Chris Lever

Cranfield School of Management

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Chris Lever

Visiting Programme Tutor,
Cranfield School of Management


Influencing Skills for the New Workplace

What are you an expert in?
Business development; change and transformational processes in organisations. Nautical pilotage.

What is it you are currently thinking about/care about in the world of work?
The sustainability of success for business. How people sustain their health and sanity and their dreams in this crazy world. How we in business can find ways of not screwing up our environment and poor countries in the relentless pursuit of increasing profit margins.

How to bring fun, life, freedom into the workplace. Is what I am doing having impact?
Work is only part of my life, I have mountains to climb, places to see, friends to visit and gardens to keep slug free.

What would you like to see change in organisations?
This is too big a question for me to even begin to answer.

What is special about Praxis?
It is practical, risk taking and uses people who have real experience at the sharp end of life.

Why do the programmes you teach at Praxis matter in business?
Organisations have always experienced great change, as political, social and economic upheavals throughout history have demanded that we adapt or die. Today is different only in that the rate and extent of change has deepened. Few organisations are able to sustain success beyond the 20-year ceiling; those that do seem to have a 'changeability' gene - in that they make the right changes at the right time. They are simply brilliant at reading the external and internal environment that causes them to respond with elegance and wisdom.
The way we do things at Praxis is the critical differentiator of organisational success or failure. It marries together academic robustness with practical application and is prepared to take risks.
Influencing Skills for the New Workplace provides a practical and in-depth exploration of the dynamic of power in today`s workplace. We not only show how to engage effectively with individuals, teams and groups. We also demonstrate ways of doing that are authentic and will play to our talents. The programme, very simply, makes a difference to people who want to extend their range of influential capability, and in doing so contributes to the effective working of the organisation.

How would you describe your teaching style?
Practical; robust; able to translate the complex into something understandable and fun.

Education and Qualifications
Bachelor of Education (BEd), Exeter University, 1978
Postgraduate Certificate in Counselling, King Alfred's College, Winchester, 1987
DTI Class 6 Master's Ticket
Commercial nautical pilot's licence

Work Experience
Skipper of passenger ferries, working out of my home-port, Poole. Over the 25 years I have held my 'ticket', I have worked both full-time and in a part-time command relief capacity. I look back at this work and the people who worked with me with real affection.
Teacher: it was a good idea at the time but square pegs in round holes come to mind!
Senior Manager for Digital Equipment Corporation.
I was responsible for developing pan-European projects programmes and solutions business. I had a lot of fun, and despite the usual geographic and political hassles, we achieved our goals.
Senior business development manager, Touche Ross.
Chief executive of an international consulting firm. We formed this company 14 years ago without anything in the diary, no money in the bank. All we had was a whole heap of passion and some interesting past life experiences. Today we work with our customers and friends across the world doing some interesting work. The highlight of 2003 was being detained at the airport in Kiev on suspicion of smuggling. and no I didn`t pay the bribe!

Boats; mountains; gardening; cooking; natural history; fishing; music.

+44 (0)1234 751122

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