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Schedule for the Day

Executive Edge Day allows you to design your own unique day by selecting 3 sessions relevant to you from the 9 sessions on offer below. Please note, you can only choose 1 session from each of the 3 tracks, which run in parallel. The day will culminate in a facilitated panel discussion with industry leaders on the topic of people development and talent management.

Track 1

Managing top talent as a wicked opportunity

Prof. Karan Sonpar

Even though top talent disproportionately contributes to organisational performance, destructive and inept leadership practices are pervasive. In this interactive session, Prof. Karan Sonpar will identify three common challenges that executives face in managing top talent. He will then offer some counter-intuitive insights on how these very challenges can serve as opportunities to turbocharge the rest of the organisation. 

Track 2

Making A Scene

Phil Kingston

Theatre is surprisingly straightforward to make and unsurprisingly relevant to the business world. It doesn’t take long to introduce some basic skills of improvisation, characterization, movement and dramatic storytelling. The challenge lies in finding quality in these techniques without losing the playfulness that lies at the heart of all art. All these skills, native to theatre, can enhance and enrich the workplace as well as revealing greater presence and authenticity in one’s personal leadership.

Track 3

Brexit – Winners and Losers

Prof. Eamonn Walsh

From a business perspective, the consequences of a potential Brexit have been inadequately explored. Naïve analysis based upon bilateral trade patterns has been used to reinforce the political message that Brexit is bad for business. This session will pinpoint the sectors that will gain (and lose) from Brexit. New business opportunities will be identified and the mitigation of downside risks will be examined.


Track 1

Enhancing the Effectiveness of Top Management Teams

Prof. Patrick Gibbons

Top management teams (TMTs) are typically charged with forging and executing the strategic direction of the organisation. However, many CEOs and other C-suite executives secretly bemoan the ineffectiveness of their TMTs in making decisions, in engaging members, in closing off mutual accountability and in executing what they thought they decided. This session will address the typical sources of senior management team dysfunction. It then outlines the membership, structural, process and agenda architectures that are associated with enhanced senior management team performance. Attendees will walk away with a clear agenda for transforming their TMT to enhance impact and effectiveness.

Track 2

Managing Workplace Conflict: the Rise of ADR

Prof. Bill Roche

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is becoming increasingly popular for resolving different forms of conflict and disputes in businesses, not least workplace conflict. Drawing on material in his recent book, Managing Conflict at Work: Alternative Dispute resolution in Ireland (co-authored with Paul Teague, Tom Gormley and Denise Currie), Dublin: Institute of Public Administration, 2015, Bill Roche examines the growing use of ADR in workplaces in Ireland and assesses the effectiveness of ADR practices. The growing use of ADR practices such as mediation, facilitation, arbitration, dispute resolution panels and line management engagement in grievance resolution is examined in the context of trends in workplace conflict in Ireland and internationally.

Track 3

On getting stuck and unstuck – what lies beneath?

Dr. Maeve Houlihan, Dr. Annette Clancy

Why do so many change processes fail? Why does it sometimes feel like no two people are working in the same organisation? Why might decisions taken at a meeting unravel as soon as people leave the room? How is it that promising sounding tools and strategies often don’t deliver? Why is it so hard to get things done? We believe that a lot of what happens in organisations happens below the surface of our conscious awareness. In this session we will attempt to shine some light on often-unexplored aspects of life in organisations. We consider some of the personal, social and organisational defense routines that can keep us stuck, and examine an approach that foregrounds what works rather than what needs to be fixed.


Track 1

Competing for the future of shopping: Can Ocado beat Amazon?

Prof. Damien McLoughlin

This will be a lively and interactive case based session on Ocado. Ocado is a unique and completely independent online grocer wholly focussed on the home delivery of high-quality food, drink and household goods. In contrast to its main competitors, the British company has no chain of stores and does all home deliveries from its warehouses. Damien will also be joined by James Matthews, Managing Director, General Merchandise at Ocado to share insights into the case. A copy of the case study will be forwarded to registered participants in advance of the event, along with questions to consider and a guide on how to approach a case study. Maximum benefit will be derived from participation in the live session with Damien which promises to be engaging, enjoyable and challenging.

Track 2

The 3 Pillars of Persuasion: Aristotle’s wisdom in the 21st Century

Prof. Conor Neill

Aristotle wrote the single most important work on persuasion over 2300 years ago. How do we apply his lessons for moving other humans to take disciplined action? How do we speak to persuade? In this session, Professor Conor Neill will channel Aristotle for the 21st century. It promises to be a highly engaging and enjoyable discussion.

Track 3

What do we uniquely need to do together that we cannot do apart?

Colm Murphy

In this highly interactive and practical session, you will have the opportunity to compare your team against an academic and a consulting based high performance team model to help you assess and plan how to coach and challenge your team to go from good to great or to stay at great in an ever changing environment. You will leave the session with a series of key questions to spark your next team meeting and to create a focus on being a high performance team.


Key Trends that are Shaping the New Competitive Landscape

Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh

This panel of CEOs and business leaders will explore the trends that are likely to shape the new competitive landscape and impact the way you do business. Our panel of industry experts will discuss demographics, consumer trends, emerging markets, technology and scarcity of resources – and will give you examples of how different companies deal with these. It has never been easy to predict the future, and in the VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world, it is increasingly difficult for executives to anticipate what tomorrow will be made of.