It was a sell out success with no seat left un-taken and all enjoyed an evening of compelling stories and engaging conversation on the themes of:
- Innovation & Change
- High Performance
- Leadership Behaviours
The evening was introduced and hosted by Graham Hodgkin, Director at Wavelength and former CEO of London’s Air Ambulance. Graham is a speaker in his own right, as well as an excellent facilitator and moderator. Graham speaks with authority on cross-sector experiences on Leadership; Creating a Values-led Culture; Cross-Sector Collaboration and Innovation.
Innovation & Change
David Gram, former Senior Innovation Director of The Lego Group’s Future Lab and responsible for ‘reinventing the future of play’ kicked off the evening of talks. He spoke about his deployment of design thinking, agile development, pretotyping and strategic partnerships. He is commented on how to build new learning and fast capability by becoming a ‘diplomatic rebel’!
Next up was Jonathan Carrier, until recently the Head of InMotion at Jaguar Landrover, who gave insight into how InMotion innovates and collaborates with the start-up ecosystem to build repeatable and scalable businesses in the field of mobility and smart transportation. And most importantly introduced the worlds first smart duck…
Completing the Innovation session was Jonny Combe. Jonny leads the Digital and Innovation programmes for BMW Financial Services in the UK. Jonny talked about their ‘Innovation Lab’, the first of its kind within the Automotive Finance industry. He talked with passion about innovation, challenging traditional structures and shooting HiPPOs! (Disclaimer! He’s not really shooting wild animals but you will need to book Jonny to speak at your event to find out more!)
Opening the Culture session was Sue Stephenson – a long time friend of Wavelength’s having spoken at many Connect events over the years. Until recently Sue was a senior executive for the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Group and led their Global HR and Citizenship functions. Sue shared the rapid growth story of Ritz-Carlton and how it received multiple Best Place to Work awards, accolades for its ethos on world-class customer service and how it is consistently recognised for exceptional employee and customer engagement.
No session on Culture would be complete without Adrian Simpson, Co-founder of Wavelength and at heart a connector and gatherer of stories. He has personal relationships with world-class iconic companies and accomplished, inspiring leaders at the frontiers of service excellence, innovation, culture and sustainability. He shared 3 of Wavelength’s top ten characteristics of high performing companies:
- Uncompromising on Cultural ‘fit’
- Relentless Alignment
- Bold stance on innovation
After a delicious dinner Graham introduced the High Performance session and welcomed to the stage, Dr Zella King, an Executive Fellow at Henley Business School and the co-author of ‘Who is in Our Personal Boardroom?’ She challenged the audience to stop networking and start thinking more strategically about the people they need to surround themselves with to be a truly effective leader. Zella is a recognised expert on networks and connectivity.
Graham was delighted to welcome Peter Keen, CBE next. Peter is a visionary coach and performance leader in elite sport. The session started with Graham asking Peter why he likes working with Wavelength. Peter explained that he doesn’t work with any other speaker agencies and only works with Wavelength as he feels there is a shared purpose – he found it a less transactional process and more purposeful. He then went on to explained how he designed and implemented the strategic funding and performance management system at UK Sport that resulted in the triumphant achievement of Team GB at the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. He is also widely credited as being the architect behind the transformational success of British Cycling.
If there was ever anyone to lift the audience from a post dinner slump it’s Drew Povey. He provided an energising and captivating talk on how he has transformed Harrop Fold, Ofsted’s ‘worst performing school in the UK’. Drew’s inspiring leadership style radically improved the attitudes and behaviour of the young people at Harrop Fold and both are about to star in Channel 4’s ‘Educating Salford’, to be aired later this year.
Andy Parfitt is one of the most respected leadership and management specialists in the UK’s creative sector and is best known as the former Controller of BBCRadio 1, where he led an extraordinary period of strategic re-generation and transformation of this iconic brand. Graham invited Andy to talk about his purpose as a leader which led him to discuss the thoughtful contribution he has made on leadership and successful team development, particularly in younger, creative organisations. He gave us a glimpse into the work he did while at the BBC and how we need to look to the past to make the future better as leaders.
Another long-term friend of Wavelength’s is Sir Martin Narey who has been speaking at the Connect events from the beginning. Martin has unparalleled experience across the public and social sectors; as the Government’s Adoption Czar, and previously as CEO of Barnardo’s and as Director General of HM Prisons. Sir Martin spoke with authority and authenticity about his commitment to prison reform, the importance of vision and the leadership of change.
Finally, we heard from Liam Black. Another Wavelength Founder and one of the most sought after speakers in SpeakersHub, he is passionate and credible on the themes of purpose, social innovation and cross-sector collaboration. As a previous CEO and a co-founder of Wavelength, he has helped create (and now advises) two social innovation investment funds and is mentor to a number of business leaders and entrepreneurs. He talked about avoiding leadership bullshit and the global factors leaders must take into consideration for a better future.
It was a full house at 11 Cavendish Square and people left with bellies full of delicious food and minds full of great insight. The feedback received has been overwhelming…so watch this space as SpeakersHub will be hosting more events like this in the future!
If you missed this event then you’ll be pleased to hear the evening was filmed. All of this week and next we will be posting videos of the speakers. Make sure you look out for them on our social channels:
SpeakersHub provides leadership practitioners that can deliver talks, workshops and keynotes on a wide range of topics, including Leadership, Innovation, Transformation, Digital Disruption, Service Excellence, Culture, Purpose, Sustainability and Resilience, to name but a few.
Check out our full portfolio of speakers here.
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