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Warming up for a new board season

The summer holidays are coming to an end soon, so the time is coming to warm up for a new board season. On the back of the Corona, many talk about "new normal". After the stranglehold of the restrictions, the hardest-hit industries have not yet found their feet - so it is probably too early to say with certainty what the future will bring and what ...

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Digitization as enabler of Denmark’s competitiveness

The Danish Competitiveness Council strives to help Denmark stay relevant in the future global competitive business environment. As part of their work, they invited business leaders to share their perspectives on the topic, i.e. what should Denmark do going forward to achieve an excellent business position in this arena? What is our moonshot project...

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How should I as a leader tackle the paradoxes of digitization?


Recently I read and can recommend the management book ”Digitaliseringens paradokser” by Søren Schultz Hansen og Jan Horsager (The Paradoxes of Digitization – so far only available in Danish). It is an easy read with a broad spread of twelve case studies on digital transformations – both well-known and less known cases within manufacturing and service, the private and public sector, small and large businesses. Based on these, the authors have defined five paradoxes and their impact on three main areas and summarize it all in ten good advice, which they have named the “Manifesto of Paradoxes”.

The paradoxical is related to the apparent contradictions between the analogue world and the digital world, which however "analogue" leaders from time to time ignore or deliberately ignore because it is beyond the comfort zone.

You probably won’t agree with it all, and some of it may even be dangerous to apply in the wrong place or at the wrong time – but it helps turning everything upside down and reflect on your own challenges of digitization. You may at least agree on one thing – that we all, sooner og later are faced with the paradoxes of digitization, and if not, it may unfortunately be too late.

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Disruption is back to the basics of customer driven leadership

Having been a silent spectator of the voluminous hype around disruption, and attended several conferences on the topic together with hundreds of management peers, I now feel like sharing some of my reflections on the matter. Judging by the extent of academic research, social media interest and attendance at conferences, disruption particularly seems challenging for established players.



It is not only about technology – simplify by putting customers first

It’s true that computing power, big data, telecom networks, mobility, artificial intelligence, robotics and 3D-print among others have expanded the possibilities and accelerated speed of disruption. Most are new entrants and others are to protect and develop their current business. Apparently, things seem much easier for new entrants starting from scratch, where as the “incumbents” often struggle as they get paralyzed and caught in a technology spider web, a catch enforced by fear of leaving their comfort zone.

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New times with active and value creating board leadership

I have previously focused on the trend of board professionalization and competent teams. Recently, I read a really good book on the subject, which I would like to tip you about. Lars Bo Hansen and Steen Ernland have written "The Active Board", which focuses on how the board can develop the business and create competitiveness. 



The book’s 250 pages are easily read, but it does certainly not make it worse. It is at eye level and catches the reader with concrete punchlines - a book that you do not easily leave on the bookshelf.

No longer only about management - leadership will make the difference 

The book points out new guidelines for the modus operandi of the board. Without slackening control, more focus must not surprisingly be forward-looking, which puts greater demand on the board leadership itself. It is no longer only a question of management with focus on plans, control and doing the right things. Now leadership it is evenly important to ensure execution and that right things are done right. The book provides concrete input for the board composition based on both individual professional skills and collaborative skills relating to the team in question. A steady stream of real life examples are turned into checklists for the board’s own reflections, and not least its self-evaluation.

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