Leading Edge 2017

Speaker and Session Details

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Geoff Mcdonald, Ex- Global VP Unilever

Helping organisations play a positive role in the world

Geoff McDonald

Session Details

Morning key note speaker

Speaker Bio

Geoff’s background in teaching, HR, marketing, communications and sustainability is considerable. During his 25 years with Unilever (a global corporation with a turnover of £50 billion, 170,000 employees in 90 countries around the world), his experience has been truly global working across Africa Middle-East and Turkey, Australasia and Asia, Europe and the Americas.

His HR experience has spanned leadership and talent development, organisation change, capability development, with particular reference to marketing, and business transformation with purpose at its core. Early in his career he was responsible for graduate recruitment and development, talent, acquisitions and development across Unilever’s emerging markets. Under his leadership he developed Unilever’s global talent and leadership centre of expertise. More recently he has devoted his time, energy and effort to leading ground breaking work where the HR function has played a central role in transforming Unilever’s business model with purpose at its core.

Today Geoff is a very much sought after speaker, inspiring and provoking organisations to put purpose and wellbeing at the centre of everything they do. His experience in Unilever, under the pupilage of Paul Polman, allows him to provide very practical insights and speak on how to go about truly embedding PURPOSE and address the taboo associated with wellbeing (particularly mental health) within a large global multi-national organisation. With this experience come some real learning’s on what may or may not work.

He has spoken at Cambridge, Oxford, Bologna, Warwick Universities as well as Corporate events across Australia, Europe, Japan, North America, Turkey and Eastern Europe. Geoff is devoting a significant amount of time consulting to organisations, helping them define and embed purpose as a driver of growth and profitability and was recently appointed Strategic Advisor to the Global PR and Communications firm Burson Marsteller, in the area of Corporate Purpose and Organisation Change. Additionally, Geoff’s an Executive Director of Open Minds Health, an organisation providing businesses with practical strategies to address workplace mental wellbeing culture for achievable, measurable and sustainable improvement of employee wellbeing.

Geoff is a very active campaigner for breaking the stigma associated with Mental Health in the Corporate world and has participated in a number of BBC programmes and campaigns regards this subject, as well as writing of articles for Huffington Post, FT and HR related journals. He recently convened a meeting with David Cameron and CEOs from Footsie 100 Companies to address their role and agree actions to break stigma in the corporate world. He too is supporting the Royal Foundation (Prince William, Harry and Kate) in their mental health campaign and activation within the the Corporate sector He was recently appointed as a Trustee of Family Links, a Charity promoting and educating parents and teachers to develop emotionally healthy children and young adults.

Geoff is married with two girls and loves the outdoors, he is a passionate cyclist and swimmer and has completed a number of ultra cycling and swimming events.

Jenny Sealey, Co-Artistic Director of Opening Ceremony of Paralympic Games 2012

Helping us all realise the power within

Jenny Sealey

Session Details

Afternoon key note speaker

Speaker Bio

Jenny Sealey has been Graeae’s Artistic Director since 1997. She has pioneered a new theatrical language and aesthetics of artistic access experi-menting with bilingual BSL and English, prerecorded BSL, creative captioning, in ear/ live audio description methods. Two, The Fall of the House of Usher, peeling, Bent, Blasted, Diary of an Action Man, Blood Wedding (Japan) Romeo and Juliet (Japan and Bangladesh) and recently The House of Bernarda Alba are examples of this ‘aesthetic’ now influences all Graeae’s independent and co produced work.

Jenny co-directed the London 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony alongside Bradley Hemmings (GDIF). She was awarded and MBE in 2009 and won the Liberty Human Rights Arts Award. She has been awarded an honorary doctor-ate degree in Drama from Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, in Performing Arts from Middlesex University and a Fellowship at Central School of Speech and Drama and Rose Bruford College.

Nick Blyth, Policy Lead IEMA

Transforming towards a ‘sustainable  business’ – key challenges and ingredients
Nick Blyth

Session Details:

Transforming the world to sustainability requires organisational leadership, skilled professionals and a desire for change. Concerns that were once viewed as distant and risks that were uncertain are increasingly having an impact on businesses, economic prosperity and communities, health and wellbeing. Climate change, population growth, threats to nature, resource concerns, and global development pressures all combine to herald a ‘perfect storm’. In this session Nick Blyth will summarise findings from IEMA’s work with leading corporate sustainability professionals and key ingredients for addressing the challenge of transformational change within organisations.

Speaker Bio:

Nick leads IEMA work on climate change, energy, natural environment, reporting and Corporate Sustainability. He works closely with senior networks of environment and sustainability professionals (IEMA and GACSO members) and also with key stakeholders and partners. Nick led IEMA’s work on understanding the challenge of corporate sustainability, drawing on leading practice to compile IEMA’s seminal report ‘Beyond the Perfect Storm – the Corporate Sustainability Challenge’.

Morgen Witzel, Management Writer & Fellow, Centre for Leadership Studies, University of Exeter

Leadership Paradoxes: Rethinking leadership for an uncertain world
Morgen Witzel

Session Details:

Most of our current business models and methods are built around linear thinking. They overlook or ignore the problem of paradox, the notion that things can be both true and not true at the same time. Learning to live with paradox - and even more, using paradox as a source of strength and inspiration - is a critical skill. In this session, I will discuss some common paradoxes of leadership, and how these affect the way we see the world and how we lead others.

Speaker Bio:

Morgen Witzel grew up in rural British Columbia. He has a B.A. in History and a M.A in Renaissance History from the University of Victoria. About 25 years ago Morgen moved with his wife to Britain where he began work as a self-employed researcher, editor and writer and has taught at London Business School and Exeter Business School where he has been a fellow for the past 12 years.

Morgen also teaches regularly on the Leadership Matters Courses at the University of Exeter's Strategy and Security Institute. Outside of academia, Morgen is a popular speaker on management issues for a wide variety of clients across many sectors.

Morgen's many books have been published by Bloomsbury, Penguin, FT-Prentice Hall, Routledge/Taylor & Francis amongst others. He was project manager and editor for several major works for Thoemmes Press including the Biographical Dictionary of Management and E.F.L. Brech’s monumental work of management history, The Evolution of Modern Management.

Sara Burgess, Independent Consultant for Social Enterprise

Leadership and Governance in Social Enterprise

Sara Burgess

Session Details:

Fluffy leadership?

Interactive discussion on approaches to leadership in organisations where profit is the motive for social impact not personal gain.

Learn about social enterprise and why it has a key role in the economy – how can your business operate with social enterprise principles?

  • Business models – CIC, B Corp, Co-Operative, Company Limited by Guarantee/Shares
  • Financing this business model.

How effective can alternative ways of driving a business that meets the needs of stakeholders and not shareholders be and why would I want to do it?

Making Governance relevant.

Speaker Bio:

A background of working for a number of small local and large national charities over 30 odd years at manager and senior manager level, CEO in my last charity post and as a volunteer.

I worked in the public sector for 8 years but have kept in touch with the charity sector mainly through my voluntary work as a paid grants assessor for Children in Need: as a volunteer at the Oxfam boutique in Cardiff; a business mentor for Young Enterprise working with a team of students in a school in Cardiff; at Cardiff food bank. As a consultant I worked with Pan Gwent People First to help them develop as a brand new company and now offer my support to their board voluntarily.

During my time as Regulator of Community Interest Companies I worked in an area of growth with plenty for my successor to get to grips with. I was re-appointed twice and could not be reappointed again so completed my time in September 2015. I moved to Cornwall and I am now looking for my next challenge. In the meantime I am working as a consultant on CICs and social enterprise with Baites Wells and Braithwaite and am a director on the boards of Social Enterprise Mark CIC, Social Firms England, Irredescent Ideas CIC, and Warm Wales. I also hope to join the School for Social Entrepeneurs in Cornwall.

Alison Cox, Head of Apprenticeships, CMI

Creating Management as a True Profession: Leadership & Management Apprenticeships
Allison Cox

Session Details:

The apprenticeship landscape is changing with a noticeable move towards through-life development of staff. Many organisations will be required to pay the new apprenticeship levy, therefore getting the most out of your fees is essential. Non levy paying organisations can also take advantage of the new apprenticeships to enhance their business and create greater engagement with staff.

Following the development and introduction of three new Leadership and Management Trailblazer standards, we shall explore how employers and providers can take advantage of these apprenticeships?

Drawing on the experiences of the CMI, University of West of England, and South Devon College, with employer case studies, this workshop will explore the following:

  • The new levy
  • Why is leadership and management important?
  • What does the progression pathway look like?
  • The opportunity presented by higher and degree level apprenticeships
  • How employers and providers are engaging with the new standards
  • What are the opportunities and challenges?

Speaker Bio:

As the Head of Apprenticeships, Ali focuses on the exciting developments in Leadership & Management apprenticeships and working with employers, universities and learning providers, as well as key stakeholders. She also acts as the Project Manager for the Leadership & Management Trailblazer Employer Group, which has successfully developed and launched the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship in the record time of 6 months, and subsequently Team Leader/Supervisor and Operations/Departmental Manager standards.The group are now developing a L7 standard for senior leaders. Previously, Ali spent the majority of her career working in the business support arena in the South West.

Stephen Murphy, Head of Rail Supplier Management, FirstGroup GWR

Supplier Collaboration and Relationship Management in UK Rail
Stephen Murphy

Session Details:

This session will discuss the benefits that can be achieved through successful collaboration with your chosen partners. It will explore some of the issues found and successes achieved by First Group GWR introducing BS 11000 (‘Collaborative Business Relationships’) in their rail division – a sector that historically has been noted for adversarial relationships between customers and suppliers.

Speaker Bio:

Stephen is FirstGroup’s Head of Rail Supplier Management. He has a background in process engineering and industrial management and now has responsibility for supplier relationship management, supplier performance of providers supporting FirstGroup & GWR railway operations across the UK.

Ken Owen, Commercial Director, Hinkley Point

Leadership & Management of the Hinkley Point C Project.
Ken Owen

Session Details

Leadership & Management of the Hinkley Point C Project.

Speaker Bio

A graduate in nuclear engineering, Ken spent over nine years with British Energy before working in the automotive industry, across a global manufacturing footprint, and on large infrastructure projects including the London 2012 Olympics. As the Commercial Director overseeing the Olympic infrastructure construction, he managed the procurement, management and integration of over 140 contracts. Today, in leading the Commercial directorate for Nuclear New Build at EDF Energy, Ken uses his expertise to help deliver the first nuclear power station in the UK for over twenty years.

Dr Matthew Studley, Bristol Robotics Institute at the University of the West of England

Automation & Ethics. Why work?
Dr Matthew Studley

Session Details:

There is a fundamental shift in the scope and power of automation. Some authors estimate 47% of US job functions could disappear in the next decade or two. We will explore this new technology, and discuss its impact.

Speaker Bio:

I am motivated to apply technology to solve problems I think are important. I am currently working on combating illegal fishing, the ethics of killing machines, evolutionary swarm robotics, and the ethical, social and legal consequences of automation in our society.

Luan Wise, Chartered Marketer & Independent Consultant

Traditional marketing models, revisited for the digital age
Luan Wise

Speaker Bio:

Luan Wise has 15 years’ experience in business-to-business (B2B) marketing across agency, client-side and consultancy roles. She supports consultants, start-ups, SMEs and corporates who are looking to get marketing plans in shape, kick-start use of social media and/or get websites performing better. Luan is vice chair for the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) South West board and trustee for the Communication, Advertising & Marketing (CAM) Education Foundation. She is author of Relax! It's Only Social Media (available from Amazon) and Social Media Marketing ROI (an online learning course for Lynda.com, LinkedIn's online education company).

Session Details:

In this session Chartered Marketer Luan Wise will focus on the relevance of traditional marketing models in the digital age. The importance of getting ‘the basics right’ and how to KISS (keep it stupid simple).

David Potter, Chair, CMI South West Regional Board

David Potter

Speaker Bio

David has over 20 years of consulting experience. He has lead major transformation programmes across public and private sector where he specialises in change management.