Saturday, November 16, 2013

What is a Digital Director? Does your board need a Digital Director? Part II

There clearly has been an uptick in boards interested in adding digital expertise, but that task is not without challenges. Pinning down the specific digital skills a board requires is an essential first step. In this post, I postulate and explore how companies — particularly large ones with legacy technology — can recruit the most relevant digital talent and reap the benefit of this added expertise.

One thing I think is important to raise at this point is your DD (Digital Director) isn't a remorphing of your CIO or you CMO, this is new, even to them. As digital is now less about "I.T. issues" and by it's very breadth has become and at it's core takes on enterprise-wide significance. That said, not every board may require digital expertise. Before embarking on a recruiting process, boards should take stock of what expertise they have, and what they need to provide proper oversight of management, risk insight, and guidance on strategy. As for who's the right person to recruit, the board at every point should keep at the front of their minds they are adding  member who will need to contribute on more that just the digital front.

So what kind of highlights should we be looking for in this individual?

  • A DD should have an active, hands on day-to-day role that ensures they remain ahead of the thinking of their competitors but pragmatically committed to delivering the here and now business related developments.
  • An expert in the digital arena needs to firstly satisfy all the core requirements of a director; stature, gravitas and able to play at a a strategic and tactical level whilst being ethical beyond reproach