Chris Grant

Former CEO of Sported and one of the UK's leading facilitators

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Organisational change expert with a focus on diverse workplaces
Appointed OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2021 for services to sport
Appointed by the British Basketball Federation as the new Chair of the sport’s national governing body in 2022

Chris Grant OBE is one of the UK’s leading facilitators of organisational change, with a particular focus on effective leadership and cultivating a diverse workplace culture. He’s a leading keynote speaker and consultant, with extensive hands-on board experience including at CEO level. He was appointed as Chair of the British Basketball Federation in 2022.

Chris has worked with more than 2,000 leadership and operational teams on strategy and performance. This included chairing one of the most successful multi-stakeholder programmes in the UK’s financial and retail sectors – The Chip & Pin Programme. As Lead Tutor on UK Sport’s Elite Coach Programme – a three-year learning journey for top coaches in Olympic, Paralympic and professional sports – Chris worked closely with some of the world’s leading sport coaches. His consulting work has spanned retail, the motor industry, media, healthcare and education.

Chris is acknowledged as one of the UK’s leading facilitators. He developed a body of knowledge relating to group dynamics and facilitation called MeWe, which he has shared with hundreds of senior leaders through workshops and seminars. He has also moderated and spoken at events ranging from the inaugural World Cities Forum to the NHS Medical Directors’ Conference. Since 2016, he has chaired the judging of the BT Sport Industry Awards.

As former Vice-Chair of the Board of the International Inspiration Foundation, Chris worked to deliver the first ever international development programme run by an Olympic and Paralympic host city, reaching more than 20 million young people around the world in partnership with UNICEF and the British Council. From 2014 – 2018, he was CEO of Sported, the London 2012 legacy charity, which supports more than 3000 local groups across the UK, using sport and activity to improve communities and lower the barriers faced by many of the country’s young people. Chris previously sat on the Board of Sport England and is a leading advocate of the power of sport to bridge divides and transform lives.

He continues to lead strategy in sectors ranging from medical research to property, and focuses particularly on projects which highlight the power of sport to drive equality and justice in society.

Chris was appointed OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2021 for services to sport.

Photo by Open Forum Events

Suggested Talks:

A Systems Approach to Beating Racism: Lessons from an Activist in the Boardroom: The slogans, black squares and commissioning of “unconscious bias” training are the easy part. But what happens next, and how can individuals, teams and organisations ensure that, when it comes to racism, they’re part of the solution? In his highly engaging style, Chris sets out a roadmap for change, tapping into his broad and deep knowledge of building effective teams and organisations across many sectors, as well as a lifetime spent navigating the pitfalls and glass ceilings of racial politics in the UK.

I Can See Clearly Now: Making Decisions in Times of Crisis: As thoughts turn to what comes next post-COVID, the volume and importance of decisions needing to be made will continue to grow. Chris draws on examples from this most unusual year, and the insights from his new book “Better Decisions” to offer a startlingly accessible and engaging keynote, full of practical wisdom and useful techniques.

The State of our Industry/Organisation: A Crowdsourced Keynote: Whether “live” or through a screen, the value of any keynote sits in the place where the insights of the speaker meet the experiences and perspectives of the audience. Using a unique approach, developed in contexts as diverse as the European Retail Real Estate conference and the Visionary Conference for UK sight-impairment charities, Chris Grant gathers the views of a cross-section of participants up front by asking 3 very short, simple questions, and then weaves these into an engaging, comprehensive, forward-looking view of the team, organisation, sector or industry in question.

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“I’ve worked with Chris on several occasions with demanding audiences. He brings a quality of ‘high energy calm’ in his work with audiences, whether that’s as a presenter or a facilitator. He also possesses outstanding facilitation skills and understanding of group dynamics.  That’s great, but so what?  The ‘so what’ is that groups he works with are guided into a high energy calm of their own which clears thinking space and helps them get to the nub of what is important for them.”

Claire Stibbon, Head of Culture, UK Sport