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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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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