The Essentials of Theory U
Core Principles and Applications
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A powerful pocket guide for practitioners that distills all of the research and materials found in Otto Scharmer's seminal texts Theory U and Leading from the Emerging Future.
Creating a Better Future
This book offers a concise, accessible guide to the key concepts and applications in Otto Scharmer's classic Theory U. Scharmer argues that our capacity to pay attention coshapes the world. What prevents us from attending to situations more effectively is that we aren't fully aware of that interior condition from which our attention and actions originate. Scharmer calls this lack of awareness our blind spot. He illuminates the blind spot in leadership today and offers hands-on methods to help change makers overcome it through the process, principles, and practices of Theory U. And he outlines a framework for updating the "operating systems" of our educational institutions, our economies, and our democracies. This book enables leaders and organizations in all industries and sectors to shift awareness, connect with the highest future possibilities, and strengthen the capacity to co-shape the future.
"Scharmer's short version of Theory U is a brilliant analysis and description of how we can create new ways of seeing, thinking, and behaving to deal with the new complex, systemic, culturally interconnected problems of today's and tomorrow's world. This book provides a new language and teaches us new ways to integrate the insights of the psychology of mindfulness with the sociology of groups and the forces of the political and economic system. It is an incredible tour de force."
-Edgar Schein, Professor Emeritus, MIT Sloan School of Management, and author of Humble Inquiry and Humble Consulting
"A great and timely book. As more and more people become part of the global movement around deep systemic change-from social entrepreneurs to innovators working within large established organizations to diverse network builders-a new field of knowledge is gradually taking shape. While a few decades will probably be needed for this process to coalesce, books like this offer guidance and perhaps some hope of acceleration along the journey. In the ten years since Theory U was first published, committed change leaders in diverse settings have used the tools, been guided by the ideas, and advanced the theory. Otto Scharmer does a beautiful job of both explaining this large-scale learning journey and bringing it to life."
-Peter Senge, Senior Lecturer, MIT, and cofounder of the Academy for Systems Change
"My life and work have changed in no small part since meeting Otto and Theory U through MIT over a decade ago in the founding of the United in Diversity Forum. We have seen an amazing impact of the 'U' based leadership work in Indonesia and China, particularly in terms of how business, government and civil society collaborate to bridge the environmental, social, and spiritual divides."
-Cherie Nursalim,Cochair, SDSN-SEA, and Chair, United in Diversity Foundation
"I've experienced firsthand the profound impact of Otto's transformative work - on our company as a whole, our teams, and individual employees. Thank you for this new book and for laying out the core methods of Theory U in such a concise and accessible way. Now we can all participate more readily in the possibilities for systems change in the world."
-Eileen Fisher, founder and Chairwoman, Eileen Fisher Inc.
"This book is the most robust articulation of conscious renewal and reinvention I have ever read. We will forever change the way we innovate and discover the future."
-Marvin Riley, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer