Board Dynamics Summit


This conference took place on 23 February 2018

23 February 2018 | 9:00am–4:45pm | Hallam Conference Centre 


If left unchecked, conflict in the boardroom can escalate to extreme and unresolvable levels, directly affecting the quality of decision making and the overall success of the organisation. Understanding the conditions in which good decisions are made and why conflicts arise between directors, is vital if organisations are to manage them better. The independent nature of company secretaries and governance professionals means that they can play a critical role in maintaining a healthy tension at board level and reducing conflict. 

This interactive summit aims to further explore the findings of ICSA’s Conflict and Tension in the Boardroom report by Andrew and Nada Kakabadse. Through facilitated, workshop style sessions, delegates will learn about the influence of personality, power, status and behaviour on board process and work alongside peers to find solutions to common challenges in a safe and supportive environment.


09.00 Registration

Chair’s opening remarks

Vanessa Jones ACIS, Director, Corporate Legal Solutions Ltd


Opening address

Andrew Kakabadse, Professor of Governance and Leadership, Henley Business School


Maintaining independence

As the independent bridge between the executive and non-executive, the company secretary is in a privileged and unique position to act as an honest broker for the board and help guide them in the best interests of the company and wider stakeholders. Here we look at why it is so important for the company secretary to maintain their independence, how to avoid getting involved in politics and how to cultivate a role as trusted advisor.

Anthony Corriette, Company Secretary, BBC Worldwide


Networking tea and coffee break

Sponsored by: Brainloop


What does ‘effective challenge in the boardroom’ actually mean?

There is no doubt that ‘cosy’ boards can be just as ineffective as those that become mired in politics and infighting. This session will give delegates the opportunity to work through a case study in groups to help them recognise and differentiate between constructive and destructive challenge in the boardroom.

Rosalind Searle, Professor of HRM & Organizational Psychology, University of Glasgow


Networking lunch

Sponsored by: Diligent & Blueprint Oneworld


The Company Secretary and Chair

Developing the relationship between chairman and company secretary is key to managing tension and resolving conflict between directors both inside and outside of the boardroom. However the reality is that this relationship is often the hardest to get right. This session will explore what an ideal company secretary and chairman relationship should look like and then compare that to the real world barriers that company secretaries face and what they can do to overcome them.

Dr. Sabine Dembkowski, Managing Partner, Better Boards


Facilitating discussion outside the boardroom

There is nothing wrong with having a ‘quiet word’ here and there to help shape the conversation inside the boardroom. Getting the balance right can be tricky though. Not enough preparation can mean discussions get unnecessarily side tracked. Too much can lead to decisions being made before the board even meets. Here we discuss how the company secretary can work with the board to ensure these conversations are appropriate.

Judy Delaforce, Chief Executive, BP&E Global Ltd

15.30 Networking tea and coffee break

Managing hubris and egos

Self-confidence and resilience are essential for any effective leader. However, left unchecked, these personality traits can lead to a sense of self-importance that can severely impact decision making and have devastating consequences for entire companies. Here we explore some real-life case studies and discuss how to effectively manage ego and hubris at executive level.

Adrian Furnham, Professor of Psychology, University College London

16.45 Final remarks and close of conference

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

**This event will take place under Chatham House rules.


Board Intelligence logo

Board Intelligence enables your board to make smart decisions by equipping them with high quality information in the boardroom. Board Secretaries can plan effective agendas, Management can write concise reports and Board Directors can read their board packs — all on one ultra-secure platform.

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Founded in 2000, Brainloop is a market-leading provider of highly secure Corporate Governance and Collaboration Solutions for managing confidential information and sharing files internally and externally. The Brainloop Board Solution is a platform for board and executive teams to manage communications efficiently and securely.

Thousands of companies worldwide, including 80% of DAX30, rely on Brainloop. They achieve greater productivity without the need to worry about security – document versioning is automated, board packs are easily created, updated and securely delivered to directors’ devices; corporate compliance issues are met fully and regulatory requirements fulfilled.

Diligent is a leading provider of secure corporate governance and collaboration solutions for boards and senior executives. Over 4,700 customers in more than 75 countries and on all seven continents rely on Diligent to provide secure, intuitive access to their most time-sensitive and confidential information, ultimately helping them make better decisions. The Diligent Boards (formerly Diligent Boardbooks) solution speeds and simplifies how board materials are produced, delivered and collaborated on via any device, removing the security concerns of doing this by courier, email and file sharing.

Blueprint OneWorld is a global web-based entity management and corporate governance solution, allowing you to access and manage your corporate compliance data 24/7, anytime, anywhere. With more than 25 years of experience, thousands of users worldwide, across every conceivable industry, our client base features many of the largest companies in the world. Our commitment to providing highly secure and integrated solutions is the reason why many FTSE 100, FORTUNE 500, EURONEXT 100, ASX 50 trust us to manage their corporate information to deliver good governance.

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