Learn to Change mainstreams a complementary set of core capabilities and associated tools and approaches, including Learning Leadership, Action Learning, Team Learning, and Systems thinking, Decision-Making and Trust-building.

Systems Thinking

  1. Lectures on systems thinking by Otto Scharmer, MIT Professor of Management and author of Theory U. These videos from full online course – uLab that he refers to in video.
    1. Introduction to Theory U (9.39min)
    2. 10% above the surface (5.48min)
    3. 90% below the surface (6.58min)
    4. A living example (4.07min)
  2. Journal article on Systems Thinking & Learning Organizations. Peter, Senge, The Leader’s New Work, MIT Press, 1990 – particularly pages 13 -16 on New Tools and Surfacing & Testing Mental Models)
  3. Scenario Planning: a tool often used by global companies and governments to analyse their changing operating environment to inform strategy. Scenario Planning was one of the approaches used in developing Strategy 2030. Two books that outline this method:
    1. Ramirez, Rafael et al, Using Scenario Planning to Reshape Strategy, Summer 2017. Article available at: Link. Users can sign up for 3 free articles per month.
    2. Schwartz, Peter. The Art of the Long View, Doubleday, 1991. The original guide for companies on the tools of scenario planning.
  4. Appreciative Inquiry: Igniting Transformative Action, Berhnard Mohr, The
    Systems Thinker, Volume 12. https://thesystemsthinker.com/appreciative-inquiry-igniting-transformative-action/
  5. Analyzing Community Problems & Solutions, from University of Kansas Community Toolbox. https://ctb.ku.edu/en/table-of-contents/analyze/analyze-community-problems-and-solutions
  6. Systems Grantmaking Resource Guide: A range of systems mapping and analysis tools by Grantmakers for Effective Organizations. http://systems.geofunders.org/tools-resources 
  7. uLab: if you are interested in a full exposure to Theory U, the Presencing Institute is running its on-line (free) introductory program through the MIT edX platform. Certificates from MIT edX are provided for those completing the course. The program starts every year in mid-September, but course resources are available at any time.
  8. Ubuntu Lab: an Africa-based uLab. Current program is closed, but sign up on website to learn about next cohort.
  9. UnTools: Collection of thinking tools and frameworks to help you understand systems

Learning Leadership

  1. Levels of Listening: Watch the lecture by Otto Scharmer: Levels of Listening (8.25min). Application: attend to your own listening skills over the coming week and observe the listening skills of others. reflect at the end of each day – what levels of listening are you observing?​​​​​
  2. Levels of Conversation: parallel to the four Levels of Listening, there are 4 levels of conversing with each other to deepen our learning and creativity.
    Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9HGPbXhesM (11:22 min)
    Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uy5DjOgqLGw (6:53 min)
  3. Personal Mastery:  Putting the Me in Leadership, Fact File 7, The Change Forum 2007. 
  4. Presencing: guided journaling toolkit from L2C Event 3. A powerful way to follow up immediately after journaling is through dialogue walks

Action Learning

  1. Co-Sensing
    1. Co-sensing Principles, video introduction with Otto Scharmer explaining the
      importance of these tools to understanding the systems we aim to change.
      Video on Co-Sensing Principles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQh3cIvu7rY (4:24 min)
    2. Sensing Journeys Tool: Sensing Journeys pull participants out of their daily routine and allow them to experience the organization, challenge, or system through the lens of different stakeholders.
      https://www.presencing.org/resource/tools/sensing-journeys-desc
    3. Stakeholder Interviews Tool: The purpose of a stakeholder interview is to see your work from the perspective of your stakeholders. It answers the questions: What do my stakeholders want from me? What do they need me for? https://www.presencing.org/resource/tools/stakeholder-interview-desc
    4. Further guidance on Sensing Journeys and Stakeholder Interviews from L2C journey with RCRC specific examples and journeys.
    5. Levels of Listening and Conversation covered under Learning Leadership are critical practices to the effectiveness of the the co-sensing tools and activities outlined here.  
  2. Co-Creating/Prototyping
  3. Prototyping guidelines and principles article + handout 
  4. Prototyping Principles videos (total of 14:06 min)
    1. First and second principle – intention and core team (5:19 min) 
    1. Third principle part 1 – 0.8: iterate, iterate, iterate (0:24 min) 
    1. Third principle part 2 – 0.8: iterate, iterate, iterate (3:47 min) 
    1. Fourth principle – platforms and spaces (2:46 min) 
    1. Fifth principle – listen to the universe (0:59 min) 
    1. Sixth principle – integrate head, heart and hand (0:51 min) 
  5. IDEO Toolkithttps://www.designkit.org – the not for profit arm of the IDEO
    design firm provides a wealth of resources, tools, case studies for social impact,
    human-centred design.
  6. Prototyping in action: IDEO re-designs the shopping cart – one example of a full prototyping process(8:12 min) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M66ZU2PCIcM
  7. Prototype Guidance in L2C Journey Event 3slides 18-26
  8. Co-evolving: bringing learning from prototyping to the day-to-day in L2C Journey Event 3, slides 6-7

Team Learning

  1. Levels of Listening and Levels of Conversation listed above under Learning Leadership are fundamental elements of Team Learning as well. 
  2. The tools and concepts under the Action Learning are powerful and practical ways in which teams deepen collective learning by doing.
  3. Collective Learning and Personal Knowledge Management: Seek, Sense, Share Framework. Posted 2012-2-10 on website of Harold Jarche, https://jarche.com/2014/02/the-seek-sense-share-framework/
  4. Liberating Structures – A free collection of easy-to-use tools for group work, team meetings and team processes.

Other Resources


  1. Theory U ToolsExtensive information on a comprehensive set of tools, including some mentioned above. 
  2. Theory U Executive SummariesA good introduction to key U concepts with translations in 9 languages.
  3. Untools. Collection of thinking tools and frameworks to help you solve problems, make decisions and understand systems.

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