We are delighted to share interviews with inspiring leaders embracing the digital world, so we can understand more of their personal journey and get access to some of their insights. Our next leader is Denise Koopmans. Denise is a non-executive board director at several companies, as for example Sanoma, Koninklijke Douwe Egberts (JDE), Wenk, and organizations like WWF Netherlands, Midata.coop and Data Innovation Lab. Denise believes diversity, understanding of digital business transformation and change, as well as continued monitoring of strategy and competition are critical areas for corporate boards going forward.
Denise’s journey to become a #Digital Non Executive Board Leader and her work with digital transformation
So how did Denise come into the board positions and the startup coaching she currently holds? Denise has experience from Non Executive board roles in private, public and family owned companies headquartered in Switzerland, the Netherlands, US, Finland, and Sweden. Listen to Denise’s inspiring response below; (if the video does not open, you may watch it here)
Denise shares about her diverse background and how it contributed to her being a well-rounded Non Executive board leader: she has fulfilled many different roles, starting out as a lawyer in a law firm, moving on to a General Counsel role of an international corporation in construction, and transitioning into roles such as Business Development Manager at a Scandinavian offshore services company, and Mergers & Acquisitions Manager at a global engineering group. Denise held various senior executive roles at high tech consultancy firm Altran Group (France, USA, Spain) during 2000–2007. Between 2007 – 2011 she was CEO at the global business intelligence solution provider LexisNexis Intelligence Solutions and a member of the Senior Leadership team at LexisNexis International (UK). Denise’s latest operational role was as General Manager of the Legal & Regulatory Division at Wolters Kluwer in the Netherlands during 2011–2015, where she has lead the digital transformation of the division. Denise shares how she has worked in CEO and General Manager capacity with Digital transformation in her roles at LexisNexis and Wolters Kluwer. You can also read about how to change your business model and optimize it for digital in this Sloan Review article which includes some information about the transformation at LexisNexis. The article also includes a handy framework to revisit your own company’s business model. Wolters Kluwer went trough a radical transformation from traditional paper-based publisher to global business information services provider. In 2004, 70% of its business was in print with 30% in digital. As of 2014 the print business was reduced to 23% of its total operation. You can also listen to lessons learned from the Wolter Kluwers digital transformation from the Guardian Changing Media Summit and the CEO Nancy McKinstry. Denise’s being passionately interested in new concepts and technology, daring to change perspective and wanting to make a difference were keys to move forward in this new world. Which trends to monitor from board perspective and implications for future board work? Which trends does Denise believe we should keep our eyes on going forward and what implications does it have on board members and board work? Listen to Denise insights here: (if the video does not open, you may watch it here)
Denise believes that we all need to keep ourselves updated also outside of what is being provided to us from the board we are involved in. Read blogs, talk and learn from others in networks, be involved with startups to revisit new trends and uptakes, and learn from other business sectors.
She states that it is crucial to keep yourself updated in this fast changing world and to look out for new substitutes for your offerings.
From McKinsey we can get further guidance on which principles to revisit in this highly competitive era.
Denise also believes that diversity on boards is of great benefit, and highly contributes to the board work outcome.
Board diversity has also been researched and confirms Denise view. You can read more in this Forbes article pointing to Peterson Institute research, this research by ThomsonReuters , this McKinsey research and this Strategy & Business article pointing to Utah State University global research.
Denise further recommends that we need to deep dive on our strategy at least once per year, and we also need to revisit the strategy on a regular basis at board meetings. Our business environment is changing rapidly and companies need to adapt. She gives examples from the media industry where adblocker has quickly arisen and threatens some of the industry core business models. McKinsey has an interesting article about forward-looking boards, and recommends having strategy on all board meeting agendas.
Inspirational companies and getting value through networks
What inspirational companies and what networks does Denise believe will bring value to both Denise as well as to her business? Don’t miss out on Denise’s response below to our final question – which furniture she would be…(if the video does not open, you may watch it here)
Denise believes that leaders and companies that take constructive revisits of the purpose, focus and organization of the business, rethink their competitiveness and make bold decisions to adapt are true role models for the future. She points as example to the company Philips, where they have moved from a holding company structured around multiple divisions to two stand-alone operating companies to increase competitiveness. Here you can find more about Philips Digital Transformation journey. Further reading is available via Digital opportunities by Philips.
There is no doubt that social networks, both digital and in real life, are increasingly important for us in both our business and private life.
Denise believes that it is crucial to stay updated and she is part of several networks to ensure that. One of the networks is the INSEAD International Board Director Program Network (IDPN), which is the network for International Board Directors certified from INSEAD. This is also the growing network where she met our Chairman of Digoshen. The network has yearly network-, education- and sharing meetings, facilitates local meetings, runs bi-monthly webinars and has closed digital discussion forums amongst the participating board members. You can read more about the IDP Program and about the Corporate Governance Initiative at INSEAD.
Finally, as furniture, Denise would be ……… a fauteuil, an armchair! Denise chooses the armchair because she likes people around her to feel supported to be courageous in business and date to take bold actions if needed.
How to become more #digitallyInvolved
To get more insight of what Denise knows and shares, we recommend you to try to explore and understand and build more knowledge of new trends and businesses. We recommend you to follow some of the businesses and schools Denise is involved with.
Denise is an Advisory Board Member at the Data Innovation Lab at Zurich Impact Hub. You can follow their Impact Hub Zurich blog and follow them on Impact Hub Zurich twitter. Impact hub is a global collaborative network, and you can get involved with them in many parts of the world, why not explore it?
Denise is educated both on INSEAD, Harvard Business School and University of Rotterdam, and many of the select schools engage their alumni and share highly relevant information and inspiration for both executive leaders and board members.
We recommend that you follow INSEAD Knowledge, which you can follow on web download as a mobile app and via INSEAD knowledge twitter. INSEAD has recently released a research on Making Digital work for you.
INSEAD has a partnership with Wharton. You can follow Knowledge@Wharton and follow them on Knowledge@Wharton on Twitter. Wharton has together with Mphasis released an excellent free of charge e-book Becoming Digital, strategies for Business and Personal transformation
You also find interesting business and leadership matters at Harvard Business Review and follow HBR on Twitter . Harvard also has a specific focus on corporate governance that you can follow via their Harvard Law School Forum blog on Corporate Governance. A recent HBR article highlighted How to navigate digital transformation.
We think it is important to share insights from inspiring #digital1st thought leaders, if you are one of them or know someone we should talk to, please send us a hint via http://digoshen.com/contact/ or via Twitter @digoshen .
At Digoshen we believe that Companies, Boards and Business Leadership Teams need to understand more of the digital world to fully leverage the potential when bringing their business into the digital age.
To understand where you and your company stand in relation to digital business and leadership progress, take our survey at Digoshen.com/research and get a free of charge personalized report with recommendations on how to move forward. The survey is anonymous and takes about 15 minutes to complete.
If you like to keep yourself updated on digital business matters check out our Digoshen Insight Platform with inspiration, reports and weekly digital magazines.
We provide inspiration and support to help transition business leaders into more insightful digital positions for themselves and their companies.