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Theory U: Learning from the Future as It Emerges

Theory U: Learning from the Future as It Emerges


In a world burdened with too much information, we are occasionally blessed with a genuinely new idea about how to perceive, think about, and act on our overly complex world. 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. Readers will be impressed not only by the depth of theory in this volume but also by the very practical approach that Scharmer provides us for enlarging our human capacity for growth. This will be an important book --Edgar Schein, Sloan Fellows Professor of Management Emeritus, MIT Sloan School of Management
This book is a must-read for all who are interested in the emerging future of leadership theory and practice. Otto Scharmer´s Theory U takes you on an exciting deep dive into the true center of leadership as a process of inner knowing and social innovation. With many tested and practical exercises drawn from a rich background of disciplines, this book will help you to discover and follow the path towards mastery on your own leadership journey. It pushes the envelope of and invites you to explore the there is: yourself. --Ralf Schneider, Head of Global Talent Management, PricewaterhouseCoopers
Otto Scharmer has given us a brilliant, provocative, and important book on the leading-edge of the "next big thing": integral thought. Highly recommended. --Ken Wilber, author, A Theory of Everything: An Integral Vision for Business, Politics, Science, and Spirituality

From the Publisher

Praise for Theory U "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, and author of Helping "Pushes the envelope of Current Leadership Wisdom and invites you to explore the Strongest Leadership Tool there is: yourself."
--Ralf Schneider, Head of Global Talent Management, PricewaterhouseCoopers "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 "Though many agree with Einstein's observation that `problems cannot be resolved at the level of consciousness that created them' the key question remains how to realize such a shift. Theory U offers a unique integral perspective combined with a practical approach to addressing the megaissues facing our world today."
--Jack Jacometti, Vice President, Global GTL Development, Shell International Gas Limited "This book is an inspiration. It gives definition to the mystery of the creative process."
--Eileen Fisher, President and Chief Creative Officer, Eileen Fisher Inc.

From the Back Cover

Access the deepest source of inspiration and vision We live in a time of massive institutional failure, one that requires a new consciousness and a new . 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.

About the Author

Dr. C. Otto Scharmer is a Senior Lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the founding chair of ELIAS (Emerging Leaders for Innovation Across Sectors), an initiative focused on developing profound system innovations for a more sustainable world. ELIAS links twenty leading global institutions across the three sectors of business, government, and civil society. He also is a visiting professor at the Center for Innovation and Knowledge Research, Helsinki School of Economics, and the founding chair of the Presencing Institute, a research initiative on developing and advancing social technologies for leading innovation and change. Scharmer has consulted with global companies, international institutions, and cross-sector change initiatives in North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. He has co-designed and delivered award-winning leadership programs for client organizations including DaimlerChrysler, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Fujitsu. Scharmer holds a Ph.D. in economics and management from Witten-Herdecke University, Germany. His article Strategic Leadership within the Triad Growth-Employment-Ecology won the McKinsey Research Award in 1991. A synthesis of his most recent research has resulted in a theoretical framework and practice called presencing, which he elaborates in Theory U: Leading from the Future as It Emerges, (2007) and in Presence: An Exploration of Profound Change in People, Organizations and Society (2005), co-authored with Peter Senge, Joseph Jaworski, and Betty Sue Flowers. With his colleagues, Scharmer has used presencing to and change processes both within companies and across societal systems. He lives with his wife and their two children in Boston, Massachusetts.

Theory U: Learning from the Future as It Emerges Book Reviews

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