Professor John Amaechi OBE | Founder, APS Intelligence Ltd

Photograph of John Amaechi OBE

There are many things to tell you about John.

There’s all the usual bio stuff: Professor John Amaechi OBE is a respected organisational psychologist, an award-winning, international (Sunday and New York Times) best-selling author, a sought-after public speaker, an executive coach and the Founder of APS Intelligence Ltd.

He is a non-executive director of a FTSE 250 company, was a 10- year director of the UK’s largest healthcare organisation and a board adviser for several FTSE 100 organisations in the financial, legal and professional services, technology, publishing, engineering and retail sectors.

John grew up in Stockport, near Manchester, and left for America alone at the age of 18 to pursue his ambition to become the first Briton to have a career in the NBA. Just six years after picking up a basketball, he achieved that goal becoming the only undrafted player in NBA history to ‘start’ at the beginning of his first season.

Since his retirement from sport, John has continued to learn and teach. He is a Professor of Leadership (HC) at the University of Exeter Business School, a Chartered Scientist, a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD and an Elected Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health and the Association of Business Psychologists. He is a Research Fellow at the University of East London; his research interests include effective, inclusive leadership, building high-performing teams and effective organisational design that maximises productivity and human thriving in readiness for the future world of work.

John has been recognised as one of HR’s most influential thinkers by HR Magazine and was inducted into HR magazine’s Hall of Fame in 2022. He is a LinkedIn influencer and has been a LinkedIn Top Voice since 2020.

But there are some more things it’s important to know: John is a mentor, a teacher, and always using his deep psychological insight combined with real-life experience to provide a touchstone for people and companies who want to thrive, achieve, and align their beliefs, values and ethics.

John is a giant, literally. He’s huge! He’s also a Dad, Brother & Uncle… from Stockport and a living testament to his mother’s words: “The most unlikely of people in the most improbable of circumstances can become extraordinary.”

People who think facts and evidence should bow to opinion drive him crazy; he’s passionate about Star Wars, is a self-confessed nerd & geek, a former NBA sportsman who has a voice like honey and is transported by music, and loves nothing more than to eat decadent foods that are bad for him – especially pies!

So, while you’re questioning everything you thought you knew, John will entertain you with his storytelling, confront you with uncomfortable truths, make you laugh and move you to tears (sometimes in the same minute) and ultimately inspire you to grow and develop in ways you couldn’t possibly imagine…so that you can be a Giant too.

What one action would you like to see organisations, or the government take to drive gender equity?

I’d like to see the government refine the Hampton Alexander to incorporate an intersectional view with statistics that demonstrate not just the position of women in the workplace, but ethnic minorities, women with disabilities, neurotypical women and more – in part to highlight that much of the gender progress has been non-intersectional to date. Then I would have organisations respond with a set of standardised demographic approaches so that the status quo and any change can me analysed from a company, sector and cross-sector perspective.