Ido van der Heijden 

Cranfield School of Management

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The Praxis Centre

The Praxis Centre at Cranfield School of Management

Ido van der Heijden 


Visiting Fellow






Personal Transformation for Leaders ( Formerly Organisational and Interpersonal Skills in Management)


What are you an expert in?


Improving self-awareness; developing emotional intelligence in people and teams; supporting teams in lifting barriers between people; connecting people to who they really are.

I am a master in quickly building rapport and identifying life stances and their historical background; helping people to be more open than they usually are.

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


That people`s work lives can be very much more satisfying and successful if they can express who they really are and develop meaningful relationships at work.

That people in leadership positions have a more in-depth understanding of:
* what makes people tick
* how different people can be, in terms of what they consider `normal`
* that everybody has a story
To contribute to increased self-awareness in organisations, so that decision makers can operate in ways which are congruent with their own values.

What would you like to see change in organisations?


A focus on long-term thinking.

An awareness of the influence organisations have over peoples` lives.
To be aware of their influence on the world - developing a sense of social responsibility.
To have the courage to change.

What is special about Praxis?


Praxis is innovative and creative. It is a diverse group of highly skilled people, running unusual and exciting programmes. 

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


The Personal Transformation for Leaders Programme is an eye-opening experience, which transforms the quality of relationships in and outside work. It helps participants to become more effective at work through an improved understanding of themselves and others.

The impact of the programme has, over many years, been proven to be lasting, and has frequently led to promotion of delegates to more senior positions. Our participants become better leaders of people, colleagues, partners and parents.

How would you describe your teaching style?


Direct, humorous and highly participative. My presentation style has a self-reflective effect on people.

Education and Qualifications


`Doctoraal` degree in clinical psychology, University of Groningen , Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1976.

Extensive training in different forms of psychotherapy, such as psychoanalytic, group psychotherapy, gestalt, bioenergetics, Pesso-Boyden Psychomotor.
NLP practitioner qualification with John Grinder, 1989.

Work Experience


In 1979, I moved to the UK and began to apply a psychological approach to developing people in organisations.

In 1980, I pioneered an in-depth psychological approach to management development at Cranfield. I developed and began to lead the Organisational and Interpersonal Skills in Management programme (OIPS) which has now has a new name "Personal Transformation for Leaders". This programme has now run for almost 25 years. It has an international reputation and has been proven to have a lasting, and often life changing, impact on participants. I am still involved with my Praxis colleagues in running it, and, indeed, we have had participants whose fathers have been on the course!
I have worked all over the world within different cultures, and with private and public sector organisations - many of them blue chip. My work involves releasing the potential of individuals and teams, to develop effective working relationships.
It is a deep and sustainable way of working.
One of my assignments involved bringing together the culturally diverse executive teams of a global organisation, working with Americans, Europeans and executives from the Far East. This project created a turn-around in confidence by the parent company, and lead to a major investment and merger, which doubled the size of the company.
In 2000, along with a colleague, I worked with the management team of a production plant owned by a large South African brewery. The team had been underperforming. We managed to develop sharply improved relationships between executives who had previously been on the different sides of the Apartheid regime. This produced a transformation, resulting in a 25% increase in productivity. The plant became the most efficient of the brewery`s seven plants in the country, for two years running. It also won the first prize in a global excellence competition for the quality of one of its products
More recently, I have been working with groups of executives from a major British broadcaster, to bridge the gap between the `creatives` and the `suits`.
I am currently working with the partners of one of the UK`s `Big Four` accountancy firms, to develop emotional intelligence, client relationship skills, and sustainable, and more personal, relationships between partners and partner teams. This work is making a difference in the quality of partners` lives and is leading to more open and trusting relationships within the organisation.



People, the world and the human condition.

Playing the cello; classical music.


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