Countercurrent Podcast

About the Podcast: Countercurrent with Professor Roger Kneebone

A podcast for people who like the unexpected. Join the surgeon and academic Professor Roger Kneebone in conversation with unorthodox people whose careers defy traditional boundaries and who swim against the tide.

With grateful thanks to Justin Margovan for his expert production support for Countercurrent since the start.

Many of the people in Countercurrent feature in my book Expert: Understanding the Path to Mastery (Penguin Viking, 2020).

Available to listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Libsyn.


Sheila Hayman in conversation with Roger Kneebone

Sheila Hayman is a documentary film maker who has been exploring the relationship between people and technology for over forty years. In this conversation we explore issues around sustainability, artificial intelligence and what it means to be human.


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Simon Friend in conversation with Roger Kneebone

Simon Friend retired from PwC in 2017 after 35 years with the company. His background in accountancy, auditing and business leadership has led to a range of other roles, including being Non-Executive Director at the Royal Academy of Arts. We discuss Simon's role as critical friend and explore how his experience in thinking about risk can inform an organisation’s decision-making.



James Taylor in conversation with Roger Kneebone

As a professional keynote speaker, James Taylor is a skilled performer who works with audiences across the world. His Supercreativity podcast features over 350 conversations with leaders the field. In this conversation we explore similarities and differences between podcast conversations, formal keynote presentations and clinical encounters. We both identify trustworthiness as a key aspect of our work.



Ben Thomas in conversation with Roger Kneebone

Ben Thomas’s description of his role as an independent financial adviser resonates with my experience as a clinician, and especially as a general practitioner. For both of us, our roles involve developing relationships of trust and care against a background of professional knowledge and experience. In this podcast we explore the similarities and differences between our professional experiences.



Darren McHugh in conversation with Roger Kneebone

Darren McHugh started his career as an actor and playwright before changing direction and joining the world of fine dining. He has been at The Ledbury for seven years, where his responsibilities extend from front of house dining to the financial and organisational sides of the restaurant. He sees developing his team as central to his role and he believes that ‘authentic interestedness’ is a key quality of expert service.



Dimitri Bellos in conversation with Roger Kneebone

Dimitri Bellos has been Restaurant Manager at The Fat Duck for over five years. In this podcast he describes his philosophy of service in this 3 Michelin starred restaurant where waiters are ‘storytellers’ in a culinary narrative based on Heston Blumenthal’s childhood experiences. We discuss parallels between fine dining and clinical care, exploring Dimitri’s ideas around attentiveness and presence as the foundations of an outstanding experience for diners.



John Acland in conversation with Roger Kneebone

When John Acland retired he was managing director of Williamson’s Diamond Mine Ltd in Tanzania, having turned it from being a failed mine into a highly profitable organisation. After cutting his teeth as a miner in northern Canada he trained at the Camborne School of Mines in Cornwall before a career that took him from South Africa and Botswana to Angola, Namibia and Tanzania before changing direction and becoming an olive farmer in South Africa’s Western Cape.



John, Earl of Selborne in conversation with Roger Kneebone

John Selborne has many roles, including apple farmer, Fellow of the Royal Society, past chairman of the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee and current chairman of the Foundation for Science and Technology. In this conversation we discuss what it is to lead discussions with disparate groups of experts and the value of asking the ‘idiot question’.



Chris Nichols in conversation with Roger Kneebone

Chris Nichols’ career has included extended periods in the civil service, investment banking, an academic position at Ashridge Business School, individual and organisation coaching and now the independent company GameShift. He has played a ‘trickster’ role throughout, defying classification as he switches roles. In this conversation we explore areas of similarity between our apparently different perspectives, including simulation, careers that change direction and the respective roles of insider and outsider.



Ed Lamont in conversation with Roger Kneebone

At various points in his career Ed has been a commodities broker, a professional street juggler and an executive coach with a special interest in leadership, motivation and productivity. He is Co-founder and Senior Partner of Next Action Associates. An accomplished linguist, he is at home in multiple cultures. The conversation ranges widely across our shared interests.



Aifric Campbell in conversation with Roger Kneebone

With the writer Aifric Campbell I explore how language is shaped by its context. Aifric’s career has ranged from linguistics to investment banking, and now she teaches creative writing at Imperial College London. In this podcast we compare the language of the operating theatre, the clinical consulting room and the trading floor and explore how our personal perspectives intersect.

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