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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.

Response to Covid-19 - A view from a FTSE100 NED
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
Response to Covid -19 A view from the CEO of a Professional Service Firm
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
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
Response to Covid-19 - Insights from the CEO of a game-changing UK Tech Start-Up
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
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
Common assumptions about climate change in the board room – Strategies for overcoming them and having a positive impact
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
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
Dare to challenge! - Data and insights from a world-leading climate scientist
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
Yes, a board´s effectiveness does matter! The link between effective boards and organisational performance
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 - The critical role of Psychological Safety
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 a good and effective working relationship between investors, the board and management
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
Do you have what it takes? - Exclusive insights and tips for securing a role on an FTSE board
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
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
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
The board´s challenge of tackling climate change
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
The role of the Chairman in creating better boards
Dr Sabine Dembkowski & Andrew Allner

In this episode, you’ll get insights from a highly experienced UK Chairman - Andrew Allner. Andrew provides a personal account of how he obtained his first role as a Chair, what he loves about being a Chair, and his perspective about the role of Chairs in creating better boards. 

September 19, 2019

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