Theory U: Learning from the Future as It Emerges [NOOK Book]


Shows how leaders can access the deepest source of inspiration and vision

• Includes dozens of tested exercises, practices, and real-world examples

We live in a time of massive institutional failure, one that requires a new consciousness and a new collective leadership capacity. In this groundbreaking ...
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Theory U: Learning from the Future as It Emerges

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Shows how leaders can access the deepest source of inspiration and vision

• Includes dozens of tested exercises, practices, and real-world examples

We live in a time of massive institutional failure, one that requires a new consciousness and a new 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 leadership.

What we pay attention to and how we pay attention is key to what we create. What prevents us from attending to situations more effectively is that we aren’t fully aware of and in touch with the inner place from which attention and intention originate. This is what Scharmer calls our blind spot. 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—in the realm of “presencing,” a term coined by Scharmer that combines the concepts of presence and sensing. Based on ten years of research and action learning and interviews with over 150 practitioners and thought leaders, Theory U offers a rich diversity of compelling stories and examples and includes dozens of exercises and practices that allow leaders, and entire organizations, to shift awareness, connect with the best future possibility, and gain the ability to realize it.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781605099071
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/1/2009
  • Series: Bk Business
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 533
  • Sales rank: 704,353
  • File size: 7 MB

Meet the Author

C. Otto Scharmer is a senior lecturer at MIT and the founding chair of ELIAS (Emerging Leaders for Innovation Across Sectors), a program linking twenty leading global institutions from business, government, and civil society. He has codesigned and delivered award-winning leadership programs for clients such as Daimler, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Fujitsu. He is the coauthor of Presence.
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Table of Contents

Foreword Peter Senge vii

Acknowledgments xv

Introduction 1

Part I Bumping into Our Blind Spot

Chapter 1 Facing the Fire 23

Chapter 2 The Journey to "U" 27

Chapter 3 Fourfold Learning and Change 49

Chapter 4 Organizational Complexity 59

Chapter 5 Shifts in Society 81

Chapter 6 Philosophical Grounding 105

Chapter 7 On the Threshold 111

Part II Entering the U Field

Chapter 8 Downloading 119

Chapter 9 Seeing 129

Chapter 10 Sensing 143

Chapter 11 Presencing 163

Chapter 12 Crystallizing 191

Chapter 13 Prototyping 203

Chapter 14 Performing 215

Part III Presencing: A Social Technology for Leading Profound Innovation and Change

Chapter 15 The Grammar of the Social Field 231

Chapter 16 Individual Actions 261

Chapter 17 Conversational Actions 271

Chapter 18 Organizational Actions 301

Chapter 19 Global Actions 327

Chapter 20 Catching Social Reality Creation in Flight 355

Chapter 21 Principles and Practices of Presencing for Leading Profound Innovation and Change 377

Epilogue: Birthing a Global Presencing-in-Action University 443

Glossary 463

Notes 471

Bibliography 487

Index 511

About the Author 531

About the Organizations 533

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 22, 2010

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    Guide to individual and institutional change

    This is an ambitious book. Leadership consultant and lecturer C. Otto Scharmer provides a theoretical framework for understanding the changes society faces and provides suggestions for institutional and personal transformation. Scharmer explains his process and its goals obsessively, even repetitively, walking you through multidisciplinary examples from his own experience, history and economics. He provides diagrams and breaks down his theories into numbered steps and rules. Still, you may find the book challenging, mainly because Scharmer is dealing with such large issues, but also because his ideas and vocabulary can get mystical. This book requires time and patience aplenty, but if you are open to such reflections, it could be for you. getAbstract recommends it to managers interested in personal change, organizational culture and futurism.

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  • Posted January 3, 2009

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    I Also Recommend:

    Brillant Book - Transformational

    I'm a writer and a working hypnotherapist, and one of my highly successful corporate clients recommended "Theory U" because, as she pointed out, it makes the "airy-fairy" of my own world-view seem scientific and valid, and thus more palatable for more ¿left brain¿ types. No one can deny that recent economic events have shined a bright searing spot light on major corporate dysfunction and corruption. "Theory U" gives a road map to recovery and redemption that can help any institution re-evaluate and heal. I had the weird opportunity to spend New Year ¿s Eve in the home of a billionaire, (yes, billionaire!) surrounded by some of the richest people in Beverly Hills. I was stunned, because I have never talked to a group of more miserable people. I wish I¿d had copies of ¿Theory U,¿ for I would have handed them out. They needed this book, and needed to connect with their purpose. I recommend it highly.

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    Posted July 14, 2010

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    Posted May 18, 2010

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