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The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization Paperback – Deckle Edge, March 21, 2006
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From the Back Cover
- Item Weight : 1.2 pounds
- Paperback : 445 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0385517254
- ISBN-13 : 978-0385517256
- Product Dimensions : 6.2 x 1 x 9 inches
- Publisher : Doubleday; Revised & Updated Edition (March 21, 2006)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #12,188 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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It stands out in the genre of systems thinking literature by addressing the point that’s been bothering many of us: If everyone wants people-centered learning organizations; why don’t they exist? Senge claims it’s because we have no idea the kind of commitment to change that is necessary.
That really engaged my attention; I wondered “what exactly does it take to break the vicious cycles?” I don’t want to spoil the experience for you, because the book is certainly worth the short time it takes to read, but here are two ideas that really stood out and may motivate you to find the many others.
On the discipline of building shared vision: “It's not what the vision is – it’s what the vision does.”
And, surprisingly drawing on the work of theoretical physicist David Bohm during the discussion of Team Learning: ‘Dialogue and discussion are the mechanisms of team learning. Dialogue allows us to expose our thoughts to ourselves; discussion lets us defend them.’
We are then given an in depth description of the 5th discipline, systems thinking. Systems thinking is the idea that we are all part of a larger system, it wants us to view ourselves as part of nature and not just an observer separate from every other living thing. The author wants us to understand that our problems aren’t caused by some external source but instead caused by our own actions and our inability to find the root cause of our problems. He shows us how to identify naturally reoccurring patterns in nature, how people normally react to these patterns, and how to counteract the negative effects of these patterns by teaching us how to attain leverage on each type of pattern. Based on the lessons taught in this book I feel that these disciplines can be used in making effective changes in not only the workplace environment but in my community and in my personal life.
This book is a useful guide for those taking university statistics. It’s filled with history, personal experiences, and must-knows. It’s dense, however simplified impressively well. For example, he describes the complex system behind a descent beer company through the perspective of the Brewer, wholesaler, and retailer. Along with week by week events, Data, charts, and descriptions. Somehow, he even connects the truck driver into all this…
There are so many examples, he taps into every body’s perspective.
There is one minor drawback: he cites too many examples and naturally does not have space to explain all of them. This book might require a bit of personal research if read critically. For example, he makes controversial claims like the modern education system being flawed, and the influence of terrorism, but hesitates to dissect the issues. He throws them in as fun facts, and trusts the leader to take it from there.
His revised edition contains almost 100 new pages:
-step-by step teachings on how to be not just a leader, but also a designer, teacher, and steward
-how to reconnect within society as a whole
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Make of that what you will.