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Artificial intelligence  |  Digital  |  Strategy

5 questions for non-tech directors in the age of innovation


The digital age demands more from non-executive directors and board members than traditional oversight and governance. The acceleration of technological advancements, from artificial intelligence to blockchain, is reshaping the competitive environment. It is redefining how businesses operate.

This shift necessitates a boardroom that is aware of these changes and proactive in leveraging them for long-term sustainable success. Yet, for most organisations, there is a gap between the fast-paced world of technology and their board’s ability to keep pace. This makes digital literacy an indispensable asset for every NED.

In this article, NEDonBoard proposes 5 questions for non-executive directors for them to assess their tech & digital competency.

  • How confident am I in understanding the impact of emerging technologies on our business model and industry? This question encourages you to reflect on your grasp of digital trends such as AI, blockchain, and data analytics, and how these technologies could reshape the competitive landscape, customer expectations, the workforce and operational efficiencies within their industry.
  • Can I effectively challenge and contribute to the board’s discussion on digital strategy and cybersecurity? This probes your ability to engage in meaningful dialogue around digital initiatives, cybersecurity threats, and technological investments, assessing whether you can ask pertinent questions that ensure robust digital governance and risk management.
  • Do I possess a forward-looking perspective on technology’s role in driving sustainability and ethical considerations within our business practices? This question invites you to consider how technology not only drives efficiency and innovation but also plays a crucial role in ethical business operations and sustainability efforts. This question prompts you to think about your role in advocating for responsible and sustainable digital transformation.
  • Am I staying informed about the latest developments and regulations and how they impact our business? Understanding the regulatory environment and latest developments, including data protection laws is important. This prompts you to assess whether you can ensure the organisation on which board you serve remains compliant while pursuing technological advancements.
  • Can I identify opportunities where technology can create value? It asks you to assess your ability to spot opportunities that could enhance operational efficiency, customer satisfaction, positively impact the workforce or create new revenues.

As the digital landscape continues to evolve, so must the competencies of those in making decisions in the boardroom.

We encourage you to answer the proposed 5 questions. Should you identify a gap in your knowledge, we propose an educational journey to equip you with essential skills and frameworks to structure your next conversations in the boardroom. The goal is to build a solid foundation that will enable you to lead and govern more effectively in an increasingly digital world.

Contact [email protected] for information about our tech for non-tech directors certification.

Additional resources:

Balancing innovation and governance in the boardroom

The interplay of AI, cyber and climate in the boardroom

Unveiling the Cyber Governance Code of Practice

Written by Elise Perraud, NEDonBoard COO, non-executive committee member and board trustee