A couple of quotes from a recent report by the Korn/Ferry Institute on the subject of independent Board directors. Good advice, among others, for Italian companies:
Technology. NEDs today must be aware of the profound impact technology is having on all areas of commerce around the world. This is true across all sectors, not simply consumer-led industries. [...]
NEDs also need to understand the commercial impact of social networks, digital media, e-commerce, mobile and other technologies. Online platforms are changing the way customers interact with brands and are therefore driving new business models. Understanding how they work is becoming essential to any boardroom discussion about corporate strategy. As new technological platforms and trends inevitably emerge, NEDs will also have to stay continually up to date and informed. One of the crucial effects of new technology, particularly social media, is that it shifts power into the hands of the consumer. If boards are to stay abreast of the nuances of digital communication platforms, they will need NEDs with specific knowledge and experience to help frame strategic discussion around these areas. [...]
For instance, in the last year twenty-three percent of NEDs appointed to the boards of FTSE 350 retail companies had some form of online experience. This represents a marked increase from just five years ago when only seven percent of NEDs taking up board positions had such experience.