Peter R. Scholtes (1938 – 2009)

peter-scholtesIt’s time to write about another Giant.

This time it’s Peter Scholtes who was an internationally known author, lecturer and consultant.

He had a very interesting life, which (in addition to working within business) included stints as a priest, musician-composer, social worker, teacher, community organiser and therapist. Above all, he was about people.

His purpose was about “creating pride and joy at work”.

He travelled to Japan to understand and learn about their culture and management.

From 1987 – 1993 he shared the platform with W Edwards Deming on his 4-day lecture tours, educating organisations about a better management philosophy. He synthesised the field of organisational development with the teachings of Dr Deming.

He was presented with the 2006 Deming Medal “”for his efforts to inspire others to transform organizations by helping managers understand how successful leadership of people requires an understanding of the interdependencies among knowledge about variation, psychology, appreciation for a system, and the theory of knowledge.”

Scholtes’ two famous (‘best selling’) books are:

  • ‘The Team Handbook’; and
  • ‘The Leaders Handbook’

Chapter 9 of the Leaders Handbook (titled ‘Performance without appraisal) has been held out by many (including Deming and Alfie Kohn) as THE place to go to understand what is wrong with performance appraisals and pay-for-performance, and (importantly) what to replace this with.

(Main source:

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