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Jonathan Gifford and Mark Powell

Jonathan Gifford and Mark Powell
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Dr Mark Powell and Jonathan Gifford are the co-authors of “My Steam Engine Is Broken: Taking the organization from the industrial era to the age of ideas” and “Perform To Win: Unlocking the secrets of the arts for personal and business success.” They talk entertainingly and compellingly about the need to humanise the modern organisation and about building winning teams by exploring the mindset and techniques of great performing artists.


In their highly-rated talks and presentations, Mark and Jonathan argue that the modern corporation is stuck in an outmoded, industrial mindset that sees the organisation as a machine to be run as efficiently as possible, guided by supposedly omniscient managers, rather than as a community of people who should be encouraged to devise their own most effective route to delivering the organisation’s goals. The machine paradigm produces the kind of employee disengagement that is now endemic; the humanisation of the organisation generates enthusiasm and commitment and frees up creativity. Exploring the ways in which great performing artists work together to create outstanding performances is a perfect example of this ‘humanistic’ approach and offers remarkable insights into the ways in which teams can work together to deliver their own winning performance.

Jonathan Gifford is a business author whose books include History Lessons: What business and management can lern from the great leaders of history; Blindsided: How business and society are shaped by our irrational and unpredictable behaviour; 100 Great Leadership Ideas and 100 Great Business Leaders. His books have been translated into Chinese, Korean, Thai and Indonesian. Jonathan’s previous career was in newspapers and magazines; he was the launch publisher of BBC History Magazine.

Speaking Topics:

  • Organisational culture and transformation
  • Leadership development
  • Art-based executive coaching


Dr Mark Powell is an independent consultant and business writer and an Associate Fellow of Oxford University’s SAID Business School, where he specializes in designing and directing senior executive leadership programs.

Speaking Topics:

  • strategy development
  • leadership
  • power and influence
  • strategic relationship building
  • the human aspects of business performance


  1. Mark Powell brings a rare combination of imagination, structured thinking and a broad frame of reference to organisational challenges. He is able to see the whole picture whilst still empathising with the individual, the personal. He is collaborative in his approach and has an incisive ability to cut to the chase. Things become generally become clearer when working with Mark!

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