The Board Directors' Programme

Key facts

Programme fees:

£2,350 + VAT (including residential costs)

 Programme length: 

2 days

Upcoming dates

Programme Overview

Being a member of a board is not what it used to be, and research suggests that many boards are ineffective – many to the point of being out of touch with the challenges the organisation faces.

The role of a board is unique to each organisation, and complex. Unlike any other programme currently being offered in the UK, this programme gives a real view of what it means to be a board member.

Who is the programme for?

This Programme is aimed at current board members, individuals about to become board members, individuals who have ambitions of becoming board members or individuals who work with board members. This includes Executive Directors and Non-Executive Directors. This programme is also suited to Company Secretaries dealing with boards, legal counsel and senior representatives in NGOs.

Compliance is necessary, but mentoring delivers tangible differentiation

Board members are often surprised by the reality of their role. They are ill-prepared and ill-equipped to deal with the challenges they face.  For UK companies, bribery and corruption remains a concern, when operating in governance regimes unlike their own where local country managers are exposed to legal retribution, without the support of their board.

Professor Kakabadse’s research suggests that only 20% of global corporations operate with a truly ethical approach, and the vast majority of boards are not respected by their managers – they see them as being impotent and not appreciating the reality their organisation faces – invariably with good reason!

And yet ethical organisations are statistically more likely to perform better in the medium- to long term, and appear to suffer no commercial disadvantage even in the short-term.

So as a board member, how can you harness the potential of the team, and of the whole organisation? How can you restore your collective reputation, and inspire respect and admiration from those you wish to influence?

Our belief is that mentoring lies at the heart of an effective board. The Board Directors’ Programme will show you how to engage fully with all the stakeholders in your organisation, adding real, sustainable value to the business.

Benefits to the individual

This programme will help you to develop the knowledge, skills and awareness to enable you to:

  • Inspire and lead others to fulfil their individual and collective potential through mentoring
  • Recognise the value of sustainability versus financial return, and the value of morality, loyalty and a positive reputation
  • Appreciate the difference between performance and compliance, and use of discretion
  • Fully understand your role and obligations as a board members
  • Trade effectively through a range of dilemmas and challenges
  • Identify your real competitive advantage(s) and establish your unique competitive space
  • Apply your new-found capabilities to your day-to-day challenges and issues.

Click here to read programme experiences


Benefits to the organisation

  • Better board members create better boards, and better boards inspire better performance, giving all stakeholders greater value
  • Our approach emphasises the particular added value that can be gained from acting responsibly and ethically, mitigating risk and avoiding the pitfalls of the cultural and legal nuances of international trade
  • Enjoy enhanced organisational performance when board members fully understand their roles and obligations, and appreciate the value of inspiring closer team working and shared goals. Through so doing, your organisation will benefit from greater loyalty, retention and productivity
  • Improved reputation will attract more and better customers, employees and other stakeholders.

Offered for the first time at Henley, the programme has been meticulously designed to show what needs to be done to make a board fully compliant, and – more importantly – how a different approach can create sustainable competitive advantages.

Built on a foundation of his extensive research amongst 5,500 boards in 14 countries world-wide, Professor Andrew Kakabadse has created a programme that provides new and aspiring board directors with a toolbox of vital skills and capabilities.

This is no ordinary leadership and management programme; it is distinctly targeted to and for board members, aimed at enabling you to get the most from your board.

The Board Directors’ Programme has a high level of personal focus, helping you to understand what it really means to be a board director, and debunking the myths.

During the course of this 2-day residential programme, collaborative learning, individual feedback and a range of psychological instruments are combined with research and the first-hand experiences of guest speakers who have had board leadership roles in a range of organisations.

The programme will cover:

  • The composition, role and dynamics of the board
  • Board diversity, including women on boards, the Company Secretary and other key roles
  • The role and contribution of the Chairman
  • The contribution of sub-committees and Non-Executive Directors (NEDs)
  • Board engagement from a stakeholder perspective
  • The importance of corporate, social and community responsibility
  • Investor perspectives.

Location and facilities

Finding us

We pride ourselves on understanding the need to create an environment which is both relaxing and comfortable enabling work and study to be focused and effective. From our unique riverside location to our impressive amenities, we provide an ideal environment for meeting success.

How to find us (PDF-1.15 MB)

Sports facilities

henley business school gym greenlands

Balancing busy work schedules with relaxation and exercise is an important aspect of our approach at Henley. The fully equipped and professionally staffed Fitness Centre with views overlooking the beautiful grounds and River Thames has everything needed to restore a sense of well being. 

Business facilities

Business facilities - rooms

At our Greenlands site we provide a variety of meeting rooms and conference facilities. Our rooms have been designed with an emphasis on practicality with many of our rooms benefiting from the latest presentation equipment to ensure that your meeting runs smoothly.

Conference Rooms

The conference rooms at Greenlands, Henley, all feature air conditioning, natural daylight and excellent acoustics, as well as state-of-the-art AV and presentation technology controlled by bluetooth touch screens, free WiFi access, laptop connections, networked PC and large screens. Our larger rooms also have repeater screens. Each conference room has access to dedicated syndicate and break-out rooms and refreshment areas close by. Stationery, flipcharts, photocopying facilities and whiteboards are included as standard.

Meeting Rooms

All syndicate and meeting rooms at Henley are fitted with a large screen, networked PC, whiteboards and have free WiFi access and laptop connections. River House 1-14 are also fitted with Copycam, allowing users to capture whiteboard notes at the touch of a button. Digital recorders, video and stills cameras are also available on request. All are laid out boardroom style.


Henley Business School Bedroom

We have 100 rooms including some with disabled facilities. All rooms are en-suite & include a safe, trouser press, laptop connection with free Wi-Fi access, direct dial telephone, satellite TV with radio, Molton Brown toiletries, tea & coffee making facilities and a hair dryer. Photograph of Thames Court accommodation.

Full English breakfast is served in our main dining room, which overlooks the River Thames. Our dedicated staff maintain the facility 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All guest rooms receive daily housekeeping services.


Dining at Henley Business School  GreenlandsWhen it comes to dining, we offer you choice, quality and flexibility. We understand that you also want facilities that are conducive to networking, and dining arrangements that integrate seamlessly with the other aspects of your day. Henley is renowned for both its excellent standards of service and the high quality of cuisine. The chefs and their professional staff are able to offer the sophistication of a memorable evening dinner in the spacious dining room, with its views over the lawns down to the Thames.

Fresh, varied breakfasts are prepared by award-winning chefs and served each morning in the beautiful, riverside restaurant - the Heyworth Room.


Several tea and coffee areas are situated throughout the buildings, the Garden Common Room is situated beside the Heyworth Room and is open throughout the day and evening offering a wide range of Fairtrade drinks and a selection of biscuits. The bar is open each evening serving a full range of drinks.

Henley Conference Centre and Hotel

Set in its own 30 acre estate in the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside, alongside the River Thames, this magnificent Grade II Listed Building offers excellent conference, meeting and event facilities and provides a spectacular setting for any gathering. For more information about booking our beautiful facilities please visit the Henley Conferences website.

History of Greenlands

Records indicate that there has been a house on our Greenlands site for 500 years, although the house would have originally been much closer to the river.

Greenlands has been home to a series of notable families and individuals throughout its lifetime. These include Thomas Chaucer, son of Geoffrey Chaucer; Robert D'Oyley, Sheriff of Oxfordshire in 1573; Bulstrode Whitelock, Oliver Cromwell's Ambassador to Sweden and most recently WH Smith, who bought the existing house in 1871. Queen Elizabeth I is also known to have visited on more than one occasion, most likely when staying at her royal palace in Reading.

The site became the home of a new Administrative Staff College in 1946, first welcoming students in 1948. In 1952, after the unexpected death of Viscount Hambleden from whom the College leased the site, an opportunity to purchase Greenlands' 30 acres arose. The College was renamed Henley Management College in 1991, and following the 2008 merger with the University of Reading became Henley Business School. Today, the world-ranked Henley MBA, The Henley DBA and our executive education programmes are delivered at Greenlands.

Offers & Discounts

NEDA Members receive a 10% discount

Alumni discount

10% discount on programme fee for Henley alumni

Multiple bookings

When booking multiple open programmes which are paid for upfront, the following discount structure applies:

2-4 people = 10% reduction

5-9 people = 15% reduction

10+ people = 20% reduction

A 50% discount is available to employees of registered charities - please note that the discount is applied at Henley Business School's discretion and to confirm eligibility please contact




The Henley Way

Helping you become exceptional is at the heart of everything we do. The Henley Way is highly practical, collaborative and academically rigorous. We develop confident leaders and professionals who are able to take a fresh perspective and have the energy, capability and resilience to ensure that they and their organisations are successful.


  • Engagement
  • Awareness
  • Alignment
  • Rigour & relevance
  • Trust

The Henley Way is much more than a set of principles. It is ingrained in our spirit and fundamental to our purpose and heritage, characterising the way we can help you to deliver exceptional performance.


We engage with you at the deepest level, fostering a shared spirit of curiosity, exploration, investigation and learning. We collaborate with you in order to challenge assumptions and mindsets, and get to the heart of the real business issues you face.


By creating a safe environment that promotes self-reflection, you are able to ask yourself those crucial questions that allow you to learn more about what informs your strategic business decisions and actions.


We work closely with you to diagnose your strategic individual and organisational aims. We then identify programmes that are best aligned to these goals, or we can co-evolve a learning design specifically aimed at achieving these strategic outcomes.


We draw on world-class research and originate leading-edge thinking – but theory remains theory unless it is applied to real-world business. All of our programmes are delivered by experienced faculty who integrate academic rigour with commercial application. What you learn translates into business results.


Our customers rely on our long history and global reputation for successful executive development. These strengths underlie our responsible and collaborative way of working with you to co-create the very best executive learning experiences and commercial outcomes.

At Henley we know we cannot just be exceptional – we are here to help you become exceptional.


Contact Image

Contact Us

If you have any questions, please contact our programme advisors, Hannah, Ruhi & Diana by email at or by phone on +44 (0)1491 418767.