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Learning Organizations - Senge

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Five Disciplines

Creating Learning Organizations:


Peter Senge (1990)

For Peter Senge (1990), change is teaming and learning is change. Thus, it is possible for organizations to learn to change because "deep down, we are all learners". In his book "The Fifth Discipline", Senge wants to destroy the illusion that the world is created out of separate, unrelated forces. When we give up this illusion, we can then build 'learning organizations', organizations where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning how to learn together. Managers must learn to detect seven organizational 'learning disabilities' and use the "Five Disciplines" as antidotes to them.

The five component technologies in the Five Disciplines model from Senge are:

  1. Systems Thinking (the integrative [fifth] discipline that fuses the other 4 into a coherent body of theory and practice)

  2. Personal Mastery (people should approach life and work "as an artist would approach a work of art")

  3. Mental Models (deeply ingrained assumptions or mental images "that influence how we understand the world and how we take action")

  4. Building Shared Vision (when there is a genuine vision "people excel and learn, not because they are told to, but because they want to")

  5. Team Learning (team members engaging in true dialogue with their assumptions suspended)

All these 5 disciplines must be employed in a never-ending quest to expand the capacity of the organization to create its future. Learning Organizations are those that are able to move past mere survival learning to engage in generative learning - "learning that enhances are capacity to create".

👀TIP: On this website you can find much more about learning organizations and Senge's 5 Disciplines!

Compare with Senge's Five Disciplines:  Organizational Learning  |  System Dynamics  |  Mechanistic and Organic Systems  |  Fourteen Points of Management  |  Eight Attributes of Management Excellence  |  Ten Principles of Reinvention  |  Theory XYZ  |  BPR

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