“Hardest thing to change in business, is culture”, says Karren Brady


Karren Brady was introduced to the audience by Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Howard Newby and Simon Bray, Director of Santander Universities UK

The most difficult aspect to change about a business, is the working culture and values of its people, says Vice-Chairman of West Ham United FC, Karren Brady.

Karren, who is also Lord Sugar’s advisor on BBC One’s The Apprentice, was talking at the University of Liverpool’s International Festival for Business (IFB) public lecture, where she addressed more than 700 people about how she built her career in the football industry.


She told audiences how she brought her staff together to appreciate and value every aspect of the business by allowing them to experience different departments of the football club. Football players are invited to work behind the scenes in the ticket office, for example, and employers are encouraged to gain experience in similar external professional environments to gain new ideas.


Karren began her career at Saatchi and Saatchi and held roles with the London Broadcasting Company and Sport Newspapers Ltd, before moving into the football industry. She was Managing Director of Birmingham City Football Club from 1993 to 2009, where she took the club from administration to a financial trading profit in her first year

The lecture, which took place at the newly refurbished Guild of Students, was made possible thanks to the support that Santander offers to the University, through its Santander Universities initiative.

The University of Liverpool is contributing to the IFB with a series of events, including a number of public lectures and a conference, including Global Universities of the 21st Century, which takes place on the 24 and 25 June 2014.

karren brady with VC

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