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The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook [Paperback]

By Peter M. Senge (Editor), Charlotte Roberts, Richard B. Ross (Contributor), Dennis F. Essar & Jake Elphick (Contributor)
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Item Description...
A step-by-step guide to establishing learning organizations within existing companies functions as a participative workbook, with exercises for both individuals and teams, suggested approaches and ideas, and success stories. 100,000 first printing. $100,000 ad/promo.

Publishers Description
Senge's best-selling "The Fifth Discipline" led "Business Week" to dub him the "new guru" of the corporate world; here he offers executives a step-by-step guide to building "learning organizations" of their own.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   593
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.09" Width: 7.48" Height: 1.25"
Weight:   2.15 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 1, 1994
Publisher   Crown Business
ISBN  0385472560  
EAN  9780385472562  

Availability  0 units.

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1Books > Subjects > Business & Investing > Business Life > Organizational Behavior   [951  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Tools for creating a Learning Culture  Sep 11, 2006
Peter M Serge, The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook

To quote the first few paragraphs at beginning of book:

Among the tribes of northen Natal in South Africa, the most common greeting, equivalent to "hello" in English, is the expression: Sawu bona. It literally means, "I see you." If you are a member of the tribe, you might reply by saying Sikhona, "I am here." The order of the exchange is important: until you see me, I do not exist. It's as if, when you see me bring me into existence.

This meaning, implicit in the language, is part of the spirit of ubuntu, a frame of mind prevalent among native people in Africa below the Sahara. The word ubuntu stems from the folk saying Umuntu ngumuntu nagabantu, which from Zulu, literally translates as: "A person is a person because of other people."

"I bow in honor and reverence that place within you where to the Universe resides, when you are in that place within you, and I am in that place within me, there is One." ~namaste

The five disciplines are at the CORE of a Learning Organization

1) Personal Mastery: expand your personal capacity and ability

2) Mental Models: see how our internal pictures of the world shape action and decision

3) Shared Vision: group commitment

4) Team Learning: group ability is greater than the sum of individual talents

5) System Thinking:

"When we try to bring about change in our societies, we are treated first with indifference, then with ridicule, then with abuse and then with oppression. And finally, the greatest challenge is thrown at us: We are treated with respect. This is the most dangerous stage." --A. T. Ariyaratne (Speech made at International Community Leadership Summit, Winrock, Arkansas, March 1983. This quote paraphrases and expands upon a well-known statement made by Mahatma Gandhi in his book Satyagraha in South Africa, 1982, 1979, Canon, Me.: Greenleaf books)

"An [organization] is not a machine but a living organism." --Ikujiro Nonaka /****
Fundamentals of epistemology: what is knowledge, the nature of knowledge, and what constitutes learning.
understanding is achieved after internalization.
Without experience, we cannot truly understand.
Internalization: transformation from explicit knowledge to tacit knowledge, habits and culture that we do not recognize in ourselves.
Innovation is a process to capture, create, leverage, and retain knowledge.
What is your belief? A belief about images of the world - you may call it a mental model - is a very subjective thing

information is the flow of a message, while knowledge is created by accumulating information. Thus, information is a necessary medium or material for eliciting and constructing knowledge.

The second difference is that information is something passive. When we switch on a TV set, information comes regardless of my commitment. But knowledge comes from my belief, so it's more proactive.

And the organizational knowledge or intellectual infrastructure of an organization encourages its individual members to develop new knowledge through new experiences.

This dynamic process is the key to organizational knowledge creation - that is, socialization (from individual tacit knowledge to group tacit knowledge), externalization (from tacit knowledge to explicit knowledge), combination (from separate explicit knowledge to systemic explicit knowledge), and internalization (from explicit knowledge to tacit knowledge) [...].


Three Guiding Ideas

1) The Whole. When you are pointing a finger at the problems, notice how many fingers are pointing back at you. If you fixed the symptoms and ignore the root causes, the problems have not gone away. Another way to look at this is treat the person, not the disease. Of course treat the disease if the patient is dying, but know that the patient will get sick again because the "root causes" are stil there.

2) Community. The self is "a point of view." "The essence of being a person is being in a relationship [with] other people." You will not believe this, but each person before you is there for a reason. The reason this person is there at this moment is for you to learn something about yourself. If you ignore the person, do not ignore or forget the lesson.

3) Language. The map is not the territory. We cannot contain every bit of information that comes to us in the world, so we have to create a "map of the territory" and then refer to the map for our information. By changing a person's map, we change their reality. Language is the map, not the reality.
enlightening concepts about leadership  Oct 26, 2005
It seems to me that The Fifth Discipline (the previous publication of the series) is more attacting to me. The second book can be more precise and concise in content. Generally speaking I still like these two books as a foreign reader.
The Fifth Discipline  Feb 8, 2003
This book is a collection of theoretical summaries, reports, analyses, and strategies all quite useful to anyone interested in generating some thinking and action around change. The team of five writers (Peter Senge, Richard Ross, Bryan Smith, Charlotte Roberts, and Art Kleiner) provide some original work, but also serve as editors to a vast quantity of material drawn from practitioners, theorists, and writers in the field of organizational improvement. According to Senge, "great teams are learning organizations - groups of people who, over time, enhance their capacity to create what they truly desire to create." (p.18) This book is really about creating and building great teams. The learning organization develops its ability to reflect on, discuss, question, and change its current and past practices. To do this, people and groups in the organization need to meaningfully pursue the study and practice of the five disciplines - personal mastery, mental models, shared vision, team learning, and systems thinking.

The learning organization - Senge's vision for the productive, competitive, and efficient institutions of the future - is in a continuous state of change. Four fundamental questions continuously serve to check and guide a group's learning and improvement (see page 49): (1) Do you continuously test your experiences? ("Are you willing to examine and challenge your sacred cows - not just during crises, but in good times?") (2) Are you producing knowledge? ("Knowledge, in this case, means the capacity for effective action.") (3) Is knowledge shared? ("Is it accessible to all of the organization's members?") (4) Is the learning relevant? ("Is this learning aimed at the organization's core purpose?") If these questions represent the organization's compass, the five disciplines are its map.

Each of the five disciplines is explained, and elaborated in its own lengthy section of the book. In the section on "Systems Thinking" (a set of practices and perspectives, which views all aspects of life as inter-related and playing a role in some larger system), the authors build on the idea of feedback loops (reinforcing and balancing) and introduce five systems archetypes. They are: "fixes that backfire", "limits to growth", "shifting the burden", "tragedy of the commons", and "accidental adversaries". In the section on "Personal Mastery", the authors argue that learning starts with each person. For organizations to learn and improve, people within the organization (perhaps starting with its core leadership) must learn to reflect on and become aware of their own core beliefs and visions. In "Mental Models", the authors argue that learning organizations need to explore the assumptions and attitudes, which guide their institutional directions, practices, and strategies. Articles on scenario planning, the ladder of inference, the left-hand column, and balancing inquiry and advocacy offer practical strategies to investigate our personal mental models as well as those of others in the organization. In "Shared Vision", the authors make the case for the stakeholders of an organization to continually adapt their vision ("an image of a desired future"), values ("how we get to travel to where we want to go"), purpose ("what the organization is here to do"), and goals ("milestones we expect to reach before too long"). The section offers many strategies and perspectives on how to move an organization toward continuous reflection. In "Team Learning", the authors rely mostly on the work of William Isaacs and others, and make a case for educating organization members in the processes and skills of dialogue and skillful discussion.

This book is enlightening and informative. It has already found a place on my shelf for essential reference books.

A follow up to the legend  Jan 27, 2003
The Fieldbook attempts at making the esoteric concepts of the fifth discipline more down to earth and contains a treasure trove of strategies, tools, methods and explanations on how to make the learning organization into a reality.

Thus people who have read The fifth discipline will gain the most from this book. It's a must read for people who want to make their organizations transition into a 'learning organization'

A second dose of Inspiration...  Feb 9, 2002
Senge's second serving of the Learning Organization is filled with practical tips and real-life examples from companies and organizations that have embraced the teachings of the Learning Organization successfully.

The Book is a collaboration of several writers who do a superb job of unraveling the web that is the learning organization. At times, it may seem to the reader that the book is a labyrinth of disjointed concepts and ideas. However, if you have read `The Fifth Discipline' you will find no problems following the concepts introduced. In fact, you will even understand why the writers have chosen to introduce them in that fashion. If you have not read "The Fifth Discipline', do not despair, it will take a little longer to get `the whole picture'.
The Book is divided into 8 main sections:

1) Getting Started addresses the basic concepts and ideas of the Learning Organization.
2) Systems Thinking (the fifth discipline) - Many people have argued that Senge should have delegated the fifth discipline until the end, however, without Systems Thinking, your vision is disjointed and incomplete.
3) Personal Mastery covers the area of individual development and learning. The chapters here are among the most valuable in the area of self-growth and self-improvement.
4) Mental Models - These are the pictures that you have in your head which represent reality.
5) Shared Vision - You've seen the whole picture, you've developed and you understand how you see the world. Now you need to find a common cause with the rest of the people in your organization, something that you all work for.
6) Team Learning - As you work with other people in teams or groups, you need to pass the stuff that you have learnt and the wisdom you've acquired to others. At this stage, the learning is no longer that of the individual, but the group.
7) Arenas of Practice - (Self explanatory)
8) Frontiers - Where do we go from here.

If you are interested in development, learning, growth, leadership, gaining a competitive edge whether at an organizational or personal level, then this book is for you. In fact, I'd venture to say that this is book is for everyone.


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