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Lucy led BBC HR during a turbulent period. She was responsible for employee relations, reward, training, development and redundancies. During her time the corporation adjusted to four new Directors General, the move to Salford, 30% reduction in management and the Savile scandal. Lucy’s decisions were exposed to frequent media and political scrutiny. In speeches she considers how to instil resilient leadership, break down silos and manage resistance to change.

Victor runs the not-for-profit health and social care provider. Rather than fundraising, all income comes from central and local government contracts. There’s now an annual turnover of £100m, and 2,500 people working with 100,000 individuals on drug and drink abuse, mental health, learning difficulties and long term unemployment. In his speeches Victor explores public health, diversity and social issues. He may also highlight the need for leaders to keep learning.

A career ad man, Kevin Allen was notable for leading the pitch on the famous Mastercard ‘Priceless’ campaign. His account skills have been applied as Director of Global Accounts and Chief Growth Officer for some of the world’s biggest ad agencies. He now looks at how companies can grow, where the opportunities lie, and how great leadership inspires the greatest asset - the workforce.

Javier is an eminent cognitive psychologist, and an authority in leadership development. He challenges the conventions of talent management, arguing it’s not about hiring the right types or imposing change. Instead the focus must be on creating the culture to drive change. He also shows that the most successful leaders align their beliefs, promises and actions. We become so intent on short-term results that we start to forget there is purpose as well as profit.

Simon has developed software that connects print buyers to expensive presses across the country that are sitting idle at their time of need. Seeing himself as an ‘open and honest rule-breaker’, he has already grown the start-up into a £30m turnover enterprise. Simon puts their success down to recruiting the best talent they can find and sharing the rewards. Each ‘webmarteer’ then receives as much training and mentoring as they want – and the chance to teach at the firm’s school in Ethiopia.

Karren ran the business side of Birmingham City FC through promotion, relegation – and brain surgery. Karren’s mantra for leaders growing any enterprise can be summed up in 5 tips: work hard (be persistent); use every opportunity to network (spread your message); move on (failure is history); don’t get side-tracked, and do your sums.

John Browne transformed BP from a two pipeline player into one of the world’s biggest companies. In doing so he pulled off huge mergers, challenged the industry status quo and became the first oil CEO to acknowledge the risks posed by climate change. He has since written on business strategy, homophobia and the natural elements that shape our lives. In his speeches Browne considers how we can ensure that business is a powerful force for good.

When he isn’t pursuing his second career as a club comedian, the former MD of bmibaby uncovers the truth about airport check-ins, customer relations, in- flight communication and other joys of 21st century travel. In conferences he looks at the valuable lessons for any business dealing with the public. After dinner, audiences are also invited to practise safety procedure, but not quite as we know it.

René is an associate of Cass, a former Non-Executive Director of the Inland Revenue, chair of Leaders in London and author of Corporate Voodoo. He now fronts BBC2’s flagship personal turnaround project. René argues that markets are too fast moving for one person to get it right all the time: leadership is not an individual pursuit, it’s about learning and leading together.

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