Theory U: how to foster insight

We are usually convinced that we can learn from the past, from our previous experiences. It works more or less like this: we do something, we evaluate the results obtained and starting from those we "decide" if it is more or less convenient to go back to reusing this technique, strategy or method in the future. But not all learning has to follow this path. Sharmer offers us a new form of learning: through the emerging future. There Teoria u it is based on the belief that there are many ways to deal with intrinsically complex and uncertain problems. When we face undefined problems we need a high dose of creativity and the help of insight. There Teoria u shows us a path, to reach creative solutions that are sustained in insight, which takes place in five phases: Initiation, Sensation, Reflection, Creation, Involvement. 1. Initiation. The cultural inability to establish new relationships between phenomena is the essential reason why we approach complex problems so inefficiently. We try to solve the most diverse problems according to our mental schemes, using pre-established thinking strategies which prevent new and creative ideas from appearing. In this phase we must open ourselves to reality and try to understand the totality of the system. The problem we face is not an external factor but rather part of ourselves and therefore we will have to overcome our mental models. To rediscover the reality that surrounds us the Teoria u proposes: - To suspend our tendency to criticize and judge everything. We will have to make ourselves aware that our opinions and beliefs affect reality and therefore also affect our ability to find creative solutions. - Be able to redirect. We will have to learn to consider phenomena from different points of view, learn to be empathic and reflect on different perspectives. - Consider reality as a whole, a whole. The behaviors of the people around us are also conditioned by various factors and in turn, these will be determined by other circumstances. Reality is not simple and at least unique, which is why we will have to learn to perceive and analyze phenomena in a perspective that is as global as possible. 2. Feeling or attending. Western culture has established a lemma: “the important thing is not to seek but to find the solution”, in this way insight and intuition are relegated to a second level or remain the exclusive property of the artists. In this second phase, the essential objective is to discover the relationships between what we think and what we feel about the problem. It is about connecting intuition with reason, spontaneity and planning. Sharmer proposes two ways of being able to develop this potential: - Let go: it refers to abandoning stereotypes, barriers, judgments about the quality of our ideas. - Let in: let your mind fill with ideas, which can also be crazy, extremely imaginary and abstract… it doesn't matter. It is about letting new visions and forms of understanding enter our mind. 3. Reflection. At this stage we already have a general idea of ​​what could be the solution for which it is necessary to crystallize, it means translating into practice the fundamental steps of the general idea, elaborating it in detail and drawing up an action plan. 4. Creation. It involves putting our solution into practice. Of course, the first attempts can be unsuccessful so we will probably need to build various prototypes, change some details, fix some ideas. 5. Involve. It would be the phase in which the solution is shared with others to seek their contribution, help, ideas. Below in the image we can see the scheme presented to us by the author himself: La Teoria u it is a model of learning, no doubt open to creativity and insight, but again it has very little. Already Rubinstein and Petrovsky, Russian psychologists, in the 20s spoke of the importance of the processes of the imagination to be able to develop creative solutions and of the need to free oneself from mental schemes in order to reach insight. Particularly the Teoria u It seems to me quite similar to as many programs aimed at developing creativity and insight processes, this time with a pinch of Zen in the bottom. However, proposing in the form of “disassembled ideas” something that can be useful to people is never wrong and precisely this is the purpose of this post.

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