Transpire Strategy Faculty: Strategy for Boards Update…

Key Learning Points

1. Impact of the pandemic on strategy formulation & execution.

2. Strategic considerations post-pandemic


Jean Pousson

Jean is one of the founding shareholders of Board Evaluation Limited. Originally from Mauritius and having had a fifteen-year career with Barclays Bank in South Africa in Retail and Corporate Banking, Jean emigrated to the UK in 1989 to take up a position as Assistant Corporate Director with D.C Gardner plc(Now part of Euromoney plc)responsible for banking and training consultancy internationally.

He then moved to the TSB Banking Group where his last appointment was Director of Studies for the Group Management College responsible for academic leadership within the Group.He then started his first consultancy business, Jean Pousson and Associated Limited in 1994.

Since then he has conducted training and consultancy assignments in over 32 countries and is one of the lead consultants for the Institute of Directors in the fields of finance strategy and corporate governance. In a typical year, Jean will interface about 600 directors and about 8 to 10 Boards working on various aspects of strategy and corporate governance. He is a regular speaker for Vistage, the San Diego based network of Chief Executives(the largest in the world)and has twice been voted lecturer of the year for UK Finance, the professional body that oversees the asset finance industry.

He has also held non-executive directorships and carried out a number of Board reviews and strategic assignments.

Jean holds a B Comm. Degree from the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Bankers in South Africa, obtained a Postgraduate Certificate in Business Administration from the University of  Warwick Business School, and also holds the Institute of Directors’ Certificate and Diploma in Company Direction.

A keen sports enthusiast he has run over 20 marathons including 3 ultra marathons, and now cycles, having already done a few 100 milers.

Jean leads the Transpire Strategy Faculty.

Simon Chelton

Simon has been a leader and manager for over 30 years in the armed forces, and more recently as a senior strategist and business development leader in a global defence company.  He is currently running his own consultancy advising the defence industry on export issues to East Asia, with a particular emphasis on Japan, and developing courses on strategic and intercultural leadership.

During his military career, Simon was a naval logistician and spent a number of years at sea in ships and submarines, including the Falklands Conflict and on nuclear deterrent patrols.   Later in his career, he spent time on personnel policy development in the Ministry of Defence and also spent a year studying defence at post graduate level at the Japanese National Institute of Defence Studies in Tokyo. 

Simon also spent some years in senior officer education, teaching defence studies, defence management and defence campaign planning to future military leaders from over 50 countries and then spent 4 years as a senior diplomat at the British Embassy in Tokyo, contributing to a redevelopment of the bilateral defence relationship.  His final military appointment was at the Defence Leadership and Management Centre at Shrivenham, where he led a series of programmes for top level leaders of defence, in strategic leadership, management and defence acquisition, and development of board culture in defence.  This also included introduction of the IOD Certificate and Diploma in Company Direction into the Ministry of Defence.

He spent three years in industry at BAE Systems, initially devising a strategy for entry to the closed Japanese defence market and then in support of a major fighter aircraft sales campaign which ended in December 2011, after which he left to set up his own consultancy.

Steve McGuirk, CBE, QFSM, DL

Steve had a first career spanning 39 years in the public sector, with 17 years as a Chief Executive and Chief Fire Officer and working within multiple governance/Board arrangements across the political spectrum. He was President of the Professional Association of Fire Chiefs, a Board member of International Council of the Sector’s Engineering Institution/Body (he is a Life Fellow) and a Trustee of several charities, including the Fire Research and Training Trust (a position he retains). He was instrumental in the transformation and reorientation of fire and rescue services’ over an extensive period and he has led in the most difficult and demanding of crisis situations. Shortly after retiring from fire, in 2016, the London Business School made him their Master of Reinvention at their Innovation Awards, and he has been a member of the Awards’ Judging Panel ever since.

He has worked closely with Officials and Ministers to the highest levels of government and, as a result, has given evidence to numerous Select Committee and Public Accounts Committee Enquiries. Currently, he is an Expert Witness to the Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry.

Steve was recognised for his contribution to public service through the award of the Queens Fire Service Medal in 2002, as well as the CBE in 2004. He was commissioned as a Deputy Lieutenant (DL) for the County of Greater Manchester in 2012 and continues in this role. In this capacity, he is an assessor for the Queens Award for Voluntary Services (QAVS).

Steve embarked on a portfolio career in 2015, primarily as the Chairman of an Acute Hospitals Foundation Trust – and is now in his second term in that role. He has again led culture change and transformation, taking the Trust’s regulatory rating from Requires Improving to Good. Most recently, he has led the Board through unprecedented crisis of the Corona Virus pandemic.

Alongside his Health Sector role and his Expert Witness role, Steve has his own consulting practice. He is currently also a Board Member of the Government’s National Leadership Center – the pre-eminent leadership development programme for CEOs/ Chief Constables/ Director Generals and their equivalents across all public services.

Steve brings extensive insight into the political infrastructure at local and national levels and within which business must operate. He also brings wide experience of the board resilience necessary to lead organisations through transformation and culture change, as well as helping boards cope with crises. He holds a first degree in Politics and Social Science, an Honours Degree in Fire Safety, Technology and Management and Masters Degree in Management.

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