Connecting local responses around the world
Adam Yukelson, co-creator of the edX course u.lab on Theory U (Transforming Business, Society and Self) wrote an inspiring story on the application of Theory U in a business setting.
If you are interested in learning more about application of Theory U, you might like this article on his visit to a rug manufacturing company in Jaipur, India (Jaipur Rugs):
During his stay in Jaipur, Adam is preparing learning journeys with employees of Jaipur Rugs. Part of the preparation is to write down and subsequently share ones intentions and assumptions about the visit. I thought this is maybe something useful for us too when we prepare SALT visits.
"Swati had told me the day before that she wanted to get beyond an intellectual knowledge of Theory U and understand how it’s applied in practice. Back in the conference room, she and Kavita Chaudhary, N.K.’s daughter and Design team lead, were outlining the plan for visiting the villages the following day. As Swati describe the schedule, it occurred to me: why not use this moment, which was essentially learning journey preparation, to lead them through the Theory U approach to learning journeys? Why wait until my scheduled workshop to be helpful? I offered this suggestion, and they were eager to do it.
I started by saying the key difference between a field visit and a learning journey is how you prepare, how you pay attention during the journey, and the reflection you do afterwards. I asked Kavita and Swati to take a pen and paper and suggested we each write down what intentions and assumptions we each had about tomorrow’s journey. After five minutes or so, we took turns sharing.
At one point, Swati shared a deep assumption about the motivation weavers have for participating in the foundation’s programs. I pointed out that this is exactly why we do this exercise. The real purpose of a learning journey is not only to learn something new about the world out there, but also to explore the ways in which we listen and pay attention during the visit. Are we only confirming conscious or unconscious beliefs we already had? Are we listening for something that might disprove what we hold true? Are we empathizing with those we meet? Are we pay attention to emerging future possibilities – that which is possible, but not quite there yet?
After just a few minutes of journaling, sharing, and framing, something noticeably shifted in the room. It felt as though we were no longer just three individuals going out on a trip to see Jaipur Rugs’ work. There was a deeper sense of purpose."
(End of excerpt)