- Paperback: 464 pages
- Publisher: Random House Business; 2nd Revised edition edition (6 April 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1905211201
- ISBN-13: 978-1905211203
- Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 3.3 x 23.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 38,891 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Fifth Discipline: The art and practice of the learning organization: Second edition Paperback – 6 Apr 2006
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Peter Senge, founder of the Centre for Organisational Learning at MIT's Sloan School of Management, experienced an epiphany while meditating one morning back in the fall of 1987. That was the day he first saw the possibilities of a "learning organisation" that used "systems thinking" as the primary tenet of a revolutionary management philosophy. He advanced the concept into this primer, originally released in 1990, written for those interested in integrating his philosophy into their corporate culture.
The Fifth Discipline has turned many readers into true believers; it remains the ideal introduction to Senge's carefully integrated corporate framework, which is structured around "personal mastery", "mental models", "shared vision", and "team learning". Using ideas that originate in fields from science to spirituality, Senge explains why the learning organisation matters, provides an unvarnished summary of his management principals, offers some basic tools for practising it, and shows what it's like to operate under this system. The book's concepts remain stimulating and relevant as ever. --Howard Rothman, Amazon.com --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
"Senge explains why the learning organization matters, provides an unvarnished summary of his management principals, offers some basic tools for practicing it, and shows what it's like to operate under this system. The book's concepts remain stimulating and relevant as ever. Amazon.com"See all Product description
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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!
I do see a fundamental flaw, though. All his balancing and reinforcing feed back loops are probably helping, but they remind me too much of Ptolemeic epicircles, explaining everything. We have rejected those long ago. I think there is a fundamental difference between systems thinking and what I call 'complexity thinking'. Complexity thinking, or perhaps even better 'complicity thinking' (Cohen and Stewart), looks at emerging simplicities and (sadly) the inherent impossibility to control them. How do I recognise these patterns? Via feed back loops? Which?
Senge does hit a few nice notes with me, and he certainly goes a lot further than many others but concepts of 'living companies' (also Arie de Geus) and 'fieldbooks' sound a bit too 'consulty' to me.
I recommend everyone to read books like 'Striking a Balance' (Roos and Oliver, 2000), 'The Soul at Work' (Lewin and Birute, 1999) and 'The Next Common Sense' (Lissack and Roos, 1999). If you really want a new approach, please read 'The Collaps of Chaos' (Cohen and Stewart, 1994) and start anew from there.
Don't expect a fieldbook, though, or a nice theory of everything.
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!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the original works for leadership development and still the best (together with 7 Habits)Published 7 months ago by Barry Evans
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 9 months ago by Amazon Customer