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It was my great pleasure last week to welcome Otto Scharmer to our office. Otto co-authored the book Presence with Peter Senge and he brought his students from MIT to our office to explore Seventh Generation and to ask questions about any and all aspects of the company.
They were a great group and a handful of people from various departments spent five hours with them talking about what seemed like everything under the sun in a conversation that was as profound as it was probing. As worthwhile as the time was for Otto and his students, it was a tremendous experience for us as well, and I wanted to share Otto’s e-mail to me about the day
Thank you all so much for opening your circle and space for my students and me last Friday. It was a really special event for all of us who where hosted by you all. One of the things that the students noticed about your interaction was that you were really listening to one another at various occasions (which of course in today's business world is not at all a common feature).
I was also struck Jeffrey by your definition of leadership: to be better being able to listen to the whole better than anyone else. Wow: what an interesting definition.
And then you talked about resonance (of the field). How do you enhance the resonance? By listening. So where do you cultivate your collective places of listening? That was one of the questions I left with and that I would like to follow up on as I learn more about the work that you collectively do.
My sense of seeing you guys is that you are at the forefront of birthing or co-creating or advancing a new breed of (soon to be global) socially responsible business organizations, which pioneer and prototype an even more profound systemic change: the transformation of capitalism and the deepening of democracy. These two changes, along with the birth of a new culture and life style of self reliance and individualized spirituality, are the great battles of our time, the battle about the future pathway of global evolution. So whatever I can do to help you guys I will happily provide, and I look forward to meeting some of you at the December Presencing program in Boston.
In a few days we (my student group) will be back in touch with a more refined reflection and feedback on our visit last week.
In the meantime, I send you my best regards and wishes.