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Theory U - C. Otto Scharmer and it's Hidden Force: Creative Interchange

I met C. Otto Scharmer, author of ‘Theory U’, in Atlanta during the Systems Thinking in Action®Conference 1999 “Learning Communities: Meeting the Challenges of a Global Enterprises."


  1. It was during his session “A Practice Model for Leading Transformational Change”that we had a brief conversation. During his talk Otto Scharmer introduced his first version ofthe U model, which he called then ‘The Process of Deep Cognizing’ (© Jaworski,Scharmer). The deep connection between his U model and Creative Interchange was immediately obvious to me and I informed him of my point of view (this brief conversation was even recorded on tape – i.e. Tape F01 of the Systems Thinking In Action® Conference 1999). So, already that Thursday afternoon, November 4th, 1999 I was convinced that Creative Interchange is the hidden Force behind Otto Scharmer’s U model. Ten years later, Otto published his Theory U whilst I found myself in the midst of a massive depression. The moment I was fully recovered I restarted writing my book ‘Crucial dialogues, the daily application of Creative Interchange’ on which I was working when I got ill. The year after I published my book another fight was to be fought (colon cancer), so it took me till this early spring I finally read Otto Scharmers’ book.
  2. During my reading of Otto's book I tweeted a lot. This storify is a compilation of those tweets. Next week I'll publish a column on my website: of my interpretation of 'Theory U'.