Climbing the eLadder in boardrooms
By Nilooka Dissanayake
If the whole idea of the eLadder being in the board room seems an oxymoron to you, then, your company is definitely not ready to climb the eLadder. Don’t even dream of it.

Does that mean the company is doomed? Does your chairman know how to tell the back end of a computer from the front? Does the CEO? Do the Board members and members of the senior management? Think about it. This is a clear indication of e-readyness. Unless of course, you have very enlightened and far seeing individuals in these positions, who while they themselves are not techno literate, still see the scope and potential for the company in climbing up the eLadder. Then of course something can be done.

But still, the task of going up the eLadder will be rather challenging unless, the leaders are willing to appoint an eChampion in the company, at a very high level and trust them with the entire responsibility.
How many managements you know are willing to do that? Especially in Sri Lanka where the whole idea of handing over management control to professional managers is a major stumbling block that prevents companies from growing beyond the owner-directors’ limitations.

And if you are in a small company and you are the proprietor, partner or director and YOU don’t know the basics of the eLadder, then again you are at a disadvantage.

This is because you will have to depend on complete strangers to define your strategies and help you achieve them. In that situation, it is far safer to keep your money rather than spend it on e-anything! Because how can you define goals, set performance parameters, deploy resources and monitor achievement about something you do not know? You will be groping in the dark, wasting your time, resources and your credibility.

It is best to stay off the eLadder if you are not committed to the idea. It is no longer a fashion statement to be seen climbing the eLadder. If something is worth doing, it is worth doing well; or not at all!
Too many companies are finding out that going up the eLadder is not just about having your own web. More companies are doing themselves harm by having email addresses that are dead and web addresses that do not lead anywhere. They only result in creating bad will among people who email you or try to visit your website.

Others have webs that are not updated; which are not monitored by any member in the senior management team. If no one in your senior management team is in a position to monitor and supervise the website in your organization, why have one in the first place? Would you for instance have a branch or an outlet that is manned solely by junior staff members? You would not!

So eLadder is off bounds for your company unless, you pay some consultant to manage this for you. Most companies seem to believe this is what they are doing. But are their web developers and marketers doing their job? How can you judge if you are not aware of the issues yourself? So, you may be spending money and deluding yourself.

If the eLadder in the Board room seems ridiculous to you, would you be willing to change this? Our board members are old fashioned you say? No way they will adapt to new technology? Did you give them a chance? You might be surprised. After all, we are not talking of rocket science here. Computer usage is being made more and more dummy proof every day. The popularity of the Dummies Books alone is proof of that.
According to John Kilcullen, Former Chairman & CEO of IDG Books Worldwide, who came up with the For Dummies books says that the whole idea was born to help people who feel left out; who are intimidated with technology and jargon.

Surely, this feeling is common to your Board also? And a mobile computer will be a wonderful incentive to get most Boards woken up to the idea of high technology. Even if they use it to play games in the beginning… We are interested in your ideas on this topic. Send your comments and questions on

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