The Better Boards Podcast Series

The Better Boards Podcast Series

Our mission at Better Boards is to contribute to creating better boards. We do this by providing clients with an evidence-based approach for board evaluations and board development programmes. To fulfil our mission, we would like to give a voice to all who are care about creating better boards, Chairpeople, CEOs, SIDs, NEDs, Academicians, investors, and regulators. All the views expressed in our podcasts are the views of our podcast partners and not those of Better Boards. In each episode, you’ll get insights from those who are at the frontline - Chairpeople, CEOs, SIDs, NEDs, Academicians, investors, and regulators. Every time you tune in, we’ll help you to develop and reinvigorate your board know-how and practice with insights, creative problem-solving, and practical advice. New episodes are available every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month.


December 1, 2022 20 min

Geopolitical dynamics have evolved recently and will continue to grow more complex, with even more impact in the foreseeable future.  Companies operating in more than one jurisdiction are particularly vulnerable to geopolitical risks, although these can also present opportunities.  Can boards afford to steer clear, or is the boardroom the best place to build resilience and pave the way to opportunity?

In this podcast, Dr Sabine Demb...

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Being digitally conversant in an era of digital transformation is quickly claiming Board attention.  Most companies are looking to use technology to improve business models, customer experience, operational efficiency, and more.  Boards must help them move forward at a sufficient pace, advocating for change, supporting, and sometimes nudging CEOs. 

In this podcast, Dr Sabine Dembkowski, Founder and Managing Partner of Better Boards ...

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There has been massive instability at a global level in the last two years, including geopolitical events, the pandemic, and inflation. However, we are also in the midst of a longer-term shift arising from political instability and deglobalisation. There is increasing investor focus on ESG, notably integrated reporting and disclosure requirements when it comes to climate change and stakeholder engagement. All these trends have majo...

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Recent research revealed that 87% of board members believe market disruptions are becoming increasingly frequent, and 83% say they are increasingly impactful. At the same time, 79% believe risk management will be critical in enabling their organisations to protect and create value in the next five years. 

In this podcast, Dr Sabine Dembkowski, Founder and Managing Partner of Better Boards, discusses the risk environment with Zahra C...

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Organisations are facing major challenges. Many boardrooms have not yet caught up with the avalanche of recent and current profound changes, and both boards and members of nomination committees need to think carefully about talent and the C-Suit. It is easy to talk at a high level about moving from a shareholder economy to a stakeholder economy but what does this really mean for the selection and development of the C-Suite?

In this ...

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Diversity is high on the agenda, yet we still see something different in the boardroom, where more often than not, boards are filled with individuals whose nationality only matches that of the country of the headquarters. FTSE boards are filled with British nationals, DAX boards are filled with German nationals etc. It is clearly challenging to establish a global mindset in the boardroom.

In this podcast, Dr Sabine Dembkowski, Found...

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CEO appointments are an important responsibility of Boards. Accordingly, Boards need to ensure they have adequate qualified internal and external candidates for successful CEO selection processes. Creating CEO readiness for internal candidates is as important as working with external search advisors.

In this podcast, Dr Sabine Dembkowski, Founder and Managing Partner of Better Boards discusses CEO readiness with Dr Wayne Nelson, Sen...

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Organisations face ever-increasing scrutiny, and their purpose beyond making monies for their shareholders matters more than ever. In a previous podcast, we discussed Generation Z. For this younger generation, corporate purpose matters even more. So in this podcast, we explore the role of the board in defining the purpose of the organisation, and the importance of aligning purpose with the strategy and culture. 

Dr Sabine Dembkowski...

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This podcast was recorded in August 2022, just after a record-breaking heatwave in the UK. Since the start of temperature recording in 1884, the ten warmest years in the UK have all been recorded since 2002. At the same time, rainfall is the lowest since records began, and hosepipe bans have been introduced in parts of the UK, while wildfires are raging across Europe. Climate change has become evident. However, some Directors feel ...

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Digitalisation is a tsunami reshaping the world and challenging organisations. However, few Directors have both the first-hand experience and the know-how to oversee organisations’ digital challenges. 

In this podcast, Dr Sabine Dembkowski, Founder and Managing Partner of Better Boards, discusses digital know-how with Hassan el Bouhali from Toronto, Canada.  They discuss the barriers to bringing digital know-how into the boardroom, ...

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The war for talent has become the top business issue and in response, many business leaders are reviewing their overall business model and employee value proposition.  Handling this challenge successfully requires strong leadership from both the executive team and the board.  As custodians of the brand, reputation and organisational culture, the board is key to this process, and boards can therefore be powerful ‘agents of change’.


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Many Executives dream of a portfolio career, even attending specially designed courses, paying to qualify and increase their chances of securing a seat at the top table.  Yet only a relatively small number manage to create a strong portfolio and become a “Professional Non-Executive Director.”

In this podcast, Dr Sabine Dembkowski (Founder and Managing Partner of Better Boards) discusses non-executive directorship with Ian Murray, Ch...

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Generation Z in the Boardroom

Whether in gender, race, or age, diversity can allow companies to tap into a variety of perspectives, experiences, and expertise to solve problems and generate new ideas. But for the first time, we have workplaces today where four, even five generations work side by side. Conflict and unconscious bias can arise from generational differences in values and working styles. Unfortunately, research shows tha...

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The topic of supply chains is on everyone's mind more than ever. Board members are increasingly obliged to ask themselves what their own company's supply chains look like, and with whom they do business.  The issues associated with supply chains are complex and require consideration from multiple angles.

In this podcast, Dr Sabine Dembkowski, Founder and Managing Partner at Better Boards, discusses supply chains with Anahita...

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I met my podcast partner for this episode when conducting a board evaluation for a growth company in the Financial Services sector. What struck me was the positive view everyone on the board had about the way the board works together. We have detailed benchmark data, and also, when we compared this board with others, it came out as one that is performing better. So, I immediately thought that I must invite the Chair, Peter Herbert....

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The status of ethnic diversity on FTSE Boards 

It is five years since the 2017 publication of the first report into Ethnic Diversity of UK boards by Sir John Parker and the Parker Review Steering Committee. Over the last five years, we have seen changes in diversity and inclusion, and it is a huge success that as of today, 94 FTSE100 companies have met the target. But while much has been achieved, there can be no grounds for complac...

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Nowhere is the practice of conducting board evaluations more advanced than in the UK, and more boards of listed organisations conduct board evaluations here regularly than anywhere else.

In the second part of this podcast, Dr Sabine Dembkowski (Founder and Managing Partner of Better Boards) talks to Maureen Beresford, Head of Corporate Governance at the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), this time discussing how to analyse the resul...

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Board Evaluations - What does good really look like? Part I

The Corporate Governance Code in the UK is the blueprint for corporate governance codes worldwide. Nowhere else is the practice of conducting board evaluations more advanced, and nowhere else do more boards of listed organisations conduct board evaluations on a regular basis.

In this podcast, Dr Sabine Dembkowski talks with Maureen Beresford, Head of Corporate Governance at ...

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Creating A Sustainability-Savvy Board

From both a risk and opportunity perspective, boards must ensure they fully engage with the impact of sustainability: Board members are challenged to take bolder and more transformative action.  A recent study revealed that nearly 75% of European board directors believe that ignoring sustainability will affect their organisations’ ability to create long-term value.  However, only 30% believe tha...

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Much is written and said about governance, but most is heavily skewed towards the developed world, while good practice is happening (or should be happening) in every country.  But what matters to Company Secretaries and boards in both the developed world and developing world, and how accessible is good practice? What has been done to break down silos? 

In this podcast, Dr Sabine Dembkowski talks to Bode Ayeku, President of  Corporat...

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