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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 it will take to re-establish a healthy business.

Here are 5 great topics for reflection as you warm up

1) Sustainability

Corona has in itself led to an increased focus on social responsibility, both for companies and individuals. Dear child with many names, such as CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) and SDG (UN's Sustainable Development Goals). More and more companies will probably go beyond the obligation and see it as a competitive advantage, not only to the customers, but also in terms of attracting the best employees. Is your company ready to compete on sustainability? A report from EY shows that the private equity funds have opened their eyes to ESG, and this tends to be a good indicator that it will become an everyday diet.

Inspiration ESG

2) Digitization

I believe everyone can agree that digitization is a good lever to create more value. But it's not just about putting power to the old processes, but new processes with power on. The possibilities of technology are almost inexhaustible, but many IT projects go awry. Maybe because the technology is chosen before one has thought through the new processes for better customer experience and increased productivity? Or because one do not manage to create something new inside the "old factory"? Thus, involve customers and employees in the start-up of small new "digital factories".

Inspiration digitization

3) B2B hybrid sales

B2B sales in a new way, fewer travel days, less physical and more online contact. It places new and greater demands on the company's digital communication across several platforms, such as social media, webinars, websites, virtual fairs, Teams- or Zoom meetings and more. How to capture e.g. buy signals and objections during virtual sales meetings? Be aware that B2B customers, just like private customers, have gradually learned to orient and serve themselves during Corona times. Therefore, hybrid sales is a completely different process than classic canvas and physical sales. The salesperson must be far more listening and convincing when there is finally an opportunity for a physical and active customer dialogue. How many salespeople are needed to cover the target market with hybrid sales, and what does the specific profile of a skilled hybrid salesperson look like?

Inspiration B2B hybrid sales

4) Hybrid workplace

Work is redistributed between company premises and the home workplace, in some cases even with a predominance of home work. Does it have to be determined by the company or on a voluntary basis to offer a flexible work-life balance? How is a fair balance maintained in relation to jobs that require a presence in the company? How is coordination and team spirit, connection to the company, productivity and not least creativity maintained? And how should the workplaces be designed in the company and at home?

Inspiration workplace trends

5) Cyber security

The cybercriminals work 24/7/365 and can affect all companies - also "just for fun". Their market is growing exponentially as companies invest more digitally. The need for more focus on cyber security is perhaps the safest bet on what "new normal" brings with it. Cyber-attacks can be more damaging to the business than a surprising attack from the biggest competitor. Cyber security is therefore an issue that the board must be at the forefront of. It is about preventing, protecting, detecting and managing cyber-attacks as well as restoring affected systems, data, etc. after an attack. Fortunately, the Danish Board Leadership Society has for a long time focused on strengthening the cyber competencies in the boardroom and continuously updated guidelines and recommendations.

Inspiration cyber security

Are you ready for the future?

Have you thought through your company's opportunities and threats in relation to the 5 topics, so that you are ready to return to the future? These are both big and difficult questions, and they always come at an inconvenient time - not least in owner-managed SMEs, which often have their hands full of daily challenges. But the most important thing is not necessarily to have definitive answers and concrete plans at hand. It is that you have reflected and taken an active position on whether you want to do something about it or why not? It is seldom wise to choose the "ostrich method".

Maybe the time has come for a professional board?

If you are an SME owner-manager with a family board, then the first step might be to get a professional board? According to CBS, only 6% of owner-managed ApS: is a professional board. On the other hand, the value added / employee in companies with 10+ employees and a professional board, higher than with family boards, is up to 47% for 250+ employees. Too few owner-managers thus make use of the opportunity to receive a professional board's power subsidy, even at an affordable price compared to permanently hiring experienced managers from outside in the owner-managed culture.

A professional board can add a wide range of management knowledge about "what" is needed, from your industry and preferably welcome inspiration from other industries. A good board can also add strong leadership knowledge and help with "how" to execute, so you can keep your nose in the track and your plans are realized on time. But do not forget the good chemistry, so you can safely share the code to your "bank vault".

Enjoy your warming up

Mads Middelboe

Executive Advisor & CEO

Leadmore ®

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