Insights & Research

Insights & Research

Exclusive Insights

Original research and insightful articles on leadership, people and culture, change management and career advancement for busy senior executives.

Report: Q1 Board Appointments 2022

In this report, we look at the breakdown of non-executive and executive director appointments. The start of a new year typically brings feelings of hope, and as the clock ticked into 1 January, business execs will have been forgiven for leaning towards optimism in their outlook for 2022. Following a difficult couple of years, England was getting through a winter spike in Covid cases without returning to lockdown rules which crippled large parts of the economy in 2020 and 2021.

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Challenging the Balance of Executive Power

Diversity isn’t a numbers game – it’s a power game, and one that most companies are losing. Strong representation of women on boards has been achieved thanks to the rapid ascent of female NEDs. But for a company to be truly gender diverse, diverse groups must hold a healthy grip of the executive decision-making pendulum. Clearly that can only happen by gaining a more critical mass of such talent in the most powerful C-suite roles. So what’s holding companies back?

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Report: Full Year and Q4 2021 Board Review

In this report, we analyse the board appointments to the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 listed companies in Q4 2021 and share a deeper analysis of the full year. Having been conducting these reports now since 2018, we have a strong basis through which to provide comparative analysis and draw conclusions as to the buoyancy of FTSE board activity and what impacts the market.

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A Chair’s Multi-Lens View on Succession

The chair is in a unique position when it comes to a subject that is vital to the success of every business: succession. On the one hand, chairs play a crucial role in ensuring there is a sensible and appropriate succession plan in place for the two most important executive positions: CEO and CFO. Meanwhile, as is discussed throughout this report, they are also tasked with ensuring a diverse composition of non- exec board members around them. And all the while considering whether they are meeting the evolving needs to best serve as chair themselves.

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Board DNA: 5 Core Attributes of Future Chairs

Respondents of a 2021 board study by Savannah reveal how a business landscape where volatility is the norm impacts the attributes of successful chairs and boards of the future.

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Charting the Evolution of Board Priorities

Purpose, innovation and diversity are driving a realigned set of priorities for board directors. When the chairs and other executive and non-executive directors were asked by Savannah Group in mid-2021 to rank the top issues of importance to the board today, the results revealed a stark realignment of priorities from what was traditionally associated with boardroom decisions.

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The Changing Roles of the Chair and Board

In a dramatically shifting business environment, the traditional roles of the chair and board are having to evolve. Non-financial issues, and non-traditional board measures such as sustainability, D&I, digital transformation and social purpose, are adding new dimensions to board leadership and governance, causing the role of the board to evolve. The pressure is on all board directors, but most of all the chair, to not only take on a more active role but also to reflect on what they personally need to bring to the table as companies look to reinvent themselves for a post- Covid, post-Brexit age.

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Infrastructure Talent Themes and Challenges for 2022

What are the key themes and challenges facing infrastructure talent acquisition in 2022? This is the exact question Tim Shaw, Partner in Savannah’s Industrial Practice, addressed in his recent keynote presentation at FIDICs Global Infrastructure Conference. As we look ahead into 2022, there will be four major areas that need to be focused on to attract and retain the best talent: • Diversity • Hybrid Culture • Digital • Purpose

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Report: Q3 Board Appointments 2021

In this report, we look at the breakdown of non-executive and executive director appointments. The long-anticipated ‘Freedom Day’ came 19 days into the third quarter of 2021 in England, finally unleashing the British economy from the remaining shackles of Covid restrictions, albeit with numerous limitations still remaining on global travel. For many businesses, certainly in the sectors most affected by lockdowns, it was a moment of jubilation and relief that they could turn back to the recruitment market to reignite their growth plans following 18 months of stagnation.

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Building Digital Boards

Report: Building Digital Boards

2020 will be remembered as the year the world was forced to make a radical and life-altering pivot. Change has been forced upon organisations and they’ve had to be quick to adapt. One of the major themes that has been accelerated is the adoption and use of digital technology. Whether it’s how we work, where we work, how we shop or how we spend our leisure time, digital technology is embedded in every area of our lives. The barriers to change have been taken down and acceptance of change has never been greater.

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Sequencing the DNA of the Future Chair & Board

Non-financial issues, and non-traditional board measures such as sustainability, D&I, digital transformation and social purpose, are adding new dimensions to board leadership and governance, causing the role of the board to evolve. The pressure is on all board directors, but most of all the chair, to not only take on a more active role but also to reflect on what they personally need to bring to the table as companies look to reinvent themselves for a post-Covid, post-Brexit age.

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Report: Q2 Board Appointments 2021

In this report, we look at the breakdown of non-executive and executive director appointments. The UK economy sprung back to life in the second quarter as the government’s phased reopening plan saw the return of non-essential retail and outdoor hospitality in April followed by indoor hospitality and some events in May. Though England’s so-called ‘Freedom Day’, removing all remaining legal restrictions, was delayed by four weeks, pushing it into Q3, it didn’t blight the growing optimism among UK businesses, which for many has been brewing since Q1.

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The Future of Data

Data is not just an asset. It is the strongest voice that will help businesses to stay competitive. We know that this resource holds the answer to many of our business challenges but mastering the art of extracting insights that are credible and powerful enough to drive strategic business decisions is no easy feat. To learn from experts in this field we were delighted to co-host an event on the future of data in partnership with Google Cloud.

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How to get C-Suite Alignment on the Mental Health Agenda

In a business that’s all about people, we know first-hand how leaders influence happiness, healthiness and high-performing work environments. Investing holistically in health and wellbeing is high on the agenda of both clients and candidates. At our recent Health Matters for the Workplace event in partnership with Aetna and the InsideOut LeaderBoard, Savannah Group’s Mary Driscoll explored the topic of getting c-suite support on health and wellbeing in the workplace. Pushing mental health up the board agenda brings with it a broad range of benefits related to recruitment, retention, productivity and most importantly, overall workforce health.

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Report: Q1 Board Appointments 2021

In this report, we look at the breakdown of non-executive and executive director appointments. As is tradition, we have crunched the data to identify both new and continuing trends while also highlighting notable individual appointments for the period Q1 2021. Rising Covid-19 infections at the end of last year meant the first quarter of 2021 was dominated by another strict national lockdown in the UK. Yet despite the renewed stress on economic activity, and Covid-19 hospitalisations and deaths spiking higher than the 2020 peak, December to February saw the first quarterly drop in unemployment since 2019, ONS figures revealed.

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Sense and Respond: How to Deliver Outcomes not Outputs

If the past year has demonstrated anything, it’s that we live in an unpredictable world supported by technology. To thrive within these conditions of uncertainty and to future-proof our businesses, we must strive to become ‘sensing organisations,’ that can sense and respond, continuously, in real time. In the latest of Savannah Group’s series of exclusive Harvard Business Review Press events, we welcomed Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden. Authors of the bestselling book Sense and Respond, Jeff and Josh discussed how organisations need to rethink the way we organise work in order to sense and respond quickly.

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Deal-making in a Pandemic: Valuations

Over a year on from the first lockdown, Savannah Group has reflected on what has been an extraordinary year in the Private Equity sector with the volume of requests for pre and post-acquisition support mirroring the ebb and flow of deal-making and all the challenges that has brought with it.

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Report: Breaking Ground

Diversity is not just a moral obligation or the right thing to do from an ethical standpoint – it’s an economic imperative, powering more profitable, innovative and creative businesses. Through this report, supported by interviews with 24 female E&C CEOs and executive leaders and a range of quantitative data, Savannah Group explores the sheer scale of the challenge and an actionable roadmap to achieving better diversity.

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Report: Full Year 2020 Board Review

In this report, we analyse the board appointments to the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 listed companies in Q4 2020 and share a deeper analysis of the full year. We now have three full years of analysis and trends from our close monitoring of the FTSE 350 board appointments. Following our 2018 report, we have continued to publish quarterly updates allowing us to see the emerging trends, most particularly the rapid rise in the number of women in the boardrooms and that, in turn, revealed the yawning gap between the relative numbers of women in non-executive director roles and executive director roles, one of the most serious governance issues facing us.

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Report: Succession Planning with Military Precision

This report in Savannah Groups’s People and Performance series features lessons for CEOs from the Armed Forces. The British military is renowned for its world-class leadership. Over centuries, they have honed a highly effective structure for identifying and developing leadership talent. The trio of organisations that make up the British Armed Forces – the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force – are each the size of a FTSE 100 company and have their own leader responsible for managing tens of thousands of people and billions of pounds of budget and assets. They represent the UK on the global geo-political stage, including security, trade, foreign relations and international business partnerships.

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The Technology Disconnect

The successful execution of a digital, product and technology strategy is one of the important commercial competitive differentiators for any business. Yet we frequently hear boards and ExCos lamenting the lack of technology leadership and delivery of impactful digital transformation. Their plea is for CIOs who can deliver meaningful, commercial value through digital and data technologies. Conversely, CIOs report that the dynamic, digital role they were promised is, in fact, more operationally focused – dealing with legacy challenges. CIOs are passionate people with a real desire to effect digital change, so why, when there is clearly the will on both sides, is there still a disconnect between CIOs and their business colleagues?

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Report: The DNA of the Future CFO

This report looks at the evolution of the CFO as a strategic visionary and business advisor. CFOs have been gradually transitioning to a more influential and business-focused role, presenting them with a different range of challenges and a complex and demanding remit. We look at questions such as ‘what will define successful CFOs in a post-crisis business landscape?’ and ‘if the skills and traits required of a successful CFO are evolving, are the approaches to identifying the best succession candidates, internally and externally, changing too?’

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The Unfinished Business of Boardroom Gender Diversity

The Government backed Davies Review in 2011 followed by the Hampton-Alexander Review in 2016, successfully encouraged a voluntary effort to substantially increase the number of women on the boards of the FTSE 350 listed companies and this effort has cascaded down through AIM listed and the largest privately held companies. In 2012, only 12% of the FTSE 350 non-executive directors were women.  Today, it is close to 40% and still increasing. While this success needs to recognised, it also masks a deeper problem. If companies can’t get on top of gender diversity, will they be able to succeed with other forms of diversity?

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Report: Q3 Board Appointments 2020

In this report, we look at the breakdown of non-executive and executive director appointments and, as we have done in past reports, identify the trends and the individuals concerned. Our analysis again shows interesting trends. In our report for the full 2019 year, we showed the dramatic fall off in executive director appointments, essentially CEOs and CFOs, as the Brexit debate and parliamentary debacle intensified through that year. In all of 2019, there were only 69 executive director appointments at the FTSE 350 companies, compared to 119 in 2018. Looking now at the 2020 year-to-date appointments, we can see the turnaround with 73 executive director appointments already in the first 9 months.

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Leading through lockdown: The Power of Informality

An assumption that was made by a raft of executives in the wake of lockdown was that interims couldn’t be effective away from the office, leading to a significant number of assignments ending prematurely or never getting off the blocks. Eight months on, as we contend with local and national lockdowns, businesses are grappling with the reality that a number of staff will be operating remotely for some time and companies cannot afford to tread water forever. With the relaxing of the restrictions looking unlikely until 2021, we must all learn to deliver our objectives under the current conditions.

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Mastering Leadership Transitions – Both Internally & Externally

A combination of remote working and an accelerated pace of change have made transitions more challenging than ever. Whether moving internally or externally, leaders are faced with building trust, credibility, and their networks, without being able to spend time with their colleagues face to face. To discuss how to set leaders up for success in this environment, Savannah Group was joined by Michael Watkins, bestselling author of The First 90 Days, Master your Next Move, Professor at IMD Business School and co-founder of Genesis, and Danielle Harmer, Chief People Officer at Aviva.

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Report: Sequencing the DNA of Tomorrow’s CEO

CEOs were already operating in a volatile, fast-changing business environment, but the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the challenges they must overcome to succeed. In June 2020, Savannah Group surveyed 90 chairs and CEOs from FTSE and PE-backed companies about their views on how the traits and skills required of a business leader are changing. In the responses to an open question about the fundamental challenges facing CEOs in the “next normal” arising from the crisis, several key themes emerged.

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Report: Becoming Customer Obsessed

For businesses to protect margin and grow revenue in the future, a focus on customers is more crucial than ever before. We call this Customer Obsession – a fixation to drive strategy and actions that deliver greater value for the customer by embedding the customer’s real perspectives at the heart of a company. To continue to learn how different businesses are benefitting from this approach, we asked a select group of high-performance CMOs how they maximise the impact of marketing for their organisations.

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The DNA of the Future Organisation

How has the DNA of our organisations been altered in recent months? And how will it evolve to support a super-resilient business model that can thrive in times of uncertainty? During our virtual event our panel members discussed practical actions that organisations can take now.

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Report: The Digital Leadership Divide

Research across over 400 senior executives shows a substantial “digital divide” between the Board/CEO and the corporate functions (Technology/Digital/ Finance/HR/Marketing/Sales) in understanding the talent and skills required to enable and embed digital transformation within the UK’s largest businesses. Corporate functions were far less confident about the organisation’s progress than the Board/CEO. A significant proportion of corporate functions “strongly disagreed” that the progress required is being made.

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Report: Q2 Board Appointments 2020

In this report, we look at the breakdown of non-executive and executive director appointments and, as we have done in past reports, identify the trends and the individuals concerned. In this report we also take a brief look at that most contentious and complex of boardroom issues – remuneration – and challenge the dominance of this subject as evidenced by the fact that the Remuneration Reports of the top FTSE 100 companies average 27 pages or 45% of the Corporate Governance Reports of those companies.

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Savannah Market Insights: Leadership for the ‘Next Normal’. Issue 2: August

Following on from our First Market Insights report released in May, we’ve continued our conversations with board members and senior executives across a range of sectors and industries to gather insights and opinion in the current yet ever changing business landscape. This document summarises key themes, concerns and forward plans from those conversations.

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Report: Q1 Board Appointments 2020

In this report, we look at the breakdown of non-executive and executive director appointments and, as we have done in past reports, list the individuals behind those numbers. We also look at the gender diversity numbers so we can continue to report on that trend. And for the first time we try to assess the impact of the Government backed Parker Review in 2017 on ethnic diversity in the UK boardrooms. Unlike gender diversity, however, ethnic diversity is not binary and so difficult to assess and, other than the Parker Review Committee, lacks the protagonists and lobbyists to beat the drum loudly enough.

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The Elephant in the Boardroom

I have been in the privileged position to discuss race and diversity in all its forms with many leading Chief Executives and Chairs. One thing that always struck me was their need for a safe environment. An environment where they could not only challenge me but also their own concepts of race and get a better understanding of privilege in order to make their companies more attractive, better and ultimately more profitable places to work.

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Report: Savannah 2019 Board Review

Following our 2018 report, we published quarterly updates for the first three quarters of 2019. This report will look at the Q4 appointments, give a summary of the whole of 2019 and examine some of the trends we are now seeing. There are three standout findings discussed in some more detail in this report. First, we show with absolute clarity the success of the gender diversity movement.

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Savannah Market Insights: Leadership for the ‘Next Normal’. Issue 1: May

Over the past six weeks we’ve held hundreds of conversations with board members and senior executives across a range of sectors and industries during phase one and the early part of phase two of the coronavirus crisis. This document summarises key themes, concerns and forward plans from those conversations.

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Report: Closing the Innovation Gap

Despite the accelerating pace of technology developments and the exploding number of digital natives emerging in virtually every sector, large incumbents appear to be slow in responding to such existential threats. Digital leaders such as CIOs, CTOs and CDOs are making every effort to mobilise innovation initiatives within their respective organisations. Equally, the CEO community is under increasing pressure to demonstrate how it can generate billions of dollars of new value through genuinely innovative activities. Despite these valiant efforts, the FTSE100 in the UK remains at similar levels to 1999.

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Report: Transforming for Tomorrow

Digital disruption doesn’t respect industry boundaries. As incumbents dabble with digital, bolder players are seizing their chance to dominate a new, technology-driven world. The only way to compete is to embrace digital at the core of your organisation and adopt a digital mindset to transform for tomorrow. Savannah Group in partnership with PA Consulting and Prof. Venkat Venkatraman from Boston University have collaborated on a research study and report, collecting views and opinions from over 400 senior executives on the current state of their organisation’s digital transformation and how to achieve competitive advantage.

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Report: The Business of Global Content

It is the golden age of content, and marketing, brand and distribution revenues are all driven, to a large extent, by creating compelling content. Our report looks at the findings of a survey of over 100 industry executives to get a sense of the trends and challenges taking place within the sports, media & entertainment sector, which finds itself in a state of flux and transformation. With the consumer exercising more power than ever before in how they consume content, the report discusses the concept of customer centricity, how organisations use content to create and capture value and the importance of the role of Chief Content Officer.

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No Business Shrinks to Greatness – What CEOs in Industrial are Focusing on in 2020.

The differing pressures of ESG agendas, political emission, stakeholder activism, digital take up, decarbonisation and inclusion means that CEO’s of today must tread carefully. With corporate reputation now accounting for at least 25% of a company’s market value, 2020 will be a pivotal year driven by geopolitical agendas which are shaking up markets across the world. So what are CEOs within the industrial sector looking to focus on in 2020?

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Report: Q3 Board Appointments 2019

The average age of the non-executive directors governing the FTSE 350 companies is 59. None of them is below the age of 30 and only a handful are even in their 30s, primarily the nonindependent shareholder appointees. For the purposes of this discussion we are excluding 29 year old Cally Price who is an employee/workforce representative appointed to the Sports Direct board (more on this later). The absolute age range is 32 – 84. No one will be surprised to learn that 84% of those non-executive directors are aged between 50 and 70. One hundred and twenty-eight of them are in their 70s and six are in their 80s. The female NED’s average 57 years and the males 60.

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Savannah Group Commercial Practice H1 Update

Each half-year our Commercial Practice puts together a 5-minute update which briefly covers some of the activity we have been seeing in the market relating to the commercial function, the trends we have spotted and some of the work we have been asked to undertake from a sales, marketing and customer acquisition perspective.

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Report: Executive Interim & Consultancy Trends

The evolution of the Executive Interim market has meant that steady state type scenarios now account for less than a fifth of the mandates that we talk to clients about. This doesn’t mean to say that the market is shrinking, but that the agenda that brings the assignment to the table has changed. The changes we’ve seen in the market have certainly helped us categorise the capabilities of our network. The market is maturing and Interims will likely continue to become more specialist in the future.

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Report: Q2 Board Appointments 2019

This report reviews the FTSE 350 board appointments in the second quarter, April – June 2019 and follows our reports for the full year 2018 and Q1 2019. We again analyse the non-executive and executive director appointments to the FTSE 350 companies and explore the trends. The FTSE 100 appointments in Q2 show a particularly interesting change in direction with, on the one hand, only 28% of the non-executive appointments being women and, on the other, 100% of the executive director appointments being women.

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From The Podium To The Boardroom

Sport and business are often compared to one another, with good reason. In both environments, leaders seek to be top of their game. To gain a unique perspective on the experienced similarities between sport and business, and what business can learn from athletes, we recently hosted a breakfast briefing ‘From the Podium to the Boardroom’ with guest speakers Jason Gardener, Olympic Gold medallist, and Joanna Adams CEO of England Netball.

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Report: Q1 Board Appointments 2019

This first report for 2019 follows our analysis of the FTSE 350 board appointments in 2018 which we published in February. In that report, we pointed to a huge gap in the gender diversity achievements at the executive director level. We showed clearly that women now have more say in governance of the largest companies, but men still dominate the execution. That has not changed so far in 2019, and we didn’t expect that it would.

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Hiring For A Diversity & Inclusion Agenda

What we all suspected is now fully backed by all the stats – having diverse teams not only makes the workplace happier, but more productive and successful; your customers will feel a positive difference and ultimately, so will your P&L. What is equally true is that, whether our clients fully embrace the overwhelming evidence or whether they are simply following instructions from somewhere on high, gender balance is hugely important to them.

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Report: 2018 FTSE Board Appointment Analysis

The first report in a new quarterly series provides an analysis of board and executive appointments within the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 in 2018. The results clearly reflect the progress of the campaign for greater gender diversity amongst non-executive directors but they also highlight the very serious gap at the executive director level.

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To Be Successful In Difficult Emerging Markets, Don’t Rely On The Expat

Competition for talent continues to be a very hot topic in business today on both local and global level. And not least because of the extraordinary competitive edge afforded to those organisations – across the world – who invest in spotting and retaining talent. At Savannah Group, every day we see the rewards that high-growth organisations reap from positioning themselves to attract and retain highly-talented and agile workforces.

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Established Energy Players Aren’t Interested In Consumers

It seems that the rate of change in the energy sector is taking people by surprise. Given the falling costs of technology and availability of new renewable technologies, so much is being achieved in pushing the boundaries of this industry. We discuss what the organisational implications for business leaders and investors are.

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Green Is The New Black

It seems that the rate of change in the energy sector is taking people by surprise. Given the falling costs of technology and availability of new renewable technologies, so much is being achieved in pushing the boundaries of this industry. We discuss what are the organisational implications for business leaders and investors are.

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Report: Corporate Governance Should Not Be A Numbers Game

New research finds that traditional approaches to corporate governance are too often a box-ticking exercise and a distraction from the success of UK PLC. Our research report explains why governance measures are currently failing and what could be done to improve them.

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Report: Leading From The Front

At our dinner events and breakfast briefings, conversations can cover a wide range of leadership related issues. We have collected and collated comments from the Chairmen, NEDs, CEOs and Investors that participated in these events in order to provide some real-world insights and anecdotes from current business leaders. The leadership issues we have selected from the many discussed reflect those mentioned more frequently, and include the importance of selfawareness and self-knowledge, team leadership, decision making, leadership styles, and the value of organisational culture.

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Why Technology Leader Briefings Are Like A Box Of Chocolates 

Taking a brief from a board on a CIO/CTO/CDO role is rather like picking from a box of chocolates where you’ve lost the little card which tells you what the flavours are; you never know what you’ll get until you taste it. There are certainly some specific flavours which come through depending on the sector and size of the organisation, but as a head hunter, I can tell you that boards are full of surprises.

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The Content Arms Race – The Battle For Our Attention

The role of social media in today’s society combined with significant increases in the quantity, quality and the availability of content is having a marked effect on the dynamic between parent brands and the personal brands of the stars they employ. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the sports and media industry, and to discuss this topic, Savannah Group recently hosted a private dinner for senior executives in the sector.The topics of discussion focused on the role of content for these organisations; how they are looking to monetise their content and the carefully balanced dynamic between the commercial arm of the business and the talent they have within them.

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Key Takeaways From Dave Milner’s Breakfast Briefing Around Architecting The Future Digital Workplace

While digital is having a profound impact on how businesses interact with their customers, it is also having an impact on how businesses think about their internal customers: how to best engage their employees, what the workplace will look like in the future and what the employee experience will be.

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Blurred Lines – How Broadcasters are ‘Cohabiting’ With Digital Businesses

On the eve of Euro 2016, I asked the question in an article, as to whether broadcasters viewed social media as a ‘friend’ or ‘foe’. Two years on and the debate still rages. Although I would argue that the terminology needs updating and simplifying, replacing ‘social media businesses’ for ‘digital businesses’. What hasn’t become simpler is the somewhat awkward or evolving co-existence broadcasters and digital businesses share. On the one hand they are in open competition bidding against each other for sports rights, which in some cases has resulted in rights holders opting to move away from traditional linear deals and create partnerships with digital businesses.

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Report: The New Digital Revolution – Are Organisations In The UK Ready?

Organisations in the UK have work to do if they want to keep up with digital-native competitors. That’s according to early results from the National Digital Benchmark survey, created alongside Management Consultancy PA Consulting Group and award-winning speaker and author Professor Venkat Venkatraman. The interim results from the survey, which several hundred senior executives have responded to so far, suggest that digital transformation is slow within UK organisations, however awareness of a need to evolve and embrace digital is increasing.

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The Upside To The GDPR

With all the new policies, training and compliance that goes along with the GDPR, trying to change people’s working habits alongside their existing responsibilities can become a bit of an unwanted headache. While it might be tempting to moan and complain about all the work that needs to be undertaken, viewed in a positive light, GDPR offers the opportunity for some much needed organisational spring cleaning, and as a company, there are many positives we are experiencing.

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Have We Finally Moved Past The Obsession With Sector Experience?

Business leaders are under the spotlight from customers and boards to innovate, to adapt to the new norm and equip their organisation with the tools, skills, capabilities and products to survive in a world where competitors can emerge from unlikely places. One of the more significant shifts that we have seen is organisations becoming more open-minded about where their next leader is coming from, no doubt in an effort to remain relevant and ahead of the curve in a rapidly evolving business world.

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Report: AI For Senior Executives

With AI being such a topical subject, we’ve put together a report with the help of IBM, PA Consulting, Forrester, Bioss and a number of other thought leaders in the space to help simplify and summarise the key areas that senior executives should be thinking about when it comes to AI and their business.

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Aren’t All Businesses Now Customer-Centric?

The impact of digital on organisations has been well documented over the years. Some would argue that the answer to the question “What is digital?” is customer-centricity, and that everything that an organisation does is about serving the customer. How then can some organisations still be getting it so wrong?

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The Key Competencies of an outstanding CIO/CDO- Managing Complex stakeholders

Over the years I have been asked many times what makes a great technology leader, however, since the roles themselves have changed so dramatically over the past decade, the landscape is constantly shifting. Whatever list of criteria I put forward, there are always other competencies people want to add, usually drawn from their own personal experience, and the list could potentially be endless.

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Achieving Sustainable Growth Within A Private Equity Backed Business

The requirements, objectives and dynamic, can vary significantly when working as a CFO in a PE environment versus a corporate environment. Michael Williamson, an experienced CFO, has worked for a number of blue chip businesses like Oaktree Capital, GSK and Sanofi, and recently led a finance transformation project within the asset services division.

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Savannah Group Launches!

We are delighted to launch Savannah Group, a new Executive Search and Interim Management brand offering a fresh approach to executive recruitment. Our core team has been together for 10+ years, and until now we were the UK operation for another global search business. We recognise that our market is changing rapidly and our rebranding offers us the opportunity to adapt our business to support our clients and candidates better in this continually evolving landscape.

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Savannah LEJOG Charity Ride 2017

Cancer and Cystic Fibrosis have either directly or indirectly affected a number of our employees. We wanted to do something to raise money as a thank you for the support and treatment that was received, so employees from Savannah Group are completing a cycle ride from Lands End to John O’Groats to raise money and awareness for Macmillan, Breast Cancer Now and the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

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The Chief Digital Officer takes centre stage

Every organisation, whether a multinational, conglomerate, SME, privately-held business or public sector institution, is devoting significant resources to leveraging digital capabilities to drive a sustainable future.

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The Changing Role of the Chief Financial Officer

Throughout history, economic downturns have had distinct characteristics, and while they are neither rare nor inexplicable in a market economy, they share some routine commonalities in both cause and consequence. The desire to assign blame is a common feature of the aftermath, as is the resultant change for which the most recent recession has acted as a powerful catalyst.

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Do CEOs have the CIOs and IT capability they need?

The role of the CIO has evolved at the speed of light compared with those of its peers on the Executive Committee. It certainly needed to. The vast majority of roles within businesses today have at least some level of technology usage and most significant transformation programmes are underpinned by technology.

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How to take references on a candidate – effectively and legally

This white paper is part of a series which explores different aspects of building high performance management teams within venture capital and private equity portfolio companies. This paper deals specifically with reference checking and its use as a tool when assessing potential candidates. If you plan to take references yourself then be aware of the legal duty of care you owe to the candidate.

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How to Recruit a first class CEO

The strongest candidates will be attracted to a business which has a clear strategy and a board that is united behind it. It should not be the short term goal of the CEO to develop the strategy unless the business is in need of a “turnaround”

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Cybersecurity- Is your Board on board?

Our research has shown that the most important criterion for an organisation to feel well protected is not the size of budget allocated to security or the specific technical platform, but good governance and oversight.

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Creating disruptive teams; the critical leadership competency for technology and digital leaders.

In this new world where Youtube went from startup to sale to Google for $1.4b in 18 months; Instagram went from start up to sale to facebook for $1bn in three years and Uber multiplied its value a tenfold to $17b in two years, the ability to deliver change and disruption to a sector, an industry and to one’s own organisation is arguably the most critical competency a business leader needs to possess.

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SMCR Makes You Personally Accountable – Are You Ready?

The aftermath of the financial crisis in 2008 revealed systemic weaknesses and ineffective ongoing supervision, leaving regulators largely unable to hold individuals accountable for the failure of the institutions they were responsible for managing. The Approved Persons Regime has been replaced by the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SMCR), which is designed to address this lack of accountability.

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Why Cybersecurity Is Where Talented Individuals Are Building Their Careers

Cybersecurity continues to make headlines, with a recent breach at Tesco Bank and the Chancellor unveiling a £2bn plan to “strike back” against cyber hackers. It is clear that public institutions, businesses, and our national infrastructure are being attacked on a daily basis by a mix of nation states, cyber spies, criminal gangs, hacktivists and “kids in bedrooms”, using in many cases, easily available and affordable tools.

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Leisure, Hospitality & Travel Boardroom Insight Q4, 2016

We recently hosted our latest boardroom lunch at our London Office for Chairmen, NEDs, CEOs and Investors from the Leisure, Hospitality & Travel sector. Guests included board members from Casual Dining Group, Priceline Group, Greggs, British Hospitality Association, SSP Group Plc, Vital Ingredient, The Restaurant Group, TUI, Disneyland Resort Paris and Barburrito.

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Insight from Leisure, Hospitality & Travel Boardroom Lunch – June/July 2016

On the day of the recent referendum, a selection of Chairmen, CEO and investors from across the Leisure, Hospitality & Travel sectors discussed their thoughts on the outcome and the implications of a Remain or Leave. Harold Wilson’s famous “a week is a long time in politics” quote certainly seems even more relevant now than it was back in 1977.

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Insight from our Leisure & Travel Boardroom Lunch- April 2016

In a week when Goldman Sachs reported a 60% drop in first quarter profits, continued media reports of low consumer confidence and uncertainty created through Brexit and a looming American election, we were intrigued to see whether the optimism built up in 2015 was alive and kicking or slowly dissipating. How optimistic were the CEO’s and Chairmen across the Leisure, Travel & Hospitality sector for the second half of 2016 and beyond?

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