Chris Argyris (1923-2013), along with Warren Bennis, was the creator of organizational development. He was a thought leader and a professor emeritus at Harvard Business School. He was the author of at least 30 books and numerous articles, some of them with co-authors such as Donald Schon.

Some of his more famous ideas included The Ladder of Influence and Double Loop Learning. He had many profound insights that still impact people, cultures and businesses today. Fearless Revival believes his Harvard Business Review article Skilled Incompetence is of vital importance.

Chris Argyris discusses corporate culture and management in this video:

Selected Notable Quotes:
Managers who are skilled communicators may also be good at covering up real problems. – Chris Argyris Quotes

Success in the marketplace increasingly depends on learning, yet most people don’t know how to learn. – Chris Argyris Quotes

Individual learning is a necessary but insufficient condition for organizational learning. – Chris Argyris Quotes

Success in the marketplace increasingly depends on learning. Yet most people don’t know how to learn. – Chris Argyris Quotes

Whenever undiscussables exist, their existence is also undiscussable. Moreover, both are covered up, because rules that make important issues undiscussables violate espoused norms… It is very difficult to manage [organizational defense routines]. They continue to exist and proliferate because they are relegated to the realm of “underground management” and all sides tacitly agree to this state of affairs. As a result, organizational defense routines often are very powerful. – Chris Argyris Quotes

Most people define learning too narrowly as mere ‘problem-solving’, so they focus on identifying and correcting errors in the external environment. Solving problems is important. But if learning is to persist, managers and employees must also look inward. The need to reflect critically on their own behaviour, identify the ways they often inadvertently contribute to the organisation’s problems, and then change how they act. – Chris Argyris Quotes