The Fifth Discipline

Topics: Peter Senge, The Fifth Discipline, Organizational learning Pages: 2 (570 words) Published: June 29, 2005
In his book The Fifth Discipline, Peter Senge emphasizes his model of a "learning organization," which he defines as "an organization that is continually expanding its capacity to create its future." A learning organization excels at both adaptive learning and generative learning.

Senge describes five disciplines that are necessary for a learning organization. "Learning organization" is a catchphrase covering the ideal of an organization built on vision, teamwork, openness, flexibility, ability to act under changing conditions, and so forth and so on. It is an organization where people don't just promote their limited region and privileges, but where they take risks and responsibilities for their shared future, working on creating maximum synergy and maximum ability to deal with the whole state of affairs. The five disciplines are: team learning, building shared vision, mental models, personal mastery, and systems thinking. Team learning is the proficiency of a group of people to halt their theories and assumptions and freely think together. That involves dialogue in the true meaning of the word, as a flow of meaning. It means going beyond personal defensiveness and presenting ideas openly, even when one is going out on a limb. Building shared vision means members of a group truly share their pictures of the future, if they are excited about what they are creating together, then they will act out of inner motivation and will voluntarily go out of their way to contribute. Mental models consist of being capable of identifying previously hidden mental models or assumptions, bringing them out in the open, and working with them. Going beyond simply holding on to one's beliefs as conclusive, examining which models one is actually operating on. Personal mastery means working on developing one's vision, one's abilities, and one's focus of energy on a personal level. It is a divine inner drive to practice mastery, to be the best that one can be. Systems thinking is the...
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