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compassion, collaboration & cooperation iN transistion

We live in an era of clashing conflict and massive institutional failures,

a time of endings and of beginnings. A time that feels as if something

profound is shifting and dying while something else, as Vaclav Havel put it,

wants to be born: “I think there are good reasons for suggesting that the

modern age has ended. Today, many things indicate that we are going

through a transitional period, when it seems that something is on the way

out and something else is painfully being born. It is as if something were

crumbling, decaying, and exhausting itself— while something else, still

indistinct, were rising from the rubble.” ***

In Leading from the Emerging Future, Otto Scharmer and Katrin Kaufer

take us on a journey from our current age of disruption to finding

individual and collective ways to lead from the future as it emerges.

The journey flows along the curve of the “U” - the process of Theory U -

a transformational process of observing, reflecting and acting. In this

logical and deep exploration, the authors create an emerging framework

for transforming institutions, society, relationships, and the self and

outline a process we can use individually and collectively to get there.  

They address some of the most complex systemic problems facing society

and show how individuals and groups operating at a new level of thinking

are transforming institutions and themselves, resulting in new and

innovative solutions that could define the 21st century.

                                                            Patrick McNamara - Kosmos Magazine

"The quality of the results in any kind of system is a function of the

awareness that people in the system are operating from. Even though our

world is interconnected in ways unimaginable even a decade ago, in many

cases our awareness - whether as individuals, organizations or nations -

is still limited and local. To use an analogy from biology, even though our 

actions affect the larger ecosystem of which we are a part - in fact the 

multiple interacting economic, social, political and environmental

ecosystems - we sill behave as though our actions are narrow in scope

and impact. We see ourselves as part of a far smaller, more isolated


Scharmer and Kaufer explain why actions based on thisego-system

awareness not only result in recurring crises, but doom any attempt to

resolve them - we are trying to meet new challenges with an obsolete

mindset. To show the shape of the emerging future they bring this

ecosystem awareness to bear on areas such as labor, capital, production,

technology, leadership, ownership and many others, offering a blueprint

for a new society based on a profound understanding of how the actions

of each affects the many.

This book’s journey is about a path and a method of dropping the

baggage of old habits of thought and then crossing through the gate to

an economy that operates more consciously, inclusively, and collectively.

THIS book addresses what we believe to be a blind spot in global

discourse today: how to respond to the current waves of disruptive

change form a deep place that connects us to an emerging future,

rather than reacting against the patterns of the past, which

usually means perpetuating them.


*** President Vaclav Havel, speech in Philadelphia, July 4, 1994. I am indebted to Goran Carstadt for calling this speech to my attention - Otto Scharmer

Update to a previous post by Michael Grove on December 18, 2005 at 23:00


Views: 107

Comment by Michael Grove on June 20, 2013 at 7:25

"We live in a moment of disruption, death - and rebirth. What's dying is an old civilization and mindset of maximum "me" - maximum material consumption, bigger is better, and special-interest-group-driven decision-making that has led us into a state of organized irresponsibility, collectively creating result...." 

Comment by Michael Grove on June 26, 2013 at 6:53


Where do you put your lever? On the soil. On improving the quality of your topsoil.

Every day. The fertile topsoil is a very thin layer of a living substance that evolves through the

intertwined connection of two worlds: the visible realm above the surface and the invisible

realm below.

The words culture and cultivation originate from practicing this very activity—cultivating the topsoil by deepening the connection between both worlds (e.g., by ploughing).

C. Otto Scharmer -  THEORY U: Leading from the Emerging Future

Comment by Michael Grove on September 23, 2013 at 18:59

We live in an age of profound disruption. Global crises, such as finance, food, fuel, water,

resource scarcity and poverty challenge just about every aspect of society. Yet, this disruption

also brings the possibility of profound personal, societal and global renewal. We need to stop

and ask: Why do we collectively create results nobody wants? What keeps us locked into the old

ways of operating? And what can we do to transform these root issues that keep us trapped in

the patterns of the past?

The book Leading from the Emerging Future: From Ego-system 2 Eco-system Economies

ponders these questions and proposes a new line of thought that is summarized in 10 insights.

Comment by Michael Grove on August 13, 2014 at 21:42

“The one thing that I have learned from all these projects is that the key to transformative change is to make the system see itself. That’s why deep data matters. It matters to the future of our institutions, our societies, and our planet.”

By Otto Scharmer, from his blog

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