AI Leadership for Boards – the Future of Corporate Governance

Summary

It is predicted that artificial intelligence [Al], and the “big data” on which Al is based, will become one of the most challenging board issues in the next ten years. This book, AI Leadership for Boards – The Future of  Corporate Governance, offers to provide guidance on how corporate boards should respond to this challenge.  The findings indicate that while boards are aware of the importance of Al implementation as a key competitive advantage,  they will need to develop two competence areas to successfully steward their firms into an Al-based future: [1] guiding Al operational capability and [2] supervising Al governance capability.

These areas are combined to create the Boards 4 AI Leadership Matrix – a practical tool for boards to map and develop their Al implementation. The matrix is accompanied by a set of questions to help boards develop a better understanding of where they are today in terms of the development of their Al competences as well as set an ambition for future development.

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“I recommend this book for every board chair. Corporate boards have to make sure their companies embrace AI and other digital technologies, yet many directors do not have the background or tools to address this challenge. This book provides a practical framework for boards to do just that.” 

Professor Stanislav Shekshnia, Co-director ‘Leading from the chair’ INSEAD Executive Development Program, Co-author Leading a Board: Chairs’ Practices across Europe (Palgrave MacMillan 2019)

“AI is considered very technical for many board members. This book helps board members (and auditors) understand what are the most crucial aspects and potential advantages they need to be aware of without losing themselves in technical jargon.”

Torben Ballegaard, Chair and Non-Executive Director at multiple companies across Europe, Author Value Adding Boards – Its Focus and Work (Sorensen 2013)

“You don’t have to be able to build cars to drive cars, but you need to understand their capabilities and what it takes to become a good driver. A board can’t merely be informed that the firm is building AI competencies and watch from a distance. This book is essential for boards to understand and inform the scale and scope of AI in the firm. The operational and governance examples will motivate the board to start this complex yet essential work, and the framework will keep the board on track.”

Kathryn Myronuk, Founding Staff member & Research Director, Faculty, Speaker & Coach at Singularity University, Member of Engagement Committee of Future Earth

“This book is a well-researched, thought-through and excellent guide for Directors, Chairmen, whole Boards, and Governance experts. It is very practical and pragmatic and demystifies a topic that many Directors find daunting at best and incomprehensible at worst. I recommend you read this book and share it with your Senior Leadership Teams to ensure real alignment on this key topic and innovation. Many jobs of today will be capable of being overtaken by AI. Wholesale reskilling of the workforce will be a key imperative that Boards must address as it cuts to Sustainability not only of the organisation but society as a whole. AI can and will be a true force for good if its potential and complexities are embraced by Boards of Directors who will set the tone from the top.”

Helen Pitcher OBE, President of INSEAD Directors Network (IDN); Chairman of Criminal Cases Review Commission, Chairman Advanced Boardroom Excellence, Senior Independent Director One Health Group Ltd, Non-executive Director and Remuneration Chair of United Biscuits and C&C Group plc, President of KidsOut and Advisory Board Member of the Public Chairs Forum and Ministry of Justice Support Services.)

“Boards are desperately looking to add board members with digital competencies, no matter what sector the company is in. However, this is in vain if the full board does not understand the huge importance they have to guide as a team on AI governance. This book is a must-read for any modern board member with the ambition to support their companies in this fast changing world.”

Monica Lagercrantz, CEO & Partner Lagercrantz Associates and CEO & Founder Boardclic, 20+ years of board evaluations and international executive search experience with focus on Chief Executives, Chairmen, and Non-Executive Directors

“Digital transformation is on every board’s agenda. This book adds a new perspective to the discussion, by providing corporate governance inspiration from thought leaders and an easy to apply framework for the role of the board in guiding and supervising AI.”

Fennemiek Gommer, Chair and Non-Executive Director at multiple companies across Europe, Innovation Partner Caracta

 “Board and corporate governance discussions must explore and exploit the megatrends that are changing our society. Digitalization, big data, and artificial intelligence are in the core of the transformation of our society. I highly applaud the efforts made by the authors of this book to help boards adapt to this reality.”

Dr Morten Huse, Professor at BI Norwegian Business School, Author Value-Creating Boards (Cambridge Elements 2018)

“This book offers not only a glimpse into the compelling world of AI but also genuine and insightful guidelines on how to manage, supervise, and govern AI innovations, systems, and processes. Many board directors of today are far from being digital natives which is why the book could and should be a real eye-opener for them. A must-read for those who insist on staying ahead!”

Jakob Stengel, Global Head of Board Practice, InterSearch and Chairman, Board Network – The Danish Professional Directors Association

“This book is an insightful contribution to the discussion of digital technologies in corporate boards. There is a lot of confusion around what boards need to know when it comes to AI governance. Technology-focused writers sometimes disregard non-executive directors as a crucial audience dealing with business competitiveness and prospects. This publication offers clarity and a number of frameworks for governance professionals.”

Dr Anastassia Lauterbach, Non-Executive Board Director at several companies, Technology Entrepreneur and Co-author The Artificial Intelligence Imperative: A Practical Roadmap for Business (Praeger 2018)

“Boards are being asked to step up and address the challenges digitization, including AI, pose for their enterprises. This book offers an easy-to-follow framework that generates discussion on a board level around digitization and the board’s responsibilities to govern AI at both the firm and ecosystem levels. A great tool to drive change where it’s most needed: at the board level!”

Stephanie L. Woerner, Research Scientist, MIT Center for Information Systems Research. Co-author What’s Your Digital Business Model (Harvard Business Review)

The Authors

Fernanda Torre

Fernanda embodies the interdisciplinary intersection between design, business and innovation, while exploring synergies between practice and research. With more than 13 years experience, Fernanda Torre a founding partner of Next Agents, a consulting boutique in innovation management, agile product development & strategic design. Torre is a board member of Innovationsledarna (Association for Innovation Management Professionals in Sweden) and part of the Vinnova funded project 4Boards.ai. Torre is also a Visiting Teacher at the Stockholm School of Economics where she lectures in Innovation & Entrepreneurship in the MBA program and is affiliated to the House of Innovation. Torre is furthermore the co-director of the Design Thinking program and of the Trendspotting and Future Forecasting course in the Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship and is an Industry Leader for Design at Hyper Island. Currently Torre is also a Swedish Expert in the international group for the development of an ISO standard on Innovation Management. Torre has an MBA from SSE, awarded with the President’s List for outstanding academic achievement, an MFA in Experience Design from Konstfack and a Bachelor in Arts in Graphic Design from Porto University. She is also a founding member of the Speculative Futures Chapter in Stockholm and was the founder and director of Frames – Portuguese Film Festival in Sweden.

Robin Teigland

Robin is Professor of Strategy and Management of Digitalization in the Entrepreneurship and Strategy Division at the Department of Technology Management and Economics at Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden. Previously, she was Professor of Business Administration with a specialization in strategic information systems management at the Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden. Robin is a member of IVA – the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences. Robin has more than 25 years of research experience within social networks, strategy, innovation, entrepreneurship and start-up ecosystems. In 2017, 2018, and 2019 she was listed by the Swedish business magazine, Veckans Affärer, as one of Sweden’s most influential women, primarily in technology. Robin is currently leading several projects investigating Al and its influence on value creation in society and how the convergence of disruptive technologies including Al is transforming longstanding institutional structures leading to new organizational and labor forms. She is also an impact entrepreneur, having recently started a blue circular economy project and an ocean technology hub in Peniche, Portugal, which focuses on enabling regional development in coastal communities through digitalization.

 

Liselotte Engstam

Liselotte is an experienced international leader, chairman and non-executive board director with more than 20 years of general manager and executive leadership positions in major European, American and Indian companies in technology, engineering and professional services sectors. Including her current role as chairman and non-executive board director at three listed and two private companies and as board member of the INSEAD International Directors Network, Engstam has eight years of independent board mandates at digitally transforming and sustainability focused international companies. She is part of an expert group advising the European Commission on corporate governance and digitalization.

Engstam is an affiliated researcher contributing to four academic research projects. Together with The Royal Institute of Technology Sweden [KTH], she is researching board contribution to corporate renewal and innovation, with findings shared in the article “Corporate renewal and innovation also disrupt boards” in the Management of Technology and Innovation publication, and also researching board contribution to strategy and innovation for sustainable value creation. Together with Chalmers University of Technology, she researches how boards can successfully govern and leverage Al in their sustainability and innovation efforts. Together with INSEAD she is researching evolving chairman practices.

Engstam is the founder of Digoshen by Innovisa, advising leaders on business realignment for a digital era, a keynote speaker and educator at various chairman and board programs. Engstam is a partner in venture capital, coaching start-ups and scale-ups within Al, blockchain and SaaS. Engstam holds an M.Sc. in engineering from Chalmers University of Technology. She has also attended executive programs at Harvard and the International Institute for Management Development [IMD], board programs at local Institute of Directors [loD] and at INSEAD, attaining a certificate as international board director [IDP-C].