What directors are thinking.

Author:Lathan, Corinna
Position:Top of Mind

There are numerous emerging technologies and businesses want to know how to keep up, not only with what the technologies are, but also which ones are relevant for their business, and equally important, how to implement them to achieve growth. Boards need to make sure their companies have sustainable processes to identify trends, assess impact for the company and take an interest in management approach to operationalize innovation.

Board members can support management and their recommendations by staying fluent in emerging technologies. This can be tricky as only a few technologies tend to dominate the media, such as blockchain, artificial intelligence and self-driving cars. A couple resources exist that try to do the work for you and can be good places to start. MIT Technology Review releases a "Top 10 Breakthrough Technologies" list every year. These feature technologies that they believe will shape the way we work and live. This year, breakthrough technologies included 3-D metal printing, zero-carbon natural gas, Al for everybody, and sensing cities.

The World Economic Forum along with Scientific American also have an annual list--"The Top 10 Emerging Technologies"--that focus on technologies that are about to or already have hit the tipping point, and that companies should pay attention to if they want to catch the next wave of technology for growth. As a member of this year's steering committee, I co-authored two of technology write-ups, on electroceuticals (devices that treat...

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