Cultural change and liminality

Lessons from anthropology

Jitske Kramer


On the way to a new mission, other core vales, a merger, redesign, downsizing, shrinkage, becoming more international, digitalizing, a network organization? Complex organizational changes? Experiencing cultural change as a slow-moving and tedious process? Well… not if you apply the principles that we have known of for centuries as humankind! A lot of knowledge has been gathered in the academic discipline of cultural anthropology about how people organize change. You will learn about how tribes deal with transitional moments. What liminality is and what the role of the established order is in this phase. How you can make the new desired behavior contagious. How to spread it like an attractive virus throughout the organization.

In this keynote speaach, Jitske Kramer provides us with very hands-on anthropological insights on how to create sustainable cultural change. Whether this is a change initiated from within the tribe itself, or a response to external pressure. You will learn about how you can best make use of the power of the “liminal phase” between the old and the best possible new. We do not talk in terms of known management jargon, but about the soul, the totem, the spirit of the organization. About magicians and chiefs. About rituals, and the meaning of the in-between. About viral change and the importance of storytelling.

Book a keynote or masterclass


During a masterclass there is more time for questions and how to translate the topics to your organization. We’ll use our intake session to discuss the focus and the topics that need more exploration. The group will work in smaller groups within the framework provided to reflect on their organizational changes and challenges. We could also focus attention on formulating the kind of behavior that is needed in the new context or the desired culture. And we could draft the first outline for a viral change plan.

If you choose for a full day masterclass, we can work with the incredibly challenging LingHe computer simulation, developed by Insead. This simulation challenges you to work in teams of four to implement a change in a Chinese organization. Very realistic and anything but easy. It is also very suitable even if you haven’t ever worked internationally and never will do so. All of your assumptions about change processes will be challenged and this will help you to see your own context and strategy for change with fresh eyes. A wonderful session prior to a leadership conference or a strategic session.

About us

HumanDimensions looks at companies and organizations through the eyes of an anthropologist. How do people shape cultures and cultures shape people? We travel around the world looking for ways of building strong tribes, safe for diversity and ready for change. And we bring our findings to the world of organizing and cooperating through our excellent keynote speeches, master classes and training courses. Deep Democracy. Inclusion. Diversity. Organizational culture. Leadership.

Facebook Twiter Instagram

Twitter Human Dimensions

Twitter Jitske Kramer


How about an informative, inspiring and provocative ezine in your Inbox every six weeks? With articles, blogs, vlogs and all our latest news?

* indicates required

© 2019 Human Dimensions B.V. All rights reserved. Under aproval price changes and any typing errors. Site by BlueBird Media. Privacy