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James Traeger

Chair and Director of Qualifications

BA (Hons), PG Dip Psych, PhD

James is known for his wisdom, intuition and the depth of his knowledge. His sensitive and pragmatic approach, offering sound advice and thought provoking questions, enables people to master complex situations and find important truths that are out of sight.

James Traeger is a leadership and organisational development specialist with extensive practical and teaching experience.

In 2010, James co-founded Mayvin with Martin Saville. James specialises in providing coaching, facilitation and supervisory support in a mindset informed by OD, action research and diversity. His clients are usually senior leaders and internal change people in large, often global, concerns such as the governments of the UK and Singapore, in the pharmaceutical and financial sectors and in the NHS.

Prior to launching Mayvin, James had a brief but prize-winning stint in theatre production, worked his way up to be a general manager in a commercial photo agency, and was invited to be a senior consultant at Roffey Park for four years. Between 1995 and 2006 he had a consulting business with clients including Barclaycard, the Metropolitan Police Service, Surrey County Council, Thus and the University of Cambridge.

He created the Navigator Men’s Development Programme and won acclaim for his work on the Metropolitan Police’s ‘gender agenda’, an area of specialism that became the focus of his doctoral research at the University of Bath, which he completed in 2009. As a result of this he was invited to be a research fellow at Hult Ashridge Executive Education, where he is also now an adjunct Professor of Practice in Leadership and Management and a faculty member of the doctorate in organisational change.

James is collaborating on a number of research projects with Dr Rob Warwick, Reader in Management and Organisational Learning at the University of Chichester. Their book, Organisation Development: A Bold Explorer’s Guide, was published in 2018. The book challenges the received building blocks of organisation development, putting the curious reflexive individual at the heart of their own development. James and Rob are now working together to explore practice-based learning: how to learn close to the grain of the work at times of discontinuous change. As part of this they are delving deeper into ‘artful knowing’; exploring how taking an imaginative creative approach to work can help people to meet organisational challenges.

In 2021 James was recognised as one of HR Most Influential Thinkers for the second year in a row.

James lives in Surrey, where he is an active member of his faith community and father of two teenage children. He enjoys running and will play five-a-side football until his knees give out. He is also a member of a thriving local book group. He looks forward to his retirement activities of making model aeroplanes and flying gliders, both of which he has started early.

Recommended content

Organisation Development A Bold Explorer’s Guide, co-written with Rob Warwick and their new podcast series.

James is a Board Trustee of Leo Baeck College.

James regularly writes for the Mayvin blog and has developed a toolkit for Restorative HR, a pioneering field of practice that brings together HR and OD with restorative justice to help people solve HR problems for themselves.

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