Must Read – The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization
Must Read - The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization

Must Read – The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization

Title: The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization
Author: Peter M. Senge
Published: 1990
Resources: Buy: Amazon/ Video: YouTube Peter M. Senge speaking about Learning Organizations

In 1997 Harvard Business Review listed it as one of the seminal management books of the previous 75 years. Even though almost 20 years passed since this “The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization” is still a highly topical book and is a must read for every manager.

The Fifth Discipline is a practical book about developing core learning capabilities: fostering aspiration, developing reflective conversation, and understanding complexity. As these are real basics and the book offers a better approach than many other books for managers and leaders, it becomes clear that the book itself is an essential read.

Peter M. Senge makes use of a model emphasizing five disciplines, which he fosters to show how things have to come together: Personal Mastery, Mental Models, Building Shared Vision, Team Learning, and Systems Thinking. While all disciplines are relevant for learning organizations, it is the discipline Systems Thinking, which acts as fulcrum for the argumentation. So no wonder, that Peter M. Senge has chosen the title The Fifth Discipline.

As the booked is packed with brilliant perspectives and striking arguments, it goes beyond the sometimes philosophic discussion of system thinkers. Being practical in a sense that it seizes everyday challenges, it highlights every other paragraph, that things have to come together to make sense. And without sense there is no learning.

Want an example? Here is quote from the book:

“If people do not share a common vision, and do not share common mental models about the business reality within which they operate, empowering people will only increase organizational stress and the burden of management to maintain coherence and direction. This is why the discipline of personal mastery must always be seen as one among the set of disciplines of a learning organization. An organizational commitment to personal mastery would be naive and foolish if leaders in the organization lacked the capabilities of building shared vision and shared mental models to guide local decision makers.”

The book is available at Amazon.