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The Fifth Discipline by Peter Senge 1
Transcript of The Fifth Discipline by Peter Senge 1
by Peter Senge
Presented by :
Christian J Barona
The City College of New York
1) Disciplines of the Learning Organization
2) Learning Disabilities
3) The Beer Game : Identifying Learning Disabilites
4) The Laws of the Fifth Discipline
What's is a Learning Organization?
The Disciplines of a Learning Organization
A learning organization is an organization where people continually expand their capacity to achieve the results they truly want. In simple words an organization where learning is the core value and transformation is the next step but not final step.
What's is a Discipline ?
A discipline is a developmental path in which the individual acquire certain skills or competencies. As with any discipline from playing piano to playing football, some individuals are born natural gifts/skills that makes learning more managable, However this doens't mean you can't develope your own discipline, anyone can develop proficiency through practice, anyone can developed their own skills. To practice a discipline is neccesary to be a lifelong learner in other words you spend your entire life mastering disciplines.
Building Shared Vision
"Personal mastery is the discipline of continually clarifying and deepening our personal vision, of focusing our energies, of developing patience, and of seeing reality objectively".
This means we try to have an honest self-awareness about our strengths and weaknesses. We also dedicate ourselves to building patience and endurance as individuals, but sometimes we become distracted by the unimportant things and get lost in the busyness of the day-to-day up to the point that we loose passion.
"Mental models" are deeply ingrained assumptions, generalizations, or even pictures or images that influence how we understand the world and how we take action. Very often, we are not consciously aware of our mental models or the effects they have on our behavior.
It takes hard work and careful examination to correctly identify our own mental models, remove them from our thinking, and replace them if they are incorrect. Surfacing and challenging our mental models is critical if we are to learn to operate in tune with the world in which we live
If any one idea about leadership has inspired organizations for thousands of years, it's the capacity to hold a shared picture of the future we seek to create. Therefore when people in your organization share the same vision, people come together around and create a common identity, in other words a sense of destiny
When there is a genuine vision (as opposed to the all-too-familiar "vision statement"), people excel and learn, not because they are told to, but because they want to. But many leaders have personal visions that never get translated into shared visions that galvanize an organization.
Team learning is the capacity of members of a team to suspend assumptions and enter into a genuine, ‘thinking together". In other words, team learning is about practicing the first three disciplines of personal mastery, mental models, and shared vision in the context of an effective, healthy, and unified team.
Team learning is difficult because we are all sinful and live in a fallen world. We might all agree that diversity, suspending our assumptions, and dialogue are good things to strive for, but the reality of practice is a completely different thing.
According to Peter M. Senge “Systems thinking is the fifth discipline. It is the discipline that integrates the disciplines, fusing them into a coherent body of theory and practice. By enhancing each of the other disciplines, it continually reminds us that the whole can exceed the sum of its parts,"
Systems Thinking enables us to see the consequences of our actions and gives us the opportunity to correct those that are harmful or damaging for our organization. When we incorporate all the disciplines together we are able to identify living systems’ needs and address their complex problems much more effectevely .
With personal mastery, we are individuals who are highly committed to learning, growing, and being persistent.
Through shared vision and team learning, we are challenged to deeply engage and work well with others at every level from decision making to taking action. This includes helping others to regularly confront, confess and address their mental models that are harmful or damaging for the organization.
I AM IN MY POSITION
THE ENEMY IS OUT THERE
When people in organizations focus only on their position, they have little sense of responsibility for the results produced when all positions interact. Moreover, when results are disappointing, it can be very difficult to know why. All you can do is assume that "someone screwed up"
THE ILUSSION OF TAKING CHARGE
We often think that being reactive is the same as taking actions, in other words if we become more agressive trying to fight the "the enemy is out there" we have the ilussion we are taking care of the problem. but in reality being proactive means to stop waiting for someone else to do something, and solve problems before they grow into crises. "True proactiveness comes from seeing how we contribute to our own problems"
THE BOILED FROG PARABOLE
Just like a frog in a boiling pot of water we are unable to see threats or signs of danger when there's a gradual change in our enviroment . The reason is because our sense of survival is only activated when there's a quick or sudden change in our enviroment, our system do not response to gradual variations.
The Beer Game
The beer game reveals that the problems originate in basic ways of thinking and interacting more than in peculiarities of organization structure and policy. Participants are place in a supply chain system, this a system for producing and distributing a single brand of beer. The players at each position are completely free to make any decision that seems reasonable. Their only goal is to manage their position as best so that they can to maximize their profits, the only thing they have to do is ORDER BEER !
A sudden change in the demand causes Instabilities in the system
Disagrement among managers ( Players start to blame on another)
As the demand Increases, players responds by ordering of beer (Linear Behavior)
After week 16, demand decreases and eveyone ended with a whole stack of beer unable to sell ( demand and supply law)
How to Improve Performance in a "Beer Game" ?
"A truly profound and different insight is achieved, when you begin to see the system causes and its own behavior, we have the power to modify the structures, but more often than not, we don’t perceive this power"
1) One way is to stop looking at individual mistakes and understand important problems. Look into the cause, rather than blaming others
2) Understand how the external influences affect your position and how your decisions affect the external
3) in order to suceed, your must understand that others (colleagues, partners , coworkers) must succeed as well, this implies to avoid individualistic ways of thinking and assume the role that you're part of the system
The Laws of the Fifth Discipline
Today’s Problem comes from yesterday’s “solution”
Sometimes we might think that we are taking care of the problems, but in reality we are hiding them. The incapability to solve your current problems today will cause new problems in the future
The harder you push, the harder the system pushes back
When our initial efforts fail to produce lasting improvements, “We” push harder hoping that aggressive reactions provide us with the right solution. System thinking name this phenomenon “Compensating feedback” when our interventions call forth systems responses that offset the benefit of our intervention
Cause and effect are not closely related in time and space
“Cause” and “Effect” are not close in time and space. In this case “effects” means symptoms that indicate there are problems in your system, uffective production, unemployment, reduce in profits. And the “cause” means that the interaction of underlying systems that is most responsible for generating the symptoms
Small CHANGES can produce big results
Tackling a difficult problem is often a matter of seeing where the high leverage lies, a change in your habits with a minimum of effort might bring a significant long improvement
Dividing an elephant in half doesn’t produce two small elephants
To understand the most challenging managerial issues requires seeing the whole system that generates the issue, in other words you have to see “the whole elephant”. Some issues can be understood only by looking at how major functions of an organization interact, functions such as manufacturing, marketing, and research