Seven Theory U Leadership Capacities

Addressing the Blind Spot of Our Time–an executive summary of the book by Otto Scharmer: Theory U: Leading from the Future as It Emerges (http://www.ottoscharmer.com/)

The journey through the U develops seven essential leadership capacities.

1. Holding the space of listening.
The foundational capacity of the U is listening. Listening to others. Listening to oneself. And listening to what emerges from the collective. Effective listening requires the creation of open space in which others can contribute to the whole.

2. Observing.
The capacity to suspend the “voice of judgment” is key to moving from projection to true observation.

3. Sensing.
The preparation for the experience at the bottom of the U – presencing – requires the tuning of three instruments: the open mind, the open heart, and the open will. This opening process is not passive but an active “sensing” together as a group. While an open heart allows us to see a situation from the whole, the open will enables us to begin to act from the emerging whole.

4. Presencing.
The capacity to connect to the deepest source of self and will allows the future to emerge from the whole rather than from a smaller part or special interest group.

5. Crystalizing.
When a small group of key persons commits itself to the purpose and outcomes of a project, the power of their intention creates an energy field that attracts people, opportunities, and resources that make things happen. This core group functions as a vehicle for the whole to manifest.

6. Prototyping.
Moving down the left side of the U requires the group to open up and deal with the resistance of thought, emotion, and will; moving up the right side requires the integration of thinking, feeling, and will in the context of practical applications and learning by doing.

7. Performing.
A prominent violinist once said that he couldn’t simply play his violin in Chartres cathedral; he had to “play” the entire space, what he called the “macro violin,” in order to do justice to both the space and the music. Likewise, organizations need to perform at this macro level: they need to convene the right sets of players (frontline people who are connected through the same value chain) and to engage a social technology that allows a multi-stakeholder gathering to shift from debating to co-creating the new.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *