Business and People Strategy and Performance

Conference: Building and Sustaining Great Organisations

  • CRF International Conference
  • October 12, 2021 UTC-1
  • London, United Kingdom

In-person timings: 8.45 – 20.00 BST / Online timings: 10.15 – 16.40 BST

Join us at this year’s CRF conference to explore the crucial components in creating and sustaining a great organisation.

We are delighted to once again be able to welcome attendees in person and look forward to hosting senior leaders and professionals at London’s Grosvenor House on 12 October. For member colleagues who are earlier in their career or those who wish to attend online, we are pleased to offer virtual access to the conference with the flexibility to drop in and out of sessions through the day.

The capacity of organisations to adapt and reposition has been tested through 2020 and 2021, as the world continues to wrestle with the coronavirus pandemic. Our programme of expert academics and leading practitioners (see below) will investigate how to create success, develop great people, deal with failure and implement high-growth strategies. We will take a long-term view to look at how Covid-19 may have changed our view of ‘greatness’, and what we can learn from the experience.

In addition to the day’s speakers, those members attending the event in person will have the choice of seven morning masterclasses from Achieve Breakthrough, Advanced People Strategies, Bird & Bird, BTS, EY Lane4, Mercer and RHR International.

View the full conference programme here, complete with the agenda and masterclass options. Please select your masterclass when registering for the event.

Click the below image to view an overview of the day’s proceedings:

We look forward to welcoming you, in-person or online, at CRF’s 13th annual conference on 12 October.

If you have any questions about the event please contact Will Pemberton (


Stephen Carver

Lecturer in Project & Programme at Cranfield University

Stephen Carver is rated as one of the top three lecturers at one of Europe’s leading MBA Business Schools. He has a reputation of taking complex management concepts such as Project, Programme, Change and Crisis Management and being able to distil them down into highly informative and fast-paced lectures – often using “storytelling” techniques.

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Prof. James Henderson

Professor of Strategic Management, IMD Business School

James E. Henderson is Professor of Strategic Management at IMD. Prior to joining IMD, he was an Associate Professor of Strategic Management at Babson College and Babson School of Executive Education, based in Boston, MA. His areas of special interest are strategy under uncertainty, competitive strategy, corporate strategy, and strategy execution.

Professor Henderson helps companies achieve and sustain their competitive advantage either at a business unit, corporate or global level through directing custom specific executive programs, facilitating strategy workshops, or teaching MBAs and executives.

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Matthew Ingle

Former Chief Executive, Howdens Joinery

Matthew Ingle recently retired of Chief Executive of Howdens Joinery, a company he founded in 1995 with 14 depots and a first-year turnover of £1million. By 2018 the company had 720 depots, a turnover of £1.5billion and pre-tax profits of £250million. A company with a niche market selling kitchens direct to tradespeople, it is an example of a great organisation with an exciting vision, clear business plan, dynamic culture and high performing leadership.

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Whitney Johnson

Author and Executive Coach

Whitney Johnson is one of the 50 leading business thinkers in the world (Thinkers50) and an expert on disruptive innovation and personal disruption, a framework codified in the critically-acclaimed book Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work as well as the award-winning Build an “A” Team: Play To Their Strengths and Lead Them Up the Learning Curve. Her proprietary framework and diagnostics were developed after co-founding the Disruptive Innovation Fund with Harvard Business School’s Clayton Christensen.

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Kent McMillan

Managing Director, Talent & Organisation, OD Global Practice Lead, Accenture

Kent McMillan leads Accenture’s Global Organisation Practice where he works with executives to re-imagine their operating models and embrace transformational change in the digital age. He has over 18 years’ experience across industries, helping global clients to deliver on their growth, agility, productivity, and sustainability objectives through new operating models, organisation designs and people strategies. Kent is passionate about driving organisational performance, through next generation ways of working, data and the latest technology. He is called on by his clients and team for innovative thinking and the application of design thinking and analytics, recently receiving a US patent for Accenture’s organisation analytics and design platform.

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Helen Pitcher OBE

Chairman, Board member, Board facilitator and Coach

Helen is an experienced Chairman, Board member, Board facilitator and Coach. She works across the range of FTSE, Professional Service, Private Equity and Family firms, where she has led some of the biggest Board Evaluations. Helen is also a coach to many leading CEOs, Chairman and NED’s. She was awarded an OBE for services to Business in 2015.

In addition to her Advanced Boardroom Excellence role Helen holds the following high profile Board roles: Chairman of the Criminal Cases Review Commission, a Non-Executive Director at UB UK,    C & C Group Plc and Chairman of their Remuneration Committee and a member of the Nomination and ESG Committees.  SID at OneHealth Group Ltd and Chairman of the Remuneration and Nominations Committees.  President of INSEAD Directors Network Board (IDN) and a Chairman of INSEAD Directors Club Limited.   Helen is the President of KidsOut (a National Children’s Charity) and sits on the Advisory Board for Leeds University Law Faculty.

Helen was previously Chairman of the Queens Counsel Selection Panel until February 2017, Chairman pladis Advisory Board (United Biscuits, Godiva, Ülker Bisküvi) until April 2019 and a Board member and Remuneration Chairman for the CIPD until June 2019.

Helen holds an MA, LLB (Law), IDP-C (INSEAD International Director’s Programme – Corporate Governance Certificate).  She is the only Consultant in the UK Board Effectiveness arena to hold this INSEAD qualification.  She graduated from the INSEAD Strategy in the Age of Digital Disruption and Strategy for Accelerated Growth Programmes and the INSEAD Diversity Programme.  Helen is also an alumnus of the ground-breaking INSEAD Challenge of Leadership Programme.  She both attended and now features on the INSEAD Leading from the Chair programme.

Helen is a Fellow of the IoD, CIPD, CIM, RSA and a Member of the European Corporate Governance Institute.

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