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Dr. Edgar Schein or “Ed” as many of us know him, is renowned for his contributions to organizational culture and development. His work changed how we think about teams, leadership, relationships, organizational change and coaching. Despite his busy schedule, Dr. Schein was always willing to help and connect with those who wanted to learn – and was an incredible mentor.

Ed’s “fingerprints” can be found in the “humanistic” side of improvement work in the in the Team Coaching Program. Ed was the one who cautioned us that health care improvement could become too technocratic. He suggested spending time with each other to develop “levels” of relationships. Relationships are what make the difference in process improvement. He stimulated careful thinking about what “helping” is and how to be a better helper. Learning and practicing “humble inquiry” and humble leadership with curiosity and to “walk in each other’s shoes” were emphasized by him to increase our successes.

We are grateful beyond words for the time that Dr. Schein spent with us and his personal and professional contributions. The world has lost an incredible helper, mentor and friend, and he will be deeply missed. The best tribute we could commit to is to continue to honor and study cultures in our work, practice humble inquiry and be the best helpers we can be.