Modern leadership for the changing world of publishing

The last decade or so has been a period of increasingly rapid change for publishing as it has for many industries. Roland Smith of the Center for Creative Leadership has described this new business environment as one of perpetual white water. This is supported by an IBM study of over 1,500 CEOs who identified their number one concern as the growing complexity of their environments. Furthermore, the majority of those CEOs said that their organisations are not equipped to cope with this complexity. 

Organisation of the course

In this 3-day intensive course, participants will learn how to cope with complex leadership issues by working through a series of case studies that are especially relevant to publishing today. The programme will improve their decision-making ability in innovative and complex environments. The course also includes personal career coaching Barbara van Schaik will help you become a better leader and enhance your career within publishing.

Who should attend?

The course would benefit all who are currently in, or strive to be in a publishing leadership role. The focus, coverage and career coaching aspects of the course will be particularly useful for individuals who are future leaders and those who demonstrate leadership potential. 

The course objectives are:

    -Understanding the complexity of today’s publishing business
    -Realising the difference between leadership & management
    -Developing a personal leadership style

Topics include:

    -Inspiring Leaders - how to develop thought leadership & strategic level thinking
    -Big picture, Small actions - how to connect vision, mission, strategy, and tactics
    -Complexity in Management - how to become more insightful
    -Service Dominant Logic - how technology can help to drive value for customers
    -Creating a Narrative - how storytelling can help influence others and inspire change


Course Programme

Monday 18th September 

9:30 Arrival & Registration

10:00 – 11:00 Introductions (participants + Jonathan Clark + BeiBei Song + Barbara van Schaik)

11:00 – 11:30 Break

11:30 – 13:00 Case Study 1: Jan Carlzon: CEO at SAS (A) (Jonathan)

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch

14:00 – 15:30 Case Study 2: HBR Article Why should anyone be led by you? (Jonathan)

15:30 – 16:00 Break

16:00 – 17:30 Chris Blake on Leadership

Case Study: What is creative leadership?

Creative leadership encourages imaginative solutions and strategies that can ignite and redefine an organisation. This case study highlights the power of simple yet inspiring leadership and communication to unite a fractured company. 

Chris Blake on Leadership (& Poker!)

The only resource a leader truly controls is their own time and attention, so how do you choose what to focus on and how much time to spend? And how can a knowledge of poker help us understand decision-making?


Tuesday 19th September

9:30 - 11:00 Case Study 3: Kodak (A) (Jonathan)

11:00 – 11:30 Break

11:30 – 13:00 Case Study 4: BeiBei Song, A Case for Art in Science & Technology

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch

14:00 – 15:30 Business Model Canvas (Jonathan & BeiBei)

15:30 – 16:00 Break

16:00 – 17:30 Timo Hannay on Data-Driven Business

Business Model Canvas

This strategic management and entrepreneurial tool is a great way of analysing existing business models as well as identifying opportunities to innovate them. 

Case Study on Innovation

Innovation is not easy, even when a company has a winning ideas it can struggle to implement them. What lessons can we learn from a classic case study that can help us understand how to drive successful innovation?

Case Study on what change is hard

How to change a company that is highly successful and doesn’t really believe it needs too change? 

Data driven decision making 

Timo Hannay will lead this session on how to use data to support decision-making, to drive business development and to develop new products.

Wednesday 20th September

9:30 - 11:00 Case Study 5: on VUCA / Adaptive Leadership, case to be decided (Jonathan)

11:00 – 11:30 Break

11:30 – 12:30 Leadership 2.0 (Jonathan)

12:30 – 13:00 Barbara van Schaik on Coaching

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch

14:00 – 15:00 Personal Planning

15:00 Close & Departures

Case Study on Complexity 

It’s a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous world we are operating in today, what do we need to do as leaders in order to cope and to guide our organisations in the right direction?

Leadership 2.0 

Modern leadership requires a modern approach that makes new demands of leaders  with competencies such as Transformative, Reflective, Inspiring, and Appreciative.  

Action Plans 

The final session will be used to reflect on the course and for participants to complete their creative leadership plans. 

Course Director

Jonathan Clark

Independent Advisor on Strategy & Innovation, providing advice in one-to-one coaching sessions, innovation leadership trainings, group workshops or in much larger events. Prior to starting his own company in 2010 Jonathan worked at Elsevier for 20 years in various positions in publishing, marketing, product management, technology and ebusiness. He is also a Guest Lecturer in a Masters programme at the NHTV University of Applied Sciences. 


The fees provide you with a choice to either include accommodation on 18th and 19th September and evening meal or not, if you are local to Oxford and would rather not have to stay. STM have negotiated special room rates for the course. Please note the number of rooms at this venue are limited so we strongly suggest you book your place on the course as far in advance as possible.

Events Terms and Conditions

Where an event has registration fees, cancellations made in writing up to 30 days before an event are eligible for a 50% refund. No refunds can be made for cancellations received on or after 30 days prior to the event date, however, substitutions may be made free of charge at any time.

Registration fees do not include insurance. Participants are advised to take out adequate personal insurance to cover travel, accommodation, cancellation and personal effects.