Leadership for Our Future

11th & 12th November: 10.00am - 4.30pm
The Ambassadors Hotel Upper Woburn Place London WC1H 0HX

This year’s annual conference will once more be held at The Ambassadors Hotel in Upper Woburn Place London WC1. The title and theme for this year’s event is Leadership for Our Future. Our presenters come from a wide range of backgrounds and experience with themes ranging from the leader as host to the creation of happy and effective workplaces. In addition we will be looking at examples of the application of servant-leadership principles in different organisations. In response to an observation made at the end of last year’s conference, we have included an early presentation on the fundamentals of servant-leadership, tracing its history from Greenleaf’s original work to its present day application.

Our friends at The Ambassadors Hotel have very generously kept their charges to the same level as the last two years, and this has meant that we, too, have been able to keep our registration fee as before.

Please note a change in speaker, Dr Kae Reynolds will be speaking in place of Rhiannon Colvin who can't make the conference due to work commitments.

Henry Stewart is founder and Chief Executive of London-based training business Happy Ltd. Founded as Happy Computers in his back room in Hackney 20 years ago, it created a reputation for the most enjoyable and involving IT training available. Now called just Happy it was rated one of the top 20 workplaces in the UK for 5 successive years and now helps other organisations create happy workplaces. Management Today voted Happy as the best company in the UK for customer service, in an award previously won by First Direct and Nationwide Building Society. The company has been rated among the top 20 workplaces in the UK, in the Financial Times/Great Place to Work institute Best Workplaces awards, for five successive years – as well as the very best company in the country for health and well-being.

Henry is listed in the Guru Radar of the Thinkers 50 list of the most influential business thinkers in the world. "He is one of the thinkers who we believe will shape the future of business", explained list compiler Stuart Crainer. His book, The Happy Manifesto, was published by Kogan Page in January 2013.

Outside of work, Henry lives in Hackney and is married with 3 children. He is Chair of Governors of his local comprehensive (which his children attend). A keen cyclist, he has twice completed the Etape, the public stage of the Tour de France – consisting of over 100 miles through the highest mountain roads of the Pyrenees.

Mark McKergow PhD MBA is a consultant and author bringing new ideas into the world of organisations. He is the co-author of the best-selling The Solutions Focus book which has sold some 30,000 copies and is in 11 languages. His latest book (with Helen Bailey) is Host: Six new roles of engagement for teams, organisations, communities and movements (Solutions Books, London, 2014).

The key role of the host - someone who receives and entertains guests - is deeply embedded in human society worldwide. The metaphor of leader as host offers a view on leadership that is at once rooted in millennia of practice and at the same time something new and timely. Host author Dr Mark McKergow has spent over a decade researching ideas around leading as a host. The resulting ideas promote engagement, influence, flexibility and awareness for leaders and their teams. There are clear links between servants and hosts, and also some interesting distinctions. Mark will share some of his thoughts on these and how leading as a host may be a stepping stone to servant-leadership.

John Noble worked in both the scientific and financial Civil Service before taking up an appointment as Personnel Manager for the central work of The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Britain, with overall responsibility for the personnel matters for both their UK and two thirds world work.

He co-founded the Greenleaf Centre for Servant-Leadership UK with Ralph Lewis in 1997 and, after leaving his post with Quakers in 2002, has devoted the greater part of his time as voluntary Director and Administrator of the Centre. He has led and contributed to a large number of conferences, workshops and seminars on servant-leadership with consultants, students, leaders, managers and wider staff groups in the UK, Europe, South Africa, Australia and the United States. He is co-editor, with Ralph Lewis of Servant-Leadership: Bringing the Spirit of Work to Work first published in 2008.

This session is in response to a suggestion made at last year's conference and will set out the basis of servant-leadership and trace its history from Greenleaf's initial work to its current application. It will also reflect the view of servant-leadership as a life philosophy, rather than a leadership theory.

Charlie Foote's working life has involved intellectual property, computers and now both together in Work AnyWare which provides software service to the IP world.

Along the way Charlie has founded or co-founded a number of businesses including Susan Hirsh (textiles), HGF (Patent Attorneys) and Work AnyWare.

In all these ventures he has attempted to apply the principle of Servant-Leadership - not always successfully, but always as a learning experience. Charlie has partly retired now and works one or two days a week with the team at Work AnyWare.

In this spare time he is writing a book on using Servant-Leadership, and is also the founder and organiser of a cycling group, based in Yorkshire, with the uplifting motto "Never cycle past an open bar."

Dr Kae Reynolds is a Senior Lecturer for Leadership in the Department of People, Management and Organisations at the University of Huddersfield Business School in West Yorkshire. Prior to her academic career Dr Reynolds managed international business communication projects as an expatriate in Germany. She received a Greenleaf Scholar Award for her research on servant leadership, feminist ethics and gender differences in the American business context.

Andrew Thornton is an entrepreneur, the owner of Thornton's Budgens (a supermarket in North London) and the founder of Heart in Business Limited. His life purpose is to put the Heart back into Business and encourage the shift from an obsession with profit, towards a business world where people and our planet are put first. He has applied these principles to Thornton's Budgens. He is currently writing the book “How to put the Heart back into Business" and his aim is to build a network of heartful businesses.

Andrew was a founder director of social enterprises “The People's Supermarket" and “Food from the Sky", founded and ran the retail consultancy SRCG, is an Ambassador for Embercombe, the sustainability centre in Devon and is a fellow of the Royal Society for Arts, Commerce and Industry. He lives in London and has two (growing up!) children. Andrew is a graduate of University College Dublin, doing both a B.Comm and an MBS.

Andrew Thornton speaks passionately about how he runs Thornton's Budgens and his journey from profit focused entrepreneur to heartful business leader. He talks about his changed approach to running businesses and how being more heartful is actually better business. His story is insightful and entertaining, a real life practical example of how a leader and a business can change.


11th & 12th November: 10.00am - 4.30pm
The Ambassadors Hotel Upper Woburn Place London WC1H 0HX

Download Registration Form

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Not for Profits/Individuals
  Day 1 Day 2 Day 1&2
  £95 £95 £175
Other Organisations
  Day 1 Day 2 Day 1&2
  £105 £105 £195
Lunch provided both days
Tentative Schedule, Subject to change
  Day 1     Day 2
World Cafe
  10.00 Henry Stewart
Creating Happy Workplaces
10.45 BREAK   11.15 BREAK
11.00 John Noble
Servant-Leadership: Not so Much a Theory, more a Way of Life
  11.30 Andrew Thornton
Putting the Heart back into Business
12.30 Lunch   12.45 Lunch
13.45 Charlie Foote
Bring on the Servant-Leaders
  13.45 Dr Kae Reynolds
Servant-Leadership and Feminist Ethics
15.00 Break   15.15 Break
15.20 Mark McKergow
The Leader as Host
  15.30 Reflections and ideas for future events
16.30 Close   16.30 Close