GCC BDI and Heidrick & Struggles Webinar: The Future of Boards
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Boards now are expected to possess significant expertise in areas as specialized and diverse as digital transformation, cybersecurity, corporate reputation management, sustainability, and social media, to name just a few. Many new board members are chosen specifically for experience related to a company’s strategy or external reputation and are thus playing a more engaged, interactive role as advisers to both the board and management in areas crucial to the company’s future success.

When: 8 September 2020
10:30 am - 12:00 pm (KSA Time)
Where: Online Webinar
United Arab Emirates
Contact: Vandana Hrishikesh

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Starting more than a decade ago, boards’ responsibilities began to grow in both breadth and depth. Boards now are expected to possess significant expertise in areas as specialised and diverse as digital transformation, cybersecurity, corporate reputation management, sustainability, and social media, to name just a few.

Many new board members are chosen specifically for experience related to a company’s strategy or external reputation and are thus playing a more engaged, interactive role as advisers to both the board and management in areas crucial to the company’s future success.

Furthermore, boards are now expected to execute their duties transparently to activist investors, regulators, customers, and employees. The added challenge of carrying out these responsibilities within the context of economic volatility (even before the COVID-19 pandemic) and a pace of change never before seen add to the pressure.

Join GCC BDI and Heidricks & Struggles as we discuss:

  • Purpose & role - Why does this Board of Directors exist?
  • Board composition – Who will best prepare us for the future?
  • Board dynamics and culture - How can we work best together?
  • Future Proofing your Board - Are we prepared for the future?
  • Board performance – considering the following five aspects -
    • Priorities: Is the board aligned on what and who it represents? Board members should be mobilised, as a team, by a common view of what they stand for as a socially responsible organisation that delivers value to customers and shareholders.
    • Process: Can the board execute its duties effectively? A diverse board challenges itself to continuously accelerate its performance and that of the organisation, with a systemic focus on capability building and succession planning across the organisation and on the board.
    • Power: How transparent and fair are the board’s dynamics? Do all directors feel able to contribute fully to discussions, or do some directors feel shut out? Do newer board members have the support and know-how to change board dynamics where necessary?
    • Perspective: Is the board leading the way on the need to transform, driving systemic value on key organisational priorities? Forward-thinking boards plan ahead to refresh their own membership, with a rigorous assessment process, while pressing the organisation to maintain an awareness of change, risk, and accountability. But they remain rooted in a set of common values and ethical principles that are modelled by leaders.
    • People, planet, profit: Does the board possess the agility to ensure the required new learning and innovation the organisation requires for longer-term success? A board that is well positioned for future success keeps a steady eye on the external environment—ongoing change within its industry and the global economic picture—to ensure it and the organisation possess the knowledge, skills, and agility to continue to adapt, as change requires, to remain effective.

Event Details:

Date: 8 September 2020
Time: 10:30 am - 12:00 pm (KSA Time)         
           11:30 am - 1:00 pm (UAE Time)
Format: Online WebinarSpeakers:

  • Markus Wiesner, Managing Partner for Global Growth Markets business, Heidrick Consulting, Dubai
  • Alice Breeden, Partner, Heidrick & Struggles, London   

About the Speakers:

Markus Wiesner,Managing Partner for Global Growth Markets Business, Heidrick Consulting

Markus is the Managing Partner for the Global Growth Markets business at Heidrick Consulting, based in Dubai.  For the last 15 years Markus has worked extensively with Boards and CEOs in the GCC to drive their organisation’s people agenda. Before joining Heidrick & Struggles, Markus was the CEO for the Middle East and Africa for Aon Hewitt.

Prior to this he spent 9 years at Mercer, where he was the Managing Director for their Middle East business from 2007 – 2011. With over 20 years experience in Consulting, his technical expertise spans across Organisational Change, M&A, Leadership Assessment and Development, Board Assessment, large scale HR Transformations, Culture Change and Top Team Effectiveness.

Markus is a Chartered Director (IoD London) and has held executive as well as non-executive director roles for many years. He has worked with many boards in the region as board advisor, in particular on NRCs.  Originally from Austria, Markus has an MBA and a PhD in Economics and Social Sciences from the University of Vienna where he was teaching organisational design and decision making at the MBA program for many years. He has also got a Master in Sport Management from IE University in Madrid. 

Alice Breeden, Partner, Heidrick & Struggles 

Alice Breeden is a Partner in Heidrick & Struggles’ London office.  She leads our work in board effectiveness globally.  Alice has over twenty years of experience working at senior executive and Board level in some of the world’s largest and most complex organisations.

Prior to joining Heidrick & Struggles, Alice led the People Operations for Google in EMEA. Prior to that, she worked for twelve years in McKinsey’s London office, where, as a Partner, she was one of the leaders of the Organisation Practice worldwide. Experience there included leading  multiple major transformation programmes in the UK public sector, airline, travel and logistics, banking and technology.  

Alice began her early career in marketing and communications, working for a number of organizations including American Express.    Alice received an MBA from London Business School and a bachelor’s degree in English language & literature from the University of Durham


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