I serendipitously stumbled into an online lecture being given by Otto to the MSLS program in Sweden. Below are my raw notes, orginally posted at my home blog
((I've highlighted the gems for your scanning pleasure. Scan to the bottom if you're already familiar with his work to get to the really juicy, new stuff.))
Otto Scharmer lecture:
How can I learn from the emerging future rather than simply reflecting on the patterns of the past?
What is the process I need to go through to access that deeper source of learning?
Observe, observe, observe. Stop downloading (patterns from the past) and go to the places of most potential
. The places that matter most, and listen and observe with your mind and heart wide open.
Allow yourself into a silent space where you can hear your inner knowing (intuition).
Act in an Instant! Rather than getting into an intellectual planning process, you explore these new ideas by doing. A prototype is not a pilot. A prototype is an exploration, and improvisation, very open to change.
Create high-quality reflection space.
Particularly for listening to the self: "Who are you, what are you here to do?"
What really is the bigger picture transformation? We all feel we are part of a huge transformational journey of society, but what is it really? And what kind of leadership do we need to get there?
"How do you guide stakeholder through this process?" audience question
"Elaborate on the rapid prototyping?" "Clarify on broadening and deepening?"
What I mean by broadening: the old concept of leadership is individuals at the top of institutions, and we are seeing now that this doesn't work. At MIT we are thinking of leadership as the capacity of a system, not just an individual, to sense and shape the future
. To do that you need to include a lot of individuals across institutional boundaries. This is what is meant by "broadening."
By deepening, "The success of an intervention depends on the interior condition of the intervener"
-William O'Brian, former CEO of Hanover Insurance.
What counts in leadership is not primarily what leaders do or How leaders do it, but actually the source dimension, the blind spot, the quality and state of awareness that we bring to a situation. Cultivating the inner place we are operating from.
How do we do broaden and deepen the leadership today? In order to go through the U process we need a social (leadership) technology that refers to inner as well as outer work. This has to do with opening the mind, heart and will. The most important tool is yourself, and your capacity to answer these questions:
What is my highest possible self? And what am I here to do? Who is my self, what is my work.
Now we ask, "Why is this the road less traveled?"
Some people say "I have moments like that, acting from intuition, but in my organization it is not so." Why is this so? The moment you commit yourself to going into that yourney, your going to deal with three challenges
The voice of judgement. #1 rule in brainstorming: don't criticise anyones ideas
. suspend judgement to allow creativity.
Voice of Cynicism: Ways of distancing yourself from a situation. This also blocks the opening to creativity. (says the whole conversation is stupid)
Voice of fear: failure, not making it, loosing stuff, being excluded from your community, because when you are a real innovator, you are challenging people
Indo-European root of the word "leadership" means light, or in another translation, it means to die. So what does it mean to die? It means to let go, to move into that space of the unknown.
how do you co-initiate stakeholders around something that wants to happen? (uncover common intent)
How do you co-sense to build empathy across stakeholders? Shadowing them at work, living a day in their shoes. (observe, observe, observe)
As you synthesize these learnings, you learn on a deeper personal level, [you change your perception of self to include the other] (co-inspiring, connect to the source of inspiration and will)
Need to take some space to slow down. Take some time in nature or something. Sit in silence, journaling,
Then you start co-creating, and prototype the new. This is where new insights and innovations are brought inot form through iterative, rapid prototyping.
Then you move into co-evolving where the new practices are institutionalized
We're seeing a whole wave of social entrepreneurship, hybrid organizations, businesses with social missions. But when you talk to those people, for example, Ashoka, very few of them really go to a global scale. So there is a larger systems level that we're not touching yet.
If its ending up sitting in a corporate social responsibility department, and its not in the main core part of the business, its essentially window-dressing.
When you talk to these people, its tough for them. So there's a missing dimension. We have socent on the NGO side, and innovators on the corporate side. The answer is both/and: you can't be a successful innovator from within when you're not connected to people across the divide.
I've been developing an emerging leader program to bring these people into a learning community together. So we need the platforms that facilitate the connections, skills and capacities to support social innovation from all directions.
"Questions: many times we as innovators don't have control of the agenda
, so how can you use your scarce influence to make a change"
otto- very little you can do with 5 minutes of face time. Start by listening. Observe their pressure points, what's bugging them. Where is something that is high up on their level of priority, so you know its worth it for them to spend some time on it. then you can get enough space to really dive into the U presencing process.
how did we more from laisse-faire capitalism to stakeholder/social market capitalism?
This was massive innovations in institutions (labor regulations, public schooling, etc) Right now we have everyting in silos, we don't have cross-silo innovation capacities. I think a big leverage point for moving into the new model is a g-school. A globally networked action leadership school. For example students go on a 30-day learning journey to get the insights, and then they hand this over to the 20-somethings. in this tri-sector leadership for sustainability program, you are taken out of the classroom, into the real world, and be taught by these emerging pockets of deep innovation.
"What do you think about crowd-sourcing and creative commons?
Its absolutely essential. An additional acupuncture point. These creative commons and open source types of knowledge infrastructure are themselves another global acupuncture point. So the knowledge commons is distributed. It doesn't just apply to IP, we have private property rights, but we are lacking community property rights for assets beyond intellectual. Where the dividends would go to the citizens (Peter Barnes) We need that new economic framework that is missing to guide the transformation.