Category Archives: Board governance

I am giving a talk at a compliance conference next month and looking at whether our legal system can cope with the speed of technology over-turning the world as we know it. A story this week has beautifully illustrated some of the challenges.  The celebrity couple, Richard and Judy, apparently spotted a drone flying over ...

Innovation is today’s buzzword. Every CEO claims that his company is at the forefront of innovation – at least every CEO who wants to keep his or her job. Every politician talks about the need for his country to be innovative if it is to grow and prosper. The innovation word is everywhere but I ...

I spend a lot of my time talking about the future to groups large and small. One of the common reactions is that “we’ve seen this before – technology just changes jobs – it doesn’t do away with them”. No-one seems to think it will affect their job or even their children’s jobs. It is ...

One of my favourite stories about how the world is changing is of the CEO of one of our leading technology companies being shown round a classroom. The great man stopped by the desk of a young girl using an iPad. “Who taught you how to use that” he asked? She looked at him in ...

A recent story unfolded from the United States about a sophisticated hacking which led to share price manipulation and thousands of people being duped into buying or selling stocks. As corporate hacking becomes an everyday incident, every chief executive should be sitting up and thinking about their own business. In this blog I want to ...

One of the most frequently recurring themes among my mentoring clients is “how do I get a seat on the board?” Some clients are looking to take the next step up to be Executive Directors, others are looking at NED (non-executive director) roles. Neither is an easy step to make and few people really think ...

Today I have published a report, March of the Robots … into the boardroom. In it I challenge UK bosses to start understanding and managing technology before our businesses lose profitability, brand names and even their jobs within the next three to five years. Will your job be here in the next five years? Have ...

I talk to a lot of groups, large and small, about the impact of technology on work as we know it. But rarely have I had as great an introduction as last week when I was invited to speak to the in-house legal team at one of our major energy suppliers. I was preceded by ...

There are a number of themes that run through my mentoring work but one of the most common is “How do I get a Non Executive Director (NED) role”? Senior leaders have two reasons for wanting to be an NED: 1. To get another viewpoint on board governance and to understand what NED’s need from ...

An article this week by Aaron Krumins in Extreme Tech says that DARPA is teaching an Artificial Intelligence to improvise and play jazz. Now the interesting thing about jazz is that it requires a high level of innovation, something we have always seen as the preserve of humans. So if computers can start to innovate ...

Driving instructors (another dying breed as we go to driverless cars!) tell their pupils that “objects in the rear view mirror may appear larger than they are”. An HBR article on managing business risk that was published last week reminded me of this. It was mainly about the financial services industry, but the lessons are ...

My colleague Victoria Tomlinson sent me this great blog she had written on how to chair board meetings and it set me thinking about what chairing skills are timeless and what skills we will need in the future. I’ve spent a lot of time sat around board tables, as a member of the executive team, ...

Recently I spoke to a large group of General Counsel about the future of work and the impact of technology. My own view is that they are an influential group of people, but often under-rated. So I was keen to get their views on what our future workplaces would look like – and what would ...

I have spoken recently to two senior leaders, one in retail, the other in professional services. Both were clear that they are looking to automation for the cost benefits it can deliver. So they would be replacing jobs currently done by entry-level staff with automation. What neither had, was a working model for what their ...

Trying to understand what the future might hold is one of my passions.  I firmly believe while the future is hard to predict, at least thinking about possibilities will make it easier to deal with when they happen. And also because it is such a fascinating thing to do.  But it is very hard. I ...

Image of Motorway at night.

Driving down the A34 yesterday I kept passing car transporters filled with Land Rovers and it set me wondering – have the boardrooms of Ford and BMW ever analysed why Tata Motors is now manufacturing and selling Land Rovers profitably, when they could not? Having sat on boards for years and mentored chief execs, I ...

Innovation Image

Innovation happens, it’s what people do, and it is essentially neutral. In part two of this blog on innovation I look at the role of the board and what they can, and do, govern – and mostly don’t. The first part looked at Is Innovation Good or Bad for Business – and Society? 1. Boards ...

Innovation image

I was invited to be the keynote speaker for international accountants, Mazars, earlier this year. The topic was innovation and the theme of the conference started from an assumption that it benefits both business and society. But I decided to throw a hand grenade into the room – the theme of my speech was that ...