Inputs from the book: The Essentials of Theory U by MIT Prof. Dr. Scharmer

Theory U blends systems thinking, innovation, and leading – change from the view point of an evolving human consciousness.

Drawing on the MIT tradition of action research and learning by doing, Theory U has evolved over 2 decades of experimentation and refinement.

Theory U comprises 3 key elements:

  1. A framework for seeing the blindspot of leadership and systems change.
  2. A method for implementing awareness-based change:process, principles, practices.
  3. A new narrative for evolutionary societal change:updating our mental and institutional operating systems (OS) in all of society’s sectors.

Theory U integrates these methods and lineages for effecting change:

  • Actions research and organizational learning in the tradition of Peter Senge, Ed Schein, Donald Schon, Chris Argyris and Kurt Lewin.
  • Design thinking in the tradition of Tim Brown and Dave Kelly
  • Mindfulnes, cognition science, and phenomenology in the tradition of Francisco Varela, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Tanja Singer, Arthur Zajonc and David Bohm
  • Civil Society movements in he tradition of Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi and millions of others who are mobilizing change in their local contexts.

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