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The Board Directors' Programme

Discover what it takes to be a successful board member and expand your leadership skill set with The Board Directors’ Programme.

At a glance

  • Understand competitive advantage and how to leverage it for sustainable success
  • Engage with diverse stakeholder perspectives
  • Develop your capability to influence and manage board relations
  • Recognise the value of corporate, social and community responsibility
Subject area(s)
£1,995 (live-online) / £2,550 (in-person, including residential costs) + VAT
Course length
Taught over 6 weeks (live-online) / 2 days (in-person)
Suitable for
Current and future board members and those who work with them (including executive and non-executive directors)
Next start date
Online, Greenlands campus

Programme Overview

The Board Directors' Programme equips you with the knowledge and skills needed to become an effective board member. It will debunk the myths and provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the role.

Informed by Henley's extensive global research, the programme empowers you to diagnose and respond to your board's specific challenges.

Small yet diverse learning groups give you a confidential forum in which you can share your experiences. You will also learn through stimulating practitioner-led sessions and high profile guest speakers.

Key Benefits

Set dates have been allocated for the one-to-one coaching sessions and will be confirmed at the time of booking.

Course fee: £1,995 (live-online) / £2,550 (in-person, including residential costs) + VAT
Duration: Taught over 6 weeks (live-online) / 2 days (in-person)
Suitable for: Current and future board members and those who work with them (including executive and non-executive directors)

Available start dates

Start date: 05/11/20
Location: Online
Session Starts Ends
BDP live-online: Session 1 05/11/20 05/11/20
BDP live-online: Session 2 12/11/20 12/11/20
BDP live-online: Session 3 19/11/20 19/11/20
BDP live-online: Session 4 26/11/20 26/11/20
BDP live-online: Session 5 03/12/20 03/12/20
BDP live-online: Session 6 10/12/20 10/12/20
Start date: 24/06/21
Location: Greenlands campus
Session Starts Ends
BDP in-person 24/06/21 25/06/21
Start date: 15/09/21
Location: Online
Session Starts Ends
BDP live-online: Session 1 15/09/21 15/09/21
BDP live-online: Session 2 22/09/21 22/09/21
BDP live-online: Session 3 29/09/21 29/09/21
BDP live-online: Session 4 06/10/21 06/10/21
BDP live-online: Session 5 13/10/21 13/10/21
BDP live-online: Session 6 20/10/21 20/10/21
Start date: 29/11/21
Location: Greenlands campus
Session Starts Ends
BDP in-person 29/11/21 30/11/21

The programme is delivered both live-online and in person. Both formats allow an engaging and stimulating experience that will give you a unique insight into the boardroom.

Led by Professor Andrew Kakabadse, the programme is based around practitioner-led experiences and research. Over the sessions you will be introduced to a number of high-profile board experts who will share their knowledge and expertise in frank and open conversations and presentations. Through confidential group discussion, questioning and sharing your own challenges, you will get an in depth understanding of what really goes on in the boardroom and how you can make the best contribution.

Both learning styles offer a personal approach, with close interaction with the Programme Director. On the live-online version, this is delivered through a virtual one-to-one coaching session.

Participant groups are small, with a maximum of 15-20 people.

Delivered over 6 weeks, including 1 x 90 min session per week and 1 x 45 min one-to-one coaching session

Delivered over 2 days

Programme content

Board structure and responsibilities

  • The composition, role and dynamics of boards, including director relationships and their effect on the functioning of the board
  • Board diversity
  • The contribution of sub-committees and non-executive directors

Strategic performance (your own, your board's and your organisation's)

  • How to engage fully with stakeholders*
  • How to influence and effectively manage relations
  • When boards become dysfunctional
  • Your organisation’s competitive advantage and how to leverage it*
  • Governance and its role in sustainable success
  • The importance of corporate, social and community responsibility and reputation

The programme also covers:

  • Role and contribution of investors
  • How to get on to a Board
  • Moral dilemmas*

* For the live-online version these topics are examined through the one-to-one coaching session.

Informed by research with top teams globally

Programme Director Professor Andrew Kakabadse has collated the biggest database of boards in the world, from 37 countries including China, Russia, the Middle East and the USA. This research informs the Board Directors' Programme, giving you additional insight into your unique board challenges.

Read more about Professor Kakabadse's research:

Board Engagement (CEO Insight)
Boards must harness tension to succeed in a time of disruption (Board Agenda)
How boards can learn to talk about unspeakable issues (Board Agenda)

Professor Andrew Kakabadse

Professor of Governance & Leadership

Dr. Nadeem Khan

Lecturer in governance, policy and leadership, Programme Director of the MA Board Practice and Directorship

"Very thought provoking ... I feel confident to work with the board to further strengthen it."

Warren Turner, Financial Director, Moneyhub Financial Technology Ltd

"Practitioners talking about their challenges and issues meant it wasn’t just theory, but was a balanced learning experience."

Read full case study - Michael Spiers, Chief People Officer, London City Airport

"Offers a rich menu for those with board aspirations and those who have been there for a while."

Read full case study - Mike Harwood, The Military Mutual

Individual bookings
The following reductions are available on programmes fees

Multiple bookings
The following discount is available on programme fees when multiple open programmes are booked. Payment is required in advance and this offer is subject to eligibility**.

  • 10% 2-4 people
  • 15% 5-9 people
  • 20% 10+ people

A 50% discount is available to registered charities.

It is subject to eligibility and available at Henley Business School's discretion**

Please note:
* Alumni discount is available to Henley Business School alumni (as part of University of Reading) not to graduates of Henley Management College.

** Please contact us for eligibility criteria, availability and terms.

For more information
Please contact

Set in sweeping parkland on the banks of the River Thames, Henley Business School's Greenlands campus provides an inspiring and reflective environment for focused work and study.

Find out more about our facilities and how to find us

Why choose Henley?

UK top 5
of Executive Education providers for open programmes
(Financial Times Executive Education open enrolment programmes rankings 2020)
World top 25
of Executive Education providers for combined open and custom programmes
((Financial Times Executive Education 2020 - The Top 50 Schools (combining Custom and Open programmes ranking)))
UK no.2
for course design, new skills & learning, and participants' aims achieved
(Financial Times Executive Education open enrolment programmes rankings 2020)

For 75 years, Henley Business School has developed confident and resilient business leaders. Executive Education at Henley is:

  • Practical: we combine academic rigour with a strong practical focus, so you can immediately apply what you have learned back in your organisation.
  • Relevant: Henley faculty are experienced practitioners who can support you in exploring solutions to your organisation’s challenges.
  • Collaborative: Open programmes enable you to expand your network, gain new perspectives and share ideas with peers from a range of backgrounds and sectors.
  • Personal: deliberately small learning groups allow you to benefit from individual attention and a confidential environment. We encourage you to understand your unique strengths, leadership style, and areas for development.

Contact us

Open Programmes

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about the programme, please contact our programme advisors.

Telephone: +44 (0) 1491 418767

Mike Harwood

Mike Harwood is a former Board Directors' Programme participant who works for The Military Mutual. He explains how his time at Henley made him a more effective board member.

Michael Spiers

Michael Spiers is the Chief People Officer at London City Airport. He explains how the Board Directors' Programme enhanced his confidence and deepened his understanding of board-level responsibilities.

Very thought provoking ... I feel confident to work with the board to further strengthen it.
Warren Turner Financial Director, Moneyhub Financial Technology Ltd The Board Directors' Programme