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Henley Business School

The Board Directors' Programme

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Board Directors' Programme

Next dates

May 16—17
2 days
Reading, United Kingdom
GBP 2350 ≈USD 3063
GBP 1175 per day
Nov 27—29
3 days
Reading, United Kingdom
GBP 2350 ≈USD 3063
GBP 783 per day


Board structure, responsibilities, and how to really add value in your role This 2-day residential programme gives a real view of what it means to be an effective board member. In addition to the necessary technical knowledge, it will engage you with the leadership capabilities needed for your board to create value.

Strategic development for those who work with or on a Board Delivered by a combination of Henley faculty and industry experts, all who have extensive knowledge and practical experience of governance, regulation and board behaviour, this programme covers topics including:

  • Competitive advantage and how to maximise it for sustainable success
  • Dysfunctional boards: your capability to influence and manage board relations
  • Stakeholder perspectives and engagement
  • Mentoring to deliver tangible impact
  • The importance of corporate, social and community responsibility.

Purposely small participant groups ensure plenty of individual attention and a confidential environment to share your own experiences and questions.

Informed by research with top teams globally Following extensive research, Programme Director Professor Andrew Kakabadse has collated the biggest database of boards in the world (from 37 countries including China, Russia, Middle East and the USA). His research suggests that the vast majority of boards are not respected by their managers, and only 20% of global corporations operate with a truly ethical approach. And yet ethical organisations are statistically more likely to perform better in the medium - to long term, and appear to suffer no commercial disadvantage even in the short-term.

This research informs the Board Directors’ Programme. Furthermore we do not teach a single solution or approach to being a board member. We believe that each board is unique and the environment they operate within is complex, and therefore board members need to be equipped to understand, diagnose and respond to their own specific challenges. Programme participants will benefit from Professor Kakabadse’s research, considering the additional insight it gives into their own board scenarios.

Programme content

This 2-day programme provides a toolbox of vital skills and leadership capabilities, debunking the myths and helping you to understand what it really means to be a board director.

Gain knowledge on specific topics concerning Board structure and responsibilities such as:

  • The composition, role and dynamics of boards: the nature and complexities of board dynamics, director relationships and their effect on the functioning of the board
  • Board diversity
  • The contribution of sub-committees and Non-Executive Directors (NEDs).

Engage in discussion around strategic performance (your own, that of the Board and the organisation):

  • How to engage fully with all stakeholders
  • When boards become dysfunctional: your capability to influence and effectively manage board relations
  • Your organisation’s competitive advantage and how to maximise it
  • Governance and its role in sustainable success
  • The importance of corporate, social and community responsibility and reputation, including avoiding the pitfalls of international trade.

How we work with you

This programme is taught through practitioner-led experiences, guest speakers and group discussion. Professor Andrew Kakabadse leads the programme, utilising his extensive knowledge of board behaviour globally.

  • Guest speakers are industry experts, experienced board directors and non-executive directors
  • The participant group is kept small to ensure individual attention (maximum group size 15-20 people).


For participants

This programme delivers both the technical knowledge needed to understand and succeed in the board member role, and individual development around soft skills to address the challenges.

You will:

  • understand how to add value and find competitive advantage
  • gain the confidence to maximise your role on the board
  • develop the knowledge, skills and awareness to inspire and lead others to fulfil their individual and collective potential.
  • See the Henley Open Programmes brochure for more learning points and outcomes.

For organisations

  • Board members that fully understand their roles and obligations, and appreciate the value of shared goals
  • Engaged, productive board members who will create better organisational performance
  • Greater loyalty, retention and productivity throughout the organisation
  • An approach that considers the reputation of the organisation and the value that can be gained from acting responsibly and ethically.

Who should attend

Current board members, individuals about to become board members, those who have ambitions of becoming board members or who work with board members. This includes Executive Directors and Non-Executive Directors.


Professor Andrew Kakabadse joined Henley Business School in July 2013 after 30 years at Cranfield School of Management, where he finished as Professor of International Management Development and was awarded the honour of Emeritus Professor. Andrew has consulted and lectured in the UK, Europe, ...
Current research interests include corporate firm strategic behaviour; institutional, corporate and citizen stakeholder relations; governance effects on policy innovation (including E.U.); global governance agendas; public and private board leadership disciplines; top team dynamics; ethics and C....


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