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Katherine Long, from Evolution OD  spoke to a group of nearly 40 people at our City Women this week. She shared Theory U, a model for embracing change creatively. There was a sense of concentration as people engaged wholeheartedly with Theory U, making immediate connections for themselves. And then there was a buzz of engagement as people shared headlines with one another.

Katherine took us straight to the heart of things at the outset. Instead of seeing your work as defined by the appointments in your diary, ask instead, “What is my core purpose?”, “Who is my self?” and “What is my work?”. When you focus on what you are here for, that gives a context for asking whether change is driven by your own authenticity and integrity. Then discern what you need to let go of: it’s important to create some space, before adding in more! And then you can let the new come…

As you embrace the process of change, notice what you are carrying with you, or “downloading” from the past: does that limit your horizons? Can you open your mind, open your heart and open your will, noticing but putting to one side the voices of judgement, cynicism and fear that may try to close down possibilities? Then, as new patterns emerge, let them come and then allow them to crystallise; at that point, try out something out, without risking or delaying too much – that’s “prototying”. Learn from the prototype and adjust in any way that’s helpful, before you move on to embed a new pattern.

Katherine shared the verse from Isaiah 43 verse 19 as the context for change, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”


Otto Sharmer’s “Theory U”