In the world of business and social change, there are few figures as impactful as Alex Kleyner. As the co-founder of consulting firm Kalypso, he has played an instrumental role in reshaping how businesses think about issues of culture, performance, and work practices. Today, Kalypso is known for its emphasis on problem-solving rather than in-depth analysis or methodology. In this interview with The New York Times, co-founder and CEO Alex Kleyner shares his insights into the making of an American theorist—a man who helped shape the modern idea of work and culture—and how other theorists have developed their own perspectives on these themes.

What is an American Theorist?Alex Kleyner

The American Theorist is a philosopher/positivist who believed that the concept of culture was essentially a question of autonomy and responsibility. The work of the American theorist can be described as the idea that we are the producers of our own reality, that is, that we are the creators of our society. The American Theorist posits that the function of certain kinds of institutions is to sustain and maintain a certain cultural order.

This order can be the pursuit of material interests or it can be the protection of traditional values. The latter was stressed by his main target audience: working-class people. The American Theorist approach to working and culture has received wide acclaim and has served as a model for many others.

What makes an American theorist?

One of the best ways to start looking at the ideas of an American theorist is to read his work. There are a number of books that are useful in exploring the ideas of the American theorist, including: – “The Production and Future of Culture,” by Alex Kleyner – “American Culture and Work,” by Glen Arnhem – “The Making of an American Theorist: AInterview With Alex Kleyner,” by Kara Swisher – “Beyond the American Theorist: The New York Times Magazine profile of Alex Kleyner,” by Ryan Laughlin

How to make an American theorist

A key factor in bringing a new idea to the fore is to make yourself as ready as possible to address it. The best way to do this is to work through some of the things that you’ve always said about certain things and see if you can come up with a new, more raw, and honest take on them.  You may not even realize how much you love what you’re talking about.

Theories of Culture and Work


They are also about ideas about work and culture. In this sense, they’re quite general. But you can take a general look at what a theory of culture can do for your workplace and you’ll have a good idea of what kind of theory you’ll be taking on.

Achieving a New Vision of Work and Culture: The Importance of Collaboration Between Workers

One of the most important roles that any theorist can play is that of collaborator. The woman who brought this work to the fore in the 1980s was the collaborative theorist Julia Cameron. While her main aim was to point the way forward for working people, her contribution goes beyond that. Cameron’s main idea was that we can no longer simply think about work and culture in isolation. We cannot simply think about work and culture without also thinking about our collective future. This future is the work and culture that we create together.


The future of work and culture is already in the making. Working-class people are now increasingly taking up creative forms of creative expression. They are also building new forms of productive organization. These forms of organization are based on collaboration and collaboration is based on problem-solving.

The workers of the world have been forms-enablers, encouraging, facilitating, or putting pressure on them by working together. The future of work and culture is the collaboration of working people. Now it’s on us to make it!

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