Organization culture. Change. Rituals. Anthropology.


Have you ever looked at your organization as a tribe? Jitske has. An organization is a living entity, with village squares and town halls (meeting rooms), alleyways and taverns where the real dialogue takes place (smoking areas and coffee corners). With chiefs (leaders), elders (regulatory bodies), hunters (sales), magicians (IT, HR, change managers, consultants) and gatherers (the fee earners). To truly understand the ins and outs of a tribe and to guide the so-called intangible organization culture, it is important to understand how people shape cultures.

An exciting journey to the essence of culture. About how people shape cultures and how cultures shape people. Exotically distant and, at the same time, full of practical examples for your own organization. Providing a rapidly tangible and to-the point overview of the basics of anthropology about people, culture and change. Looking through this anthropological lens you will see in clearer focus what is really happening in the dynamics of the organization. Like switching from black and white to color TV.

Keynote or master class based on the award-winning book: The Corporate Tribe. 2016 Management Book of the Year.

Book a keynote or master class


The book The Corporate Tribe is about how you can research, indicate and change organization cultures. All of that is too much to cover in one lecture. So we have to choose. During the intake session over the phone, we coordinate the needs and possibilities within the available time. This can include the following options:

  • Organization culture. What is that exactly? What elements do cultures entail? Where to look in order to understand a culture? What do you see when you examine something as an anthropologist would? How do you conduct an anthropological culture scan? When is an organization culture functional and when is it dysfunctional? After looking through this lens, you will never experience your organization the same way again. It brings a new dimension to leadership.
  • Planning cultural change. Cultures are constantly and always changing. And yet, most scheduled cultural processes fail miserably. They won’t fail if you apply the knowledge and skills of anthropology. Not all transformations and cultural changes require the same approach. This is a lecture full of anthropological knowledge for directing a cultural change in such a way that new behavior will spread through the organization like wildfire. Viral Change in action.
  • Change and liminal leadership. New things always lead to chaos. How do we deal with that? What can we learn about this from peoples all around the world? Anthropologists speak of the threshold: liminality. Making space for the new also means assigning a place to what was. And dealing with the mix of uncertainty, irritation, hope and joy. Sometimes with a slash-and-burn method, and sometimes with loving attention. Change happens with decisiveness and connection. With power and love. Facing the future strong together calls for campfires, rituals and a certain amount of magic - even in office buildings.
  • The power of rituals. Culture brings order to our daily life. Change is about doing things differently, about the extraordinary. About how you can bring magic to your organization. About the power and necessity of rituals during development processes and change processes. And how you can create rituals that fit within your organization, team and change.
  • Anthropological perspective. In this lecture, within a short time you will learn how to understand the culture of a group you are working with using the cultural anthropology research method. Really learn to identify cultural patterns. Learn to understand the ranking in the group sooner, learn to better gauge the interests, and hear the successes and concerns of the people yourself. Not through a questionnaire, but by observing and talking to people. A bit like an undercover boss. Or a management-by-walking-around style with more depth. An approach in which you as an outsider are quickly included in the group and in which you get to know the culture as an insider. As an anthropologist, as it were, as an ethnographer… Participative observation; a way of observing and interviewing people to understand them better within their context. Important to do at work, and also interesting to do on vacation.
  • Planning, control and the impact on the course of events. Setting targets, blocking out time windows for tasks, compiling project schedules, action lists… We are all so busy trying to influence and control the course of events, in all sorts of ways. In this lecture, we take a step back from the rat race of planning & control. From an anthropological perspective, we look at the intangible concept of time and how people handle time in different cultures. Can time even be measured at all? Where does our future begin and end? How useful is it to set a point on the horizon? And can you make magic time, in which all falls into place, we forget about time and change seems to happen naturally? This is a lecture that challenges your assumptions and throws you into a sharper focus.


During a masterclass there is more time for questions and how to translate the topics to your organization. The intent is to have short segments of theory and explanation, followed by time for interaction and dialogue. In a plenary session or in subgroups. Possibly with an interactive game or a reflection assignment in subgroups. During the intake session, we will discuss the content angle and determine the work method.

About us

HumanDimensions looks at companies and organizations through the eyes of an anthropologist. We look at how people shape cultures, and how cultures shape people. We travel the world looking for ways to build strong tribes, that are diversity-friendly and ready for change. And we bring our findings to the world of organization and cooperation through our excellent keynote speeches, master classes and training courses. Deep Democracy. Inclusion. Diversity. Organizational culture. Leadership.

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