Friday 25 May 2018,
If strategy is the main focus of most Boards, technology is the key area for investment. 92% of professional firms are looking to increase their expenditure on technology in 2018 compared with 82% in 2017. Yet, despite firmwide leaders feeling very uncomfortable when signing off the technology budget, given its size and their lack of familiarity, almost no firms have appointed a digital ambassador to their Board.
Even when appointed, the extent to which a digital ambassador can make a difference is limited by: their ability to shimmy through the organisation; the constraints on the firmwide leader; the extent to which there is business expertise at the firm; and the extent to which the need for change is recognised and embraced.
The fundamental question is whether a Board is capable of taking and acting on advice. Currently, many appear incapable due to: simply not being professional in how they run themselves as businesses; or the firmwide leader enjoying influence but not power, and expected to change the way partners operate whilst retaining their vote.
Our presenter believed that appointing digital ambassadors is a catalyst for a more effective Board.