BIE hosted a fascinating discussion at our business breakfast at the Haymarket Hotel, led by Stuart Turnbull from Mercer. HR Directors from top class organisations like Nationwide Building Society, Intercontinental Hotels Group plc, London Stock Exhange Group plc, British Gas and Travis Perkins plc many others, shared experiences, insights and approaches to effectively developing a leadership talent pipeline that is fit for purpose.

Whether strategic or tactical, evolutionary or radically transformational, change is the one certainty for business leaders of today.

 There is a clear acknowledgement of the necessity to ‘adapt or die’, with 94% of business leaders reporting in BIE’s recent research that being more agile is a priority for organisations. In the same survey, 82% said leading and delivering step changes in how the business is conducted (business transformation) is their highest priority.

Mercer’s recent research also highlighted that market, business model and workforce disruption is driving the need for leadership agility and an evaluation of leadership interventions to achieve this.

Some of the key challenges identified at the event, included leaders firstly acknowledging the need for change and overcoming psychological barriers to objectively evaluating their own development needs and being open on how to tackle them.

Clarifying the aim and direction of any business was discussed as an imperative and then understanding the leadership skills needed to navigate the organisation through a constantly changing environment to achieve it, another. Defining what good leadership means and looks like today, and leaders acknowledging their responsibility to grow leaders were other challenges identified along with the ability to demonstrate the ROI of any approach (and the difficulty in doing this).

A fascinating concept emerged around the openness to embrace the innate skills and attitudes the younger generations are equipped with, to help crack the tensions that present themselves in the modern world.

If you were unable to attend, but would like to explore in more detail and on a personal basis some of the areas that we covered at the event please contact Emma-Claire Kavanagh on 07770 761632 or email

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