A recent article by Anya Schiffrin "Confessions of a Davos Wife" (see here) on Reuter's website sparked my interest. Since the site seem to have censured my comment on the blog ( here goes freedom of expression... Note from author: I stand corrected: after this article was published on Competia's site, and picked up in a number of pinboards, Reuters finally allowed my comments on the blog. Thanks Reuters ! ), I thought I'd publish it here. I can use also the excuse to introduce what will go on in Davos at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2012 for me this year.
Klaus Schwab from the World Economic Forum, opened one of the WEF's meeting last month by saying " Complexity, velocity of global issues means decision makers are always behind". From heads of state to corporate decision makers, everyone is struggling with the same challenge: too much - too fast. There is one profession however who has studied carefully decision making, and systematically trained thousands of decision makers to allow them to make decisions in minutes, often in very uncertain conditions : the airline and airplane industry. Managers and executives could learn from them.
In 2009, the Deloitte Ethics and Workplace Survey explored attitudes about social networking and pointed out the significance of social media for board of directors. 58 percent of executives felt that the reputational risk associated with social networking should be a board room issue. Yet, only 17 percent of executives said that they currently had programs in place to monitor and mitigate reputational risks that may arise with social network usage. Boards have since largely left it to management to figure out its social media strategy. When informally asked in a boardroom, Competia found that less than 5% of directors admit having ever used and participated in social media. Mistrust is widespread and the issue of privacy is of utmost concern. The implications of social media for the board far outreach reputation risk. As the use of social media is rapidly spreading and challenging every single company business model and strategy, it is time for directors to understand the implications for corporate governance.
Last winter, I was approached by one of the major investors in Skype, who thought that the research I have done on strategic blindspots would be very valuable for the new team leading Skype's strategy. I got very excited by the opportunity- not only do I use Skype, but I believe the company has succeeded in touching its customers in a rare and intimate way...