Building Better Leaders

MIT professor Otto Scharmer has spent decades teaching leaders around the globe how to create more profound societal innovation and change through Theory U and the Presencing Institute. But these concepts go deep and are hard to teach. So, Otto turned to a small group of IDEO alumnus to create an experience that teaches these concepts by doing them. Over the past couple of years, we have been working together in order to further explore the connection between Design Thinking and Theory U.

The photos below are from a workshop given for IDEAS (Innovative Dynamic Education and Action for Sustainability) Indonesia and IDEAS China. IDEAS Indonesia is a platform that brings leaders from government, business, and civil society on a nine month transformational action learning journey. IDEAS China that uses the same process in working with senior-level government and state-owned enterprises in China, including ICBC, currently the biggest bank and company on the planet.

Their task – redesign the Boston subway system. Their true mission – learn what it feels like to learn from the extremes, listen in a whole new way, let go of constraints, fail fast, and dream big. By enabling leaders to go through the design process, experiment with it, and reflect on it, this workshop teaches a whole new way of thinking and being.