"..an instinctive focus on the human side of Enterprise."
Director Forums Banner

DHN Director Forums

DHN Director Forums are aimed at Chairmen/women, Executive and Non-Executive Directors – and those who advise them. Director Forums are working, interactive and creative groups focused on key business issues – usually at 4.30pm to 6.30pm – followed by networking over a glass of wine – and are ideally suited to active executives looking for a short, sharp immersion in a specific topic, generally seen as topical, sensitive or tricky and in the company of others with similar interests. Director Forums, part of the Devonshire House Network, are also valuable networking events – and designed to fit in unobtrusively to your daily work routines.

We want to influence decision makers, regulatory bodies and government where necessary and to develop Devonshire House Network as a source of quality information and advice on selected topics.

The DHN Director Forums will achieve this ambition through a mix of activities to jointly develop original thought leadership and industry best practice on each topic.

In all our activities, we are keen to work with external experts. In particular, we are grateful to Sharon Constancon who has agreed to present and manage three Director Forum Events on Corporate Governance topics – on 19.6.18, 19.9.18 and 13.11.18. The specific topic for each Event will be agreed beforehand and will be much influenced by the successful Director Form Event that she presented and managed on 19.3.18. Her subsequent White Paper based on this appears on this website under Director Forum Published Material.

(Sharon Constancon is Managing Director of Genius Methods – www.geniusmethods.com. Sharon Constançon, (CDir. MBA. FCIS) practices as Board Evaluator, Forex Treasury Adviser, Chairman, Non-Executive Director, Mentor and Coach. Sharon also has a number of NED appointments and is Chairman of the South African Chamber of Commerce in London.)

Inform, Research & Stimulate

Director Forums are ideally suited to active executives looking for a short, sharp immersion in a key issue in the company of others with similar interests.

We will also draw on the professional expertise of our Sponsors to advise, contribute and act as “subject matter experts” on some topics.

Each Forum will consist of a small number of participants and invited experts will actively discuss and debate the key issues around the topic – and be contributing their own experiences to the group. These will be held at a central London venue, mostly late afternoon.

For more complex topics, particularly relating to Government consultations, there will be an additional Feedback Meeting, open to all DHN Members, to review the scoping document or formal report. These are planned for early evenings probably with some light refreshments.

The discussions will be summarised – or a final Report produced (depending on topic)  – and a written version shared with participants. The presentations, research and other source materials will be available on the website.

Director Forums operate as a part of Devonshire House Network.  Membership of Devonshire House is by invitation – and brings with it automatic access to the Director Forums.


  • Contribute and add value to the membership proposition of Devonshire House and promote the best interests of those who are involved with Director Forums.
  • Develop the more “cerebral” side of DHN. Share views and contribute to thought leadership and original thinking within specific topic areas and amongst members with this shared interest.
  • The meetings will cover the background to the topic but the focus will be on new material, new thinking and difficult areas – some of which cannot be discussed, either easily or at all, on home ground.
  • Some topics will be a controversial and lively debate of differing opinions will be encouraged! Personal experience of real-life situations will add to the currency of the discussion.
  • Provide members with the opportunity to develop mutual interests and share benefits from closer networking.

Key features

  • Opportunity to get insights, current thinking and technical input from specialists and other executives
  • Roundtable discussion between participants with a shared interest in a specific topic
  • Active participation from all involved
  • For some topics, a Feedback meeting to a broader group
  • Summary documents and more formal Reports shared
  • Access to background material, reports and links to selected third party material via the DHN website
  • Generally 4.30pm to 6.30pm – Tea/coffee at 4.30pm and drinks and nibbles at 6.30pm

The format

All sessions will encourage active participation and contribution from attendees, to jointly build an understanding of recent developments, future trends and how the issues are being tackled across different organisations.

We will be inviting “subject matter experts” to enrich the discussions. We are also keen for organisations to sponsor specific events – see below.

Roundtable events:

  • Focus on a single topic that affects organisations – from the fields of human resources, employment & business law or general management
  • Outcome will be a brief paper summarising the discussion – with conclusions and recommendations as appropriate
  • An on-going series covering the broad topic of Corporate Governance – including Board responsibilities, corporate culture and executive pay.


Costs will vary depending on the venue, but the aim is to keep costs low to encourage participation. There is a nominal cost of £50 + VAT per Event.  There is no charge to DHN Members.

Dates for your diary

Details are being finalised but latest plans are:

  • 13th February

    Governance discussion – to be led by Sharon Constançon

  • 19th March

    Governance Feedback session & Report (from 13th Feb event)

  • 20th March

    Living in a Weinstein World: Coping Strategies for Organisations

  • 17th April

    Presented and managed by Areiel Wolanow

  • 19th June

    Governance Feedback session & Report (from 15th May event)

  • 19th September

    Led by Sharon Constançon – Corporate governance group.
    Topic TBA. Now re-arranged for 5.9.18

  • 13th November

    Led by Sharon Constançon – Corporate governance group.
    Topic TBA

Topics for discussion

These will be driven by latest developments – i.e. what is happening in the business world, UK Government and the press.

Broad future subject areas include:

  • Updates on the UK Corporate Governance Code. Latest developments in the regulatory environment, including responses to other proposed codes of practice
  • Values, Behaviours & conduct at work – embedding these in corporate culture & leading by example
  • Governance structures and role of Boards & Committees – how do they react to new challenges & ensure quality decision-making? The responsibilities of the Board, NEDs and Trustees g. the Kids Company case
  • Effective Boards – how do we make them influential and diverse? How do they use all the available talent in an organisation?
  • Business ethics and Whistleblowing
  • Handling political correctness at work. Are people “too PC” or too sensitive? Is it stifling creativity and free expression? How do we get the balance right? This follows the lively and successful DHN presentation by Claire Fox of the Institute of Ideas on her book, “I find that Offensive”.
  • Responding to PR disasters – reputation management and damage control. From Ratners to Bell Pottinger!
  • Executive remuneration and Remuneration Committees. Managing Stakeholder relationships. Will employee representation and increased transparency of top-level pay make a difference? g. BBC challenges
  • Challenges of the new data protection legislation (GDPR) Will this reverse the trend for off-shoring data management? e.g. payroll and customer data handling.
  • Do Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives make a difference – or is it just “window dressing”?
  • Development of Board Director skills – Can coaching & practical experience in trustee and NED roles be more effective than formal management development programmes?

Past Events

See Resources for detailed descriptions of our projects to date.

February 2017 – Review of the Government’s Green Paper on Corporate Governance

November 2017 – How does executive reward drive corporate culture

Our intention is to continue the discussion on topics that we have covered in Director Forums, by updating the material to reflect new developments and current thinking.

Further information on Director Forums

In one of our DHN meetings, someone commented that leading one of these DHN Director Forums is a bit like being a professional musician! Whilst professional musicians usually perform in one orchestra, many of them also play in different orchestras, different bands, different formats or any other activities where their professional skills and abilities are the core requirement.

So it is with the Director Forums.

Promoted and managed by Devonshire House Network, we will develop (or orchestrate) Technical and Editorial resource of authoritative material by bringing in a mix of specialists who can effectively work together – to Inform, Research and Stimulate!

The Director Forums will complement the Speaker Events by bringing together a small group of “subject matter experts” to discuss a specific topic and summarise current thinking and/or best practice. Up to 9 Forum meetings are planned for each year with the possibility of additional events depending on circumstance, opportunity and demand.

Collaborating with others is a key part of the Devonshire House model – and our Director Forum Events rely on bringing together different combinations of friends, partners & sponsors.

We hope that, as we develop these focused areas of specialist expertise, we may be able to win some “Platform appearances” for those taking part in our Forums and reflecting our outward communications activities.

In addition, we will also welcome additional “subject matter experts” from Partner or Sponsor organisations, or their guests.

These events will offer a great opportunity for organisations and individuals to demonstrate their interests and expertise to other executives, for instance by contributing opinions, technical input, research, latest industry thinking or case studies.

Contributors should be happy to include their contact details in our website and reports.

We welcome comments or suggestions from anyone with a professional interest in a specific topic and also to the work which we have published on the website. We will plan follow-up meetings if there are significant developments to discuss.

We are keen to be active with our external communications and media coverage. Our aim is for the content to be pre-eminent, of top-quality and always up to date. However, the interests of our members and contributors are equally as important and we anticipate that the website will act as a route to market for the stakeholders.

The Director Forums are part of the Devonshire House product range and, whilst under the overall management of Devonshire House, will be led by independent professionals with expertise in the subject matters and with the Forums attended by senior director level professionals from a broad range of organisations and with a serious professional interest in the subject matters.

DHN provides the administrative support, website services and access to their members and their wider range of contacts.

This will include detailed descriptions of our projects to date and external reference material plus any outputs from events, including discussion summaries and formal Reports.

  • 9th February 2017 - Review of the Government’s Green Paper on Corporate Governance

    This Forum was created, developed and led by Jane Williams

    • Jane William’s pre-event Powerpoint Agenda  – Download here
    • The Government’s Green Paper – Download here
    • The edited transcript of the Directors’ Forum on 9.2.17 – Available soon
    • The Government’s White Paper – Download here  
    • Final Comments from Jane Williams – Available soon

The Director Forum discussed the development of UK Corporate Governance and made recommendations to Government, following their requests for comments on their Green Paper. A paper was submitted to influence the direction of any changes for the continued success of UK industry.

We also hope that our mission to Inform, Research & Stimulate – will explore, update and develop members’ current understandings on current and proposed Governance development as a result of this Event.

The summary of this event can be found here (link to follow).

For more information, please contact

08081 565 604