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  • Writer's pictureAnand Mahadevan

Culture and Leadership

Edgar Schein has written the book on organizational culture and leadership based on his decades of work at MIT. He lays out case studies of his work with DEC, Novartis and Singapore's EDB before delving into the literature of culture (Hofstede's work features here) in organizations and how culture enables or disables learning and growth. Many of you are likely already familiar with the statement improperly ascribed to Peter Drucker -- "Culture eats strategy for breakfast" -- may well find its origins in this book.

Schein's work dovetails very nicely with Amy Edmondson's work and she's is referenced here for her work on psychological safety in workplaces as well. However, Schein goes further using cases to describe how understanding culture helps leaders diagnose and lead change in their organizations. I really like how his last chapter looks at change leaders as learners and learning-oriented leadership. This resonates with my belief that everyone in a school community is a learner, not just our students.

If you haven't been following Hal Hannaford on Twitter, you should to read his take on faculty culture in schools and how school leaders can create positive, engaging and learning communities by unleashing the collective potential of their faculty.

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