Leadership Conversations 2023

Below we set out the dates and themes for our Conversations through to December. Some Conversations are marked “Fellows only” because attendance is restricted to Leadership Fellows. Others are marked “Fellows+” because we are very happy to welcome Fellows’ nominees, such as a member of their top team or a key business partner.

Participants in Conversations from June to December 2023

Here is an up-to-date list of participants joining us for Leadership Conversations from June to December 2023.

Details are also are available on the Agenda page for each Conversation.


Leadership Themes for 2023:

Our 2023 programme is organised around 2 core themes:

Wisdom and Personal Growth

Providing a space for a deeper authentic enquiry into the character, purpose and ambition of our leadership.

Practical Wisdom For These Times

Providing an opportunity to share practical experience, expertise and learning around key contemporary issues.

To read more about these new themes please click here.


Leadership Conversation
How to handle, and equip others for, 'discomfort' as a leader
From 6.00pm on Thursday 8th June 2023 until 4.00pm on Friday 9th
This topic came to the fore in conversations at one of our Fellows dinners, the first since the pandemic, when we were discussing what we would most like to have our next Conversation on…. It has always been a truth of leadership that it requires us to step out of our comfort zone, but our current context seems to be taking this to a new level! Partly due to the level of complexity and unpredictability we now face, there is a growing sense that there are almost no comfortable decisions to be made these days.

Fellows +/ Facilitators: Chris Blakeley & Karen Stefanyszyn
One-night Leadership Conversation fee: £745
See the Agenda
Leadership Conversation
Ethics in Leadership
From 6.00pm on Monday 26th June 2023 until 4.00pm on Tuesday 27th
This Conversation was first held in 2021. It is an offering at the heart of leadership and one that Fellows have asked to be repeated.
At the core of this Conversation is the question, “How do I find and retain my ethical focus in my life and my work and so live at peace with myself?” Leading in any system has us face ethical dilemmas, choices that cause a level of inner conflict. Choices that cause us to question, what I should do, what is called for, when to speak up, when to stay silent, what kind of person I am becoming, what I really want to embody as a leader.

Fellows +/ Facilitators: Karen Stefanyszyn & Hueston Finlay
One-night Leadership Conversation fee: £745
See the Agenda
Leadership Conversation
How can I become an even better leader?
From 2.30pm on Wednesday 13th September 2023 until 4.00pm on Thursday 14th
Recognising that each leadership journey is entirely unique, this Conversation provides a format in which you can bring your own leadership questions, of whatever nature, and explore these in a safe, productive space with fellow leaders - in a climate of generosity, openness and uncompromising respect. This involves bringing core strengths and insights from the past with the stirring awareness and energy of the present into new situations and challenges in the future - going from strength to strength. The focus is simple - to become, and to help each other become, better leaders.

Fellows +/ Facilitators: Chris Blakeley & Tony Wood
One-night Leadership Conversation fee: £745
See the Agenda
Leadership Conversation
Leadership and Mental Health
From 6.00pm on Monday 25th September 2023 until 4.00pm on Tuesday 26th
From our recent conversations with Fellows, this is a sacred topic that is very clearly on our hearts and mind. We are all more conscious than ever about mental health as a priority for our-selves and in our leadership. We are doing what we can but there seems to be a sense that ‘we are not quite getting this right’. In this Conversation we will explore these questions and more, with the dignity and respect ever present in our Conversations, and with the support of a mental health expert.

Fellows only/ Facilitators: Karen Stefanyszyn
One-night Leadership Conversation fee: £745
See the Agenda
Leadership Conversation
Wisdom in Leadership - My Leadership Journey and its Legacy
From 6.00pm on Sunday 15th October 2023 until 11.15am on Wednesday 18th
This exclusive Fellows retreat will run once a year for people who want to take some ‘heads-up’ time and space, together with group of like-minded leadership leaders, to reflect more deeply on what you are all about as a leader – in terms of focus, energy, connection and contribution. It is for those times in our leadership journey when we sense something different is being called for from us: a sense of stepping up or stepping into something beyond ‘business as usual’ - maybe a sense of something not being as it should in the world, or wanting to explore new possibilities. It will also take us into the important question of legacy, not in a vain way, but in the question of ‘what really matters’, ‘what is of lasting significance’ and ‘what is our footprint’ as a leaders in this time. Of course, Windsor is the perfect place to stimulate this kind of perspective.

Fellows+/ Facilitators: Chris Blakeley & Karen Stefanyszyn
Three-night Leadership Conversation fee: £1325
See the Agenda
Leadership Conversation
How to Harness the Creative Force of Conflict
From 6.00pm on Monday 30th October 2023 until 4.00pm on Tuesday 31st
This is a perfect topic for a Conversation because it is probably at the root of so many of our leadership challenges. To what extent is conflict, or more accurately fears and attitudes and assumptions towards conflict the real driver of culture and performance? If positively channelled, can it be a powerfully creative force?

We will look at our experience of:
  • 'moments of truth’ when a culture that we believed to be one thing revealed itself to be very different
  • our learning from time when we went along with things that, in retrospect, we knew we should not, or stepped into things that then ‘blew up’
  • the patterns of distortion and avoidance that turn ‘conflict’ from something creative and generative into something toxic
  • the subtleties of different types of ‘conflict’ and the sources of it
  • what happens when conflict gets embedded in relationships and how ultimately it forms an often, unhealthy symbiosis with culture
  • on the basis of this understanding, we will then uncover the real-life wisdom available to us not only to reverse this patterning but also to harness the creative energy of conflict for change and growth.

    Fellows+/ Facilitators: Chris Blakeley & Karen Stefanyszyn
One-night Leadership Conversation fee: £745
See the Agenda
Leadership Conversation
Facing up to 'Gamechangers'
From 10.00am until 4.30pm on Wednesday 13th December 2023
The context in which we lead is constantly changing. Some challenges are signalled clearly, such as the target of ‘net zero’ or the impact of AI, others are more subtle, almost invisible, like changing demographics, and attitudes towards work and service.

This Conversation encourages us to be alert and to think innovatively about:

  • what are the big game-changers we face as leaders?
  • how we are sensing and discerning these (or not…)?
  • how and where might we be perceiving the world in old patterns and missing the new?
  • what do we, as leaders, need to recognise, and help others to identify?
  • how effectively does our use of language and change narratives serve us in finding wise responses to major issues
  • how do we keep challenging our thinking and assumptions to stay sensitive to shifts in our context?
  • where need we be setting up new enquiries in our organisations in relation to these?

    Fellows only/ Facilitators: Chris Blakeley & Karen Stefanyszyn
One-day Leadership Conversation fee: £450
See the Agenda