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The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization

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Completely Updated and Revised This revised edition of Peter Senge’s bestselling classic, The Fifth Discipline, is based on fifteen years of experience in putting the book’s ideas into practice. As Senge makes clear, in the long run the only sustainable competitive advantage is your organization’s ability to learn faster than the competition. The leadership stories in the b Completely Updated and Revised This revised edition of Peter Senge’s bestselling classic, The Fifth Discipline, is based on fifteen years of experience in putting the book’s ideas into practice. As Senge makes clear, in the long run the only sustainable competitive advantage is your organization’s ability to learn faster than the competition. The leadership stories in the book demonstrate the many ways that the core ideas in The Fifth Discipline, many of which seemed radical when first published in 1990, have become deeply integrated into people’s ways of seeing the world and their managerial practices. In The Fifth Discipline, Senge describes how companies can rid themselves of the learning “disabilities” that threaten their productivity and success by adopting the strategies of learning organizations—ones in which new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, collective aspiration is set free, and people are continually learning how to create results they truly desire. The updated and revised Currency edition of this business classic contains over one hundred pages of new material based on interviews with dozens of practitioners at companies like BP, Unilever, Intel, Ford, HP, Saudi Aramco, and organizations like Roca, Oxfam, and The World Bank. It features a new Foreword about the success Peter Senge has achieved with learning organizations since the book’s inception, as well as new chapters on Impetus (getting started), Strategies, Leaders’ New Work, Systems Citizens, and Frontiers for the Future. Mastering the disciplines Senge outlines in the book will: • Reignite the spark of genuine learning driven by people focused on what truly matters to them • Bridge teamwork into macro-creativity • Free you of confining assumptions and mindsets • Teach you to see the forest and the trees • End the struggle between work and personal time


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Completely Updated and Revised This revised edition of Peter Senge’s bestselling classic, The Fifth Discipline, is based on fifteen years of experience in putting the book’s ideas into practice. As Senge makes clear, in the long run the only sustainable competitive advantage is your organization’s ability to learn faster than the competition. The leadership stories in the b Completely Updated and Revised This revised edition of Peter Senge’s bestselling classic, The Fifth Discipline, is based on fifteen years of experience in putting the book’s ideas into practice. As Senge makes clear, in the long run the only sustainable competitive advantage is your organization’s ability to learn faster than the competition. The leadership stories in the book demonstrate the many ways that the core ideas in The Fifth Discipline, many of which seemed radical when first published in 1990, have become deeply integrated into people’s ways of seeing the world and their managerial practices. In The Fifth Discipline, Senge describes how companies can rid themselves of the learning “disabilities” that threaten their productivity and success by adopting the strategies of learning organizations—ones in which new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, collective aspiration is set free, and people are continually learning how to create results they truly desire. The updated and revised Currency edition of this business classic contains over one hundred pages of new material based on interviews with dozens of practitioners at companies like BP, Unilever, Intel, Ford, HP, Saudi Aramco, and organizations like Roca, Oxfam, and The World Bank. It features a new Foreword about the success Peter Senge has achieved with learning organizations since the book’s inception, as well as new chapters on Impetus (getting started), Strategies, Leaders’ New Work, Systems Citizens, and Frontiers for the Future. Mastering the disciplines Senge outlines in the book will: • Reignite the spark of genuine learning driven by people focused on what truly matters to them • Bridge teamwork into macro-creativity • Free you of confining assumptions and mindsets • Teach you to see the forest and the trees • End the struggle between work and personal time

30 review for The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization, Peter M. Senge The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization (Peter M. Senge 1990) is a book by Peter Senge, focusing on group problem solving using the systems thinking method in order to convert companies into learning organizations. The five disciplines represent approaches (theories and methods) for developing three core learning capabilities: fostering aspiration, developing reflective conver The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization, Peter M. Senge The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization (Peter M. Senge 1990) is a book by Peter Senge, focusing on group problem solving using the systems thinking method in order to convert companies into learning organizations. The five disciplines represent approaches (theories and methods) for developing three core learning capabilities: fostering aspiration, developing reflective conversation, and understanding complexity. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیستم اکتبر سال 1997 میلادی عنوان: پنجمین فرمان؛ نویسنده: پیتر سنگه؛ مترجم: حافظ کمال هدایت؛ محمد روشن؛ تهران، سازمان مدیریت صنعتی، 1375؛ در 500 ص؛ چاپ دوم 1377؛ شابک: ایکس - 964617518؛ چاپ چهارم 1382؛ چاپ پنجم 1385؛ در 508 ص؛ شابک: 9646175546؛ موضوع: سازماندهی کارآمد گروه های کار - قرن 20 م پیام کلی «پیتر سنگه» در کتاب پنجمین فرمان، این است که: هیچ سازمانی نمی‌تواند برای رشد و پیشرفت خود، تنها به معدودی از کارکنان خویش تکیه کند. بلکه باید همه‌ ی اعضای سازمان، بیاموزند، که: «باهم کار کنند، و دنیای بیرون را، و مشکلات درونی خود را، از نگاهی تازه ببینند». پیتر سنگه توضیح می‌دهد: اگر کسی می‌خواهد یک سازمان یادگیرنده بنا کند (یا سازمان خود را به یک سازمان یادگیرنده تبدیل کند) باید در ایجاد و توسعه‌ ی پنج حوزه، سرمایه گذاری نماید. ایشان این پنج حوزه را: تفکر سیستمی؛ قابلیت‌های شخصی؛ مدلهای ذهنی؛ چشم انداز مشترک؛ و یادگیری تیمی؛ مینامند. ا. شربیانی

  2. 5 out of 5

    Neelesh Marik

    This book is of biblical importance to any 'systems thinker' and/ or a life long learner, specifically in a organizational context as opposed to a lone ranger situation. The book traces the endemic learning disabilities that plague most organizations, expounds on the fundamental laws of the fifth discipline, and describes typical ‘system archetypes’ that constitute dysfunctional patterns which impede performance. Upon that foundation, it goes to describe each of the five disciplines: personal mast This book is of biblical importance to any 'systems thinker' and/ or a life long learner, specifically in a organizational context as opposed to a lone ranger situation. The book traces the endemic learning disabilities that plague most organizations, expounds on the fundamental laws of the fifth discipline, and describes typical ‘system archetypes’ that constitute dysfunctional patterns which impede performance. Upon that foundation, it goes to describe each of the five disciplines: personal mastery, mental models, shared vision, team learning and systems thinking. Beyond just the core concepts of each discipline, there is an emergent synergism that weaves all five disciplines into an inter-connected whole. This edition goes on to provide a practitioner’s handbook for implementation: the impetus for change, strategies for learning organizations, the new role of leadership and the recipe for systems citizenship. The appendices are very useful as they contain a full list of variants of the system archetypes, and a short snapshot of the ‘U process’ which is dealt with in greater detail in his next book ‘Presence’.

  3. 5 out of 5

    SeyedMahdi Hosseini

    مدت زیادی بود که این کتاب در کتابخانه بود و میخواستم مطالعه کنم. از طرف دیگر خیلی وقت بود که به دنبال مطالعه درباره تفکر سیستمی بودم دریغ از اینکه چنین کتاب ارزشمندی در کتابخانه خاک میخورد. با وجودی که کتاب در سال 1990 نوشته شده اغلب اوقات احساس کهنگی نمی کنید و به خوبی با مفاهیم تفکر سیستمی و پیچیدگی آشنا می شوید. ضمنا فرامینی برای ایجاد سازمانهای یادگیرنده می آموزید که همگی به هم وابسته اند. ضمیمه 20 صفحه ای که در انتهای کتاب وجود دارد درواقع کل کتاب را به شکلی زیبا مرور می کند به گونه ای که ا مدت زیادی بود که این کتاب در کتابخانه بود و میخواستم مطالعه کنم. از طرف دیگر خیلی وقت بود که به دنبال مطالعه درباره تفکر سیستمی بودم دریغ از اینکه چنین کتاب ارزشمندی در کتابخانه خاک میخورد. با وجودی که کتاب در سال 1990 نوشته شده اغلب اوقات احساس کهنگی نمی کنید و به خوبی با مفاهیم تفکر سیستمی و پیچیدگی آشنا می شوید. ضمنا فرامینی برای ایجاد سازمانهای یادگیرنده می آموزید که همگی به هم وابسته اند. ضمیمه 20 صفحه ای که در انتهای کتاب وجود دارد درواقع کل کتاب را به شکلی زیبا مرور می کند به گونه ای که اگر بخواهید چند ماه آینده مجددا کتاب را بازنگری کنید مرور همین 20 صفحه تقریبا 80درصد کتاب را پوشش می دهد. درمجموع از وقتی که بابت مطالعه این کتاب گذاشتم بسیار راضی بودم زیرا مطالب آن علاوه بر مدیریت سازمانها برای زندگی شخصی نیز مفید است.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jack Vinson

    This book isn't so much a knowledge management book as a tome on management philosophy. Senge has a lot of great ideas and thoughts throughout the book. There is the concept of leaders advocating vs. inquiring. The “what I say vs. what I do” idea of Espoused vs. In-use theories. The heart of the book is centered on five characteristics (disciplines) that organizations need in order to move into the next level of quality and competition.  I. Systems Thinking. This is the ability to see the pattern This book isn't so much a knowledge management book as a tome on management philosophy. Senge has a lot of great ideas and thoughts throughout the book. There is the concept of leaders advocating vs. inquiring. The “what I say vs. what I do” idea of Espoused vs. In-use theories. The heart of the book is centered on five characteristics (disciplines) that organizations need in order to move into the next level of quality and competition.  I. Systems Thinking. This is the ability to see the patterns behind any behavior, whether it is in the company or on a much more personal level. Senge spends a lot of time describing the idea and giving examples of how systems thinking provides leverage to make significant changes. “Give me a lever long enough and I can move the world” is one of the many quotes here. Senge also defines several archetypes of systems that he encounters over and over again. The basic cycles are balancing processes and reinforcing processes.  A. Balancing process with delay. This is a simple cycle where an action in one direction eventually causes a reverse effect on the same variable. This is a fairly standard feedback loop with delay in the control world. It is interesting because the delay frequently makes people overreact when their first action appears to be ineffective.  B. Limits to growth. This is a pair of cycles. One reinforcing cycle represents growth, but is connected to a balancing cycle that reduces the effectiveness of the growth cycle.  C. Shifting the burden. This is archetype has paired balancing processes that affect a variable / problem. One process makes the problem go away temporarily. The other process digs at the heart of the problem but frequently has a delay, so that it is “easier” to use the temporary fix. This has a side reinforcing process that adversely affects the ability to employ the long-term solution. Best is example is alcoholism where the alcoholic uses alcohol as a fix, but the longer she drinks the harder it is to stop.  D. Shifting the burden to the intervener. A special case where an external entity is the quick fix, slowly eroding the internal ability to solve the problem. “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for life.”  E. Eroding goals. Another special case where the fix is to let a goal slip. This eases tension and sets up a downward spiral where the tension can only be relaxed by letting the fundamental goals slip.  F. Escalation. Two reinforcing processes linked by a common problem. This is the model used to describe arms races or price wars.  G. Success to the successful. A limited resource is doled out in greater proportion to the most “successful” user of the resource, leaving the other users short. This can quickly spiral out of control, leaving only one user.  H. Tragedy of the commons. A common, limited resource is used by many groups. While the overall usage is low, there is no problem. As all the users are successful, they demand more and more of the resource. As the resource becomes the constraint, the tragedy is that the users do not see what is happening until too late. This is frequently found in land-use problems and was a likely cause of the dust bowl and over-grazing of African savannas.  I. Fixes that fail. This is basically a shifting the burden without a second, fundamental balancing loop. There are the easy fixes that also cause long-term problems. Examples include cutting the maintenance budget to meet some financial goal, which eventually leads to quality or other problems.  J. Growth and under-investment. This archetype has three cycles. A pair of balancing cycles limits a growth cycle. This is a type of Limits to growth where the balancing process is sort of a Shifting the burden.  All the archetypes are simple descriptions of problems that frequently occur in business, society, family, the environment, anywhere problems arise. Clearly, real systems are complex beyond description. The idea behind the archetypes is to  II. Personal Mastery. The ability to know oneself; how one reacts to situations and people. The ability to see how one's beliefs affect their environment. Being open to change and new ideas. Having a personal vision that causes internal tension and a desire to change and move in new directions.  III. Mental Models. Love of truth and openness are the goals to shoot for in this discipline. Understanding that we all have mental models and willingness to examine one's own along with those of the organization.  IV. Building Shared Vision. Connecting people by generating visions that integrate personal vision for life and for the organization into an organic, living whole.  V. Team Learning. The practiced discipline of learning together, developing the best plan for the group. Having true dialog amongst colleagues. Increasing the collective intelligence above that of any one person in the room. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. 

  5. 5 out of 5

    Obeida Takriti

    من أفضل الكتب في مجال الإدارة.. يشرح الكتاب الأبعاد الخمسة الضرورية لأي منظمة كي تصبح متعلمة.. فالمعرفة في هذا العصر وسرعتها هي أهم عامل في تميز الشركة عن غيرها.. الكتاب بناء على اسمه يركز على البعد الخامس كأهم بعد وهو System Thinking أي التفكير بطريقة النظم التي يمكن أن نبنيها لأي عملية تحصل أمامنا.. وذلك لكي نبتعد عن النظرية الأحادية المتسلسلة في النظر للأحداث.. الأبعاد الأربعة البقية هي: التميز الشخصي Personal Mastery النماذج والصور العقلية Mental Models رؤية مشتركة Shared Vision التعلم كفريق Team Learn من أفضل الكتب في مجال الإدارة.. يشرح الكتاب الأبعاد الخمسة الضرورية لأي منظمة كي تصبح متعلمة.. فالمعرفة في هذا العصر وسرعتها هي أهم عامل في تميز الشركة عن غيرها.. الكتاب بناء على اسمه يركز على البعد الخامس كأهم بعد وهو System Thinking أي التفكير بطريقة النظم التي يمكن أن نبنيها لأي عملية تحصل أمامنا.. وذلك لكي نبتعد عن النظرية الأحادية المتسلسلة في النظر للأحداث.. الأبعاد الأربعة البقية هي: التميز الشخصي Personal Mastery النماذج والصور العقلية Mental Models رؤية مشتركة Shared Vision التعلم كفريق Team Learning الكتاب قديم ونشر في 1990.. ورغم ذلك ما زلنا في العالم العربي نفكر كمنظمات وشركات ربحية أو غير ربحية بطريقة الثورة الصناعية والتي مضى عليها أكثر من قرن ونصف ربما.. هذا الكتاب وغيره خاصة في مجال إدارة المعرفة في المنظمات هي كتب مهمة لتفتح لنا أفقاً جديداً لفهم المؤسسات.. خاصة في مجال الـ System Thinking فالعالم قد طور هذا المفهوم وتطبيقاته لكثير من المجالات التي تتطبث على المنظمات وتجعلها في مجال العالمية إنتاجاً وقيمة مضافة للمجتمع والعالم.. المنظمات العالمية ليست وليدة الصدفة.. بل وليدة العمل الدؤوب لإدارة المنظمة بطريقة فعالة أكثر ;)

  6. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Brinkmann

    Senge, along with Ackoff and Flood, are some of the great minds in the field of systems thinking and complexity. This book and the full integration and understanding of its content into Leadership and Organisational practice, should, in my opinion, be compulsory. The Learning Organisation is not some pie-in-the-sky, futuristic concept - it is a necessity in respect of Transformation so as to still exist as an organisation, given the rapid change, uncertainty and increased complexity that we live Senge, along with Ackoff and Flood, are some of the great minds in the field of systems thinking and complexity. This book and the full integration and understanding of its content into Leadership and Organisational practice, should, in my opinion, be compulsory. The Learning Organisation is not some pie-in-the-sky, futuristic concept - it is a necessity in respect of Transformation so as to still exist as an organisation, given the rapid change, uncertainty and increased complexity that we live and manage within. Within the active practice of being a Learning Organisation, Sustainability - from an authentic and systemic perspective - finds its place rather comfortably within the DNA of the organisation. Handle this change process correctly, involve everyone in your organisation, enroll them and make true sustainability - people, profit, planet - REAL and rewarded - and sit back and watch how productivity and morale improve, how innovations leads to improvement of the bottom line. We have reached the Limits to Growth - and so conventional management/leadership practice, where the CEO or Board decide on some ridiculous and unachievable financial growth target, so as to satisfy their shareholders and to deliver on the HUGE incentive packages of the CEO's, is simply very last century. Such leadership leads to unwell, unhappy and demotivated employees, collective stress and creates a toxic business environment, typically exemplified by static thinking, rigid planning and processes, top-down structures, silos, destructive internal competition and the CMA [ cover my arse] syndrome being prevalent. The Fifth Discipline - Systems thinking and design - brings everything together. I have mastered Systems Thinking and Design, am in flow at the highest levels of complexity and have a deep interest in learning as much as possible from the range of thinkers as well as about the related fields of study, such as behaviorism, socio-psychology, various economic principles. I say again - Senge's revised edition of The Fifth Discipline is a core book that will open up a whole new world of possibilities for those who have not been exposed to systems thinking and the learning organisation; or if they have, and are not practicing the principles, then the book should be read, slowly and systematically, notes made and the principles understood, internalised and practiced.

  7. 4 out of 5

    TarasProkopyuk

    "Пятая дисциплина. Искусство и практика самообучающейся организации" Питера Сенге вошла в ряд одной из лучших бизнес книг, которые мне доводилось когда либо прочесть. Если сравнивать её с подавляющим большинством другой деловой литературы, то приходишь к выводу, что когда многие не менее уважаемые авторы борются с симптомами, то Сенге же выискивает сам корень проблемы и учит решать сложные вопросы на фундаментальном уровне. Это далеко не новая мысль, но то с какими акцентами, аргументами, фактами "Пятая дисциплина. Искусство и практика самообучающейся организации" Питера Сенге вошла в ряд одной из лучших бизнес книг, которые мне доводилось когда либо прочесть. Если сравнивать её с подавляющим большинством другой деловой литературы, то приходишь к выводу, что когда многие не менее уважаемые авторы борются с симптомами, то Сенге же выискивает сам корень проблемы и учит решать сложные вопросы на фундаментальном уровне. Это далеко не новая мысль, но то с какими акцентами, аргументами, фактами и предлагаемыми методами внедрения Сенге ставит на повестку дня вопрос самообучающейся организации - это выводит данную книгу в разряд лучшей в своей теме, а самого автора можно смело признать одним из отцом такой дисциплины как "Управление знаниями" (knowledge management). Данную книгу включили в списки 25 лучших бизнес книг по версии журнала Time и не включили в 100 лучших бизнес книг всех времен по версии Джека Коверта и Тодда Саттерстена из-за того того, что она якобы сложна для восприятия. Но я недоумеваю, как они пришли к такому выводу, ведь так просто написать о столь важных вещах далеко не у каждого писателя удается. И хотя самого рейтинга, как такого, в последнем списке книг не существует, я бы сказал, что "Пятая дисциплина" лично для меня могла бы смело занять верхние позиции этого списка книг, да и пожалуй первого также. Одним словом, для менеджеров, руководителей и предпринимателей книга обязательна к прочтению. Поверьте, это очень сильная работа!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Foad Ansari

    این نویسنده رو میشه به عنوان پدر تفکر سیستمی نام برد

  9. 4 out of 5

    P. Lundburg

    I'm not going to write a formal review on this one, but it's worthy of a couple of comments. I'm generally not a fan of business-success books, but Senge's observations about organizations and how they function--and can function better--is honest and spot on. The Learning Organizations are those that see the greatest success, and largely because their leaders cultivate an appropriately humble approach to mission fulfillment. Everybody, including top leaders, are part of the organization: they ar I'm not going to write a formal review on this one, but it's worthy of a couple of comments. I'm generally not a fan of business-success books, but Senge's observations about organizations and how they function--and can function better--is honest and spot on. The Learning Organizations are those that see the greatest success, and largely because their leaders cultivate an appropriately humble approach to mission fulfillment. Everybody, including top leaders, are part of the organization: they are not the organization, and the organization is not them. Building a culture of team players takes a lot of trust, and that starts at the top. When an organization applies the principles Senge lays out, it can be highly effective.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Abraham

    Rarely would I use this term to describe anything but the good book itself but here goes..."this book is the bible for any leader/manager". Or maybe a better description would be "the canon", since it is a definitive work but one, as by the theme of the book suggests, that can and should be improved upon. The book is both frustrating and refreshing for the same reason - it doesn't try and present it's ideas in an "easily" replicable framework. Though an outlined framework or step-by-step process/v Rarely would I use this term to describe anything but the good book itself but here goes..."this book is the bible for any leader/manager". Or maybe a better description would be "the canon", since it is a definitive work but one, as by the theme of the book suggests, that can and should be improved upon. The book is both frustrating and refreshing for the same reason - it doesn't try and present it's ideas in an "easily" replicable framework. Though an outlined framework or step-by-step process/venn diagram would make the reader feel more at ease, the author continually states that stuffing these ideas into an ubiquitous framework is next to impossible. There is no panacea diagram that can be turned into a power point slide when building a learning organization. Thus with the above point in mind, this book quickly undermines most other strategy books/papers and points out missed themes in other books - like Good to Great Good to Great. The point being that the underlying long-term source of success in an organization is not its present strategy but its people and culture. Only the quality of its people and a culture of openness allow an organization to continually, adapt, learn and grow. James C. Collins James C. Collins touched on this idea in G2G when he discussed "getting the right people on the bus" but he made the fatal consulting mistake of seeing the overall results as static and linear, rather than dynamic and self-reinforcing. However, there are five main points that can summarize Senge's Peter M. Senge requirements for a learning organization: 1. Systems thinking 2. Self-awareness/emotional intelligence 3. Vision 4. Clear Communication 5. Bottom-up solutions These requirements are more requirements for the organizations leaders but should be encouraged throughout the organization as well. Unfortunately for most organizations and people, Senge's ideas are easy in theory but hard in practice. I believe they are difficult to implement because once an organization hits a certain critical mass, the needs of the individual start to diverge from the needs of the organization and at certain organizational sizes a horizontal and efficient structure always seems to teeter on the brink of pure chaos. For now, organizational design is an art and a science and needs constant innovation and more books like this one to help keep driving it forward until we can unlock the true secrets.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Replicant33

    Reading yet again in preparation for teaching using this book, among others, to assist in approaches to solving complex problems. I still have major issues with some of Senge's assertions - he is commonly viewed as a brilliant thinker who applied complexity theory to organizational management. However, his reduction to the day-to-day processes of organizations as "archetypes" and the "god's eye" view of the manager as separate from and controlling the organization by optimizing the action of the Reading yet again in preparation for teaching using this book, among others, to assist in approaches to solving complex problems. I still have major issues with some of Senge's assertions - he is commonly viewed as a brilliant thinker who applied complexity theory to organizational management. However, his reduction to the day-to-day processes of organizations as "archetypes" and the "god's eye" view of the manager as separate from and controlling the organization by optimizing the action of these archetypes badly misrepresents the true nature of human organizations. Managers are part of the organization; the complex interactions that take place cannot be reduced to simple archetypes any more than the manager can be viewed as separate from yet somehow able to manipulate the functioning of the organization. Similarly, the whole discussion of explicit versus implicit knowledge displays his lack of understanding of the emergence of knowledge continuously through various and changing human interactions, whether involving the manager or not. Finally, (and I could go on), Senge does not seem to grasp the complex nature of power relationships, ever-changing and based far more on the ability to participate in discourse and solve problems than one's (or a group's) position on a hierarchy. Nevertheless, the "Learning Organization" with its list of characteristics that any manager can put in his or her notebook and check off leaves most readers feeling like Senge has made the complex simple, and has provided an idiot's guide to managing complex organizations that will give them a leg up. It's bad science, bad organizational theory, and certainly not complexity theory - but it sure has sold a lot of books (and I still teach a class that uses much of this book as assigned reading for those very reasons). Hopefully I'll be done plowing through those chapters again soon...or maybe I'll just find my reading notes from last time...

  12. 5 out of 5

    Helene

    Though this is NOT an easy read, it IS a must-read for everyone in a leadership position, and that really does include teacher-leaders. I think I started it four or five times before I was able to finish it. I would pick it up read a few chapters and then drop out. I'd pick it up again, start over, and then drop out again. It was Wyllis Terry who finally said, don't start it over, just keep reading from where you left off which allowed me to finally finish it. I'm glad I did. It is such a basic Though this is NOT an easy read, it IS a must-read for everyone in a leadership position, and that really does include teacher-leaders. I think I started it four or five times before I was able to finish it. I would pick it up read a few chapters and then drop out. I'd pick it up again, start over, and then drop out again. It was Wyllis Terry who finally said, don't start it over, just keep reading from where you left off which allowed me to finally finish it. I'm glad I did. It is such a basic leadership book and really helps with looking at the whole system and not just the piece that you are working with. I heard Senge a couple of times speak to systems thinking. The first time was at a National Staff Development Conference in Boston. He had many of the 1,000 educators there in tears about their own influence on the environment before he was done, very moving. The second time was at the Upper Valley Educators Institute under the direction of Rob Fried. Senge used the earth as the ultimate example of a system. Very effective and influential. This book truly is worth getting through. Don't give up, keep reading!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    Stumbled upon a copy this week and decided to re-read. I found it more enjoyable now than I did when I read it the first time, perhaps because systems thinking has become such a core part of what we discuss in our company and with our clients. Most of the texts that I read on systems thinking when I was in school and even today are written in a very 'smarter than you' tone; I think that one of the greatest features of this book is that its choice of language is very accessible. I think that ther Stumbled upon a copy this week and decided to re-read. I found it more enjoyable now than I did when I read it the first time, perhaps because systems thinking has become such a core part of what we discuss in our company and with our clients. Most of the texts that I read on systems thinking when I was in school and even today are written in a very 'smarter than you' tone; I think that one of the greatest features of this book is that its choice of language is very accessible. I think that there are times when the writing became slightly redundant, but I did not mind as the examples that Senge gives are excellent. My favorite sections had to do with the presentation of the concept of 'creative tension' and how we often confuse the resulting 'emotional tension' with it, thus reacting to the wrong forces; this is very applicable to product development companies. All in all, a tremendous work that holds up after all these years. Highly recommended.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jurgen Appelo

    Good ideas, but far too much stories and quasi-philosophical fluff. Could have been edited to one third of its size.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Hosein

    I was introduced with this book in a reading group in Tehran. At first I had to read the first two chapters of the book in order to attend at that event. After reading these two chapters, I honestly got interested and read the rest of it. The whole idea around this book is how an organization can improve, not by itself but by helping all of the people working in.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ali Sattari

    Well, I listened to the abridged version (unknowingly at first), I think I should at least partially reread the unabridged version. Points on mental models and systems thinking are useful and to the point.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Omar Halabieh

    The main premise of the book is best summarized by the author in the opening chapter: "The tools and ideas presented in this book are for destroying the illusion that the world is created of separate, unrelated forces. When we give up this illusion—we can then build "learning organizations," organizations where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and w The main premise of the book is best summarized by the author in the opening chapter: "The tools and ideas presented in this book are for destroying the illusion that the world is created of separate, unrelated forces. When we give up this illusion—we can then build "learning organizations," organizations where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning how to learn together." The development of such an organization is based on five pillars: "Today, I believe, five new "component technologies" are gradually converging to innovate learning organizations. Though developed separately, each will, I believe, prove critical to the others' success, just as occurs with any ensemble. Each provides a vital dimension in building organizations that can truly 'learn," that can continually enhance their capacity to realize their highest aspirations: Systems Thinking...Personal Mastery...Mental Models...Building Shared Vision...Team Learning." Below are key excerpts from the book that I found particularly insightful: 1- "At the heart of a learning organization is a shift of mind—from seeing ourselves as separate from the world to :ted to the world, from seeing problems as caused by someone or something "out there" to seeing how our own actions create the problems we experience. A learning organization is a place where people are continually discovering how they create their reality. And how they can change it. As Archimedes has said, "Give me a lever long enough . and single-handed I can move the world." 2- "It is no accident that most organizations learn poorly. The way they are designed and managed, the way people's jobs are defined, and, most importantly, the way we have all been taught to think and interact (not only in organizations but more broadly) create fundamental efforts of bright, committed people. Often the harder they try to best efforts of bright, committed people. Often the harder they try to solve problems, the worse the results. What learning does occur takes place despite these learning disabilities—for they pervade all organizations to some degree." 3- "All of the learning disabilities described in Chapter 2 operate in the beer game: • Because they "become their position," people do not see how their actions affect the other positions. Consequently, when problems arise, they quickly blame each other—"the enemy" becomes the players at the other positions, or even the customers. • When they get "proactive" and place more orders, they make matters worse. • Because their overordering builds up gradually, they don't realize the direness of their situation until it's too late. • By and large, they don't learn from their experience because the most important consequences of their actions occur elsewhere in the system, eventually coming back to create the very problems they blame on others. The "teams" running the different positions (usually there are two or three individuals at each position) become consumed with blaming the other players for their problems, precluding any opportunity to learn from each others' experience.'" 4- "Systems thinking is a discipline for seeing wholes, h is a framework for seeing interrelationships rather than things, for seeing patterns of change rather than static "snapshots." It is a set of general principles—distilled over the course of the twentieth century, spanning, and management. It is also a set of specific tools and techniques, originating in two threads: in "feedback" concepts of cybernetics and in "servo-mechanism" engineering theory dating back to the nineteenth century." 5- "The primary insights in shifting the burden will come from (1) distinguishing different types of solutions; (2) seeing how reliance on symptomatic solutions can reinforce further reliance. The leverage will always involve strengthening the bot¬ tom circle, and/or weakening the top circle. Just as with limits ) growth, it's best to test your conclusions here with small actions—and to give the tests time to come to fruition. In particular, strengthening an atrophied ability will most likely take a long period of time." 6- "The art of systems thinking lies in being able to recognize increasingly (dynamically) complex and subtle structures, such as that at WonderTech amid the wealth of details, pressures, and cross currents that attend all real management settings. In fact, the essence of mastering systems thinking as a management discipline lies in seeing patterns where others see only events and forces to react to. Seeing the forest as well as the trees is a fundamental problem that plagues all firms, as is illustrated in the next chapter." 7- "When personal mastery becomes a discipline—an activity we integrate into our lives—it embodies two underlying movements. The first is continually clarifying what is important to us. We often spend too much time coping with problems along our path that we forget why we are on that path in the first place. The result is that we only have a dim, or even inaccurate, view of what's really important to us. The second is continually learning how to see current reality more clearly. We've all known people entangled in counterproductive relationships, who remain stuck because they keep pretending everything is all right. Or we have been in business meetings where everyone says, "We're on course relative to our plan," yet an hon;st look at current reality would show otherwise. In moving toward a desired destination, it is vital to know where you are now. The juxtaposition of vision (what we want) and a clear picture of current reality (where we are relative to what we want) generates what we call "creative tension": a force to bring them together, caused by the natural tendency of tension to seek resolution. The essence of personal mastery is learning how to generate and sustain creative tension in our lives." 8- "The ability to focus on ultimate intrinsic desires, not only on secondary goals, is a corner stone of personal mastery." 9- "Organizations intent on building shared visions continually encourage members to develop their personal visions. If people don't have their own vision, all they can do is "sign up" for someone else's. The result is compliance, never commitment. On the other hand, people with a strong sense of personal direction can join together to create a powerful synergy toward what I/we truly want. Personal mastery is the bedrock for developing shared visions. This means not only personal vision, but commitment to the truth and creative tension—the hallmarks of personal mastery. Shared ion can generate levels of creative tension that go far beyond individuals' "comfort levels." Those who will contribute the most toward realizing a lofty vision will be those who can "hold" this creative tension: remain clear on the vision and continue to inquire into current reality. They will be the ones who believe deeply in their ability to create their future, because that is what they experience personally." 10- "Enrollment is a natural process that springs from your genuine enthusiasm for a vision and your willingness to let others come to their own choice. Be enrolled yourself. There is no point attempting to encourage another to be enrolled when you are not...• Be on the level. Don't inflate benefits or sweep problems under the rug. Describe the vision as simply and honestly as you can. •Let the other person choose. You don't have to "convince" another of the benefits of a vision. In fact, efforts you might make to persuade him to "become enrolled" will be seen as manipulative and actually preclude enrollment." 11- "Bohm identifies three basic conditions that are necessary for dialogue: 1. all participants must t "suspend" their assumptions, literally to hold them "as if suspended before us"; 2. all participants must regard one another as colleagues; 3. there must be a "facilitator" who "holds the context" of dialogue." 12- "In a discussion, different views are presented and defended, and as explained earlier this may provide a useful analysis of the whole situation. In dialogue, different views are presented as a means toward discovering a new view. In a discussion, decisions are made.In a dialogue, complex issues are explored...A learning team masters movement back and forth between dialogue and discussion. The ground rules are different. The goals are different. Failing to distinguish them, teams usually have neither dialogue nor productive discussions." 13- "The neglected leadership role is the designer of the ship...Lao-tzu also illuminates part of the reason why design is a neglected dimension of leadership: little credit goes to the designer. The functions of design are rarely visible; they take place behind the scenes. The consequences that appear today are the result of work done long in the past, and work today will show its benefits far in the future. Those who aspire to lead out of a desire to control, or gain fame, or simply to be "at the center of the action" will find little to attract them to the quiet design work of leadership. Not that this type of leadership is without its rewards. Those who practice it find deep satisfaction in empowering others and being part of an organization capable of producing results that people truly care about. In fact, they find these rewards more enduring than the power and praise granted to traditional leaders...The design work of leaders includes designing an organization's policies, strategies, and "systems." But it goes beyond that. Designing policies and strategies that no one can implement because they don't understand or agree with the thinking behind them has little effect."

  18. 5 out of 5

    thethousanderclub

    Years ago I wrote ". . . I have historically struggled a great deal with reading business-oriented books. And why is this? To begin with, most business books feel terribly pretentious, even if the authors aren't in reality that way." The Fifth Disciple was a reminder of what I wrote that. Although not devoid of value or practical use, The Fifth Discipline is an overly long book, which forces the reader to slog through pages and pages of banal explanations to dig out specks of useful wisdom. Clear Years ago I wrote ". . . I have historically struggled a great deal with reading business-oriented books. And why is this? To begin with, most business books feel terribly pretentious, even if the authors aren't in reality that way." The Fifth Disciple was a reminder of what I wrote that. Although not devoid of value or practical use, The Fifth Discipline is an overly long book, which forces the reader to slog through pages and pages of banal explanations to dig out specks of useful wisdom. Clearly I didn't like The Fifth Discipline, but I would never claim it was devoid of value. In fact, I recently presented at a conference and directly referenced the book. There is good stuff to be found here. It's just buried under what too often feels like a strained attempt to convince the reader that what they're reading is important. The last 80 pages or so in particular are far more interested in evangelizing the ideas the author finds important rather than clearly stating the ideas and letting them stand on their own merit. I felt that Senge's book does in fact tap into some very fundamental and essential ideas. However, the explication of the ideas, including the fifth discipline itself, is so clunky and unmemorable, I'm struggling to remember the last time I read an author who was so passionate about their subject matter but fumbled so badly in explaining it. Brevity could very well have saved this book from itself, but brevity appears counter-intuitive to Senge. With only a handful of meaningful take-aways from the The Fifth Disciple, some of which, such as systemic thinking, are very significant and useful, there isn't much to recommend the book. Many, if not all, of the ideas presented, can be found and learned (more effectively, I might add) from a multitude of other sources. I appreciate what I got out of it, but The Fifth Discipline is a bloated and largely ineffectual attempt to describe and champion some very important ideas. http://thethousanderclub.blogspot.com/

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Tekriti

    الكتاب ممتع ووافر جدا خاصة للمهتمّن بفهم المنظومات وإدارتها على إختلاف شكلها ( شخص، مؤسسة،مجتمع أودول). عندما نتحدث عن الهندسة الإدارية المنظمات (Organizations )، فإننا تكلم عن سيستام ديناميكي تتحرك فيها أجزاء متعددة داخلية وخارجية كالجدارات، آليات العمل، سياسات، قوانين، سوق .. هي عبارة عن سيستام تتناغم فيه جميع هذه الأجزاء ولكن هل وجود الأجزاء الأساسية كافي ؟ هل تتناغم كل هذه التعقديات من تلقاء نفسها ؟ كيف يصبح هذا السيستام متعلم بطريقة دائمة ؟ ما هي السلوكيات الخمسة الأساسية لتحقيق ذلك ؟ يتحدث P الكتاب ممتع ووافر جدا خاصة للمهتمّن بفهم المنظومات وإدارتها على إختلاف شكلها ( شخص، مؤسسة،مجتمع أودول). عندما نتحدث عن الهندسة الإدارية المنظمات (Organizations )، فإننا تكلم عن سيستام ديناميكي تتحرك فيها أجزاء متعددة داخلية وخارجية كالجدارات، آليات العمل، سياسات، قوانين، سوق .. هي عبارة عن سيستام تتناغم فيه جميع هذه الأجزاء ولكن هل وجود الأجزاء الأساسية كافي ؟ هل تتناغم كل هذه التعقديات من تلقاء نفسها ؟ كيف يصبح هذا السيستام متعلم بطريقة دائمة ؟ ما هي السلوكيات الخمسة الأساسية لتحقيق ذلك ؟ يتحدث Peter Senge عن سلوكيات خمسة أساسية لتحقيق هذا التناغم 1- personal mastery التميز الشخصي يرى Peter أن التميز الشخصي يتعدى تحصيل الجدارات إلى إيمان شخصي بطريقة عيش مبنية على الإبداع و الإنتاج هل هي مرحلة يصل إليها الفرد أم طريقة في العيش ؟ المؤسسات تتعلم عند يتعلم أفرادها ولكن هل تعلم الأفراد يؤدي إلى تحقيقة مؤسسة متعلمة ؟ ألا يمكن ان يؤدي تعلم الأفراد إلى نتائج سلبية؟ بالنسبة لموضوع الpersonal mastery أنصح بكتاب personal mastery – Robert green فلقد أعطى تفصيلا واضحا ً عن مراحل التميز الشخصي والإستراتجيات التي ممكن إتباعها في كل مرحلة 2- النماذج والصور العقلية Mental Models 3- رؤية مشتركة Shared Vision 4- التعلم كفريق Team Learning 5- System thinking إن إدارك وتحقيق السلوكيات الخمسة حسب درجة وعي المؤسسة بالإضافة لتصميم وإدارة أجزاءها يشكل مسار لها في طريق تحقيق منظمة متعلمة . إن وجود هذا النوع من الشركات يشكل عصب أساسيا في بناء دول وأفراد متعلمين منتجين مساهمين في معالجة مشاكل البشر وبناء فرص لجعل هذا العالم مكاناً أفضل

  20. 4 out of 5

    David

    it was okay. Some nice nuggets and examples but not as fulfilling as I had hoped. Commitment vs compliance, enrolling vs being sold both excellent concepts. also enjoyed the pattern of the beer game.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Brian Rast

    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 see  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?” “…captain…navigator…[the one] stoking the fire…social 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]

  22. 4 out of 5

    Glenn Van

    Vijf disciplines die je nodig hebt om een lerende organisatie te worden. Personal Mastery, Shared vision, Mental models, Team learning en Systems thinking. Wat ik er uithaal is dat alleen kunt komen tot een gedeelde visie als je persoonlijke visie helder is. Daar gaat het volgens mij al snel mis bij alle veranderingen in organisaties. Ook het onderdeel over Systems thinking is blijven hangen. In onze taal zijn we heel doel gericht: Ik schenk water in. Klinkt logisch, lineair. Senge laat ons zie Vijf disciplines die je nodig hebt om een lerende organisatie te worden. Personal Mastery, Shared vision, Mental models, Team learning en Systems thinking. Wat ik er uithaal is dat alleen kunt komen tot een gedeelde visie als je persoonlijke visie helder is. Daar gaat het volgens mij al snel mis bij alle veranderingen in organisaties. Ook het onderdeel over Systems thinking is blijven hangen. In onze taal zijn we heel doel gericht: Ik schenk water in. Klinkt logisch, lineair. Senge laat ons zien dat elk systeem uit vele cirkels bestaat in plaats van uit lineaire handelingen. Want ik kan alleen water inschenken als ik continu feedback krijg over de hoeveelheid die uit de kraan komt, de stijging van het water in mijn glas en de mate waarin de kraan openstaat. Door een feedback loop zorg ik ervoor dat het glas niet overstroomt. Zo werkt het met alles. Beseffen dat je onderdeel uitmaakt van een systeem, waarbij jij een onderdeel bent van een complex geheel maakt een groot verschil.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    This book has been around for a long time but it seems that the main messages it contains (My major take-aways): - cause and effect are about large numbers of interactions at many levels that are not necessarily proximate in time. - people really listening to each other and being motivated by each other is how things really get done are only now starting to really be internalized and popularized. It's not the Human Genome Project, it's proteomics and the epi-genome (how the genes express themselves This book has been around for a long time but it seems that the main messages it contains (My major take-aways): - cause and effect are about large numbers of interactions at many levels that are not necessarily proximate in time. - people really listening to each other and being motivated by each other is how things really get done are only now starting to really be internalized and popularized. It's not the Human Genome Project, it's proteomics and the epi-genome (how the genes express themselves, interact and are regulated). It's not about giving massive aid to govts to "fix" a country with a single top-down plan, it's about micro-finance to let a community build itself from the bottom up. It's not the broadcasting of information one-to-many that makes things happen, it's the social web, web 2.0, twitter, facebook. Groups of people acting many-to-many to allow society to change course (think Presidential election 2008). This is not about technology or management tricks. It is about changing the way you think about problems so that you can get out of the way, organizationally and personally. It's as much a self-help book as a business book. Definitely one to re-read from time to time.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Gajula Praveen Kumar Naidu

    "Recommended reading! The organizations that will truly excel in the future will be those that discover how to tap peopleâs commitment and develop the capacity to learn at all levels in an organization. Deep down, people are learners. No one has to teach an infant to learn. In fact, no one has to teach infants anything. They are intrinsically inquisitive, masterful learners. Learning organizations are possible because at heart we all love to learn. Through learning we re-create ourselves and are "Recommended reading! The organizations that will truly excel in the future will be those that discover how to tap people’s commitment and develop the capacity to learn at all levels in an organization. Deep down, people are learners. No one has to teach an infant to learn. In fact, no one has to teach infants anything. They are intrinsically inquisitive, masterful learners. Learning organizations are possible because at heart we all love to learn. Through learning we re-create ourselves and are able to do something we were never able to do earlier. Through learning we reperceive the world and our relationship to it. Through learning we extend our capacity to create, to be part of the generative process of life. There is within each of us a deep hunger for this type of learning. This seminal book by Peter M Senge explains how learning organizations can be built. Highly Recommended!"

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tõnu Vahtra

    “The committed person doesn’t play by the rules of the game. He is responsible for the game. If the rules of the game stand in the way of achieving the vision, he will find ways to change the rules.” I expected systems thinking to be more specific collection of principles (maybe they are in some other fundamental book about them) but it's mostly about common sense. The discussions about creating vision resonated in this book - you cannot define vision in a managers workshop, vision is defined th “The committed person doesn’t play by the rules of the game. He is responsible for the game. If the rules of the game stand in the way of achieving the vision, he will find ways to change the rules.” I expected systems thinking to be more specific collection of principles (maybe they are in some other fundamental book about them) but it's mostly about common sense. The discussions about creating vision resonated in this book - you cannot define vision in a managers workshop, vision is defined through action. “It’s just not possible any longer to figure it out from the top, and have everyone else following the orders of the “grand strategist.” The organizations that will truly excel in the future will be the organizations that discover how to tap people’s commitment and capacity to learn at all levels in an organization.” “We will never transform the prevailing system of management without transforming our prevailing system of education. They are the same system.” “Personal mastery is the discipline of continually clarifying and deepening our personal vision, of focusing our energies, of developing patience, and of seeing reality objectively." “The most effective people are those who can "hold" their vision while remaining committed to seeing current reality clearly” “To empower people in an unaligned organization can be counterproductive. If people do not share a common vision, and do not share common mental models about the business reality within which they operate, empowering people will only increase organizational stress and the burden of management to maintain coherence and direction.” “The Japanese believe building a great organization is like growing a tree; it takes twenty-five to fifty years.” “When people in organizations focus only on their position, they have little sense of responsibility for the results produced when all positions interact. Moreover, when results are disappointing, it can be very difficult to know why. All you can do is assume that “someone screwed up.” “vision without systems thinking ends up painting lovely pictures of the future with no deep understanding of the forces that must be mastered to move from here to there.” “I believe that, the prevailing system of management is, at its core, dedicated to mediocrity. It forces people to work harder and harder to compensate for failing to tap the spirit and collective intelligence that characterizes working together at their best.” The five disciplines that organizations need in order to move into the next level of quality and competition: #1# SYSTEMS THINKING - The ability to see the patterns behind any behavior, whether it is in the company or on a much more personal level. Archetypes of systems: a) Balancing process with delay - cycle where an action in one direction eventually causes a reverse effect on the same variable. The delay frequently makes people overreact when their first action appears to be ineffective. b) Limits to growth - One reinforcing cycle represents growth, but is connected to a balancing cycle that reduces the effectiveness of the growth cycle. c) Shifting the burden - paired balancing processes that affect a variable / problem. One process makes the problem go away temporarily. The other process digs at the heart of the problem but frequently has a delay, so that it is “easier” to use the temporary fix. This has a side reinforcing process that adversely affects the ability to employ the long-term solution. d) Shifting the burden to the intervener - an external entity is the quick fix, slowly eroding the internal ability to solve the problem. “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for life.” e) Eroding goals - The fix is to let a goal slip. This eases tension and sets up a downward spiral where the tension can only be relaxed by letting the fundamental goals slip. f) Escalation - Two reinforcing processes linked by a common problem. This is the model used to describe arms races or price wars. g) Success to the successful - A limited resource is doled out in greater proportion to the most “successful” user of the resource, leaving the other users short: this effect spiraling out of control. h) Tragedy of the commons - A common, limited resource is used by many groups. While the overall usage is low, there is no problem. As all the users are successful, they demand more and more of the resource. As the resource becomes the constraint, the tragedy is that the users do not see what is happening until too late. i) Fixes that fail - Shifting the burden without a second, fundamental balancing loop. There are the easy fixes that also cause long-term problems. Examples include cutting the maintenance budget to meet some financial goal, which eventually leads to quality or other problems. j) Growth and under-investment - A pair of balancing cycles limits a growth cycle. #2# PERSONAL MASTERY - The ability to know oneself; how one reacts to situations and people. The ability to see how one's beliefs affect their environment. Being open to change and new ideas. Having a personal vision that causes internal tension and a desire to change and move in new directions. #3# MENTAL MODELS - Love of truth and openness are the key goals. Understanding that we all have mental models and willingness to examine one's own along with those of the organization. #4# BUILDING SHARED VISION - Connecting people by generating visions that integrate personal vision for life and for the organization into an organic, living whole. #5# TEAM LEARNING - The practiced discipline of learning together, developing the best plan for the group. Having true dialog among colleagues. Increasing the collective intelligence above that of any one person in the room. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Paul Courtney

    This was my first exposure to the ideas of complexity and non-linear systems in the everyday world of business. My other readings to that point in time had been from the scientific perspective. So I enjoyed reading how Mr. Senge applied those concepts to workshops where he had business people experience systems first hand.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Paul Boos

    This book describes what I would hope most organizations aspire to be, particularly those that want to be known as 'Agile'. Learning Organizations are the organizations that take leadership in the creative economy. This book describes the key characteristics these organizations will have and how these will make the organizations more effective. It's still as relevant today as it was in the 90s.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    If you are interested in systems thinking, this is where you start. But don't start if you are prone to depression when you understand why organizations fail or worse, are designed to get what they are getting! But if you have a calling to attempt something bigger, better, and redesigned from the start, courage! and read on!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    Absolutely exceptional concepts, and remains a must read for anyone who wants to understand fundamentally important concepts such as organizational learning, systemic approaches (that overtly recognize how processes/actions/sub-systems cause circular impacts) and how to take steps toward related improvements.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lopamudra Banerjee

    Fabulous book - the concept has been explained brilliantly with enough examples. Corporate world can undergo a sea change if systems thinking was applied and learning organisations developed everywhere.

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