The Fifth Discipline The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization (1994, Doubleday Business)

Review :

The Disciplines. Peter M. Senge presents five component technologies, or disciplines, in the book The Fifth Discipline
o Systems Thinking - a conceptual framework, a body of knowledge and tools that make the full patterns of invisible fabrics of interrelated actions (systems) clearer and which helps to change them effectively
o Personal Mastery - as with a master craftsman, this is a continual clarifying and deepening of our personal vision, focusing of our energies, developing patience, and seeing reality objectively
o Mental Models - the deeply ingrained assumptions, generalizations, or even pictures or images that influence how we understand the world and how we take action
o Building Shared Visions - the practice of unearthing shared "pictures of the future" that foster genuine commitment and enrollment rather than compliance
o Team Learning - the concept that the intelligence of the team exceeds the intelligence of the individuals in the team, using tools like dialogue, resulting in accelerated growth for each individual but ultimately producing extraordinary results together
Systems Thinking is the fifth discipline: having these disciplines develop as an ensemble and understanding that integrating these tools is the overall theme, is important to achieve the most payoffs from their application.
Items I liked about the book:
o Truth and Scrooge p. 150
o Enrollment, Commitment, Compliance p. 203

o Dialogue - [Team Learning]
o Analogy of the ship, p.321, "If people imagine their organization as an ocean liner and themselves as the leaders, what is their role" "captainnavigator[the one] stoking the firesocial director." "The neglected leadership role is that of the designer of the ship. No one has a more sweeping influence on the ship" [Mental Models]
o Beer Game p.53 [Mental Models] [Systems Thinking] [Team Learning]
o Circles of Causality - a language of interrelationships, a language made up of circles, p. 73. I recall training I received recently, where ISEE Systems uses two key concepts with some ties to the language of Esperanto: stocks and flows. The ERDC is using the STELLA shared vision software to model the behavior of the watershed systems for various locations. Their various add on Excel templates help display interrelationships to key stakeholders within these watersheds. The manner of visually presenting the system's behavior provides a potent picture and can quickly assist in demonstrating to groups of stakeholders why certain decisions for operating or changing systems, like stormwater drainage, are not helpful to other variables in the system. [Mental Models] [Building Shared Visions] [Systems Thinking].
o The Emperor's New Clothes, p.164 [Mental Models]
o Big 3 automakers - their blind spot, p.165. Our thought processes, which can become habitual, affect what we see. [Mental Models]
o Paradoxes of Stewardship, p.335 - Leaders, while working to bring about what is new or emergent, are also stewards for something they intend to conserve. Change naturally induces fear; leaders must clarify what we intend to conserve to release fear of those around us (note that peopled seek to conserve identity and relationships). Leaders must face the challenge of striking a balance between progress and sustainability. [Building Shared Visions]

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