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Presence: Human Purpose and the Field of the Future

Senge, Peter M.; Scharmer, C. Otto; Jaworski, Joseph; Flowers, Betty Sue

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9780385516303: Presence: Human Purpose and the Field of the Future

Presence is an intimate look at the development of a new theory about change and learning. In wide-ranging conversations held over a year and a half, organizational learning pioneers Peter Senge, C. Otto Scharmer, Joseph Jaworski, and Betty Sue Flowers explored the nature of transformational change—how it arises, and the fresh possibilities it offers a world dangerously out of balance. The book introduces the idea of “presence”—a concept borrowed from the natural world that the whole is entirely present in any of its parts—to the worlds of business, education, government, and leadership. Too often, the authors found, we remain stuck in old patterns of seeing and acting. By encouraging deeper levels of learning, we create an awareness of the larger whole, leading to actions that can help to shape its evolution and our future.
 
Drawing on the wisdom and experience of 150 scientists, social leaders, and entrepreneurs, including Brian Arthur, Rupert Sheldrake, Buckminster Fuller, Lao Tzu, and Carl Jung,  Presence is both revolutionary in its exploration and hopeful in its message. This astonishing and completely original work goes on to define the capabilities that underlie our ability to see, sense, and realize new possibilities—in ourselves, in our institutions and organizations, and in society itself.

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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

About the Author:

Peter Senge is a senior lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the founding chair of SoL, a renowned pioneer, theorist, and writer in the field of management innovation, and the author of the widely acclaimed book, The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization (Doubleday/Currency, 1990). C. Otto Scharmer is a lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management, a Visiting Professor at the Helsinki School of Economics, and international action researcher, and author of the forthcoming book Theory U: Leading from the Emerging Future. Joseph Jaworski is the chairman of Generon Consulting, cofounder of the Global Leadership Initiative, and author of the critically acclaimed Synchronicity: The Inner Path of Leadership (Berrett-Koehler, 1996). Prior to her current role as director of the Johnson Presidential Library and Museum, Betty Sue Flowers was a professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin and an international business consultant.

SoL (The Society for Organizational Learning, Inc.), an outgrowth of the former MIT Center for Organizational Learning, is a nonprofit international membership organization that connects researchers, organizations, and consultants in over thirty countries in building knowledge for systemic change. A portion of the net proceeds from SoL publishing sales are reinvested in basic research, applied learning projects, and building a global network of learning communities.

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Book Description Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc, United States, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 208 x 140 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. Presence is an intimate look at the development of a new theory about change and learning. In wide-ranging conversations held over a year and a half, organizational learning pioneers Peter Senge, C. Otto Scharmer, Joseph Jaworski, and Betty Sue Flowers explored the nature of transformational change--how it arises, and the fresh possibilities it offers a world dangerously out of balance. The book introduces the idea of presence --a concept borrowed from the natural world that the whole is entirely present in any of its parts--to the worlds of business, education, government, and leadership. Too often, the authors found, we remain stuck in old patterns of seeing and acting. By encouraging deeper levels of learning, we create an awareness of the larger whole, leading to actions that can help to shape its evolution and our future. Drawing on the wisdom and experience of 150 scientists, social leaders, and entrepreneurs, including Brian Arthur, Rupert Sheldrake, Buckminster Fuller, Lao Tzu, and Carl Jung, Presence is both revolutionary in its exploration and hopeful in its message. This astonishing and completely original work goes on to define the capabilities that underlie our ability to see, sense, and realize new possibilities--in ourselves, in our institutions and organizations, and in society itself. Bookseller Inventory # ABZ9780385516303

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Book Description Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc, United States, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 208 x 140 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. Presence is an intimate look at the development of a new theory about change and learning. In wide-ranging conversations held over a year and a half, organizational learning pioneers Peter Senge, C. Otto Scharmer, Joseph Jaworski, and Betty Sue Flowers explored the nature of transformational change--how it arises, and the fresh possibilities it offers a world dangerously out of balance. The book introduces the idea of presence --a concept borrowed from the natural world that the whole is entirely present in any of its parts--to the worlds of business, education, government, and leadership. Too often, the authors found, we remain stuck in old patterns of seeing and acting. By encouraging deeper levels of learning, we create an awareness of the larger whole, leading to actions that can help to shape its evolution and our future. Drawing on the wisdom and experience of 150 scientists, social leaders, and entrepreneurs, including Brian Arthur, Rupert Sheldrake, Buckminster Fuller, Lao Tzu, and Carl Jung, Presence is both revolutionary in its exploration and hopeful in its message. This astonishing and completely original work goes on to define the capabilities that underlie our ability to see, sense, and realize new possibilities--in ourselves, in our institutions and organizations, and in society itself. Bookseller Inventory # ABZ9780385516303

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