Access the deepest source of inspiration and vision
We live in a time of massive institutional failure that manifests in the form of three major divides: the ecological, the social, and the spiritual. Addressing these challenges requires a new consciousness and collective leadership capacity. In this groundbreaking book, Otto Scharmer invites us to see the world in new ways and in so doing discover a revolutionary approach to learning and leadership.
In most large systems today, we collectively create results that no one wants. What keeps us stuck in such patterns of the past? It’s our blind spot, that is, our lack of awareness of the inner place from which our attention and intention originate. By moving through Scharmer’s U process, we consciously access the blind spot and learn to connect to our authentic Self—the deepest source of knowledge and inspiration. Theory U offers a rich diversity of compelling stories, examples, exercises, and practices that allow leaders, organizations, and larger systems to cosense and coshape the future that is wanting to emerge.
This second edition features a new preface in which Scharmer identifies five transformational trends and describes U process case stories around the world. There are also eight color drawings by Kelvy Bird that capture U journey applications and illustrate the concepts in the book, as well as new resources for applying the principles and practices.
About the Author
C. Otto Scharmer is a senior lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the founding chair of the Presencing Institute. He is faculty chair of MIT’s IDEAS program; visiting professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing; and a cofounder of the Global Wellbeing and Gross National Happiness Lab, which links innovators from Bhutan, India, China, Brazil, Europe, and the United States to prototype profound innovations in government, business, education, and civil society. He is the coauthor of Leading from the Emerging Future and Presence.
Foreword author Peter Senge is a senior lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is also founding chair of the Society for Organizational Learning North America and the coauthor of the bestselling book, The Fifth Discipline.
“Scharmer’s Theory U model of how to open our mind, emotions, and will to moments of discovery and mutual understanding is profound and much needed.”
—Edgar Schein, Sloan Fellows Professor of Management Emeritus, MIT Sloan School of Management
“The impact of the Theory U method on our organization is remarkable, but even more important is the amazing personal growth many leaders have experienced. Scharmer’s work has allowed them to experience a new approach to the world.”
—Marcia Marsh, Chief Operating Officer, World Wildlife Fund
“Theory U offers a unique integral perspective combined with a practical approach to addressing the megaissues facing our world today.”
—Jack Jacometti, Director, Institute for Integrated Economic Research
“This book is an inspiration. It gives definition to the mystery of the creative process.”
—Eileen Fisher, founder and Chief Creative Officer, Eileen Fisher Inc.