Michael Beer: It's not the seed, it's the soil
Book chapter, 2017
Michael Beer of the Harvard Business School is mainly known for his work on organizational change, strategic human resource management, and for the development of approaches/methods for strategic renewal. After a first career as an organizational researcher at Corning Glass works, he has remained a scholar- practitioner, with a burning interest in doing research which is both useful for theory and practice. Beer is interested in how organizational systems learn and change and ultimately in understanding what over time creates organizational system effectiveness. A major problem, he and his colleagues argue, is that management usually does not address changes in a systemic way. The result is a much lower success rate of organizational change initiatives. The employees of the organization often know how it can be improved, but because "truth cannot speak to power", management only rarely gets to know what the organization thinks. They are therefore restricted from making a systemic analysis and do not get to know how they can address change in a systemic manner. A substantial part of Beer's research has been focused on how to make such situations better. Together with a set of colleagues from aspirational CEOs of major corporations Beer and colleagues formed both an international consultancy firm - TruePoint, as well as a network of research centers - the Center for Higher Ambition Leadership.
Strategic human resource management