Building Leadership Capacities for a Complex World: May 4 Hear the Personal Journey of a Theory U Early Adopter

By Helio Borges for Enlivening Edge Magazine

Note from Enlivening Edge: We are honored to have Helio Borges from Venezuela as the Storyteller for Enlivening Edge ‘s First-Thursday Community Conversation on May 4. He’ll share about his journey, in dialogue with participants. If you are not already subscribed to the Community Conversations, email [email protected] to receive access to May 4. Find 8 more EE Magazine articles by or mentioning Helio, covering more of his remarkable journey, here.

Theory U is an Awareness-Based Systems Change methodology developed by Otto Scharmer of MIT and used by tens of thousands of people worldwide. Here is an examination of the relevance to Laloux’s Reinventing Organizations’ Teal stage.

Everything right or wrong in business, society, and the world generally involves leadership. Due to my experience in corporate finance and systems implementation, I perceived Theory U’s potential application in business, specifically in changing its culture and leadership mindset. But most people in the business world don’t like change unless it is absolutely necessary, and if they do have to change, they want to use proven methodologies and tools. I was an early adopter of a revolutionary new technology; therefore, my job was to spread the word about it, not sell it.

For a thirty-something person, doing that step of leadership would be unremarkable. For me as a 65-year-old real estate broker in Venezuela, a failed country, it was another matter. Nevertheless, by the time COVID-19 hit the world, I was actively facilitating Theory U, experimenting with new applications based on it, and spreading the word about it.

The Presencing Institute invited me to be a volunteer of the Spanish-speaking team at the 14-week landmark online program GAIA Journey (Global Activation of Intention and Action). Thanks to that journey, while the whole world was locked down, I traveled virtually with Otto Scharmer’s team of change makers. That year, I published more than forty articles about leadership and innovation, becoming a “Top Writer on Innovation” at What a ride!

Since 2021, I´ve been working on two fronts. As a core team member of the Spanish Track Team of the Presencing Institute, I’ve been facilitating the Presencing Institute’s programs (u.lab 1x, and u.lab 2x) to the Spanish-speaking global Theory U community.

In parallel, with allies from the USA, Europe, and Latinamérica, I have been co-creating innovative programs to change organizations’ leadership mindset and culture to make them more agile and adaptive to change. One of these programs is “Conscious Business Agility,” integrating Agile approaches with Theory U, which I will begin facilitating online in Germany next Fall. I am looking for educational institutions to partner with to facilitate this program.

Systems & Personal Change, Enabler & Mentor
Featured Image of Flor de Mayo, national flower of Venezuela, by Công Hữu Lê from Pixabay