The method of U(Theory U by MIT Prof.Dr. Otto Scharmer) is summarized in 24 Principles.
Listen to What Life Calls You to Do: The essence of the U Process is to strengthen our ability to be present and consciously co-create.
Listen and Dialogue with Interesting Players on the Edges: The second domain of listening takes you out of your familiar world and to the edges and corners of the system.
Clarify Intention and Core Questions: Do not rush the first step of clarifying the intention and core questions that guide the inquiry. The quality of the creative design process is a function of the quality of the problem statement that defines your starting point.
Convene a Diverse Core Group around a Shared Intention: Convene a constellation of players that need one another to take action and to move forward. This is not about getting people to ‘buy-in’ but looking for people with shared intention. The quality of impact of your initiative depends on the quality of the shared intention by the Core Team.
Build the Container (Holding Space for the future to Emerge): The quality of that shared intention largely depends on the quality of the container, the holding space that shapes and cultivates the web of relationships. The most important leverage point for building a high-impact container is right at the beginning, when you set the tone, when you evoke and activate the field. Container building includes outer and inner conditions, the most important of which is collective listening to the different voices and to the whole.
Build a Highly Committed Core Team: To create focus and commitment, clarify: What: What you want to create; Why: Why is matters; How – the process that will get you there; Who – The roles and responsibilities of all key players involved; When and Where – the road map ahead
Taking Learning Journeys to the Places of Most Potential: Learning journeys connect people to the contexts and ideas that are relevant to creating the possible future. The deep-dive journey moves one’s operating perspective from inside a familiar world – the institutional bubble – to an unfamiliar world outside that is surprising, fresh, disturbing, exciting and new.
Observe, Observe, Observe: Suspend Your Voice of Judgment and Connect with Your Sense of Wonder
Practice Deep Listening and Dialogue: Connect with Your Mind and Heart Wide Open
Collective Sense Making: Use Social Presencing Theater and Embodied Knowing
Circles: Charging the Container
Letting Go: The Presence of the Circle Being
Intentional Silence: Pick a Practice that helps you
Follow Your Journey: Do what You Love, Love What You Do
Letting Come: Presencing the Future Wanting to Emerge
The Power of Intention: Crystallize Your Vision and Intent
Form Core Groups: Five People Can Change the World
Create a Platform or Place: Innovation happens in places. In nature, before the caterpillar transforms into a butterfly, it needs the shelter of the cocoon.
Build a 0.8 Prototype
Iterate, Iterate, Iterate: Always Be in Dialogue with the Universe
Seek it with your Hands: Integrate Head, Heart and Hand
Create Enabling Infrastructures That Allow the System to Sense and See Itself
Create Massive Capacity-Building Mechanisms
Labs and Platforms for Cultivating the Social Soil: The objective is to create a platform that helps this emerging global movement to become aware of itself.
The movement of co-shaping focuses on scaling the new while growing and evolving innovations Eco-systems for collective impact.
The problem with today’s societal eco-systems is the broken feedback loop between the parts and the whole. The essence of consciousness-based systems thinking like Theory U, is to relink the parts and the whole buy making the system sense and see itself – by closing the feedback loop between collective impact and shared awareness.
It is why innovation labs are working; it is why their initiatives have been able to succeed. But what about the larger eco-systems in which they and all of us operate?
That is where these new innovation infrastructures for making the system sense and see itself are largely missing. The lack of these infrastructures is one of the biggest barriers to societal innovation today.
This is important because we are in the midst of seeing the birth of a fourth co-ordination mechanism. The traditional mechanisms that co-ordinate our social and economic systems i.e. hierarchies, markets and interest group negotiations are not able to provide the governance mechanism required today. Therefor the fourth co-ordination mechanism is critical: acting from shared awareness – acting from seeing the whole.
The development of that collective capacity requires cultivation, practice and enabling infrastructure. That is what Co-Evolving is all about.
Outcomes of Co-Evolving:
Reviewing prototype initiatives
Sharing key learnings
Deciding which prototypes/ideas to advance to the pilot phase
Widening the focus from prototype to evolving the eco-system as whole
Infrastructures that allow the eco-system to see itself
A set of bottlenecks that, if removed, allowed the new to go to scale.
Newly formed generative partnerships and alliances for scaling the new
A new narrative that links the work with societal or civilizational renewal
Creating Enabling Infrastructures that allow the system to sense and see itself.
Create Massive Capacity-Building mechanisms
Labs and Platforms for Cultivating the Social Soil
Next write up: 24 Principles of Large Scale Leadership and Change Management Interventions
This write up is based on Theory U by MIT Prof. Dr. Otto Scharmer
The aim of co-creating is to build landing strips for the future through prototypes that allow us to explore the future by doing. The prototypes evolve based on the feedback they generate.
The ‘observe,observe,observe’ of the co-sensing phase becomes ‘iterate,iterate,iterate’.
This method is inspired by design thinking and blended with presencing principles to make it relevant to profound shifts in social fields.
Outcomes of Co-creating:
A set of refined prototypes – living microcosms of the future-that have generated meaningful feedback regarding the guiding questions and objectives of the lab.
A set of connections with stakeholders and partners that are relevant for taking the prototype to pilot and scale.
Enhanced leadership and innovation capacities for dealing with disruptive innovation.
A team spirit that could help change the leadership culture in the company
Creative confidence among the team members to take on big and complex projects.
The Power of Intention: Crystallize your Vision and Intent
Form Core Groups: Five People can change the World
Create a Platform or Place for Innovation
Build a 0.8 Prototype (Work in Progress Models)
Iterate, Iterate, Iterate: Always be in Dialogue with the Universe
Seek it with your Hands: Integrate the intelligence of the Head, Heart and Hand
7 Rs of Prototyping
Is it Relevant? Does it matter to the stakeholders involved? Is it truly relevant individually, institutionally and socially?
Is it Revolutionary? Is it new? Is it transformative to the system?
Is it Rapid? Can you do it quickly? Can yo develop experiments right away with enough time to get feedback and adapt(and thus avoid analysis paralysis)?
Is it Rough? Can you do it on a small scale? Can you do it at the lowest possible resolution that allows for meaningful experimentation? Can you do it locally. to let the local context teach you how to get it right?
Is it Right? Can you see the whole in the microcosm that you are focused on? Does this idea allow you to put the spot light on the most critical variable?
Is it relationally effective? Does it leverage the strengths, competencies and resources of the existing networks and communities?
Is it replicable? Can you scale it? Any innovation in business or society hinges on it replicability and whether it can grow to scale.
Next write up: Co-Shaping: Grow Innovation Eco-Systems
This write up is based on Theory U by MIT Prof. Dr. Otto Scharmer