There is a concept in philosophy called hermeneutics. It also has a home in theological studies. Hermeneutics is the study of understanding and interpreting language and texts. It’s the making of meaning. So, when we read, say, the writings of Gandhi and apply a hermeneutic to it, we are thinking about a number of factors that all affected his experience as he wrote AND ours as we read.


The best leaders practice organizational hermeneutics. They learn to understand and interpret people, situations, and forces through a frame that brings meaning and insight into next steps, behaviors and innovations. These leaders interpret the organization both through the eyes of others AND their own–coming up with, therefore, a more rounded view which leads to more strategic and sound movement.


Are you reading and interpreting your organization? If so, what are the ways and methods you use to do so?