Board Dynamics Summit 2019

Best practices for better boards

Board Dynamics Summit took place on 1 March 2019 at Hallam Conference Centre, London


The ethical compass and culture of every organisation starts with the board. From its composition to its effectiveness in action, the board sets the tone for how decisions are made and how the inherent values of everyone within the organisation are borne out through everyday behaviours. Despite this critical relationship, building and governing a balanced and effective board is not easy. The interpersonal dynamics of board members can be complex, and often boil down to trust – trust that empowers the leadership team to set and achieve the organisation’s strategy, work towards its mission, and realise its full potential.

This practical, interactive one-day summit provided the forum to explore board leadership and capability. Delegates were gained expert insights on board development and practical advice on how to make sustainable improvements and advance the health and governance of their organisation.



Registration, tea/coffee


Chair’s opening remarks

Tesse Akpeki FCIS,Chair Governance & Nominations Committee, International Students House


Opening address

Nada Kakabadse, Professor of Policy, Governance and Ethics, Henley Business School


Tone from the top – how board behaviour affects corporate culture

Culture is the DNA of an organisation, shaping its strategy and the behaviour of its employees. Defining and embedding the organisation’s core values has become a key part of the board’s responsibilities. To do this effectively, the board must ‘live’ those values; in this session, we explore how boards can lead by example in setting a positive corporate culture.

Professor Roger Steare, Corporate Philosopher in Residence, Cass Business School

10.40 Networking tea and coffee break

Resolving boardroom disputes

Disagreements between directors not only undermine a board’s effectiveness, they can also affect the organisation’s performance. Although every board welcomes constructive tension, there are occasions when differences can become toxic. In this session, Randall Peterson looks at how you can resolve disputes effectively, build resilience and prevent future conflict.

Randall S. Peterson, Professor of Organisational Behaviour & Academic Director of the Leadership Institute, London Business School


Board meetings: setting the right conditions

Creating a productive, focused environment for board meetings is crucial for enabling leadership to perform at its best. In this session, we explore some of the key considerations for improving board meeting effectiveness, from agenda-setting and information-sharing to timing.  

Moderator:Bernadette Barber, Director, Chadwick Corporate Consulting

Speakers:Lorraine Young, Managing Director, Lorraine Young Board Advisory Services
David Gracie, Director – Head of Global Entity Management Services, KPMG

12.40 Networking lunch

Improving decision-making through creativity

Using different perspectives to look at a same problem can lead to more effective decision making. The more diverse the board, the more creative and innovative the approach to problem solving. Learn about this and other factors that can improve the decision-making capability of your board.

Moderator: Dr Mannie Sher, Principal OD Consultant; Former Director, Group Relations Programme, Tavistock Institute of Human Relations

Speakers: James Elfer, Strategy and Behavioural Insights Director, MoreThanNow
Marsha Ramroop FRSA, Founder, Unheard Voice
Margarita Economides, Engagement Manager, Oliver Wyman & Global Co-chair of Women at Oliver Wyman Network


How to strengthen trust in the boardroom

As guardians of good governance, company secretaries have a key role in promoting trust and confidence within the board. Transparency, accountability and clear and honest communication are vital to achieving this. Maria’s session looks at techniques to boost trust in the boardroom, and explores how trust can lead to improved board effectiveness.

Maria Kolitsida, CEO,


An introduction to coaching for company secretaries

Mentoring and coaching skills can be used to develop a high-performing Company Secretariat team, to set and achieve personal work goals, or to structure difficult conversations across an organisation. In this practical workshop, we discuss the benefits of mentoring and coaching, practice the core skills, and explore how governance professionals can apply these techniques both personally and in how they deal with the board.  

Lesley Ward FCIS, Branch Liaison and Mentoring Manager, ICSA

16.00 Closing remarks from Chair
16.20 Conference close

*This is a draft programme and may be subject to change


Margarita Economides, Engagement Manager, Oliver Wyman & Global Co-chair at Oliver Wyman Network

Margarita is an Engagement Manager in Oliver Wyman’s financial services practice, where she supports leadership teams at asset management companies tackle their toughest challenges. Her current focus is on increasing agility in large businesses and improving the effectiveness of company boards. By taking part in war gaming led by Margarita, the board of one investment management organisation became better prepared for Brexit and acclimatised to working more successfully with their executive committee in times of crisis. Margarita is an inclusion and diversity champion, passionate about empowering women at every stage of their careers, across companies and continents. She serves as the lead of Oliver Wyman’s women’s network, WOW, where her work creates behavioural change both through grass roots initiatives and engagement with senior leaders. A CFA Charterholder, Margarita previously worked at BlackRock and Morgan Stanley PWM. She holds a Masters in Finance from LBS and an MA from the University of Oxford.

James Elfer, Co-Founder and Behavioural Insights Director

MoreThanNow is a behaviour change consultancy, founded to transform the way we think about culture with applied behavioural science. Our mission is to bring an evidence-based, experimental approach to challenges that matter – like inclusion, innovation and performance, while translating the research of leading behavioural scientists for progressive leadership teams. We partner with organisations including Unilever, Transport for London, Arcadis, Standard Life and the Financial Conduct Authority. James’ experience is varied, from roles at Google and Network Rail to Managing Director of the Employee Practice at MSLGROUP, his last position before founding MoreThanNow in 2015. James holds an Executive MSc in behavioural science with distinction from the London School of Economics and does his utmost to keep one foot in academia and the other in practice.

David Gracie,  Director – Head of Global Entity Management Services, KPMG

David leads KPMG’s Global Entity Management team, which delivers a range of governance and compliance services in over 140 countries. David previously worked at KPMG’s Makinson Cowell business, providing corporate governance and investor relations advice to large multinational companies. He is Chairman of the KPMG Company Secretary Association in the UK, and as a qualified company secretary since 2005, is heavily involved in promoting the profession through his work with the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators. David also sits on the board of the Mulberry Schools Trust, a multi-academy trust based in East London

Maria Kolitsida, Co-Founder & CEO,

Maria has a strong professional experience in strategy and innovation based on emerging technologies and scientific trends. Her rich academic background includes BSc and MSc diplomas in Neurobiology and Biotechnology from the University of Reading, a Policy Making & Lobbying Diploma from Michigan University, a MBA from The University of Liverpool and an AI in Business Strategy Executive Program Certificate from MIT. Maria has nine years of experience in corporate environment as an innovation and policy maker working for Coca Cola, GSK, McCormick-PepsiCo, European Associations and six years as a co-founder and consultant for tech start-ups, winning UK Green Innovation award in 2014. Her work focuses on the application of cognitive neuroscience in organisational behaviour. Maria leads research programmes conducted by in collaboration with universities and research institutes in Canada and Europe. The research covers the fields of neuroeconomics, behaviour analysis, neurolinguistics, embodied cognitive artificial intelligence, learning and emotional psychology. Maria is also an adjunct professor of Neuromarketing courses at various UK universities.

Randall Peterson, Professor of Organisational Behaviour & Academic Director of the Leadership Institute, London Business School

Professor Randall S Peterson is Academic Director of the Leadership Institute. His current research activities include investigating: leading diverse teams, how CEO personality affects top management team interaction, leadership transitions in organisations, board effectiveness, conflict management in teams, and the effects of member personality on group interaction and performance. As Professor of Organisational Behaviour at London Business School, he teaches Executive Education and MBA programmes on leading teams and organisations, high performance teams, leadership assessment, and interpersonal skill development. He has been invited to teach and consult across the world, for companies such as Alcan, AREVA, Barclays, Braxton, Chevron/Texaco, Deutsche Bank, Emirates Bank, E.ON, IBM, Lufthansa, Nestlé, Price Waterhouse Coopers, and Roche.

Marsha Ramroop FRSA, Founder, Unheard Voice

Marsha Ramroop believes in enabling positive change through providing clear processes and reasoning for actions.

Trained by Dr David Livermore – the man who, literally, wrote the book on CQ –  she is just one of 3 independently certified Level 2 CQ trainers and facilitators in the UK, and one of the first 300 in the world trained to this level.

She has worked with charities, a leadership organisation, corporate individuals and teams, and businesses via the Chamber of Commerce.

Inclusion has underpinned her life and work for her whole career. Initially working as a journalist and manager in communities, she has moved into training and consultancy in order to better address inequality in our society. 

Professor Roger Steare, Corporate Philosopher in Residence, Cass Business School

Since 1998, Roger has helped thousands of leaders around the world to re-discover their purpose, their humanity and their integrity with significant improvement in sustainable profitability. Clients have included Barclays, BP, Citi, Clifford Chance, EY, HSBC, Nationwide, NHS Trusts, Openreach, PWC and RBS. He has also advised regulators, law enforcement and other government agencies. He is the author of "ethicability" and co-designer of the MoralDNA Profile. He has been described as a "disruptive", "provocative" and "world class" keynote speaker on leadership, culture and ethics.

Lorraine Young BSc FCIS ACIArb, Lorraine Young Board Advisory Services

Lorraine is a governance professional and accredited mediator who offers board advisory and related consultancy services. She is a non-executive director of City of London Group plc and PHSC plc, both AIM listed companies. Lorraine is a Past President and Fellow of ICSA, the Governance Institute. She has held senior governance roles at a number of FTSE companies. She ran her own company secretarial and corporate governance advisory practice for 13 years, which in 2016 she merged with the company secretarial team at Shakespeare Martineau LLP.


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The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations has provided practical help to groups, organisations and communities facing issues around change, innovation and performance for over 70 years. As the original pioneers of organisational development theory and practice, the Institute continues to study human relations in conditions of well-being, conflict or breakdown and promotes the health and effectiveness of groups, communities and organisations.

Our work spans research, evaluation, consultancy, coaching and professional development for government, industry and the voluntary sector.  We have particular expertise in helping people deliver public policy in practice; manage organisational design/change; and work collaboratively between organisations and across sectors.

Professional development certificated programmes include:
• Dynamics @ Board Level;
• Coaching for Leadership;
• Practitioner Certificate in Consulting & Change;
• and other programmes in organisational consultation /supervision.

The world-renowned Group Relations Programme, with the Leicester conference at its heart, focusses on the study of leadership, authority and power.  

For further information please visit our website

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