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The Fifth Discipline: The art and practice of the learning organization: Second edition Paperback – 6 Apr 2006

4.6 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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Frequently bought together

  • The Fifth Discipline: The art and practice of the learning organization: Second edition
  • +
  • The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook: Strategies for Building a Learning Organization
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  • The Dance of Change: The Challenges of Sustaining Momentum in Learning Organizations (A Fifth Discipline Resource)
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Product details

  • 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)
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Product description

Amazon Review

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.

Review

"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"

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The Learning Organization remains one of the most talked-of management concepts in today's business world, and nobody is as capable of explaining exactly what is a Learning Organization or what are the requirements for such an elusive concept than Peter Senge.
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).
and Finally
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!
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Format: Paperback
Senge definitively is an inspriring writer, and in that sense I did like th Fifth Discipline and the accompanying handbook. If its sole purpose would be to introduce people to looking at what they are doing from a more holistic perspective , I must say, he has succeeded really well. But, in my view, he could have done that in a few chapters in stead of writing two massive books on it. Those books suggest 'control'.
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.
Frank
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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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