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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Seven Steps for Board Success in the Facebook Age




from Wharton School de la Universidad de Pennsylvania y Universia.

With the February 1 announcement of its mammoth public offering, Facebook is basking in the limelight. The $1 billion (in annual revenue) Silicon Valley darling, along with LinkedIn, GroupOn and Twitter, is yet another reminder of the dramatic impact that the social, mobile and cloud revolutions are having on customer communications and shareholder interest. Is it time for boards, and their directors, to reinvent themselves to keep pace? Yes, according to this opinion piece by Barry Libert, CEO of OpenMatters, a company that invests in social technologies and advises boards of directors and executives on the impact of new technologies on corporate governance and enterprise risk management.
Let's start with today's reality. The world has changed but corporate boards haven't kept pace. How do you know? Ask most boards what they monitor and measure at their organizations. There's a big chance that most of them will say they are monitoring and measuring financial results, compliance and legal risks. Then ask them if they monitor and measure the impact of new technologies on their operations, including the social communications between their customers, employees and shareholders, and the answer will most likely be no. And finally, ask them if they know what the risks and costs are of not using these technologies to communicate and collaborate with stakeholders, or having the insight they provide. Once again, the answer will often be no.
What's surprising about such responses is that boards know that solid decision-making is essential to mitigating risks and ensuring the viability of their enterprises. How is it, then, that most of them don't have a grip on the operational value these technologies offer, or the critical "big data" -- about customer sentiment, employee engagement and investor insights -- that they produce? The answer: They're still using corporate governance tools and strategies that were developed in an age that was neither social nor mobile, or ever considered that the "cloud" would exist.

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