Richard Pascale biography, quotes and books

Richard Pascale - Toolshero

Richard Pascale (1938) is a leading business consultant worldwide, author and a respected lecturer / professor. Richard Pascale owes his fame to his contribution to the 7S framework when he was working at McKinsey & Company management consultancy.

Biography Richard Pascale

Before his career in management consultancy, Richard Pascale studied at Harvard Business School. Here he obtained both his MBA and his doctorate (Ph.D.).

While doing his doctoral research, Pascale worked for McKinsey & Company. Together with Tom Peters, Robert Waterman and Julien Philips, Pascale developed the 7S framework by carrying out empirical research among CEO s and top-level managers at organizations such as AT&T, General Electric, The New York Times, Marriot, British Petroleum, Ciba Geigy, Intel and Morgan Guaranty Bank.

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In the early 1980, Pascale built a bridge to Japanese management by studying this with Anthony Athos. His starting point of the study was the difference between top-level American companies and top-level Japanese companies. What were Japanese companies doing better than American companies was the key question and what can we learn from them?

In 1981 he and Anthony Athos wrote a best-seller called The Art of Japanese Management. An important conclusion in this publication is that Japanese organizations focus more on the softer side of management (employees, skills, core value and leadership styles) than American organizations. It is these findings that led to Anthony Athos’s further exploration of chaos and skills theories.

Pascale combines a rare synthesis of scholarly thinking and practical experience. He encourages agility, which enables businesses to reinvent themselves in a dynamic and volatile economy. By creating rules for setting up complex adaptive systems, he helps organization rethink their strategic initiatives that are necessary for success and survival.

Richard Pascale has worked closely with the CEO and top-level management teams of large organizations such as GM, Ford, Chrysler, British Airways, Motorola and Sony. His latest research focuses on the emergence of ‘self-organization’, the process in which structures are generated spontaneously in a chaotic system.

Famous quotes by Richard Pascale

  • “Adults are much more likely to act their way into a new way of thinking than to think their way into a new way of acting.”
  • “Great companies make meaning. A company has a name, but its people give it meaning.”
  • “Nothing fails like success.”
  • “If it ain’t broke, break it.”

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Publications and books by Richard Pascale et al.

  • 2010. The Power of Positive Deviance: How Unlikely Innovators Solve the World’s Toughest Problems. Kindle Edition. Harvard Business Review Press.
  • 2005. Your company’s secret change agents, Harvard Business Review,
  • 2000. Surfing the edge of chaos: The laws of nature and the new laws of business. Random House LLC.
  • 1998. Acting your way into a new way of thinking. Journal: Leader To Leader, vol. 1998, no. 9, pp. 36-43.
  • 1994. Intentional breakdowns and conflict by design. Journal: Strategy & Leadership , vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 12-19.
  • 1990. The renewal factor: Constructive contention. Journal: Strategy & Leadership , vol. 18, no. 4, pp. 4-48.
  • 1990. Managing on the Edge: How the Smartest Companies Use conflict to Stay Ahead. Simon and Schuster.
  • 1984. Perspectives on Strategy: the real story behind Honda’s success.
  • 1984. The paradox of” corporate culture”: Reconciling ourselves to socialization. Graduate School of Business, Stanford University.
  • 1983. American Management Style: Time for a Change. Journal: IEEE Engineering Management Review , vol. 10, no. 5, pp. 43-48.
  • 1981. The art of Japanese management. Penguin Books.
  • 1980. Comparison of Selected Work Factors in Japan and the United States. Journal: Human Relations – HUM RELAT , vol. 33, no. 7, pp. 433-455, 1980.
  • 1978. Personnel Practices and Employee Attitudes: A Study of Japanese and American-Managed Firms in the United States. Journal: Human Relations – HUM RELAT , vol. 31, no. 7, pp. 597-615.

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Original publication date: 11/11/2014 | Last update: 05/28/2024

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Vincent van Vliet
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Vincent van Vliet

Vincent van Vliet is co-founder and responsible for the content and release management. Together with the team Vincent sets the strategy and manages the content planning, go-to-market, customer experience and corporate development aspects of the company.


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