book hack

Theory U

C. Otto Scharmer, Peter M. Senge

5 mins

3 key insights

Visual, audio & text

Theory U helps leaders make decisions based on the future, not the past, allowing them to create organizational change at a global level through creative and agile methodologies.


Theory U

Theory U

by C. Otto Scharmer


Otto Scharmer rarely concerns himself with small problems. When he talks about leadership, it's not in the context of how to sell the next product or how to increase employees' productivity. He tries to tackle the topic from the perspective of entire systems, rather than focusing on their parts.

In Theory U: Leading from the Future as It Emerges, he shows leaders how to drive change in their organizations in the context of the socioeconomic 'revolutionary shifts' happening globally right now. He points to three such shifts.

First, most nations are now leaning towards similar economic policies based on privatization and capitalism.

Second, international relations become more complex, as institutions like the United Nations or the World Bank emerge and grow.

Third, many people now define their life goals internally instead of externally, due to a cultural and spiritual revolution.

Scharmer argues that leaders who want to find creative solutions to today's challenges must take into account all of these global tendencies.

Favorite quote

Leadership is about being better able to listen to the whole than anyone else can.

- Jeffrey Hollender, Former CEO of Seventh Generation

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