Directors of Global Corporations Need to Understand Value of Emerging Technologies

Directors of Global Corporations Need to Understand Value of Emerging Technologies

Today’s global business leaders and corporate board members face increasing pressures to not only grow their business, boost profitability, maintain a safe, secure work environment and respect their fiduciary duties to shareholders. They must also be genuinely curious and understand the value of new and disruptive technologies. If not, they risk becoming the next Blockbuster or Kodak.

One such new, disruptive technology is the Blockchain. Simply put, this technology enables several parties to conduct business transactions in real time by recording information on a distributed ledger via a secure network. The value of Blockchain technology is that it replaces trusted intermediaries in a business transaction and can transform the way business is conducted in nearly every sector, from finance to manufacturing, from healthcare to agriculture. Since this technology will become pervasive, global directors must ask management to identify the Blockchain experts at their company and to articulate the company’s Blockchain strategy. Directors must also consider how Blockchain technology may disrupt the corporation’s business model and ensure that management is discussing how to best leverage these innovations to the company’s advantage.

Since supply chains become digital on a Blockchain, directors must think about creating never-before offered value to their customers by leveraging the technology to provide new and creative services. A corporate director should be asking: “Could deploying Blockchain technology enable us to provide breakthrough solutions that set our business apart from competitors in the minds of our customers?”

Directors of global corporations have significant governance responsibilities, including oversight of audit, finance, compliance, executive compensation and corporate strategy. They also need to understand the value proposition of new, emerging technologies to help drive innovation and long-term value creation.

Following these guidelines will enable global directors to provide more valuable leadership for their organizations, which translates to greater business success, profitability and sustainability.

I am a tech-savvy corporate director and global business advisor who has served as CEO of four companies over the past 25 years. Having lived and worked in Europe, Asia and the United States, I pride myself on having an international network of corporate and government leaders, and on offering insightful business advice that reflects cultural sensitivities that others miss. I have extensive experience with corporate turn-around situations, crisis management, succession planning, foreign due diligence, digital transformation, and start-up ecosystems, and my experience is concentrated in the healthcare, technology, insurance and risk management sectors. I sit on several corporate boards, and have also served on five non-profit boards over the past 20 years, including the American Cancer Society where I currently sit on the audit committee and chair the governance committee. I also hold the CERT Cybersecurity Oversight Certificate for corporate directors and have been an NACD Board Leadership Fellow since 2014. I am always interested in hearing about potential consultancy projects, or from those searching for experienced global advisors to serve on their board.

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