Expanding Our Listening through Four Levels

We can ask why is it that we collectively create results that no one wants - particularly with some of our biggest global challanges like terrorism, climate change, financial crunch or youth unemployment. Leaders can begin by deepening their listening through four levels.

Otto Scharmer and Katrin Kaufer at MIT have set out a journey to bring leaders to the new awareness that is key to making their institutions fit for today’s biggest challenges. Leaders can begin this by expanding their listening through four levels.

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When our problems are deep, painful and repeating this so-called “Journey of the U” is a kind of inversion of the solution-based approach leaders usually bring, to pull on everyone’s deeper resources and offer a better way forward. It lines up with an approach we have been exploring in the last couple of years with client teams to “shift the system”.

In coming postings I want to bring you a couple of examples to see what this journey might entail in practice.