Thursday, 26 August 2010

An interesting take on managing culture from Ed Schein

Ed Schein is one of the great gurus of change management. In this article he suggests that it is a fruitless exercise striving for a unified corporate culture. Rather we should be concentrating on optimising the culture in the "islands" of the business - and getting the islands to work together towards common corporate goals. This is a very different approach from the perceived wisdom of OD over the lest 30 years where the emphasis has been on change programmes aimed at aligning the whole organisation to a single culture. Many of us who have worked with Execs to try to facilitate this kind of proces know just how difficult and slow it is. Maybe it is much better to treat change in the way Tom Peters talked about authority - clear boundaries, but total internal freedom.

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