Michaell Schimmelschmidt

Cranfield School of Management

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Michael Schimmelschmidt

The Praxis Centre,

Michael Schimmelschmidt


Praxis Customised Programmes

What are you an expert in?
Architecture - organic architecture, eco design.
Interior design.
Individual and group processes.

What is it you are currently thinking about/care about in the world of work?
I have a complete focus on creativity in all its aspects. I aim to make it accessible to people who consider themselves uncreative, and to those who want to use creativity in their work as a means of reinvigoration and innovation.

What would you like to see change in organisations?
I would like to see some big, structural changes within organisations and in peoples' minds.
My vision is that organisations integrate into their strategies the notion of interconnectedness, interdependence and the creativity of their employees. They operate responsibly and for the good of the greater whole. They would become creative, rather than continuing to rely mainly on what has always worked and going for short-term gains.

What is special about Praxis?
Praxis sees the 'inner' development of people as vital to the 'outer' success of an organisation. It is unconventional, non-bureaucratic and direct in its approach to its faculty.
It is more a community of people rather than an institution. Praxis is willing to experiment, take risks and it believes in 'walking the talk'.

Why do the programmes you teach at Praxis matter in business?
With the acceleration of change in our world, creativity is a vital way of responding to chaos, crisis and pressure. It is not just a 'nice-to-have'. Creativity is the key implement for shaping the most desired personal and organisational future.

How would you describe your teaching style?
Creative, experiential, challenging, positive. I work for a positive outcome, rather than curing and fixing - using a 'health', rather than 'illness', model.

Education and Qualifications
Degree in Architecture,
(Dipl Ing Arch - German graduate diploma), Technische Universität, München, Germany,
ARB (Architects' Registration Board), 1988
RIBA (Member of Royal Institute of British Architects), 1998
Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy
Centre for Counselling and Psychotherapy Education, London , 1996

Work Experience
Designing and overseeing of West House Dormitory, Cranleigh School, Surrey.
I worked on the project from 1985-87; it won an RIBA National Award in 1988.
Organising two London conferences: 'Sick buildings and healthy houses - a seminar on building biology', 1989; 'Human scale architecture for human scale education', 1990.
Articles published on ecological building, organic architecture and on the meeting between architecture and psychotherapy.
Design architect in a leading edge Amsterdam architectural practice that specialises in organic architecture for large corporate clients, 1991.
Project architect for award-winning college buildings in Oxford - organic and ecological design, 1993-1995. The building won the 'Green Building of the Year Award', 1996.

Teaching experience:
Oxford School of Architecture (now Oxford Brookes University), 1984-1986
Kent Institute of Art & Design, 1991, teaching architectural students ecological design
Canterbury School of Architecture, 1992.

Set up a management consultancy with my partner, 1998
The development and implementation, at board and senior consultant level, of a new, creative consulting approach within a well-established consulting practice. The group reviewed the organisation's consulting approach and held an internal ideas competition in 1998. We won the bid for the personal development aspect, designed a comprehensive programme, trained specialist consultants, and took the relevant board members and business team, personally and experientially, through the core aspects of the programme.
Transforming the culture of the human resources team in a leading edge, start-up IT company. The business unit's cultural values suffered under a lot of pressure from its mother company, a large utilities organisation. We worked with the potential, talent and values within the HR team to forge a new cohesiveness.
Change intervention to free up the creative potential of the senior national managers in a global food and restaurant chain.
Development of an in-depth and ground-breaking creativity programme for individuals and organisations.

Designing - architectural, graphic design.
Processes/programmes; painting; world music; wood working; cooking; perennial wisdom

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