"Scharmer's Theory U model of how to open our mind, emotions, and will to moments of discovery and mutual understanding is profound and much needed."

~ Edgar Schein, Professor Emeritus at MIT Sloan School of Management

About The Book

Ten years ago, when Theory U was first published, Otto Scharmer invited us to see the world in new ways and, in so doing, discover a revolutionary approach to leadership that keeps inspiring innovators and communities of leaders from around the world. But at over 500 pages, that book was a bit daunting.

Now Scharmer has created a concise guide to its key concepts and applications, making his vital work and its methods and tools accessible to a wider audience.

The Essentials of Theory U enables leaders and organizations in all industries and sectors to shift awareness from ego to eco, to connect with the highest future possibilities, and to strengthen the capacity to realize those possibilities.

Read A Sample Chapter

Download the Preface and first chapter of The Essentials of Theory U absolutely free...
The Essentials of Theory U

Praise For 'The Essentials Of Theory U'

  • "This book provides a new language and teaches us new ways to integrate the insights of the psychology of mindfulness with the sociology of groups and the forces of the political and economic system. It is an incredible tour de force. "
    ~ Edgar Schein, Professor Emeritus at MIT Sloan School of Management & Author of 'Humble Inquiry' & 'Humble Consulting'
  • "A great and timely book. As more and more people become part of the global movement around deep systemic change — from social entrepreneurs to innovators working within large established organizations to diverse network builders — a new field of knowledge is gradually taking shape. "
    ~ Peter Senge, Senior Lecturer at MIT & Co-founder of the Academy for Systems Change
  • "My life and work have changed in no small part since meeting Otto and Theory U through MIT over a decade ago in the founding of the United in Diversity Forum. We have seen an amazing impact of the ‘U’ based leadership work in Indonesia and China, particularly in terms of how business, government and civil society collaborate to bridge the environmental, social, and spiritual divides."
    ~ Cherie Nursalim, Co-chair of SDSN-SEA & Chair of United in Diversity Foundation
  • "I’ve experienced firsthand the profound impact of Otto’s transformative work — on our company as a whole, our teams, and individual employees. Now we can all participate more readily in the possibilities for systems change in the world. "
    ~ Eileen Fisher, Founder & Chairwoman of Eileen Fisher Inc.
  • "This book is the most robust articulation of conscious renewal and reinvention I have ever read. We will forever change the way we innovate and discover the future. "
    ~ Marvin Riley, Executive VP & COO of EnPro Industries

Otto Scharmer

About The Author

Otto Scharmer is a Senior Lecturer at MIT and co-founder of the Presencing Institute. He chairs the MIT IDEAS program for cross-sector innovation that helps leaders from business, government, and civil society to innovate at the level of the whole system. He is author of Theory U (translated into 20 languages) and co-author of Leading from the Emerging Future, which outlines eight acupuncture points of transforming capitalism. In 2015, he co-founded the MITx u.lab platform that attracted over 100,000 registered users within the first three years.

Otto earned his diploma (with distinction) and Ph.D. (summa cum laude) from Witten/Herdecke University in Germany. He received the Jamieson Prize for Excellence in Teaching at MIT (2015) and the EU Leonardo Corporate Learning Award for the contributions of Theory U to the future of management (2016). In 2017, he was ranked #1 of the world's top 30 education professionals by Global Gurus. For additional information visit http://presencing.org.

Otto Scharmer

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Part I explores the framework and main ideas of Theory U. It illuminates the blind spot in leadership today: the “interior condition” from which we operate.

Part II describes the process, principles, and practices of Theory U, showcasing hands-on methods and tools for change makers. The focus is on building the collective capacity to shift the inner place from which we operate.

Part III outlines a framework for updating the “operating systems” of our educational institutions, our economies, and our democracies. This framework applies awareness-based systems change to the much needed transformation of capitalism.

Order your copy of The Essentials of Theory U by Otto Scharmer today...

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Press Inquiries

To request an interview with Otto Scharmer regarding his new book, The Essentials of Theory U, please contact:
Cathy Lewis
+1 (845) 679-2188