John HigginsRESEARCH FELLOW

    What’s he like then?

    Intense – but with a smile and vivacity that can get him mistaken for Robin Williams.

    Never happier than when a loose thread in his understanding unravels, requiring him to rethink how he knows the world

    A fierce listener… always inviting others to know themselves and those around them more richly.

    A bit of a ‘head on a stick’… and yet at his best highly empathetic. He tries to live to the advice given to him years ago, by an old Gestaltist, to ‘think feelingfully and feel intelligently’

     

    What’s he done?

    Author of numerous books and articles into power and organizational change, most recently published in the Harvard Business Review, European Business Review and Dialogue Review.

    The two books he’s proudest of are the one he’s writing now with Megan Reitz into ‘speaking truth to power’ (due for publication sometime in 2019) and the one he co-edited with Kathleen King based around the experience of five Doctoral students (The Change Doctors: Re-imagining Organizational Practice, Libri 2014).

    He’s been a very bad computer programmer, a materially successful (if spiritually unhappy) IT strategist and has undergone root and branch Jungian analysis over many years. He’s also been a Business School Tutor, a local community leader and a coach and thinking partner for people from the age of 18 to 65. In a moment of extended hubris he was also a player in something called ‘Global Centres of Excellence’ for a US Management Consultancy.

    His recent work has taken him from Boston to Istanbul, via the shining citadels of London corporate power… and a homeless theatre company in its East End (support the Cardboard Citizens!)

    He’s been a stay-at-home Dad and has walked away from the lure of money for its own sake. He knows what it takes to make bold life choices and create a life of one’s own.

    Why does he bother?

    Because he has an incurable itch. Scarred by the misuse and abuse of power he has a psychic rash that he is compelled to scratch. Power is a fact of human life and getting it used well is his calling.

    The experience of his wife and two daughters brings home the patriarchal abuse of power every day – and reminds him that he has unearned privilege because of his education, gender and ethnicity. This privilege can only be redeemed if it used in the service of others.

    Quotes

    ‘… speaking depends on listening and being heard; it is an intensely relational act’ Carol Gilligan

    ‘… are groups formed by a collection of individuals joining together, or are individuals precipitated somehow out of groups?’ Farhad Dalal

    ‘The use of inhumane methods to achieve impossible ends is the essence of revolutionary utopianism’ John Gray

    ‘When the pupil’s confidence has been won, his resistance against being educated gives way… he accepts the educator as a person. He feels he may trust this man, that this man is not making a business out of him, but is taking part in his life, accepting him before desiring to influence him’ Martin Buber (And apologies for the gender blindness of the original)