In the book ‘The Essentials of Theory U’, Otto Scharmer asks the simple but unique question, “How do we learn from the future as it emerges?” Telling a story from his childhood, Scharmer recalled the moment in which he discovered his parents’ house had burnt down. It was then when he realized that it was not only his physical possessions that were lost but also his experiences and attachments to the home. His old self had died, so his survival relied on the life that lay ahead.
In this episode, I will review and share with you a recent reading of Otto Scharmers’ book ‘The Essentials of Theory U’ (2018). I begin with a summary of the author and the book’s main ideas. From there, I intend to highlight the concept of the ‘blind spot’ and how the process-oriented ‘Theory U’ finds a creative solution to managing current global, social, and economic challenges. Last, but by no means least, we will draw conclusions for implementing this concept in leadership roles within social work organisations.


Scharmer, Otto (2018). The Essentials of Theory U: Core Principles and Applications. Oakland, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

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