Sandra Emme is Industry Leader Cloud Enterprise at Google Switzerland and a board member of several listed Swiss companies. In her presentation at the Smart Business Day, she will highlight the role of boards of directors in digital business innovation.
The first thing she will show is a book that was given to her during her university education: Handbook for Boards of Directors. Very voluminous, more like a dumbbell than a book and the word contains the term "innovation" zero times. This is also the case in other reference works she cites.
In her view, the work of Swiss VR, which regularly conducts market-oriented studies, is more appropriate. In the current implementation, digitization is the top priority.
Emme describes as a distortion the self-perception of the (analogue) board members who, with an average age of 60 years, are hardly "digital natives" but consider themselves to be competent with regard to digitization.
A reference to an interesting story: a traditional manufacturer of mattresses in French-speaking Switzerland with hotels as its main customers. Due to the decline in the number of overnight stays in hotels, sales fell sharply, to which they responded as early as 2012 with a usage-based rental model. The mattresses themselves have sensors in them that recognize usage and visualize this to the hotel management in a dashboard. Only the actual usage is then charged. The offer is called Smart Lease: https://www.elitebeds.ch/de/hospitality-collection/smart-lease.
For digitalization to work, it requires not only VR, but also a cultural change in the company itself. As a reminder, she shows the following "organization chart" and points out that board members can (or should ;)) have a presence in the digital space.
With regard to the role of a board of directors, Emme concludes with the concept of wholeness. This means strategic initiatives that take all aspects into account: commercialization, investment capability, cannibalization, scalability, corporate DNA, Simplicity & Focus and timing.
The complete presentation can be found here.