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Theory U: Leading from the Future as It Emerges
C Otto Scharmer

9781576757635
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Format: Paperback, 560pp.
ISBN: 9781576757635
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Pub. Date: January 1, 2009

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Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

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 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.

First introduced in Presence, the U methodology of leading profound change is expanded and deepened in Theory U. By moving through the "U" process we learn to connect to our essential Self in the realm of 'presencing'—a term coined by Scharmer. When 'presencing' we are able to see our own blind spot and pay attention in a way that allows us to experience the opening of our minds, our hearts, and our wills. Through this process we are able to shift our awareness to allow us to connect with our best future possibility—and to realize it.

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Reviews

"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.


 
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About the Author

Otto Scharmer is a senior lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the founding chair of the Presencing Institute. 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 by Peter Senge
Acknowledgments
Introduction
 
Part One: Bumping into Our Blind Spot
1Facing the Fire
2The Journey to “U”
3Fourfold Learning and Change
4Organizational Complexity
5Shifts in Society
6Philosophical Grounding
7On the Threshold
 
Part Two: Entering the U Field
8Downloading
9Seeing
10Sensing
11Presencing
12Crystallizing
13Prototyping
14Performing
 
Part Three: Presencing: A Social Technology for Leading Profound Innovation & Change
15The Grammar of the Social Field
16Individual Actions
17Conversational Actions
18Organizational Actions
19Global Actions
20Catching Social Reality Creation in Flight
21Principles and Practices of Presencing for Leading Profound Innovation & Change
 
Epilogue: Birthing a Global Presencing-in-Action University
 
Glossary
Notes
Bibliography
Index
About the Author
About the Organizations



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