CMi Forum

A unique ideas exchange for business leaders

As part of the value it offers clients, and to complement the mentoring programme, CMi provides the opportunity to engage over breakfast or dinner with some of the leading business thinkers of the day (often CMi Mentors) on topical and relevant issues, across a number of European capitals.

Charlotte Strömberg, Chair, Castellum AB

"I thoroughly enjoyed the dinner and the conversation. Bringing together different perspectives, acquiring some new insights and making some new friends is always valuable in understanding the world a little bit better and hopefully contributes to stronger contributions, both as an individual and from a corporate position. Many thanks for including me."

The CMi Forum has become an intrinsic part of the CMi proposition, providing stimulating and insightful exchanges of dialogue with deep practical insights. These exclusive events offer unique networking opportunities with a peer group that spans several business sectors and geographical territories and numbers are limited to a small, intimate group to ensure a private and in-depth discussion

The current programme features the following themes:

Health and Resilience of CEOs

The life of a CEO has never been busier than it is today. Top executives need to balance delivering short-term results with building a sustainable business. They are required to engage with a complex matrix of stakeholders; political risk and volatility make investment decisions harder; digital disruption is transforming business models; more diverse workforces require different styles of leadership and management; and low levels of trust in business and the rise of social media mean CEOs are under public scrutiny in a way they have never been before.

This 'always on' life creates unprecedented levels of pressure and significant personal resilience challenges, even during 'business as normal'. When a crisis hits – either personal or business – it becomes even more acute. We have seen many examples of CEOs being diagnosed with 'burn-out' related illnesses.

Issues for discussion include:

  • Is personal resilience a serious and growing issue for CEOs? What strategies can CEOs and companies employ to help enhance resilience in very high-pressure roles?
  • Does the company/Board/Chairman give sufficient recognition to the issue and actively help to manage it? Do CEOs welcome this support?
  • Is there enough focus on this during CEO appointments? Do potential CEO candidates really understand the realities of modern CEO life?
  • Is business culture, as a whole, changing to be more cognisant of this issue, or is it still dependent on the approach of individuals? How can more systemic change be encouraged?

Our guests will be Chairmen, CEOs and ExCo members.

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Digital Transformation and Implications on Leadership

Digital transformation is challenging and stretching corporate leadership at an unprecedented pace. We will explore a number of topics, including:

  • What are the implications for different industries and how will leadership be affected?
  • What is the value of strategic planning in a world where 'develop, test and learn' is the new mantra?
  • How do successful companies reinvent from a position of strength?
  • How can mature companies develop agile organisation and how can the Board contribute?

Our guests will be CEOs, Chairmen and executive leaders.

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The Role of HR Directors in the Development of Internal CEO Succession Candidates

Most well-run large international companies strive to have a bench of potential successors to the incumbent CEO in different stages of readiness. This is often a long and continuous process, sometimes secretive, and with potentially conflicting agendas and timelines. All too often do we hear that 'we should have started earlier', especially when the succession suddenly becomes an urgent matter.

The HRD plays an important role in coordinating different stakeholders' agendas while becoming a strategic advisor, working hand in hand with the Chairman and the Board to develop leadership talent at the very top of an organisation. However, not all companies follow this approach and, even when they do, the role of HRDs in these crucial processes is not often discussed amongst peers.

Issues for discussion include:

  • How can HR fulfil a strategic role in developing executive team members in a proactive way?
  • What is the Chairman and the Board looking for from their HRD?
  • How to manage the tension of being an Executive Committee member while also acting as an objective and neutral Board advisor
  • What is the optimal timeframe and process for a successful CEO succession?
  • How can mentoring help mitigate the risks of senior appointments?
  • What global changes are impacting HRDs and how can they make use of them to enlarge their influence?

Our guests will be experienced HR Directors from across Europe to enable a truly high-value, international discussion and networking opportunity.

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The HRD's Role as an Advisor to the Board on Strategic Leadership Issues

We all know that people are the biggest asset of any company. Having the right talent and deploying, developing and motivating people from Board level down is central to the success of every business. With investors and regulators focussing increasingly on company leadership and culture, the role of the HRD is becoming more critical.

However, not all companies follow this approach and, even when they do, the role of the HRD is a complex one, involving balancing the needs of many stakeholders. There aren't many forums within which HRDs can seek advice on the most sensitive of topics but, like all CMi's Forum events, the Chatham House Rule applies.

Issues for discussion include:

  • What is the Chairman and the Board seeking from an HRD?
  • How best to manage the tension of being an Executive Committee member, whilst also acting as an objective and neutral Board advisor
  • How can the HRD best play a role in selecting and mitigating the risks of senior appointments at both executive and NED level?
  • What global changes are impacting HRDs and how can they make use of them to broaden their influence?

Our guests will be experienced HR Directors from across Europe to enable a truly high-value, international discussion and networking opportunity.

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Activist Investors

Activist investors are now an increasing and permanent feature of corporate life world-wide, often working in combination with traditional fund managers. Many of the tactics and motivations of the activists are, however, very different from traditional European investors and Boards cannot afford to be caught unprepared. What happens when your company finds itself under scrutiny by an activist? What kind of engagement should be contemplated? How should Boards engage with their existing shareholders? What to do when the activist holds its interest through derivative contracts? What should the approach be to deal with the media and employees? How can Boards keep control of the process during the period of interaction? When is the activist period concluded and how should that be communicated?

The debate will include issues such as:

  • How to anticipate the actions of activists and prepare for their attention
  • How to engage when they appear
  • What attracts activists?
  • Can the presence of activists be used constructively to contribute to sustainable value creation? If so, how?
  • The importance of knowing and engaging with your shareholders before and during an activist campaign

Our guests will be Chairmen and CEOs.

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JAN
24

Health and Resilience of CEOs
Location: London
Sir Win Bischoff
Dr Stephen Pereira

FEB
06

Digital Transformation and Implications on Leadership
Location: Copenhagen
Birger Magnus
Jim Hagemann Snabe

APRIL
03

The Role of HR Directors in the Development of Internal CEO Succession Candidates
Location: Amsterdam
Thomas Thune Andersen
Lars Worsøe-Petersen

JUNE
13

The HRD’s Role as an Advisor to the Board on Strategic Leadership Issues
Location: London
Pauline van der Meer Mohr
Helmut Schuster

NOV
18

Activist Investors
Location: London
Paul Bulcke
Sir Douglas Flint

Philippe Knoche, CEO, Orano Group

"The CMi breakfasts and dinners are always valuable and enjoyable. Itʼs a great chance to meet new people from different sectors, hear from subject experts and seasoned Chairmen and get into a good discussion where you learn a lot from the experience of your peers."