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4.6 out of 5 stars20
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 8 December 1999
I had read The Fifth Discipline, and liked the book very much. I knew about the Fieldbook, but found its bulk to be intimidating. Then, Goren Carstedt gave me a copy, and asked me to read it. Although the book invites the reader to skip around, I am a front to back reader. I decided to read it while walking on the treadmill daily. My exercise regimen started to improve because I enjoyed reading this book in 45 minute segments so much. You should probably do the same. Also, if you can skip around, that is better. What I found is that there is a helpful exercise or two for implementing every key idea in The Fifth Discipline. This added much more meaning to that book for me, and also helped me identify and solve some problems that I had been thinking about. I strongly urge you to get this book, read it, and read it again. Be sure to do the exercises that intrigue you, because they will help you to a much better understanding of your business. If you just want help with systems thinking, there is a section of about a 100 pages that you could read in a few hours that would help you very much to expand upon that part of The Fifth Discipline. Definitely read this book AFTER reading The Fifth Discipline.
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on 8 December 2005
If you ever wanted a book that contains almost everything you would ever want to develop your management skills, this is it. As a business coach, I have found it remarkably thorough and recommend it to my clients often.
This is a different iteration of the original book 'The Fifth Discipline', (both are by Peter Senge) - itself a breakthough book.
The work Senge created in the Fieldbook version is practical and do-able, with the focus on individual exercises in as wide a range of management applications as you could need. I think it's a leap ahead of the original for that reason.
That being said, there are some more up to date areas that have evolved, such as, for example, Succession Planning, but with the vast array of components in this book, many of these will be covered off anyway.
For anyone who wants both a dip-in workbook as well as a groundbreaking comprehensive manual, this book must be in your library, it will serve you well for the whole of your management career.
By the way, if you buy it on here (Amazon), don't be put off by the number of pages. If you buy it (after trying to pick it up!) in a bookshop, don't be put off by it's weight!
If you take it a 'module' at a time, you will find it remarkably readable and fun - but I wouldn't attempt to read the whole thing in one go - just take your time.
Enjoy meandering around it, it's a truly fascinating read!
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on 27 March 1999
Based upon the thoughts in Senge's The Fifth Discipline, which is a far harder slog, this book provides refreshing examples and tools to help understand a systemic view to tackling management problems. The focus is on the Learning Organisation, but the tools discussed can be used in any systemic management situation (are their any that are not systemic ?). Good clear writing, excellent value for money. Refreshing book design means that it can be read and then easily referenced later. Would have given this 5 stars except that I work in one of the companies mentioned and the example referenced didn't exactly work out as suggested.
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I had read The Fifth Discipline, and liked the book very much. I knew about the Fieldbook, but found its bulk to be intimidating. Then, Goren Carstedt gave me a copy, and asked me to read it.
Although the book invites the reader to skip around, I am a front to back reader. I decided to read it while walking on the treadmill daily. My exercise regimen started to improve because I enjoyed reading this book in 45 minute segments so much. You should probably do the same. Also, if you can skip around, that is better.
What I found is that there is a helpful exercise or two for implementing every key idea in The Fifth Discipline. This added much more meaning to that book for me, and also helped me identify and solve some problems that I had been thinking about.
I strongly urge you to get this book, read it, and read it again. Be sure to do the exercises that intrigue you, because they will help you to a much better understanding of your business.
If you just want help with systems thinking, there is a section of about a 100 pages that you could read in a few hours that would help you very much.
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on 20 December 2005
Senge's second serving of the Learning Organization is filled with practical tips and real-life examples from companies and organizations that have embraced the teachings of the Learning Organization successfully.
The Book is a collaboration of several writers who do a superb job of unraveling the web that is the learning organization. At times, it may seem to the reader that the book is a labyrinth of disjointed concepts and ideas. However, if you have read `The Fifth Discipline' you will find no problems following the concepts introduced. In fact, you will even understand why the writers have chosen to introduce them in that fashion. If you have not read "The Fifth Discipline', do not despair, it will take a little longer to get `the whole picture'.
The Book is divided into 8 main sections:
1) Getting Started addresses the basic concepts and ideas of the Learning Organization.
2) Systems Thinking (the fifth discipline) - Many people have argued that Senge should have delegated the fifth discipline until the end, however, without Systems Thinking, your vision is disjointed and incomplete.
3) Personal Mastery covers the area of individual development and learning. The chapters here are among the most valuable in the area of self-growth and self-improvement.
4) Mental Models - These are the pictures that you have in your head which represent reality.
5) Shared Vision - You've seen the whole picture, you've developed and you understand how you see the world. Now you need to find a common cause with the rest of the people in your organization, something that you all work for.
6) Team Learning - As you work with other people in teams or groups, you need to pass the stuff that you have learnt and the wisdom you've acquired to others. At this stage, the learning is no longer that of the individual, but the group.
7) Arenas of Practice - (Self explanatory)
8) Frontiers - Where do we go from here.
If you are interested in development, learning, growth, leadership, gaining a competitive edge whether at an organizational or personal level, then this book is for you. In fact, I'd venture to say that this is book is for everyone.
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on 20 April 2003
In this, the 'field' book Peter Senge pretty well covers all the needs of the modern (and not-yet-so modern!) manager. It is really well laid out too, with each chapter (in the 600+ pages!) a sort of 'module' in itself. For a reference book, with practical usage for almost anyone in a managerial role, this is the book to get. In my own top 10.
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on 20 April 2001
I first read this book to get a feel for how learning teams and learned organisations is build. The book contains so many examples of how other people have build their organisations, around the world, that you are bound to find examples that applies to you. This is a must read if you are stuck and cant get anywhere with your organisation.
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on 3 May 2009
If I could have only one shelf on which to put the most useful and interesting books for me to keep for all time, this would be one of the first I'd select.

When it hits your hand, you might think, "I'll never get through that", or "How am I going to find what I need quickly?"

Clear, concise, easy to understand. However expert you might be in your own field, this book will provide a refreshing way to energise all of your talents to excel with new insights and vigor.

I found as I read started dipping into it that is organised in a way which lets you focus on what you need to get done. At the time, I was in a hurry.. I needed something on team performance. I opened the book and like magic, it was there, right in front of me.

I find now that I can just let it open to a random page and find something to inspire me to keep refining my thoughts and thereby my actions.

By all means, read cover to cover, and post-it note the pages which inspire you most so you can share. Keep it handy...

I have two copies in case I find someone who wants to read it urgently.
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on 20 March 2014
While not in the same league as his original 'Fifth Discipline' book, at least the chapters written by Senge himself are thoughtful and interesting. I was not always equally impressed by his co-authors, but it was an interesting read nevertheless. Clearly it is useful to hear what various people have to share in terms of practical ideas and methods for building a learning organisation, and some parts of the book, like the final part about the use of computer systems, was quite useful, although this kind of technological tools are, of course, the kind of tools that become dated quite quickly. Nevertheless, it was a balanced and interesting read.
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I haven't read the original Fifth Discipline, but I would highly recommend this. The book is full of strategies for taking your organisation forward, from developing a learning environment, to tools to promote real listening and improved communication, to an overall understanding of the role of each part of the organisation and each process as part of a constantly moving whole. Its one of those books which is useful to have around and pick up again to refer to, as situations arise.
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