Theory U

Theory Logo Czech President Vaclav Havel said: “We live in an era of intense conflict and massive institutional failures, a time of painful endings and of hopeful beginnings. It is a time that feels as if something is shifting and dying while something else wants to be born.”

Otto Scharmer, in his book Theory U: Leading from the Future as It Emerges, teaches how we travel down the left side of the U in order to open our minds, our hearts and our wills so that we can be present to the future that is seeking to emerge.

The “U” methodology of  “letting go” and “letting come” provides a path and practice that has the same goals as servant leadership—for a society that is more sustainable, compassionate, inclusive and present to the future that wants to emerge.

With both Theory U and the teaching of The Servant Leadership of Greensboro, we are invited to new levels of thought and action as we see the world differently. In the language of servant leadership, with spiritual practices engaging Divine Presence in our daily lives, we lead with an awakened heart, seed global and local movements of compassion and hope, and serve God’s dream for a transformed world.

Together we participate, co-create and bring forth a new creation.


Otto Scharmer

“In his new book Theory U: Leading from the Future as It Emerges (Cambridge, MA: Society for Organizational Learning, 2007), Otto Scharmer introduces readers to the theory and practice of the U process, based on a concept he calls “presencing.” A blend of the words “presence” and “sensing,” presencing signifies a heightened state of attention that allows individuals and groups to shift the inner place from which they function. When that shift happens, people begin to operate from a future space of possibility that they feel wants to emerge. Being able to facilitate that shift is, according to Scharmer, the essence of leadership today. At the end of this Executive Summary you will find more complete coverage of how Theory U is being used by numerous stakeholders and corporate innovators, and information on how you might become involved with the Presencing Institute”

Hope to Home Theory U Case StudyDownload the Executive Summary (PDF)