Jim Marsden

Associate - USA

Jim is the founder of an innovation oriented consulting service, Lean In llc, and a core member of the Presencing Institute leading training and assistance in the application of Theory U. His work with Theory U has benefitted clients in corporate environments, including Hewlett Packard, non-profit and government organizations. In addition to leading Theory U capacity development programs, Jim also leads Theory U oriented projects that guide clients through the Theory U framework and practices while bringing forth meaningful and innovative contributions to the organization or community.

Prior to the Presencing Institute, Jim led a variety of large and small-scale business initiatives within Hewlett Packard. Throughout his 19 years at HP, he worked across businesses, countries and cultures in a variety of roles. He helped HP create and develop businesses and manage organizational transitions realizing breakthroughs in innovation, business performance and sustained cultural change. One of Jim’s final projects was with HP’s portfolio of digital photography businesses (about 13 business areas at the time). This effort was a major contributor to shifting the culture from a product based, siloed-business centric one to a customer experience-based culture in which business areas co-created to deliver greater value as an integrated system (“the whole was greater than the sum of the parts”).  Experience design principles and practices were fundamental to this culture change and the change process was led following a Theory U methodology. Highlights of this effort can be found in the executive summary of Otto Scharmer’s book “Theory U”.

Jim is also a board member of the ALIA Institute (formerly Shambhala Institute) emphasizing Authentic Leadership in Action, and is field staff at Naropa University guiding masters level students in rights of passage programs.

His academic credentials include an MA in Organizational Management from the Fielding Graduate University, a BS in Mechanical Engineering, from the University of Michigan, and a BA in Physics from Kalamazoo College. He is an alumnus of the London Business School’s Accelerated Development Program for business management and has completed extensive field and course work in dialogue, design and innovation. 

Jim is passionate about the wilderness and today guides wilderness experiences that help deepen individual awareness, bring forth authentic expression, and strengthen relationships with nature. Many of these are programs that support personal transformation and build upon practices found among many indigenous cultures throughout the world. The arc of the “vision quest” is similar in many ways to the journey through Theory U, each containing phases of sensing and “letting-go”, solo time and presencing, and integration or “co-creating”. Jim is the very proud father of two daughters and currently resides in Boulder, Colorado.