The Fifth Discipline Hardcover – 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
Senge's main thesis is that for an organization to become a Learning organization, it must embrace five disciplines:
1) Building Shared Vision so that the organization may build a common commitment to long term results and achievement.
2) Mental models are a technique that can be used to foster creativity as well as readiness and openness to change and the unexpected.
3) Team Learning is needed so that the learning is passed on from the individuals to teams (i.e. the organization as a whole).
4) Personal Mastery is the individual's motivation to learn and become better (hence the term Mastery).
5) The fifth discipline is that of Systems Thinking which allows to see a holistic systemic view of the organization as a function of its environment.
However, this is not simply a book about management practice.. though it was written primarily for the use managers. This is a book about growth, improvement and continuous development. If you wish to achieve these results for yourself, your home, or your organization, then you MUST read this book.
Senge introduces his ideas and concepts smoothly and in an absorbing style. He is able to explain difficult concepts simply and by the end, you find that you have whole-heartedly embraced his belief in the Learning Organization, in fact, you find yourself yearning for it!
When I plow through a business book, I try to see if I can remember the central ideas, the essence of what the author has to say from the mass of details and stories that make up every business book. Most often, they are appalingly banal and pathetically over-applied, touted as able to solve just about every problem, in particular if a fee is paid to the authors to come and talk about it in person. I was preparted to treat this book the same way, and was simply delighted to find a truly excellent and useful book. And gee, I am glad that I can get inspired by a book in my chosen field, rather than bored!
As I see it, this book has three principal ideas. First, we must think of organizations and their missions as complex systems rather than as conglomerations of isolated problems. It is pitch for the development of a holistic view - how everything interacts and what factors act upon what other factors. This is an analytical tool that can pinpoint what should be done, breaking mental habits of looking only at the bottom line of sales revenues, for example, rather than the need to provide better service or delivery times. Second, employees must be empowered to make their own decisions locally, requiring honesty and openness throughout the organization as standard practice. This enables them to question and learn, not just individually but as part of a unified team, hence the subtitle of a learning organization. Mistakes are part of this process and should be allowed as valid experiments.Read more ›
He describes what might be an end state without detailing how to get there, the later follow up field book on tools and methods now fills this gap neatly. Both books together are perfect.
This book sets out theory very well, it also provides Thought Leadership, Breakthrough ideas and Inspiration. Its well written and enjoyable.
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'.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read tons of business books, and I can assure you that this book is very strange. I would not recommend this book to most business practitioners. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Amazon Customer
Both books are great, giving the reader a profound background of the theory ( textbook) and many interesting ideas of putting the ideas into practice (field book). Read morePublished 18 months ago by Harald Frey
Excellent and a must for everyone working in a big organization. Perfect reading for those working within the schoolsystem .Published 23 months ago by Mai-Lise Gundersby
This is a great book that has a vast amount of information delivered through great explanation, this is indeed a great book to accompany your text books of management and... Read morePublished on 7 Oct. 2013 by SteveN