The Digital Director. More from the Korn/Ferry Institute

Mina GouranLast February I referred you to some research from the Korn/Ferry Institute about what makes an exceptional non-executive director. That report underlined the importance of social networks and digital media in a board director’s understanding of social trends and their impact on the business – practically any business.

The Institute has now published a new report on The Digital Director, authored – like the previous one – by Senior Client Partner Mina Gouran (pictured). It is highly recommended reading for chairmen, nominating committees, and prospective board members. Here are a few quotes for your appetite. Enjoy it!

  • Among the FTSE 100, just 1.7 percent of non-executive directors (NEDs) would qualify as ‘digital’ — that is, executives who have spent the bulk of their careers either in companies where the Internet is central to the business model, or in strategic roles focused on leveraging the Internet.
  • There needs to be a rapid upswing in the number of digital NEDs so that the strategic issues posed by the digital revolution are exposed and examined. Navigation of this paradigm-shifting change, affecting the way we do everything, cannot be left to the executive alone.
  • In most cases, the new digital NED will arrive with less board experience than ‘traditional’ NEDs. Our analysis of FTSE 350 appointments, for instance, found that digital NEDs were, on average, 46 years old compared with 56 for the rest of the NEDs.
  • More of these digital NEDs are women (25 percent) as opposed to non-digital NEDs, of whom only 15 percent are women.

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