In this strand of action-research, Peoplerise is seeking to facilitate the presencing phase (Theory U) through a deeply biographical approach, whereby exploring the biographical sequence of the individual in an artistic mode then allows the essence of each life story to be extracted and linked to the company biography and the emerging future of the organization.
Theory U is a change management method, mainly described by Otto Scharmer and his team of colleagues at MIT. Peoplerise has during the last seven years been recognised as the consultancy firm which has been a major contributor in bringing this methodology to the corporate world.
The principles of Theory U are suggested to help political leaders, public officials, and managers to overcome patterns of unproductive behaviour that prevent them from empathising with their clients’ perspectives, and often lock them into ineffective patterns of decision-making.
The core of the “U”theory is presencing: sensing + presence, which is a journey with five movements:
We move from the left side of the U that connects us to the world outside our institutional bubble, to the bottom of the U which connects us to the world emerging from within ourselves, and then up following the right side of the U, bringing the new into the world.
On this journey, at the base of the U, there is an inner gate that requires us to let go of everything that is not essential. This process of letting go (our old ego and self) and letting come (our highest future possibility: ourselves) establishes a subtle connection with a deeper source of knowledge. The essence of presencing is that these two selves – our current self and our higher future self – meet at the bottom of the U and begin to listen and resonate with one another. Once a group crosses this threshold, nothing remains the same. Individual members and the group as a whole begin to operate with an increased level of energy and a sense of future possibility. They often begin to function as an intentional vehicle for an emerging future.
We are exploring this topic together with the Dutch Instituut voor Biografiek.