In a Cambridge, Massachusetts living room, four organizational learning leaders met for a year to talk about how transformational change is all in your mind. With Peter Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline
as ringleader, the authors ask us to examine organizations and self by asking, "What question lies at the heart of my work?" and "How can I set aside my narrow view point and understand the whole?"
For them, organizational learning requires a shift from "downloading" (operating with habitual ways of knowing and doing) to "presencing" (awareness of the present moment). The specifics of the shift are found in success stories--like the creation of Visa in the 1960s--and in the moving stories of the authors. For example, Senge's story about an Afrikaans businessman who wept as he rejected apartheid or Scharmer's memory of his childhood home destroyed by fire. In addition, Scharmer and Jaworski's innovative research with 150 thought leaders, such as Francisco Varela, a Chilean born Buddhist biologist, add rigor to "The U Process": a seven capacity model for deep individual and collective change.
The authors also draw on a diverse supporting cast including Martin Buber, Goethe, Lao Tzu and Carl Jung to illustrate their core concepts of intention, self-reflection, and awareness of the whole. On occasion, too many voices and examples can blur the clarity of these bold, juicy ideas about self and system. That said, readers who follow the conversations will be richly rewarded with the understanding of what it means to be an authentic agent of change. --Barbara Mackoff
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Critical Acclaim for Presence
“A remarkable book, Presence
is a journey from the present to an unknown future, a journey of exploration rather than dogma, and a journey toward a vision of humanity at its highest. Like a good documentary film, Presence
is a book with ‘emotional truth,’ a wonderful combination of intellectual and visceral experience.”—Robert Fritz, author of The Path of Least Resistance
“At this turbulent juncture in human history, a whole new set of social innovations promises to shift humanity away from its destructive path towards a brighter planetary civilization. Presencing and its U process is one of the most profound. It provides all who want to change the world not only with profound hope, but with a systematic and effective way to birth a sustainable planetary society.”—Nicanor Perlas, recipient of the 2003 Alternative Nobel Prize and the U.N. Environmental Program Global 500 Award
“If you believe, as I do, that an organization is ultimately a human community, then nothing is more important than how we sense our future and act to create it together. This is something all creative business leaders know yet have found almost impossible to talk about—until Presence.”—Rich Teerlink, CEO (retired), Harley-Davidson
is a timely and altogether important book. Drawing on a leading-edge understanding of human learning and awareness, it offers a simple but effective getaway to our capacity to become change agents of the future—in business, work, play, and relationships. Finding our presence is finding the key to creative change and to our own future.”—Ken Wilber, author of A Theory of Everything: An Integral Vision for Business, Politics, Science, and Spirituality
is remarkable in at least three ways. First, the authors’ work has extraordinary emotional, as well as intellectual impact; it continued to affect me long after my initial reading. Second, I found that the insights I gleaned from the work depended on what was happening around me. I suspect I will take away different messages each time I read it. Third, the authors somehow opened me to unexpected messages and opportunities in my own life. My reading of Presence
coincided with many seemingly chance encounters that in very real and specific ways have been essential to my own work, helping me find new ways to connect with colleagues, customers, and the larger community.”—Darcy Winslow, General Manager, Global Women’s Footwear, Apparel, Equipment, Nike, Inc.