Prime/OS is informed by and builds on the work of two cultural anthropologists: Victor Turner and Arnold van Gennep.

Specifically, the core idea underlying all of the Prime/OS method is the passage-rite structure as described by these authors.

According to Turner and van Gennep, every legitimate passage-rite has an essential role called the “Master of Ceremonies.” This essential role is temporary, and exists as long as the passage rite is taking place. When the rite of passage is over, the role is gone.

In Prime/OS, a process-coach (for example an org-development consultant, or an “Agile coach”) can also occupy the MC role and be effective there. The main thing about the passage rite is that it is helping to create some comfort about what is happening during a period of tumultuous change and “extreme liminality.”

During a passage rite, the MC role is essential, because the MC helps folks understand the “story” of the passage rite… a story with a definite beginning, a disorienting “messy middle” phase …and a very clear end-point.


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