John Dickson

Cranfield School of Management

Visit Cranfield School of Management's main website
 

John Dickson

Associate,
The Praxis Centre,

John Dickson

Biography

Programmes 

Praxis Customised Programmes

What are you an expert in?

Seeing beneath the issue to its essential foundation or seed - and then surfacing my observations to provoke a shift in other's awareness and thinking.
Helping individuals find their personal leadership power through the application of thought and energy. This involves shifting patterns of thinking and revitalises awareness of the link between Self and the Earth wisdom innate to us all.
Developing strategic campaigns of influence.
Helping groups to work more constructively together. Influencing other's thinking and ways of perceiving issues.
I am always learning - maybe that is what I am most expert in!

What is it you are currently thinking about/care about in the world of work?

Everyone is a leader, in the sense that they are constantly creating their 'reality' by how they think about things. As long as individuals continue to think in the myriad subtle ways that foster their separateness from other people and situations, organisations will have difficulty in being constructive and systemically productive. I care deeply about how people can create a slow-dying 'hell' for themselves by being unaware of how their very thoughts and beliefs produce their experience and reality. For me, leadership is fundamentally about learning to lead yourself first, by taking responsibility for your own thinking. Then and only then, can you consciously inspire constructive thinking in others - the kind of thinking that leads to the kinds of actions that yield positive and sustainable results for all to enjoy. This process of inspiring others to think in new and more constructive ways, is what I would term as 'leadership'. Cultures are largely dysfunctional because of the ways collective communities of people have been conditioned to think and believe - and thus, to act. Only by becoming aware of one's own thinking, can a leader hope to create new choices for themselves and others to change the destructive patterns in organisational and societal life.

What would you like to see change in organisations?

For people to recognise that their thinking typically fosters individual separation rather than a spirit of unity. I want to see people at every level taking personal responsibility for their thoughts in any present moment, knowing that their very thought about something is never neutral and can carry consequential impacts on others.
I would like to see organisations remember that they probably were established to serve a customer community first, employees second and shareholders last.
I would like people in organisations to awaken to the fact that they are connected with all and every aspect of life, and to base their decisions on this knowing. This would mean applying some fundamental Earth-founded wisdom, which seems to have been lost from human consciousness in today's 'civilised' world. Also, for corporate and world-political decisions to be based upon their impact upon future generations of children, rather than short-term profit.

What is special about Praxis?

It is a community of people truly committed to exploring new and engaging ways of developing people to help their organisations become more healthy and constructive places to work - and to be more productive as a result. The mix of Praxis personalities and specialisms provide the opportunity to experiment, and to learn from each other.

Why does the programme you teach at Praxis matter in business?

The programmes make people conscious of how they sabotage their 'success'. They support them in growing their own personal power and capacity to make constructive changes happen in their lives, at home and at work.

Education and Qualifications

BSc Chemistry, Stirling University, 1982
MBA, Cranfield School of Management, 1997
Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, 1998

Work Experience

After graduating, I spent time as a chef running my own catering business in Stirling. I then spent ten years selling micrographic and computer systems for Kodak and Memorex. This was a time of learning how to influence people and organisational systems in client organisations, over which I had no control.
It involved everything from understanding systems and design, to the use of Myers Briggs Type Indicator - a Jungian based approach to understanding how people think, relate and do things - and psychology to engage different personalities in my concepts. Most importantly, though, I learned to see myself as being in the service of the client`s best interests. This perspective empowered me to approach even difficult directors with my products and services.
I was an account director for four years, responsible for the global relationship between BT and British Gas. This involved influencing the boards of both companies (again, no control to rely upon), as well as running a national sales team dedicated to selling communication services to British Gas. The sales turnover for the division was around £30 million. I learned much about the application of leadership - the hard way. For the next two years, I was an internal strategic consultant, teaching and supporting other account directors in growing and protecting business from BT's key corporate accounts. It was a time of learning more about leading others, without having direct responsibility for them. I also taught account leadership to BT account directors.
In 1997, I established an independent consultancy business and am now a co-director. The business is dedicated to the development of leadership capacity in organisations and society. I have worked with Praxis since 1999.

Interests

Tai Chi and all healing energy work.
Doing up an old house and organic smallholding.
Indigenous Earth Wisdom, Buddhism and the nature of spirit.
Building a holistic leadership centre in a forest. Trekking; cooking; photography.

+44 (0)1234 751122
m.k.mills@cranfield.ac.uk

home about mba msc doctorates executive development research information contact us