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Stumbled upon a copy this week and decided to re read I found itenjoyable 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 itenjoyable 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 Rarely would I use this term to describe anything but the good book itself but here goesthis book is the bible for any leader manager.Or maybe a better description would bethe 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 goesthis book is the bible for any leader manager.Or maybe a better description would bethe 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 feelat 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 thinking2 Self awareness emotional intelligence3 Vision4 Clear Communication5 Bottom up solutionsThese requirements arerequirements 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 andbooks like this one to help keep driving it forward until we can unlock the true secrets 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 muchpersonal 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 demandandof 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 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 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 Good ideas, but far too much stories and quasi philosophical fluff Could have been edited to one third of its size. Years ago I wroteI 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 wroteI 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 farinterested 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 learnedeffectively, 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 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 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 `DOWNLOAD EPUB ☠ The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization ⇻ Completely Updated and RevisedThis 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 , 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