How to build better boards

On the one hand, sound governance provides vital protection from the risks that have befouled so many companies over the years. On the other hand, it’s an opportunity for executive directors to benefit from the experience, expertise, perspective and networks of non-execs, which can guide the business in often unexpected ways. Finding the right non-executive […]

Why it’s getting harder to hire a great CFO

The latest version of the UK corporate governance code, commonly referred to us as UK SOx, leaves them personally liable, at least in part, for the accuracy of financial statements, and the effectiveness of internal controls and risk management frameworks. I’m all for preventing fraud and accounting scandals, but no one should be surprised that […]

The career ladder is broken for aspiring women CEOs. Here’s what we can do to fix it

I don’t meet many sexists these days, thankfully. Most CEOs and chairs are fully committed to equal career opportunities. They recognise that their companies will be stronger as a result. Unfortunately, this widespread belief in equality doesn’t always square with the outcomes. Statistically, the odds are stacked against women with ambitions to lead. A typical […]

B Corp month: How to talk about purpose

“A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.” Lines like that abound at times like this. It’s B Corp month, after all, and those of us who care about such things want to inspire each other to believe that business is more than just an exercise in profit maximisation. You need more […]

When should founders step back

If leaders are expected to have all the answers, the same goes doubly for founders. You are often synonymous with the business, its guiding light. It makes it tremendously difficult to admit that you’re out of your depth, even drowning in your work. This is ironic, because founders arguably face this challenge more than anyone […]

Why you can’t plan for succession

But the traditional approach to succession planning is no longer fit for purpose. In an era of rapid and unpredictable change, you cannot just select an heir apparent, review every couple of years and wait. Adaptability and agility are paramount. The needs of your business are ever evolving, which means the brief for succession will […]

Do co-CEOs really work?

In a corporate setting it’s rare for there not to be a single chief executive running the show, but not unheard of. Increasingly, we’re seeing prominent examples of co-CEOs, including Ted Sarandos and Greg Peters at Netflix, co-MDs Jane Eskriett and Richard Grainger at River Island, and M&S CEO Stuart Machin and co-CEO Katie Bickerstaffe. […]

Why we’re seeing more bounceback CEOs

If you went off the grid in 2010 and re-emerged to survey the cast of characters in today’s business pages, you might be forgiven for thinking that things hadn’t changed. Bob Iger is still the CEO of Disney. Julian Dunkerton runs Superdry, and Richard Bradbury is in charge of River Island. There’s Nittin Passi at […]

4 more people predictions for 2024

Two weeks ago we talked about people trends we expect to see this year, and their unintended consequences: the shift back towards office based rather than hybrid working, the use of AI to automate roles, and the increased use of equity as part of compensation packages. This week, we’re exploring four further developments we’re seeing […]

CEOs need reinvention, but do they know how?

The headline reading of PwC’s Global Annual CEO Survey 2024 is that leaders are leaning into radical change, in part because of the transformative effects of generative AI. No fewer than 45% said their business would no longer be viable in 10 years, if they didn’t change course. Reading between the lines, it’s hard to […]

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