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Chapter 10 Sensing

Scharmer, C. Otto Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

The Patient-Physician Dialogue Forum The Field Structure of Sensing Principles Sensing in Action Two Types of Wholeness Epistemological Reversal Field Notes

When moving from seeing to sensing, perception begins to happen from the whole field. Peter Senge believes that this turn is at the heart of systems thinking. Its about closing the feedback loop between peoples experience of reality (what the system is doing to us) and their sense of participation in the whole cycle of experience. When that happens, he said, people say something like Holy cow! Look what were doing to ourselves!

It was time to review the voting. This (Figure 10.1) is what people saw.

As you recall from the previous chapter, we asked the forum participants to vote. Each participant could place two dots onto the iceberg: a blue one to mark where they believed the current health care system operated and a white one to mark the level of their desired future health care system.

FIGURE 10.1 ICEBERG MODEL OF PATIENT-PHYSICIAN RELATIONSHIPS

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Contents

Scharmer, C. Otto Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub
Medium 9781576757635

Chapter 2 The Journey to “U”

Scharmer, C. Otto Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Theory U Interview with Brian Arthur at Xerox PARC Francisco Varela on the Blind Spot in Cognition Sciences The Inner Territory of Leadership

As just discussed, the blind spot concerns the structure and source of our attention. I first began noticing this blind spot in organizations when I spoke with Bill OBrien, the former CEO of Hanover Insurance. He told me that his greatest insight after years of conducting organizational learning projects and facilitating corporate change was that the success of an intervention depends on the interior condition of the intervener. That struck a chord! So its not only what leaders do and how they do it but their interior condition, that is, the inner place from which they operate—the source and quality of their attention. So what this suggests is that the same person in the same situation doing the same thing can effect a totally different outcome depending on the inner place from where that action is coming.

When I realized that, I asked myself: What do we know about that inner place? We know everything about the what and the how, the actions and the processes that leaders and managers use. But what do we know about that inner place? Nothing! I wasnt even sure whether there were only one or many of these inner places. Do we have two? Ten? We dont know because its in our blind spot. Yet, what I have heard time and time gain from very experienced leaders and creative people is that it is exactly that kind of blind spot that matters most. It is that blind spot that sets apart master practitioners and leaders from average performers. Which is why Aristotle 2300 years ago made a distinction between the normal scientific what knowledge (episteme) and the practical and technical how knowledge (phronesis, techne) on the one hand and the inner primary knowing of first principles and sources of awareness (nous) and wisdom (sophia), on the other.1

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Chapter 12 Crystallizing

Scharmer, C. Otto Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

The Patient-Physician Dialogue Forum The Field Structure of Crystallizing Principles of Crystallizing Field Notes

The last chapter described the bottom of the U process, Presencing. Earlier, as you might recall, I described presencing as the eye of the needle or the process of Umstlpung (turning inside out and outside in). In ancient Jerusalem, there was a gate called the needle which was so narrow that when a fully loaded camel approached the gate, the camel-driver had to take off all the bundles before the camel could pass through. Referring to this well-known image of his day, Jesus said, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.1 Likewise, at the bottom of the U lies an inner gate, which requires us to drop everything that isnt essential.

What is it that constitutes this eye of the needle at the bottom of the U for groups, organizations and communities? It is the connecting to our authentic or higher self, to our capital-S Self. If this connection is established, the first thing that happens is: nothing. No-thing. Its just a connection. But, when we succeed in keeping that connection to our deeper source of knowing alive, we begin to better tune into emerging future possibilities. Acting now, from a different place, we are able to begin to operate from a different source. We envision, prototype and embody the new.

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Chapter 9 Seeing

Scharmer, C. Otto Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

How We See The Shift from Downloading to Seeing Seeing in Action Field Notes

When we stop the habit of downloading, we move into the state of seeing. Our perception becomes more acute, and we become aware of the reality we are up against. If we operate from this cognitive space, we perceive from the periphery of the organization, at the boundary between observer and observed. Take, for instance, what happened when Goethe tried to see Newtons phenomenon of colors, as the physicist Arthur Zajonc recounts in Catching the Light.1 It was January 1790, and Goethe was being pressured to return a box of optical equipment hed been keeping in his closet. In the box was a prism. A servant stood waiting to retrieve the box as Goethe hastily pulled out the prism in a last attempt to see the rainbow that Newton had seen. Instead, he saw something very different in the January light. Arthur Zajonc explains that Goethe looked at the white walls of the room expecting them [according to the Newtonian theory] to be dressed in the colors of the rainbow. Instead he saw only white! In that moment, he knew Newton was wrong.

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