy and risk management’ and ‘transforming your customer experience’.
The first explored integrated risk management and how it improves organizational resilience, especially through disruption and change. Adopting a proactive approach is the key to reducing risk.
The second concentrated on how data and analytics can personalize your customers’ experience. Real-time analytics, for example, offers unique opportunities to anticipate customer needs and tailor products and services to their requirements.
Connectivity: Business without borders
Connectivity has already transformed the way we access and consume information, conduct business and function as managers and employees. What’s next? In this track, attendees discussed technology connectivity, business connectivity and the future of work.
The common thread in all that connectivity wants to keep transforming our world – and that business should embrace and enable this transformation, establishing digital presences to remain relevant. Customers and employees have a look at what they are doing.
The future looks bright
The future of business in Asia is in good hands. Disruption and transformation are much talked about but not always well understood. Modern Governance is the best way to manage new and existing organizations. The SID Conference said that, in Asia at least, many leaders are adopting just such an approach. Company directors and governance professionals are committed to the future, and clearly have the tools, the talent and the vision to do so.
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