Theory U is a Change Management process that is applied to both individuals and teams. Its purpose is two-fold:
- Break unproductive patterns of behaviors
- Generate new emerging possibilities
The process follows 3 phases:
- Retreat and reflect
- Prototype act from what emerges in the now
The 2 major ways to learn:
- Learning by reflecting on Past experiences — shaped by what has been.
- Learning by sensing emerging Future — Present is also a gateway to a field of future possibilities
A more effective way to lead change is to make the system see itself. Managing change is shifting people from a Silo View (Ego-System) to a System View (Eco-System — “we”).
The classic Change Formula:
(Speeches on the need to change) + (Tools) + (Drivers) –>This formula, mathematically leads to failure as one link is missing:
|The ‘Why”||Regarding something or someone as interesting and important||From a deep, receptive and caring place|
The Container helps to integrate new ideas into an existing system thus creating meaning to generate change. It acts as a fertilizer to improve the quality of the soil on which the seeds of change are planted. As a result, relationships between individuals, teams and institution flourish.
Communication also plays a critical role. Your ability to be aware of the quality of your listening shapes the success of a change effort:
- Downloading — Reconfirming what we already know
- Factual Listening — Noticing, disconfirming information
- Empathic — Seeing through the eyes of another
- Generative — Holding space for something new to be born.
The 3 Foes stopping you going down the U leg (Seeing & Sensing):
|Voice of Judgement||Voice of Cynicism||Voice of Fear|
|“You’re a fool!”||“A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.”||From a deep, receptive and caring place|
The 2 Obstacles stopping you going up the U leg (Crystalizing & Prototyping):
|Mindless Actions||Action-Less Mind|
|Actions without thoughts||Only thoughts no actions|