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In honor of Dr. Ed Schein

Wednesday, February 15, 2023 4:24 PM | Hallie Knox

Dear readers,

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)

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