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Art and Practice of Learning Organizations - Senge Summary

Summary of Key Points from: The Fifth Discipline − The Art and Practice of Learning Organizations By: Peter Senge
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JHU CTE

on 1 February 2011

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Transcript of Art and Practice of Learning Organizations - Senge Summary

Summary of Key Points from:
The Fifth Discipline −The Art and Practice of Learning Organizations
By: Peter Senge Senge speaks of the

Five Component Technologies and

Eleven Laws of the Fifth Discipline First we will discuss the Five Component Technologies The whole is greater than the sum of its parts

See ourselves as connected to the world

Aware of how our activities and actions create problems

Disciplines are integrated

School functions as an ecosystem

Newton: for every action………there is an equal and opposite reaction
Systems Thinking A special level of proficient

Realize that results are important

Continually clarify and deepen our personal vision

Commitment to and capacity for learning

Reciprocity between the person and the organization

Constructivisim and continuous improvement
Personal Mastery The deeply ingrained assumptions, generalizations, and images we have that influence how we understand the world and how we take action

Expose your own thinking and keep thinking open to the influence of others

Make your own reasoning explicit and encourage others to explore your view

Actively inquire into others’ visions that differ from yours
Mental Models Building a Shared Vision People excel and learn not because they are told to do so, but because they want to (intrinsic motivation)

Involves skills of unearthing pictures of the future that foster genuine commitment and enrollment rather than compliance

There is a “counter productiveness” when we try to dictate a vision.
Team Learning Dialogue rather than discussion

The ability to suspend assumptions and enter into a genuine, thorough process together

When teams work, they produce extraordinary results, and individual members grow more rapidly than they would have without the team.
Now we will go over the Eleven Laws of the Fifth Discipline 1. Today’s Problems Come from Yesterday’s Solutions

2. The Harder you Push, the Harder the System Pushes Back

3. Behavior Grows Better Before it Grows Worse

4. The Easy Way Out Usually Leads Back In

5. The Cure Can Be Worse than the Disease

6. Faster is Slower

7. Cause and Effect are not Closely Related in Time and Space

8. Small changes can produce big results—but the areas of highest leverage are often the least obvious

9. You can have your cake and eat it too…but not at the same time

10. Dividing Elephants in Half Does Not Produce Two Elephants

11. There is No Blame 1. Today’s Problems Come from Yesterday’s Solutions Some solutions simply shift problems from one part of the organization or system to another.
2. The Harder you Push, the Harder the System Pushes Back Job training in the 60’s—housing and training in the city; people moved to the city for housing and jobs; caused overcrowding; not enough housing or jobs

Malnutrition—food subsidies create higher population growth; more malnutrition

We end up contributing to the problem.

4. The Easy Way Out Usually Leads Back In If the solution to an issue was that easy to see or obvious, wouldn’t we have already done it?

“What we need is a bigger hammer!?”



5. The Cure Can Be Worse than the Disease Usually we shift the burden to someone else:
- Give it to a consultant
- Give it to a helper

Or, we give the problem a new name




Systems thinking is more challenging and more promising.

It causes us to look down the road with a more reflective purpose.





7. Cause and Effect are not Closely Related in Time and Space As children in play, we were never far away from a solution … as long as we confine our play to one set of toys.

If there is a problem in math, it must be the math teacher. Instead, might it be the text, the curriculum, the room, the student’s background, etc.?

Once again, the answer is usually not obvious.
8. Small changes can produce results

— but the areas of highest leverage are often the least obvious BIG To tackle the problem, determine where the leverage is … a change where minimum effort will lead to significant improvement.

Learn to see the underlying structures rather than the event.

Think in terms of the process of change rather than the snapshots of events.
9. You can have your cake and eat it too
…but not at the same time High cost versus low quality…can you have high quality and low cost?
Wait for one thing while you focus on the other—not one at the expense of the other.

Blind men and the elephant

Principle of a system boundary

What is happening on the edges?
And Finally....... 11. There is No Blame We have met the enemy and he is us…

In any change operation, things seemingly get better before hitting the wall

Important to understand that things will be cyclic in nature

Critical to train staff about what to expect


3. Behavior Grows Better
Before it Grows Worse 6. Faster is Slower 10. Dividing Elephants in Half Does Not Produce Two Elephants
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