Dr. Richard A. MacKinnon,
Insight director

What were you doing before you joined
the Future Work Centre?

I’ve been working as an occupational psychologist for 15 years, both in-house and as an external consultant, supporting clients in industries like healthcare, financial services and aviation. Before founding the Future Work Centre, I set up my own coaching and development business, WorkLifePsych; I’m now working both there and at the Future Work Centre.

What excites you most about your role?

Several things: I love communicating the science of psychology to the general public, and I’m relishing the opportunities to speak and write about topics I’m really passionate about. I’ve always enjoyed demystifying psychology and giving clients actionable advice to make their experience of work better. And I’m thrilled at the prospect of helping to prepare the next generation of occupational psychologists for the world of work.

Why is an evidence-based approach important?

Big decisions can have big impacts, so it’s important for individuals, organisations and society as a whole that we base them on evidence – not fashion, hearsay or “best practice”. We need to step back, take stock and evaluate our impact, or we risk repeating the same mistakes or throwing good money after bad.

What does work mean to you?

Work and my identity as a psychologist are very important to me. It’s no exaggeration to say I love what I do. I’m always learning from my clients and I can see the impact my work has on others, which is very rewarding. I can’t picture myself doing anything else!