Theory U: The Change Management Method and Accelerator for Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAO)

  • By: Thorsten Meyer
  • Date: 10. January 2022
  • Time to read: 7 min.

What is Theory U? Theory U is a change management method that was created by the Danish professor and author, Otto Scharmer. Theory U stands for “Unmanage.” Theory U can be used to describe how people experience themselves in relation to an organization, their environment, other people, and society at large.

This post will go over Theory U’s five steps of transformation—exploring what they are, why they work well together, and how you can use them in your own life or business to create positive results!

The Essentials of Theory U: Core Principles and ApplicationsAudible Audiobook – Unabridged
This book offers a concise, accessible guide to the key concepts and applications in Otto Scharmer’s classic Theory U. Scharmer argues that our capacity to pay attention coshapes the world. What prevents us from attending to situations more effectively is that we aren’t fully aware of that interior condition from which our attention and actions originate.Check Price on Amazon

What Is Theory U Model?

Theory U is a change management model that was created by the Danish professor and author, Otto Scharmer. Theory U stands for “Unmanage.” Theory U can be used to describe how people experience themselves in relation to an organization, their environment, other people, and society at large. This post will go over Theory U’s five steps of transformation—exploring what they are, why they work well together, and how you can use them in your own life or business to create positive results!

Theory U has five steps for transformation:

  1. Presencing (also called “inner listening”)
  2. Dreaming
  3. Building a shared vision
  4. Making the invisible visible through physical modeling or prototyping (“core concept” creation)
  5. Closing the loop by taking action and making it real.

Theory U focuses on individual awareness of inner experience as opposed to outer behavior. Theory U teaches that our deep assumptions about reality shape human actions and therefore we need to be aware of these unspoken beliefs so we can break free from obsolete patterns that no longer serve us.

What Is Theory U in Leadership?

Theory U is all about making the invisible visible,.

Theory U can be used to describe how people experience themselves in relation to an organization, their environment, other people, and society at large. This post will go over Theory U’s five steps of transformation—exploring what they are, why they work well together, and how you can use them in your own life or business to create positive results!

Theory U uses four concepts (Presencing; Dreaming; Building Shared Vision; Making Visible) as tools for moving through these stages of individual awareness into concrete action within organizations:

  • Individual Awareness: Theory U starts with the premise that individuals are the source of change. To create change in our lives or businesses, we must first become aware of what is happening inside of us. Only then can we see how it shapes our actions and interactions with others. Theory U teaches that personal transformation is the key to creating larger-scale social transformation.
  • Inner listening: The first step in Theory U is called “presenting involves.” This learning to listen to your inner experience closely and openly, without judgment. In order to understand how we’re impacting the world around us, we need to be tuned in to what’s going on inside of us. This step also helps us connect more deeply with others, as they will likely be feeling the same thing.
  • Dreaming: Theory U encourages us to tap into our imagination and dream about what could be possible if we shifted our current reality. Dreaming helps us get in touch with our deepest desires and opens up possibilities that may have previously seemed out of reach.
  • Building a shared vision: Theory U teaches that creating a shared vision is essential for bringing people together around a common goal. A shared vision provides clarity and inspiration, and gives people something to strive for. It also creates a sense of ownership and responsibility among team members, as they feel like they are playing a role in shaping the future.
  • Making the invisible visible: In order to make change happen, we need to find ways to bring the unseen aspects of our reality into physical form. Theory U suggests that by physically modeling or prototyping new possibilities, we can create momentum around new ways of doing things and begin to make them real in the world.
  • Closing the loop: Theory U encourages us to constantly monitor how well an idea is working once it’s been put into practice, using this feedback as a catalyst for further action towards change. This step also includes taking steps toward implementing your shared vision whenever possible–by creating small wins on your way towards achieving your larger goal!

Theory U helps you move through these five stages while inviting others (your team members) along with you; each stage unfolds naturally within one another like a continuous spiral rather than distinct steps separated from each other. Presencing: Theory U starts with the premise that individuals are the source of change. To create change in our lives or businesses, we must first become aware of what is happening inside of us. Only then can we see how it shapes our actions and interactions with others. Theory U teaches that personal transformation is the key to creating larger-scale social transformation.

What Is the Purpose of The Inner Gate in Theory U?

The inner gate is the first step in Theory U and it helps individuals become aware of their inner experience. This step also allows us to connect more deeply with others, as they will likely be feeling the same thing. The inner gate helps us understand how we’re impacting the world around us and it’s essential for creating change within ourselves and our communities.

Individuality

How Do You Use Theory U?

Theory U can be used in a variety of ways, depending on what you’re looking to achieve. It’s often used for change management within organizations, but it can also be applied to personal growth, community development, and social activism. Theory U is based on five core principles: individual awareness, inner listening, dreaming, building a shared vision, and making the invisible visible.

Decentralized Autonomous Organization Need Change Management

Theory U can be an important step when you roll out in your organization a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO). Theory U helps you build a shared vision and make the invisible visible. Theory U encourages us to constantly monitor how well an idea is working once it’s been put into practice, using this feedback as a catalyst for further action towards change.

What is Decentralized Autonomous Organization?

A decentralized autonomous organization, or DAO for short, is a self-governing organization that operates with little to no central control. While this may seem like a utopian idea, in reality, it can often lead to chaos and discord. To function effectively, a DAO requires strong governance and change management practices.

Theory U Helps to Reach a Consensus on Important Decisions

One of the biggest challenges facing a DAO is implementing change. A DAO operates as a collection of individuals who all have a say in how the organization functions. This can make it difficult to reach a consensus on important decisions. In order to make change happen, a DAO must first find ways to bring the unseen aspects of its reality into physical form. Theory U suggests that physically modeling or prototyping new possibilities can create the momentum necessary to enact change.

Theory U can be an important tool for a DAO in its quest for self-governance. By encouraging individuals to become aware of their inner experience, Theory U helps a DAO develop a deeper connection with its members. Theory U also teaches that personal transformation is the key to creating larger-scale social transformation. Theory U can help a DAO identify and address its inner barriers, while inspiring individuals to dream of new possibilities for their own lives and communities. Theory U helps an organization learn from the feedback it receives after implementing change, which is essential when developing strong governance practices within a decentralized autonomous organization or society.

Theory U Helps to Reach a Consensus on Important Decisions

Theory U encourages individuals to become aware of their inner experience, helping a decentralized autonomous organization build a shared vision and make the invisible visible. Theory U also teaches that personal transformation is the key to creating large-scale social change. Theory U can help an organization identify its internal barriers, inspiring individuals to dream of new possibilities for themselves and society. Theory U helps organizations learn from the feedback they receive after implementing change, which is essential when developing strong governance practices within a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO).

What Are Some of The Benefits of Theory U?

Some of the benefits of using Theory U include increased creativity and innovation, improved communication and collaboration among team members, and a heightened sense of purpose and ownership among employees. Theory U also helps us tap into our imagination and dream about what could be possible if we shifted our current reality. This creates momentum around new ways of doing things and begins to make them real in the world.

If you’re looking for a change management method that takes into account the individual and collective experience, Theory U is a great option. It’s based on five core principles that help us become aware of what’s happening inside of us and how it shapes our interactions with others. Theory U can be used in a variety of ways, depending on your needs, and it helps improve communication and collaboration among team members while fostering a sense of purpose and ownership among employees.

If you’re interested in learning more about Theory U, contact us and we get you in touch with our recommended Coach, Psychologist & Trainer Nicole who can define the strategies with your organization to introduce Theory U to your organization.

Nicole Kühnert: Coach, Psychologist & Trainer

Nicole Kühnert

Coach, Psychologist & Trainer

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