Summary of Humble Consulting

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7 Overall

8 Applicability

7 Innovation

7 Style


Consultants can no longer operate as they once did: Assume the role of corporate doctor, diagnose organizational challenges and provide detailed prescriptions. Traditional consultancy is inadequate for today’s daunting business environment, says Edgar H. Schein. He believes a fresh consultancy model is in order, and so he delivers it. The “father of process consultation,” he spent 50 years teaching and researching organizational culture. His “humble consulting” model helps consultants parse complex issues and help their clients institute small, productive fixes. Schein believes the client and consultant, without being too chummy, must develop “an open, trusting relationship” to be effective working partners. getAbstract recommends his insightful, instructive manual to consultants, counselors, coaches and even parents.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why traditional consulting isn’t the right way to address complex organizational problems,
  • How humble consulting can be more effective and
  • How to practice humble consulting.

About the Author

Social psychologist Edgar Henry Schein, PhD, is an organizational development expert. He formerly taught at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He also wrote Humble Inquiry.



Organizational Problems

The problems that confront organizations today are complex, ambiguous and confusing. They don’t yield easily to technical solutions and they often involve different cultural tropes, constituent groups, assumptions, unaligned goals and disconnected silos. These problems are generally unstable and in constant flux. Companies often try to gather the right people to coordinate their thoughts and actions to fix things quickly. Even getting these people into the same room can be difficult, if not impossible. Many times, they can’t communicate. Almost always, they won’t agree.

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