Know that feeling of being with kindred spirits? That's how I felt yesterday.
We were in Saint Paul’s and St George's Episcopal church in Edinburgh. A magnificent venue for the first of a series of 'U Lab Scotland' preparatory events. Over 200 people attended. Some had to take seats in the balcony. Such was the interest in this event.
U Lab is based on Theory U, an approach to change that aims to unleash the collective energy and intelligence in a group. The process encourages participants to view complex issues through a different lens and observe deeply. After a period of deep reflection solutions emerge through a process of 'prototyping' and testing. Otto Scharmer and colleagues from MIT have been developing the approach over many years with a growing excitement worldwide.
Change as an Emergent Property
I've had an interest in change as an 'emergent property' for a number of years. I took an 'intensive' programme similarly called 'Change Lab' run by Adam Kahane in Utrecht a few years back. The programme, based on action enquiry, followed the U process and it was truly inspiring. I still draw on the learning in my current work in helping people and organisations navigate change.
Hearing the principles of U Lab being introduced by Scottish Government officials created a frisson of excitement inside me, and I suspect in many others. It was a defining moment. And perhaps another indication of the groundswell in Scotland of people searching for something different.