Summary of Experience

Board Experience

An experienced chairman of award winning and knowledge based companies. NED experience extends over some 30 years and a variety of NED roles in the private, public, professional and voluntary sectors (including as chairman and president).

Has served as a non-executive Ministerial appointment on a SHA (Moorfields Eye Hospital), and has held three national non-executive roles: the Council for Professions Supplementary to Medicine (as a representative of HM Privy Council), the National Biological Standards Board (NBSB) and the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) as a Lay Member and ERSC chair.

The NBSB was responsible for the NIBSC which was the largest centre and research establishment of its type in Europe. While he was on the board they moved from London to a new site adjacent to a major cancer research centre. Colin’s ten years on the board of Moorfields coincided with consolidation on the City Road site and closure of the High Holborn branch.

Has chaired the board of a company that provided transformation and risk management services to large and complex organisations – for example they have provided the Swiss Stock Exchange with a new computer system, while two major projects for an international utility company were completed on time.

Colin has chaired the board of another company whose job related performance support and performance management tools (which are related to his work) have won awards for innovation at national and international level. Projects have been undertaken for leading multinational companies and tools are in use in over 100 countries, including in regulated sectors and for risk reduction, assurance and compliance.

He currently chairs the risk and audit committee of United Learning, a leading UK operator of independent schools and academies.

Until the first of April 2013 Colin was a NED of both NHS Cambridgeshire and NHS Peterborough (responsible together for some £1.2 Billion of expenditure on health and social care) and a Partner Governor of the Peterborough and Stamford hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. He also chaired the Audit and Governance Committee of Peterborough PCT (NHS Peterborough). His NED assessment for the Appointments Commission after the NHS Peterborough turnaround was “outstanding”.

Governance Experience and Expertise

Colin has been a Professor of Direction and Leadership and is an international authority on Governance. He has also pioneered a new approach to risk management, assurance and internal control. He understands governance and accountability requirements, and regularly speaks at national and international events on corporate governance, including keynotes and plenary sessions. He has produced theme papers for international conferences, congresses, conventions and summits concerned with corporate ethics, governance and sustainability, CSR, risk and environmental management, leadership, business excellence and innovation.

Colin has spoken on various matters to do with directors and boards and their responsibilities at over 300 national and international conferences, congresses, conventions and summits in over 40 countries. He has also run in-company and public courses on improving director and board performance. The accountabilities, duties and responsibilities of directors and boards are covered in his books – most recently in a revised edition of ‘Developing Directors’.

Colin served on a committee and/or board of the Institute of directors for some 20 years including the Institute’s Board of Examiners. He currently serves on the ACCA’s global governance, risk and performance forum and leads an international governance initiative with a commission from the Order of St Lazarus (OLJ)

He has designed issue monitoring and management, planning, business development, performance management, financial management and reporting, governance and risk management frameworks and processes for various organisations, including in regulated sectors.

Chair Experience

Colin has extensive experience of governance as a director, board chair (both limited companies and unlisted plcs), as chairman and president of professional, voluntary and representative organisations, and as a non-profit governing body chair.

He has been selected as board chairman and voted as the chairman and president of bodies and is perceived by others as a team player. These electorates would be alert to the risks of individuals who put their own interests or those of a section of the membership ahead of the interests of the organisation and membership as a whole.

Colin understands the distinction between direction and management and encourages involvement and participation. He also encourages colleagues to form their own views as well as listening to the views of others.

As a chairman he has learned the games people play such as asking questions to show they have read the papers and ensure their presence is reported. He endeavours to avoid repetition and to add value. Colin keeps an open mind and likes to think for himself. He is always ready to constructively challenge and raise questions when he feels it appropriate. Sometimes less can be more in terms of board interventions. Focus and how one raises issues are important.

To update his knowledge in relation to the NHS and public sector governance Colin participated in the NHS East of England aspiring chair programme.

Strategy Formulation

Colin has been responsible for coordinating and leading the strategic planning of a number of organizations as chairman or president. He has also undertaken visioning exercises and strategy reviews for many bodies nationally and internationally.

He has served on various private sector boards (Ltd and plc) and public sector boards (regional and national level); and has been responsible for providing strategic direction and the formulation, implementation and monitoring of corporate and business development strategy.

Colin has helped over 100 boards to improve director, board and corporate performance mentored directors and delivered director development and leadership courses which have involved exploring individual and collective accountability. He has been brought in to facilitate reconciliation of different viewpoints within boards and establish an agreed strategic direction – in some cases in difficult situations.

Handling Sensitive Matters

Colin understands how to handle sensitive matters. He facilitated the meeting of G10 chairmen that established the mission, purpose, etc. of the UK national network of Training and Enterprise Councils and the role of the TEC secretariat.

In his Rank Xerox UK role (responsible for internal, external and government relations) he successfully handled a crisis that threatened to lead to the loss of most new public sector business. His comments appeared on news bulletins, although most of his time was spent keeping the issue out of the news and quietly diffusing it.

Colin has addressed a variety of situations as a non-executive director – from a significant acquisition, a physical move, strategic discussions with potential collaborators to resolving personality clashes and splitting off a part of the business to form a new independent company. Some issues have led to the departure of certain people to protect the reputations of the organisations concerned.

Relationships with Stakeholders

Colin is used to understanding and addressing the needs of diverse stakeholders in a number of capacities, including as a board director/chairman, professional body President and council and committee chairman, chairman and president of representative bodies, and as a campus head and Faculty Dean. He has also been an elected member of a local authority (London Borough of Greenwich).

Has been a representative on national bodies that have had to reconcile and address the requirements of a number of distinct communities, for example representing HM Privy Council on the Council for Professions Supplementary to Medicine and the corporate members on the Council of the Foundation for Science and Technology.

Government Relations

Colin has political awareness as a result of various roles which have involved direct contact with Ministers and responsibility for liaison with Governments across Europe.

He was responsible for Government relations for the successful CECOM consortium anti-dumping action – the largest ever at the time and which resulted in the EU anti-circumvention framework. He chaired the steering group and experts’ panel of the DTI frontline initiative.

Parliamentary Relations

Colin is a past chairman of the Crossbencher Parliamentary Liaison Committee which involved relationships with the two sponsoring organisations (BIM and IM) as well as organising and leading its events involving Ministers and backbench MPs.

He served for 13 years on the Council of The Parliamentary Information Technology Committee. He also set up the journals of two all-party parliamentary groups and has given evidence to a parliamentary committee (all-party small business).

European Relations

Colin led the European Commission’s pan-European COBRA initiative which examined restructuring across Europe. He was also the principal deliverer of an EU funded programme to act as an adviser and mentor to the owner directors of 50 ambitious SMEs and has delivered programmes to help the growth of high tech companies in four other European countries.

Colin has been a member of the European Commission’s Team Europe. He was responsible for Government and media relations across Europe in a major and successful anti-dumping action against a number of Japanese companies.


Colin is TV trained and has appeared on radio and TV programmes at home and abroad and in his own right. He has been a media spokesman for national and international organisations and been on breakfast TV. He gave 13 TV interviews during one overseas lecture tour. He has spoken at over 300 national or international events in over 40 countries.

Ambassadorial Roles and Missions to Stop Conflicts

Colin has been on missions – including in war zones – to build relationships between competing groups and movements and encourage talks between warring parties. He has also had ambassadorial roles with the EU (Team Europe) and UK bodies (Investors in People, CMI, and Community Network).

In relation to diplomacy, Colin completed a mid-career Masters programme (with distinction) that was set up initially for the US Navy (and later USAF) officers and members of the diplomatic community in London.

Business Development

In relation to marketing, external relations and business development, Colin has held marketing, business development and general management roles (e.g. Longman Group and Xerox). He has reviewed the business development activities of over 100 organisations and has led the world’s biggest investigation of winning business. He was director of the business development forum and course director of the CIM’s marketing directors’ workshop and international marketing programme.

Change and Transformation

Colin is an international authority on change and transformation. He has been process vision holder of certain of the most complex transformation programmes delivered when utility markets opened in the UK and Austria. He obtained an international Change Agent and Transformation Leader Award – presented by two of the education Ministers attending a world education conference.

Colin led an initiative for the European Commission to produce a European approach to transformation and was the world’s first professor of corporate transformation. His recent book length reports include ‘Transforming Public Services’.


Colin pioneered and/or championed new ways of working and learning that won awards for innovation at national and international level. His publications include books and reports on creating and exploiting know-how and intellectual property. He led the team which produced the report ‘Managing Intellectual Capital to Grow Shareholder Value.

As an innovator and campaigner Colin conceived an exhibition of Innovation which attracted over 20 partner organisations, Royal and Parliamentary visits, a daily air display (including Red Arrows on one day) and some 20,000 people who responded positively to personal invitations. It was an invitation only event and tight security was required in view of the technology displayed.

For several years Colin chaired the judges for the Awards for Innovation in e-Business and subsequently the international e-Business Innovations Awards.


Colin’s books include ‘Creating the Global Company, Successful Internationalisation’. He has an international perspective with two degrees in international relations. He has held professorial appointments in Europe, North and South America, the Middle East, India and China, and has also been an adjunct visiting professor in international relations at an Indian University.

General Management

As a publishing director Colin had general management responsibility for over 50 periodicals from a weekly newspaper (education) to a variety of learned journals. He has also been responsible for significant turnaround in the financial performance of high tech, engineering and knowledge based businesses.

Financial Understanding and Experience

Colin is financially literate as a chartered accountant (FCA), chartered certified accountant (FCCA), chartered secretary (FCIS) and a London Business School graduate (MSc) with group risk chair, audit chair and audit and risk chair experience and he is a past president of an accounting body.

When chair of an audit committee he inherited a rapidly worsening financial situation which led to a substantial year end deficit. In response he commissioned a review from an independent former finance director of root causes and after securing support from certain NEDs proposed to the audit committee and subsequently the board a combination of governance changes, which included monthly reporting, new reports and the setting up of a finance committee. All his recommendations were accepted and the governance changes were supported by another independent review. Working with board and executive colleges the financial position was stabilised and a modest surplus obtained the following year.

Colin participated in the audit of public companies while qualifying with a firm of chartered accountants in the City and consulted with complex organisations while with Coopers & Lybrand Associates Ltd. He built financial models to evaluate steel plant and property investments and assess the implication of changes in the national and regional market for newspapers.

Representing ‘Customers’

Colin served on a Community Health Council and has reviewed the processes for public communication/involvement of a national body receiving millions of calls/emails per annum. He represented customers as Deputy Chairman and two periods as Acting Chairman of the London Electricity Consultative Council (LECC).

While on the LECC he co-presented an appeal to the Electricity Council. While on the board and House Committee of Moorfields Eye Hospital SHA Colin reviewed patient complaints.

Higher Education

Colin understands higher education having been a Dean of Faculty and the head of a university campus with his own advisory board and his own report to each meeting of the University Court. He has had professorial roles at higher education institutions in Europe, North and South America, Africa, the Middle East, India and China.

Colin has also had responsibility for external income generation at two universities. He established post-graduate programmes in Singapore, Hong Kong and Jakarta. He has eight degrees and post-graduate diplomas (including MSc (Econ), MSc, 2 MA’s, AM, MPA, DPA, PhD)

As Faculty Dean and head of a UK University campus he achieved a turnaround from a large financial deficit he inherited to achieve an annual surplus. 80% of income came from non HEFC sources so this involved establishing new programmes and income streams, including overseas activities, while raising quality and coping with a range of site issues that included a listed building and protected grounds.

Secondary Education

Colin chairs the group risk and audit committee of United Learning, a leading UK operator of independent schools and academies. He has also served on the governing bodies of two large comprehensive schools.


Colin is inter alia a fellow of seven chartered and other bodies (FCA, FCCA, FCIS, FCIM, HonFMS, FCMI, FCIPR, FCIPD, FRGS, FRSA, FAIA (Hon)). He has served on a variety of professional committee and councils, including as chairman and president. He obtained first place prizes in the final examinations of three professions and was the founder director of the Centre for the Study of the Professions. His PhD was a study of the professions and the process of professionalisation.

Charity and Fundraising

Colin has served as a trustee and treasurer of charitable organisations. He chaired the executive committee for England and Wales of the OLJ at the time the Order was the largest provider of food and medical aid to Eastern Europe and the former countries of the CIS. He spent 17 years as a Trustee of Community Network which was dedicated to tackling social exclusion for disadvantaged groups.


Colin is the author of over 1,000 articles and the author, co-author or editor of over 60 books and reports, the latest being ‘Talent Management 2‘, ‘Transforming Public Services’ and ‘Transforming Knowledge Management’ (all Policy Publications) on creating high performance organisations. Practical lessons derived from his surveys and work with entrepreneurs and boards are summarised in his books from ‘Creating Excellence in the Boardroom’ (McGraw-Hill, 1993) to ‘The Knowledge Entrepreneur’ (Kogan Page, 2003), ‘Winning Companies: Winning People, making it easy for average performers to adopt winning behaviours’ (Policy Publications, 2007) and ‘Developing Directors, A Handbook for Building an Effective Boardroom Team’ (Policy Publications, 2007)

His other publications include ‘Creating the Global Company: Successful Internationalisation’ (McGraw-Hill, 1992), ‘Transforming the Company’ (Kogan Page, 1992, revised edition 2002), ‘The Future of the Organisation: Achieving Excellence through Business Transformation’ (Kogan Page, 1997/8), ‘Developing a Corporate Learning Strategy’ (Policy Publications, 1999), ‘Individuals and Enterprise’ (Blackhall Publishing, 1999), ‘The Information Entrepreneur’ (3Com, 2000), ‘Shaping Things to Come’ (Blackhall Publishing 2001) and ‘Pricing for Profit’ (Policy Publications, 2002).

Colin is the editor of ‘Business Process Re-engineering: Myth & Reality’ (Kogan Page, 1994), and executive editor (all Policy Publications) of ‘The Responsive Organisation: Re-engineering new patterns of work’ (1995), ‘The Competitive Network’ (1996), ‘Winning Major Bids’ (1997), ‘Developing Strategic Customers & Key Accounts’ (1998), and the ‘Winning new Business ’ series of reports (1999-).