Theory U

Leading from the Future as It Emerges

by C. Otto Scharmer

Number of pages: 533

Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers

BBB Library: Technology and Globalization

ISBN: 9781576757635

About the Author

Scharmer is a Senior Lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and founding chair of the Presencing Institute. He chairs the MIT IDEAS program, and co-founded the Global Wellbeing and Gross National Happiness (GNH) Lab.


Editorial Review

It is said that the greatest of all human inventions is the creative process, how we bring forth new realities. Understanding the creative process is the foundation of genuine mastery in all fields. This knowledge is deeply embedded in the creative arts and, though rarely spoken of, defines those moments where there is magic in crystallization of its dream. It plays no lesser role in science; as the economist W. Brian Arthur states: all great discoveries come from a deep inner journey against this backdrop of deeply shared, but largely esoteric knowledge. The key to addressing the multiple unfolding crises of our time - and the future course of human development—lies in learning how to access this source of mastery collectively.

Book Reviews

"The U, Scharmer tells us, depicts a flow from our current, habitual self to our future ‘Self’. And what takes place at the heart—the lowest point—of the U is the profound, yet overlooked, process of ‘Presencing’, which he describes as 'a blend of the words “presence” and “sensing”, [which] signifies a heightened state of attention that allows individuals and groups to shift the inner place from which they function.'" Integral Leadership Review

"This new book does not lend itself to being easily described except that it introduces the concept of presencing (presence + sensing), that is, operating from the future as it emerges. Part I shows us that we have a blind spot, that invisible dimension from which all our actions originate. In Part II, Scharmer develops his U process, forming the left part of the U with co-initiating, descending to co-sensing, and bottoming out with co-presencing. The U is completed by rising to co-creating and rising again to co-evolving. Many examples of how the U process can be used are presented in subsequent chapters. Part III introduces us to presencing." Graziadio Business Review

Books on Related Topics

Wisdom to Share

We cannot continue to concentrate wealth in a world of growing interdependence.

The blind spot is the place within or around us where our attention and intention originate. It's the place from where we operate when we do something.

We cannot continue to expand the "take, make, waste" industrial model in a world where there is, increasingly, no "away" to throw our waste and toxins to.

This invisible dimension of the social field concerns the sources from which a given social field arises and manifests.

Going down the U moves us through the cognitive spaces of downloading, seeing, sensing and presencing.

The real battle in the world today is not among civilizations or cultures but among the different evolutionary futures that are possible for us and our species right now.

Often we see how people in the face of the utmost destruction have the ability to wake up to a higher level of awareness and consciousness.