+44 7760 590405 info@better-boards.com
The Official Consultancy Specialists

Better Boards Podcast Series

Our mission at Better Boards is to contribute to creating better boards. We do this by providing clients with an evidence-based approach for board evaluations and board development programmes.

To fulfill our mission, we would like to give a voice to all who care about creating better boards – Chairpeople, CEOs, Senior Independent Directors (SIDs), Non-Executive Directors (NEDs), Company Secretaries, academicians, investors, and regulators.

All the views expressed in our podcasts are the views of our podcast partners and not those of Better Boards.

Every time you tune in, we’ll help you to develop and reinvigorate your board know-how and practice with insights, data, and practical advice. New episodes are available bi-weekly – every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month.

You will always find all podcasts by clicking or putting this link in your browser https://www.buzzsprout.com/535633.

Why does ethnic diversity matter in British boardrooms? Joelle Warren, Founding Partner/Executive Chair/NED, Kurram Hussain, Consultant Partner & Dr Sabine Dembkowski
Dr Sabine Dembkowski & Joelle Warren and Kurram Hussain

Building an inclusive and diverse workplace which draws on the talents of all of people, is vital to any Economy. If companies are not recruiting from the whole of society, then they are missing out on talent. Back in 2017 Sir John Parker led a review into the ethnic diversity of boards in the UK. In the light of the new Parker Review report in February this year by EY, their sponsor, which revealed ‘slow progress’ suggesting it will be challenging for FTSE100 to hit the ‘One by 2021’ target set in 2017, we ask why does ethnic diversity matter in British boardrooms?

Welcome to the Better Boards podcast series. In this episode, I am delighted to talk with Joëlle Warren and Khurram Hussain.

I am Dr Sabine Dembkowski, Founder and Managing Partner of Better Boards. We make the boards of the most ambitious organisations more effective. Our mission at Better Boards is to contribute to creating better boards. We do this by providing clients with an evidence-based approach for board evaluations and board development programmes. 

Joëlle Warren MBE, DL is the Founding Partner and Executive Chair of Warren Partners which appoints Executive and Non-Executive Directors to boards and their senior leadership teams.  Joëlle is passionate about improving effectiveness in the boardroom through achieving the right balance of skills, diversity and experience and is a regular speaker on the business benefits of boardroom diversity in all its forms.  She was appointed MBE in 2016 for Services to Business. Her Non-Executive Director experience includes serving on boards in the university, charity and hospitality sectors and she is a member of the North West Business Leadership Team and the CBI’s SME Council.

Khurram Hussain is a Consultant Partner with Warren Partners and supports executive and Non-Executive appointments across a range of complex organisations, including established PLCs and high-growth ventures. He has a passion for identifying and engaging highly talented executives with the ability to transform businesses in the UK and internationally. He has a particular interest in empowering clients to build truly diverse and inclusive Boards and leadership teams that can collectively outperform and deliver sustainable change. Prior to joining Warren Partners, he was an associate with a global search firm. He started his career with IBM Integrated Technology Services in the Global Services division.

September 16, 2020
The role of the Chair in a successful merger | Philip Aiken, Chairman & Dr Sabine Dembkowski
Dr Sabine Dembkowski & Philip Aiken

Bankers around the globe are getting ready for a wave of corporate takeovers. Covid-19 has changed the position of many private and family-owned business and they are forced to exit earlier than expected. Others had to put plans on hold to see how Covid pans out. While it is easy to build the case for mergers and acquisitions on paper, most fail and destroy value for their shareholders.  

Welcome to the Better Boards podcast series. I am Dr Sabine Dembkowski, Founder and Managing Partner of Better Boards. We make the boards of the most ambitious organisations more effective. We do this by providing clients with an evidence-based approach for board evaluations and board development programmes. 

I am delighted to speak with one of the most respected Chairmen in the UK - Philip Aiken. Phil is the mastermind behind combining AVEVA and Schneider Electric’s industrial software business. The merger is widely regarded a success. The story does not end there. This week it was announced that the firm is buying data company Osisoft in a deal expected to boost its market value to more than £10billion making Aveva Britains most valuable software firm. Aveva plc is listed in London on the FTSE100. 

Phil Aiken has just under 50 years of experience in industry and commerce. He is Non-Executive Chairman at Aveva Plc, Chairman of Balfour Beatty plc and the Australian Day Foundation, Non-Executive Director of Newcrest Mining Limited and Director of Gammon China Limited. Previously Phil had numerous high-profile Executive and Board roles in the energy and utility industry in organisations like BHP Billiton, National Grid plc and Macquarie Bank (Europe).

September 02, 2020
Resilience in the governance market | David Press, CEO & Dr Sabine Dembkowski
Dr Sabine Dembkowski & David Press

COVID-19 has brought unprecedented challenges. Companies around the world had to rise to the occasion at a speed they previously could not have imagined. Across industries, leaders in the governance profession had to adjust how they work - and what role they should play.

Welcome to the Better Boards podcast series. In this episode, I am delighted to talk with David Press about “Resilience in the governance market.”

I am Dr Sabine Dembkowski, Founder and Managing Partner of Better Boards. We make the boards of the most ambitious organisations more effective. Our mission at Better Boards is to contribute to creating better boards. We do this by providing clients with an evidence-based approach for board evaluations and board development programmes. 

David has specialised in the recruitment of company secretaries since 1999 and is one of the founding directors of DMJ. He is widely recognised as a leader in his field and the recruitment partner of the ICSA/The Chartered Governance Institute. David’s expertise lies in senior hires, including executive search and the development of aspiring company secretaries as they seek to enter the profession. The annual salary survey for Company Secretaries serves as a reference point for the profession in the UK.

August 19, 2020
Managing Megaprojects | Prof Bent Flyvbjerg, SAID Business School
Dr Sabine Dembkowski & Prof Bent Flyvbjerg

Welcome to the Better Boards podcast series. Governments around the globe are initiating mega projects to revive their economies. It is in all our interests that these megaprojects are well managed. I am talking with Prof Bent Flyvbjerg about Post-Pandemic challenges: Managing megaprojects.

I am Dr Sabine Dembkowski, Founder and Managing Partner of Better Boards. We make the boards of the most ambitious organisations more effective. Our mission at Better Boards is to contribute to creating better boards. We do this by providing clients with an evidence-based approach for board evaluations and board development programmes. 

In this episode, I am delighted to talk with Prof Bent Flyvbjerg.

Bent Flyvbjerg is the first BT Professor and inaugural Chair of Major Programme Management at Saïd Business School and a Professorial Fellow of St Anne’s College.

Flyvbjerg is the most cited scholar in the world in megaproject management. He serves as advisor and consultant to government and business, including the US and UK governments and several Fortune 500 companies. He is an external advisor to McKinsey and other consultancies. He has worked on some of the largest projects in the world, on all aspects from front-end planning, delivery, and rescue of failing projects.

August 06, 2020
Post COVID-19 - Addressing climate change as a Non-Executive Director | Susan Hooper, FTSE NED/Chair & Dr Sabine Dembkowski
Dr Sabine Dembkowski & Susan Hooper

Welcome to the Better Boards podcast series. 

I am Sabine Dembkowski, Founder and Managing Partner of Better Boards. We make the boards of the most ambitious organisations more effective. We do this by providing clients with an evidence-based approach for board evaluations and board development programmes. 

In this episode, I am delighted to talk with Susan Hooper.

Susan is Chair of  Caresourcer.com and sits on the Boards of Uber UK, The Rank Group plc and Affinity Water Ltd.. Susan is also a Director of Chapter Zero, an organisation dedicated to providing education, insight and support on climate change to Non-Executive Board Directors and Chairs and actively involved in several start-ups in property and medical technology.

Prior to her plural life, Susan was Managing Director of British Gas Residential Services, Chief Executive of Acromas Group Travel Division and held senior roles at Royal Caribbean International, Avis Europe, PepsiCo International, McKinsey & Co, and Saatchi & Saatchi living in over 7 countries worldwide.

July 15, 2020
Post COVID-19 - The role of the Chair in managing investor relations | Mark Tennant, Chairman & Dr Sabine Dembkowski
Dr Sabine Dembkowski

Welcome to the Better Boards podcast series. I am talking with Mark Tennant about Post-Pandemic challenges: the role of the Chair in managing investor relations.

I am Dr Sabine Dembkowski, Founder and Managing Partner of Better Boards. We make the boards of the most ambitious organisations more effective. Our mission at Better Boards is to contribute to creating better boards. We do this by providing clients with an evidence-based approach for board evaluations and board development programmes. 

In this episode, I am delighted to talk with Mark Tennant.  

Mark has extensive experience chairing boards in the UK, Singapore and Hong Kong. His experience ranges from small start-ups through plc boards to trade bodies and charities.

Mark is Chairman of BMO Private Equity Trust plc, Scottish Land and Estates, the trade body for landowning in Scotland, Centrica Pensions, a Non-Executive Director of Unit Trust of India International and a Trustee of the Royal Hospital Chelsea.

Previously he chaired the boards of Scottish Financial Enterprise, the trade body for financial services in Scotland, Scottish Stockbrokers Bell Lawrie White Ltd, Hill Samuel Unit Trusts and Hill Samuel Private Clients Ltd. 

Mark also has broad political experience, having stood for Westminster against Gordon Brown in 1992 and as a candidate for the Highlands and Islands in the European elections of 1994. 

 

July 01, 2020
Post COVID-19 - Increasing performance in the Company Secretariat | Laura McNeil, FTSE Company Secretary & Dr Sabine Dembkowski
Dr Sabine Dembkowski & Laura McNeil

Welcome to the Better Boards podcast series. 

Thank you for listening to the Better Boards podcast series. I am Sabine Dembkowski, Founder and Managing Partner of Better Boards. We make the boards of the most ambitious organisations more effective. We do this by providing clients with an evidence-based approach for board evaluations and board development programmes. 

In this episode, I am delighted to talk with Laura McNeil.  

Laura is Assistant Company Secretary and International Share Plans Manager at Blue Prism Group plc, an AIM-listed robotic process automation software company. Prior to this, she has held company secretarial roles at FTSE250 retailer N Brown Group and AIM-listed NWF Group. Laura was named as an innovator on DMJ & Computershare’s Governance Hot 100 2020 list. She has spoken about automation and how company secretaries can embrace technology at ProShare, The Governance Institute, and AWCS events.

June 17, 2020
Bringing Cybersecurity know-how into the boardroom | Frank Satterwhite, CEO & Dr Sabine Dembkowski
Dr Sabine Dembkowski & Frank Satterwhite

Welcome to the Better Boards podcast series. 

I am Sabine Dembkowski, Founder and Managing Partner of Better Boards. We make the boards of the most ambitious organisations more effective. We do this by providing clients with an evidence-based approach for board evaluations and board development programmes. 

In this episode, I am delighted to talk with Frank Satterwhite, Founder and CEO of 1600 Cyber, an American-owned Pan-European Cybersecurity consultancy. 

Frank is a known, global cybersecurity expert and social influencer. A former NATO and US Military cyber consultant with roots in Silicon Valley and the EU, he has a purposeful vision that has driven his career: Making the world a better place, by protecting society through technology. 

June 03, 2020
COVID-19 - A view from a FTSE100 Non-Executive Director | Ron Mobed, FTSE NED & Dr Sabine Dembkowski
Dr Sabine Dembkowski & Ron Mobed

Welcome to the Better Boards podcast series. 

Thank you for listening to the Better Boards podcast series. I am Sabine Dembkowski, Founder and Managing Partner of Better Boards. We make the boards of the most ambitious organisations more effective. We do this by providing clients with an evidence-based approach for board evaluations and board development programmes. 

In this episode, I am delighted to talk with Ron Mobed.  

Ron has a history of success in growing and transitioning businesses through innovation and by focusing on customer needs. He has a wide range of U.S. and international experience in the energy and information industries, especially in digital transformation. He is a Non-Executive Director of Aveva PLC, a FTSE100 software company. From August 2012 to February 2019 Ron was CEO of Elsevier. Elsevier is the largest operating unit of RELX Group PLC (LSE: RELX) - a global provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers and one of the 20 largest public companies in the UK.

May 21, 2020
COVID-19 - Thoughts from the CEO of a Professional Service Firm | Sarah Walker-Smith, CEO & Dr Sabine Dembkowski
Dr Sabine Dembkowski & Sarah Walker-Smith

Welcome to the Better Boards podcast series. 

Thank you for listening to the Better Boards podcast series. I am Sabine Dembkowski, Founder and Managing Partner of Better Boards. Our mission at Better Boards is to contribute to creating better boards. We do this by providing clients with an evidence-based approach for board evaluations and board development programmes. 

In this episode, I am delighted to talk with Sarah Walker-Smith.  

Sarah Walker-Smith is the CEO of Shakespeare Martineau. She is the first female, non-lawyer CEO in the legal top 50.  

Sarah is a trained accountant having worked for PWC and Deloitte and Boots plc. She regularly speaks at national leadership events, is a governor at Nottingham Trent University, on the board of the West Midlands CBI Council and a member of the Society of Leadership Fellows at St George’s House - a society only open to 250 leaders worldwide.

Sarah recognises the importance of life beyond work and enjoys writing, directing and performing in musical theatre productions. 

May 06, 2020
What counts now! Board Leadership in times of Covid-19 | Malcolm McKenzie, Managing Partner & Dr Sabine Dembkowski
Dr Sabine Dembkowski & Malcolm McKenzie

New episodes are available every first and third Thursday of the month. In this episode, I am honoured to talk with Malcolm McKenzie.

Malcolm McKenzie is a Managing Director with Alvarez & Marsal and Head of the European Corporate Transformation Services practice in London. He brings 30 years of experience in advising senior management and boards on improving top-line and bottom-line performance and has completed over 70 cost reduction, transformation, mergers and acquisitions and carve-out engagements across corporate and private equity-owned businesses. 

Malcolm has served on several boards and worked with Chairmen and Boards of Directors on evaluating and improving board and company performance. He has also led a series of research programmes into Board leadership and has served as a judge on the Non-Executive Director Awards in the UK since their inception

April 15, 2020
COVID-19 - Insights from the CEO of a game-changing UK Tech Start-Up | Anthony Rose, CEO & Dr Sabine Dembkowski
Dr Sabine Dembkowski & Anthony Rose

Thank you for listening to the Better Boards podcast series. I am Sabine Dembkowski, Founder and Managing Partner of Better Boards. Our mission at Better Boards is to contribute to creating better boards. We do this by providing clients with an evidence-based approach for board evaluations and board development programmes. 

In this episode, I am delighted to talk with Anthony Rose.  

Anthony is the serial entrepreneur and the man behind BBC iPlayer. Anthony has founded and sold multiple start-ups. He is co-founder and CEO of SeedLegals, the world’s first legal automation platform for start-up funding. In less than 3 years, SeedLegals has become the largest closer of funding rounds in the UK.

April 01, 2020
What really matters in the boardroom in 2020 and beyond | Sir John Parker, FTSE Chairman/NED/Senior Advisor & Dr Sabine Dembkowski
Dr Sabine Dembkowski & Sir John Parker

I am honoured and humbled that Sir John Parker is joining me in this episode. 

Sir John has earned a reputation for his “tough” approach at the helm of the UK´s largest companies and is associated with a number of major Corporate turnarounds.

Sir John is Chairman of Pennon PLC and the Engineering and Construction Group Laing O’Rourke.  He is also Non- Executive Director of Carnival PLC and Carnival Corporation. He was President of the Royal Academy of Engineering 2011-2014. He stepped down as Chairman of Anglo American PLC in 2017, National Grid PLC in 2011 and as Non-Executive Director of Airbus in 2018.

His career has spanned the Engineering, Shipbuilding, Paper, Utility, Energy, Mining and the Defense industries.  He has over 25 years’ experience as a CEO including Harland & Wolff and the Babcock International Group. 

Sir John also chaired the Court of the Bank of England between 2004 and 2009. Sir John has Chaired the Government’s commissioned independent review into the ethnic diversity of UK boards since 2016.

March 19, 2020
Strategies for overcoming assumptions about climate change in the board room | Lindsay Hooper, University of Cambridge & Dr Sabine Dembkowski
Dr Sabine Dembkowski & Lindsay Hooper

I am delighted that Lindsay Hooper is joining me on this episode. 

Lindsay is an Executive Director at the Institute for Sustainability Leadership at the University of Cambridge. She leads the Institute’s Education and Advisory teams, which support major global organisations, boards and individual leaders to build the capability to align economic performance with the delivery of positive outcomes for society. 

March 05, 2020
The impact of climate change on the duties of Directors | Philippe Joubert, CEO/Chairman/Senior Advisor & Dr Sabine Dembkowski
Dr Sabine Dembkowski & Philippe Joubert

I am delighted that Philippe Joubert is joining. 

Philippe is Founder and CEO of Earth on Board, an ecosystem of sustainability actors dedicated to informing and helping Boards to put sustainability at the centre of the company’s strategy.

He is also Trustee of Client Earth, Senior Advisor and Special Envoy Energy and Climate for WBCSD – World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Advisor for International Development of World Energy Council (WEC), Chairman of HRH The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change, Chair of the Advisory Board of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership and Fellow in this Institute. Philippe sits on various commercial boards and was previously President of Alstom Power and Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Alstom Group.

February 20, 2020
Tackling Climate Change - Insights from world-leading climate scientist | Dr Emily Shuckburgh OBE, University of Cambridge & Dr Sabine Dembkowski
Dr Sabine Dembkowski & Dr Emily Shuckburgh OBE

I am honoured and humbled that Dr Emily Shuckburgh OBE is joining me this week. 

Emily is a world-leading climate scientist and gifted science communicator. She is also Reader in Environmental Data Science in the Department of Computer Science and Technology at the University of Cambridge. In her previous role at the British Antarctic Survey, she led a national research programme on polar climate change. She is the Director of Cambridge Zero, a bold and ambitious new climate change initiative of the University of Cambridge that is calling the world´s brightest and best to join in and create a zero-carbon future. 

February 06, 2020
The link between effective boards and organisational performance | Steve Maslin, FTSE Chairman/NED & Dr Sabine Dembkowski
Dr Sabine Dembkowski & Steve Maslin

I am delighted that Steve Maslin is joining me this week. 

Steve is the immediate Past Chair of the Partnership Oversight Board of Grant Thornton -  the world’s sixth-largest professional services network of independent accounting and consulting member firms which provide assurance, tax and advisory services to privately held businesses, public interest entities, and public sector entities. After almost three decades at Grant Thornton, Steven has established an impressive portfolio of roles on Commercial boards, Charity boards and committee that include Nuffield Health, Ark Schools, The Royal Collections Trust, The Gurkha Museum, and most latterly Chair of an unlisted building company.

January 16, 2020
Speaking up in the boardroom and the critical role of Psychological Safety | Prof Amy C. Edmondson, Harvard Business School & Dr Sabine Dembkowski
Dr Sabine Dembkowski & Prof Amy C. Edmondson

I am delighted and honoured that for this episode, Prof Amy Edmondson from Harvard Business School is joining us. 

Amy C. Edmondson is the Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School, a chair established to support the study of human interactions that lead to the creation of successful enterprises that contribute to the betterment of society. Edmondson has been recognized by the biannual Thinkers50 global ranking of management thinkers in 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2017 and was honoured with the Talent Award in 2017.  She studies teaming, psychological safety, and leadership, and her articles have been published numerous academic and management outlets,

Amy’s work on psychological safety has been groundbreaking and is the subject of this podcast. 

January 02, 2020
Creating effective relationships between investors, the board and management | John Barton, FTSE Chairman & Dr Sabine Dembkowski
Dr Sabine Dembkowski & John Barton

In this episode, you’ll get exclusive insights from one of the most respected Chairman in the UK - John Barton. John is Chairman of EasyJet and Chairman of the Nomination Committee. He is also a Senior Independent Director of Luceco PLC and Non-Executive Director of SSP Group PLC and Matheson / Company Limited.

John has served for three decades on boards of numerous FTSE organisations as Chairman and Senior Independent Director. In the City of London, he is known as “Mr Chairman”. Previously John was CEO of insurance broker JIB Group plc where he became Chairman after the merger with Lloyd Thompson.

 

December 19, 2019
Securing a role on an FTSE board | Carol Leonard, CEO
Dr Sabine Dembkowski & Carol Leonard

In this episode, you’ll get exclusive insights from the doyenne of boardroom headhunters in the UK, Carol Leonard. Carol is one of the most experienced and trusted headhunters in the UK. She is CEO at The Inzito Partnership and Head of its Board Practice. Carol specialises in the recruitment of Chairmen, Chief Executives, Non-Executive Directors, Finance Directors, General Counsel, and other main Board roles. Carol’s prowess and hands-on approach are legendary. Before her career in headhunting, Carol was a financial journalist with The Times, The Evening Standard, and Channel Four. Carol is also a Fellow of Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford.

November 28, 2019
A VCs perspective on boards in young Tech companies | Alexander Leigh, Investment Manager
Dr Sabine Dembkowski & Alex Leigh

In this episode, you’ll get insights from Alex Leigh, Investment Manager in one of the most active Venture Capital Firms in the UK, the Development Bank of Wales. As part of his role, Alex sits on the board of ten young Tech companies that receive funding from the bank. Before joining the Development Bank of Wales Alex worked for Private Equity firms and invested in firms in South Africa.

November 21, 2019
Information overload in the boardroom | Zsuzsanna Schiff, ICAEW and Hitesh Patel Chairman/NED & Dr Sabine Dembkowski
Dr Sabine Dembkowski, Zsuzsanna Schiff & Hitesh Patel

In this episode, you’ll get insights into a study on information overload in the boardroom and a practical tips about how you can overcome the issues from Zsuzsanna Schiff from the ICAEW, a world-leading professional membership organisation that promotes, develops and supports over 180,000 chartered accountants and students worldwide and Hitesh Patel who serves on boards of various Financial Services organisations. 

November 07, 2019
Challenges Tackling Climate Change | Julie Baddeley, ChapterZero/FTSE Chair/SID/NED & Dr Sabine Dembkowski
Dr Sabine Dembkowski & Julie Baddeley

In this episode, you’ll get insights from one of the UK’s most experienced female business leaders - Julie Baddeley. Julie has held numerous executive and non-executive positions on the boards of many well known FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies over the last 20 years. In addition to these roles, Julie has established the Hughes Hall Centre for Climate Change Engagement at Cambridge University and is Founder and Chair of Chapter Zero. Chapter Zero is part of the Global Climate Governance Initiative. Its goal is to support and prepare Non-Executive Directors to address the risks and opportunities presented by Climate Change in UK boardrooms. 

October 03, 2019

For Boards and Executive Committees that want to achieve more...

We apply our research-based insights of the ‘Seven Hallmarks’ of effective boards which proved to generate measurable business results, are peer-reviewed and published in the US, the UK and across Europe.

Contact Us