Affiliated Faculty, Organizational Dynamics
Head of Talent Development, North America, Johnson & Johnson
Master of Science in Organizational Dynamics, University of Pennsylvania, 2014
Bachelor of Science, Business Management, Hampton University, 1989
Philadelphia native Cecil Johnson has always explored educational and developmental opportunities not only for himself but for the communities where he lives and works. When Cecil was in pharmaceutical sales management, he began to think about the future and where he wanted his career to head. He considered shifting to more of the talent management side but wondered, “How do I get there from here and what would it look like? Is there a way I can marry my business experience and education into this new field?” So he sought advice from a vice president who happened to be an alumna of Penn’s Organizational Dynamics program.
“As soon as I went to an on-campus information session, I knew that the Organizational Dynamics was the right program for me, and I have never regretted my decision. I was impressed by how the program offered high levels of science and rigor and provided me with the opportunity to become what I’ve always wanted to be. And coming from the corporate world, where advancement is very competitive, I found the learning environment at Penn to be refreshingly supportive and equitable.
The program was all about my intention and how I was creating a means to differentiate myself as a practitioner. In fact, my capstone focused on developing a new organizational metaphor where I explored the parallels between an employee-organizational relationship to that of the romantic, interpersonal relationship. I was able to draw from behavioral science and academic research to demonstrate how cross-cultural coaching can help an employee gain affinity with an organization but without the emotional challenges. I worked with several PhDs on this project and their interest in my research was not only humbling but they added such credibility and legitimacy to my project.
As a practitioner, the program has helped me develop a more robust toolkit to use when I coach employees and engage with colleagues. Another thing I discovered is this program has helped me to look at my organization more fully. I have gained the ability to step back and view situations more completely. Organizational Dynamics has also provided me with an enhanced view in which to observe education and life beyond my role and title.”