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The fifth discipline - An overview of Peter Senge's Fifth Discpline
The Fifth DisciplinePeter Senge
Learning OrganizationPeople continually expand their capacity to createthe results they truly desire
Newand expansive patterns of thinking arenurturedCollectiveaspiration isset free
Peopleare continually learning to see the whole together
In times of rapid change, only organizations that are flexible, adaptive and productive will excel
For this to happen, organizations need to discover how to tap people’s commitment and capacity to learn at all levels
Besides having the structures, tools and practices in place, it requires a fundamental shift of mind among the members to embrace a learning organization
For a learning organization, it is not enough to survive.
Survival learning or adaptive learning is necessary
For learning organizations, adaptive learning must be joined by generative learning –that enhances our capacity to create.
A learning culture is one with organizational values, systems and practices that support and encourage both individuals, and the organization, to increase knowledge, competence and performance levels on an ongoing basis. This, in turn, promotes continuous improvement and supports the achievement of business goals, innovation and the ability to deal with change.
5 disciplines of Learning Organizations
Mental ModelsTeam learning
Building Shared VisionSystems Thinking
continually clarifying and deepening our personal vision
Of focusing our energies
Of developing patience
Of seeing reality objectively
People with high level of personal mastery
Live in continual learning mode
Are acutely aware of their ignorance, their incompetence and growth areas
Deeply self confident
When we experience personal mastery, there is a sense of effortless “flow” done with little conscious effort
Involves a dual process of
Clarifying what is important and envisioning it vividly
Continually learning how to assess current reality in relation to progressing towards that vision
How do you do it?
Compare people’s individual’s visions with the vision of the company
Identify and discuss behaviors that are personally and professionally important to the success of the team
Educate the members on how the financials/ budgets are determined and how they relate to meeting the organization’s mission
Discipline of Mental Models
starts with turning the mirror inward,
learning to unearth our internal pictures of the world
to bring them to the surface and hold them rigorously to scrutiny.
the ability to carry on “learningful” conversations that balance inquiry and advocacy
Where people expose their own thinking effectively
Make that thinking open to the influence of others
Involves discerning the actual data that supports (or doesn’t) the generalizations that we hold about the world
Working on mental models requires openness and honesty with ourselves and with others
Requires art of listening and inquiring
Walk the talk –learn about others and ourselves through how well we integrate what we say with what we do
If organizations are to develop capacity to work with mental models then it will be necessary for
People to learn new skills and develop new orientations
Seeking to distribute business responsibly while retaining coordination and control
When teams learn together, not only there will be good results for the organization, members will grow more rapidly than could have occurred otherwise
Discipline of team learning starts with a “dialogue”, the capacity of the members of a team to suspend assumptions and enter into a genuine “thinking together”.
On a qualitatively deeper level than simple team work or work in teams
it is getting to know how to create a space where people are able to relax, work hard, have fun, and creatively produce
When team learning exists, there is
A flow of information
Feedback freely given, eagerly accepted and valued
Innovative problem solving
People learn to ask questions that help learning, not to make expert points
People learn how to inquire genuinely, with care, and advocate clearly with balance and data
Becoming comfortable with feedback builds trust, care, listening skills and integrity in how people talk with one another
Building a shared vision
Discipline for bringing into alignment the vision and efforts of people organization wide
The practice of shared vision involves the skills of unearthing shared “pictures of the future” that foster genuine commitment and enrollment rather than compliance.
Where there is a genuine vision, people excel and learn, not because they are toldto, but because they want to.
Creating a shared vision
Telling : “this is the vision of what the orgznis going to look like 2 years from now”
Selling: “the leader attempts to enroll people in the vision, enlisting as much as commitment as possible”
Testing: “the leader needs to find out how enthusiastically members support and accept the vision”
Consulting: “enlisting the support of the members to make the vision stronger –the boss as a consultant
Co-Creating: “members begin to work for what they want to build … creating a future that we individually and collectively want”
Discipline that integrates the others, fusing them into a coherent body of theory and practice
Way of seeing the connections, links or relationships between things
Process for understanding the interrelationships among key components of a system such as hierarchical relations, process flow, attitudes and perceptions, product quality, sales, production, cash flow, customer service, delivery, R&D etc
Comprehend and address the whole and examine the interrelationships between the parts , which were previously thought to be unrelated variables
Use feedback loops, reinforcing loops and balancing mechanisms to maps the desired systems and the outcomes
Mapping and analyzing at the systems level allow a careful tracking of factors affecting inputs, processes, output and outcomes that might otherwise have remained invisible or misunderstood
Systems view point generally oriented towards long term view –hence delays and feedback loops are important
Can be ignored in the short run, they come back to haunt you in the long term
Egcut in advertising budgets cost savings
Little impact in the short run, in the long term decline in visibility will impact sales