Margaret Heffernan


Mentor Governance

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Margaret Heffernan is an entrepreneur, Chief Executive and author. In the UK, she was CEO of IPPA and Marlin Consulting; in the US, she ran Internet software businesses InfoMation Corp., ZineZone Corp. and iCast Corp. She is the author of 5 books, including Wilful Blindness, cited by the FT as “one of the most important business books of the decade.”


Margaret advises and writes about issues of growth, strategy and sustainability. She is acutely aware that leaders need external input in order to understand what is happening inside their organisations, outside in the marketplace and the strategic fit (or conflict) between the two. Given the executive need for focus, how can any leader have adequate peripheral vision? Given the need for vision, how do great leaders know what is going on inside their companies?


Margaret graduated from Cambridge University and produced award-winning programmes for the BBC for thirteen years. She then led IPPA, described by the Financial Times as ‘the most formidable lobbying organisation in the UK’. Returning to the US, she developed multimedia products with Tom Peters, Peter Lynch, Intuit, and Standard and Poors. As CEO of several, successive software companies, she was named one of the top 25 media executives by the Hollywood Reporter.

Since returning to the UK, she has published five books, including Wilful Blindness which was a finalist for the FT Best Business Book award and A Bigger Prize which won the Transmission Prize in 2015. She is one of the most viewed TED speakers on business and leadership and also co-leads the faculty of the Responsible Leadership Programme.


Margaret sits on the board of the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution as well as on the boards of several private companies. She also broadcasts on Radio 4 about business and leadership. She is married with two children. She has an honorary doctorate from the University of Bath.

Leadership Moments

Listen Up: How Do You Really Know What’s Going On In Your Company?

“How much do you trust the hierarchy that edits what you hear and what you see?”​

In her interview with Merryck’s Adam Bryant, Margaret describes key insights she’s shared with leaders about understanding what’s really happening in the culture of their companies. Click here to read more.