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The Essentials of Theory U by C. Otto Scharmer

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4

The Eye of the Needle

Often in my work with groups and organizations, I experience a moment that feels like approaching a threshold at the bottom of the U. If that threshold is not crossed, all the talk about change is hollow and disconnected. I sometimes call that threshold the eye of the needle. In ancient Jerusalem there was a gate called “the needle,” which was so narrow that when a fully loaded camel approached it the camel driver had to take off all the bundles so that the camel could pass through. Referring to this well-known image of his day, Jesus said, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Likewise, in order to cross the threshold at the base of the U, we must ...

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