Following graduation in 1971, Dickins joined Warner Bros Music Publishing and was appointed Managing Director in 1974. During his time there he moved the company from a ranking of eleventh to first, a position it held throughout his tenure. Dickins was appointed International Vice President of the company in 1979. He signed Prince, Nile Rodgers & Bernard Edwards (Chic), Neil Young, Joni Mitchell amongst others to the UK company and signings for the World included Vangelis, Sex Pistols, Whitesnake and Madness.
In 1983, Dickins became the Chairman of Warner Music UK (a division of Warner Music Group), remained in that role until December 1998. During his term there, he turned the company into one of the most profitable in the UK
In 1999, set up his own entertainment company with Sony Music, Instant Karma, based in the West End of London. The company's first album release in 2000, How to Steal the World by Helicopter Girl, was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize album of the year award. He had chart successes with both I Monster and The Alice Band in the UK and Addis Black Widow in Scandinavia.
Dharma Music, his independent music publishing company, achieved chart successes with Cher, Rod Stewart, Girls Aloud, I Monster and Amici Forever.