John Deverell CBE is the founder and author of “The Prepared Mind”. Many corporate leaders consider John’s crisis preparedness plans and workshops to be the best in the business. His Army posts included Director Defence Diplomacy in the Ministry of Defence; a divisional and brigade commander; and seven years as an operational member of Special Forces. As deputy to the US director of the Iraq Survey Group, he was instrumental in disproving the pre-war intelligence on WMD and was the first British government servant since the end of the British Mandate to be based in the Palestinian Territories.
After leaving government service, John spent two years on the Executive Leadership Team of Invensys plc, a FTSE 100 multinational engineering and IT company. He was responsible to the CEO for the company’s security and business continuity globally. After a further two years in a senior role with M:Communications, for whom he developed client reputation and crisis management solutions, he established CulturesConnect Ltd in 2013.
Based on his four decades of handling conflicts and crises in the UK and abroad, John writes and leads seminars on the Prepared Mind approach.
John has appeared many times on TV and radio, commenting on strategy, risk and leadership. He has an MPhil from the University of Cambridge in International Relations and a diploma in Negotiation and Mediation from the University of Kent. He holds pro bono appointments related to the church, the Middle East and disabled ex-servicemen. He continues to work part time for the British government at home and abroad.
Michael Ferndale has worked with boards and leadership teams for nearly two decades. He has a wealth of experience in helping top teams with leadership, assessment, and executive search, working extensively across the private, government, sport, not-for-profit, and wider public sectors.
He established the Board Practice at Harvey Nash and chaired their Group Advisory Board. He has also worked for Korn/Ferry International and Whitehead Mann, where he was a member of the board, consumer/retail, and public sector practices.
Michael was educated at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and The University of Dundee, where he graduated in Scots Law (LLB). He is a member of the Commercial Committee of the Lord’s Taverners and was on the Museum of London’s Development Board.
In 2016, he completed the 257 km Marathon des Sables in the Sahara desert, known to be the toughest foot race in the world, to raise money for The Lord’s Taverners to give disadvantaged young people a sporting chance. He completed the 2017 London Marathon running facing backwards for the same charity.