Since I read Theory U, by C. Otto Scharmer, I more and more use the model in applied impro work.
(“Theory U proposes that the quality of the results that we create in any kind of social system is a function of the quality of awareness, attention, or consciousness that the participants in the system operate from.”)
If you are an improviser, I’m sure that in this short following passage, you can already recognize what “performing an improvised theatre piece” is about, in it.
I copied this from the website www.presencing.com. If it’s new and you want to know more about the principles of U-theory, I suggest to start with this page.
“In the words of our colleague, economist Brian Arthur, the three main movements of the U process are:
Going down the U: “Observe, observe, observe.” Stop downloading and totally immerse yourself in the places of most potential, in the places that matter most to the situation you are dealing with.
At the bottom of the U: “Retreat and reflect, allow the inner knowing to emerge.” Go to the places of stillness where knowing comes to the surface. Here you share and reflect on everything that you have learned from a deep place of listening, asking, ”What wants to emerge here?” and ”How does that relate to the journey forward?” So the key question is: how can we become part of the story of the future rather than holding on to the story of the past?
Going up the U: “Act in an instant.” Explore the future by doing. Develop a prototype. A prototype explores the future by doing something small, speedy, and spontaneous; it quickly generates feedback from all the key stakeholders and allows you to evolve and iterate your idea. “
I experience that the U-model applied on “conversations” offers people a very clear view on what we actually work on with the impro-exercises, and they generally like it a lot. I divided the impro-principles I use in trainings (teamwork, communication, leadership) according to the “level of conversation”, as described in the U-theory, as I think they focus most on.
Ofcourse this is not “fixed” and it shifts along the work.
For more Inspinazie-blogs in english: go here.
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