The venerable Dr. Edgar H. Schein, a prolific writer, leader, teacher, and practitioner of Process Consultation, passed away in January at the age of 94.
I was given the gift of conversation and emails with Dr. Schein (Ed) over the last year as we introduced him to the Society for Process Consulting: who we are, what we do, and how he might be more involved. He always asked good questions, critical questions, and I certainly learned a lot from him. These early steps in developing a relationship with him now seem cut short much sooner than we would have liked:
…We showed him examples of how his seminal work, and more recent work, are incorporated in the Society’s curriculum, rich with examples of his legacy on organizational development and a different type of consulting – “humble inquiry” as he called it in one of his books co-written with his son Peter Schein.
…We also shared the manuscript with him of Listening, Helping, Learning: Core Competencies of Process Consulting, a book by Mark L. Vincent, with contributors from across the country, for which Ed graciously wrote a testimonial.
… Lon Swartzentruber, the CEO of Design Group International, had a chance to interview Dr. Schein back in 2020 and a summary of what transpired is shared in a blog post and recording from that time: The seduction of expertise and other consulting lessons.
We hope that these efforts to connect with “Ed” will continue to expand his legacy as a massive contributor to the field of process consulting, and in his manner, I can only say how humbled I was to be a part of it.
In memory of Dr. Edgar H. Schein 1928 - 2023
Professor Emeritus, MIT Sloan School of Management & Author with Peter Schein of Humble Inquiry, rev.Ed. (2021), Humble Leadership (2018), and Humble Consulting (2016)