“You cannot change culture from the middle.”

I will drive to a client for a strategy review shortly. I love strategy work. I am also mindful that we rarely succeed at realising a strategy. Culture is a major, if not the major factor in that. The statement in the title is from Ed Schein. Many people who do change don’t realise how much he has contributed to their practice with his work. One thing he believes is that the CEO should own culture. And he adds – and that shows he knows what he is talking about – that if HR has the pretence that they can do it without or “around” her, they are often in for sour surprises.

I was reminded of his work when I came across a short video interview with him for the occasion of the fifth edition of his great standard work, Organizational Culture and Leadership. It’s a delight to watch him. He’s sage.

This made me realise again how grateful I am for teachers like him. And for clients who understand this, like the one I get to work with today.

Whose shoulders are you standing on, in your craft?

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