- Paperback: 445 pages
- Publisher: Doubleday; Revised & Updated edition (March 21, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780385517256
- ISBN-13: 978-0385517256
- ASIN: 0385517254
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 503 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,926 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization Paperback – Deckle Edge, March 21, 2006
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"Forget your old, tired ideas about leadership. The most successful corporation of the 1990s will be something called a learning organization." -- Fortune Magazine.
From the Inside Flap
An MIT Professor's pathbreaking book on building "learning organizations" -- corporations that overcome inherent obstacles to learning and develop dynamic ways to pinpoint the threats that face them and to recognize new opportunities. Not only is the learning organization a new source of competitive advantage, it also offers a marvelously empowering approach to work, one which promises that, as Archimedes put it, "with a lever long enough... single-handed I can move the world."
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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.’
As an engineering major, I felt this book did a very good job in tying a lot of concepts together that is practical in the major. The book also does a good job of highlighting where systems thinking is also practical in improving broader things like family, teams and organizations along with businesses. This book is definitely worth the read for anybody as it applies to everyday interactions. For anybody with management and business control positions, this book will definitely enlighten you on the benefits of operating under a learning organization especially if working in a supply chain industry.
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.