History

Nigel Oakes founded the Behavioural Dynamics Institute (BDi) in 1990. In his early career Nigel worked as a producer for Monte Carlo TV and in 1985 became the Head of International Production. Two years later, Nigel joined Saatchi and Saatchi as a Senior Producer. In 1989, he established the Behavioural Dynamics Working Group; a group dedicated to the psychology of influence consisting of Professor Adrian Furnham, Professor Barrie Gunter, Professor Bruce Dakowski, David Fellowes and Nigel Oakes.

In 1990 Nigel founded the BDi as a centre of excellence and a research facility for understanding group behaviour.  The original foundations of the BDI Methodology were presented at Harvard Business School to Professor Emeritus Chris Argyris in 1993 and the concept was then socialised into the academic community.

Later in 1993, Nigel set up Strategic Communication Laboratories and using the new methodology from BDi, ran election campaigns and national communication campaigns for a broad variety of international governments; SCL’s clients have included South Africa, USA, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Grenada, Nepal, Pakistan and Switzerland. That experience has been fed back into the methodology, ensuring that it combines precise research, a focus on groups and actionable recommendations.

Over the last 20 years, leading social scientists from a wide range of disciplines have added to and refined the methodology – incorporating the best available field-work techniques, providing better empirical validation and synthesising new theories. The methodology now provides a robust guide to understanding group behaviour in a wide range of contexts.