The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization
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The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  8,444 ratings  ·  210 reviews
Book is honored as one of the 5 greatest business books of all time
Paperback, 445 pages
Published March 21st 2006 by Doubleday (first published January 1st 1992)
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Neelesh Marik
This book is of biblical importance to any 'systems thinker' and/ or a life long learner, specifically in a organizational context as opposed to a lone ranger situation.

The book traces the endemic learning disabilities that plague most organizations, expounds on the fundamental laws of the fifth discipline, and describes typical ‘system archetypes’ that constitute dysfunctional patterns which impede performance.

Upon that foundation, it goes to describe each of the five disciplines: personal mast...more
Amanda Brinkmann
Senge, along with Ackoff and Flood, are some of the great minds in the field of systems thinking and complexity. This book and the full integration and understanding of its content into Leadership and Organisational practice, should, in my opinion, be compulsory. The Learning Organisation is not some pie-in-the-sky, futuristic concept - it is a necessity in respect of Transformation so as to still exist as an organisation, given the rapid change, uncertainty and increased complexity that we live...more
Jack Vinson
This book isn't so much a knowledge management book as a tome on management philosophy. Senge has a lot of great ideas and thoughts throughout the book. There is the concept of leaders advocating vs. inquiring. The “what I say vs. what I do” idea of Espoused vs. In-use theories. The heart of the book is centered on five characteristics (disciplines) that organizations need in order to move into the next level of quality and competition.
I. Systems Thinking. This is the ability to see the patterns...more
Helene
Jan 07, 2012 Helene rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Helene by: Wyllis Terry
Though this is NOT an easy read, it IS a must-read for everyone in a leadership position, and that really does include teacher-leaders. I think I started it four or five times before I was able to finish it. I would pick it up read a few chapters and then drop out. I'd pick it up again, start over, and then drop out again. It was Wyllis Terry who finally said, don't start it over, just keep reading from where you left off which allowed me to finally finish it. I'm glad I did. It is such a basic...more
Adam
Stumbled upon a copy this week and decided to re-read. I found it more enjoyable now than I did when I read it the first time, perhaps because systems thinking has become such a core part of what we discuss in our company and with our clients.

Most of the texts that I read on systems thinking when I was in school and even today are written in a very 'smarter than you' tone; I think that one of the greatest features of this book is that its choice of language is very accessible.

I think that ther...more
Replicant33
Feb 09, 2014 Replicant33 rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Replicant33 by: Work
Shelves: read-in-2013
Reading yet again in preparation for teaching using this book, among others, to assist in approaches to solving complex problems. I still have major issues with some of Senge's assertions - he is commonly viewed as a brilliant thinker who applied complexity theory to organizational management. However, his reduction to the day-to-day processes of organizations as "archetypes" and the "god's eye" view of the manager as separate from and controlling the organization by optimizing the action of the...more
Chris
This book has been around for a long time but it seems that the main messages it contains (My major take-aways):
- cause and effect are about large numbers of interactions at many levels that are not necessarily proximate in time.
- people really listening to each other and being motivated by each other is how things really get done
are only now starting to really be internalized and popularized.

It's not the Human Genome Project, it's proteomics and the epi-genome (how the genes express themselves...more
Abraham
Rarely would I use this term to describe anything but the good book itself but here goes..."this book is the bible for any leader/manager".

Or maybe a better description would be "the canon", since it is a definitive work but one, as by the theme of the book suggests, that can and should be improved upon.

The book is both frustrating and refreshing for the same reason - it doesn't try and present it's ideas in an "easily" replicable framework. Though an outlined framework or step-by-step process/v...more
Gajula Praveen Kumar Naidu
"Recommended reading! The organizations that will truly excel in the future will be those that discover how to tap people�s commitment and develop the capacity to learn at all levels in an organization. Deep down, people
are learners. No one has to teach an infant to learn. In fact, no one has to teach infants anything. They are intrinsically inquisitive, masterful learners. Learning organizations are possible because at heart we all love to learn. Through learning we re-create ourselves and a...more
Glenn Van
Vijf disciplines die je nodig hebt om een lerende organisatie te worden. Personal Mastery, Shared vision, Mental models, Team learning en Systems thinking. Wat ik er uithaal is dat alleen kunt komen tot een gedeelde visie als je persoonlijke visie helder is. Daar gaat Cover Vijfde Disciplinehet volgens mij al snel mis bij alle veranderingen in organisaties. Ook het onderdeel over Systems thinking is blijven hangen. In onze taal zijn we heel doel gericht: Ik schenk water in. Klinkt logisch, lineair. Senge laat ons zie...more
Paul Boos
This book describes what I would hope most organizations aspire to be, particularly those that want to be known as 'Agile'. Learning Organizations are the organizations that take leadership in the creative economy. This book describes the key characteristics these organizations will have and how these will make the organizations more effective. It's still as relevant today as it was in the 90s.
Paul Courtney
This was my first exposure to the ideas of complexity and non-linear systems in the everyday world of business. My other readings to that point in time had been from the scientific perspective. So I enjoyed reading how Mr. Senge applied those concepts to workshops where he had business people experience systems first hand.
Jurgen Appelo
Good ideas, but far too much stories and quasi-philosophical fluff. Could have been edited to one third of its size.
Nick
Jun 17, 2014 Nick rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who have started an organization, or are in an organization.
When I first started reading this book, it was one of those books that I really wanted to like. I understood that there were important lessons to learn, but they weren't coming in clearly to me. I started to get the hang of it towards the middle and end of the book, but the writing is definitely dense enough to warrant another read through, both to pick up more of the content but also to slowly ponder how to apply some of these to my own work organization. The content deserves 5 stars, however I...more
Anna
I appreciated the idea of systems thinking, and gained some insight on the need to scale the scope of my consideration in regards to corporate organization (but also, in general). The need for personal and shared vision is nothing new, and in many ways this book is indeed dated, but it was fascinating to see some of these ideas at their roots. I particularly liked the explanation of creative tension (the difference between your vision and your current reality, and how being cognizant of both fue...more
Henri Hämäläinen
his time I had in my reading list one of the business literature classics The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization by Peter Senge. It's a book that introduces systems thinking as we know it know.

Book is well written, but even more importantly the contents of it are really valuable. I had read about systems thinking before and I had been given so many recommendations about this book, that I had high hopes for the book. Luckily it matched my expectations.

The idea o...more
Chris Little
I first met systems theory in ministry training post-theological college. This was in connection to pastoral care for people, taking note of the systems in which they live (family, workplace, peer group, church, etc).

This book is all about systems thinking and its use particularly in management. It is an effort to shift our thinking from simple linear cause-effect. In its stead is the more useful conception of two-way and mutual effect. For example, a business downtown might lead to cost-cutting...more
Omar Halabieh
The main premise of the book is best summarized by the author in the opening chapter: "The tools and ideas presented in this book are for destroying the illusion that the world is created 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 w...more
Andre Soares
Diante das modernas tecnologias que marcaram a virada do milênio, não há como se escapar da pergunta: como será a administração dos negócios no século XXI? O livro “A Quinta Disciplina”, escrito por Peter Senge, considerado um clássico da literatura de Administração de Empresas, continua apresentando algumas das melhores respostas a essa questão.

Dois aspectos fundamentais do mundo atual, que contribuem para dificultar quaisquer previsões acerca do futuro, são o ritmo acelerado de mudanças socia...more
Ime'... Imelda
Fifth Discipline is one of those books recommended for those who wants to learn about system dynamics; but then again, if i have to review this book from system dynamics's side, i don't think this book is a good one. You need to know quite a bit about system dynamics to understand it more through this book. Yet, from management side, i think this book is a great one.

I should say that this is a must-read book for those people reign in the management cycle. Because this book consists things that a...more
Brian Rast
 The Disciplines. Peter M. Senge presents five component technologies, or disciplines, in the book The Fifth Discipline
o Systems Thinking – a conceptual framework, a body of knowledge and tools that make the full patterns of invisible fabrics of interrelated actions (systems) clearer and which helps to change them effectively
o Personal Mastery – as with a master craftsman, this is a continual clarifying and deepening of our personal vision, focusing of our energies, developing patience, and se...more
Jennifer
This book is 20 years old and is seminal in the fields of organizational development and coaching. I finally read it this year because of my work as a trainer of coaches for Fielding Graduate University's Evidence Based Coaching Program.

I've found it profoundly moving and Peter Senge is a new hero of mine. The fifth discipline is Systems Thinking. The other four are Personal Mastery (a favorite of mine as you friends know), and the others are Mental Models, Shared Vision and Team Learning.

Menta...more
David Roberts
The book I read to research this post was The Fifth Discipline by Peter M Senge which is a very good book which I bought from kindle. In case you're reading this on my blog I also copy and paste these posts on shelfari & good reads which are book review sites. I joined a business book group on good reads and this book was recommended for discussion within the group. They choose about 2 or 3 books per month. Anyway if I was a manager running a department within a company I would absolutely lo...more
Maura
The concept of the organization's system(s) dominating results was a relatively new perspective for me. This made me want to diagram my own workplace, except I'm not sure I'm in the loop on a lot of the issues involved. If I ever need to draw out a system diagram, I'll be sure to refer to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System_A...

Although there are numerous examples, it's hard to see how to apply these examples to my current work. The book was written in the 90s and could use an update for some e...more
Colleen
I am only half way through this book and I have already come away with a changed mindset. Although this is a book on process organizational systems in terms of industry, it clearly has applications in many other areas, including education. My one warning is that once you start viewing the organization in Senge's terms you will become even more frustrated with the lack of communication and understanding of management as a whole in whatever job you currently work--especially if excellence is your...more
Bertpass
This might very well be a seminal book in organizational performance theory, but holy moly what a convoluted mess. I am certainly not arguing that the 5 disciplines are each a cornerstone of high performance in organizations. The way Senge presented this and wrote the book really makes it fairly difficult for useful information to pop out at you. There is a lot going on here and I've always found it interesting that a proponent of team learning and personal mastery did not write his theories con...more
Rhodes
Sweeping. I will need to read this book again several times to fully digest all the wisdom it has to offer.

Several years ago I had a profound change in my view of leadership when I came across the adage about great leaders from Lao Tzu -- "the people do not notice their existence." In other words, the best lead by quietly nurturing inspiration and success in others. On a large scale, this means that great leaders are architects who create contexts that unleash talent and enthusiasm in coordinate...more
Paul Signorelli
Peter Senge's much admired book on building learning organizations and communities of learning is essential reading for trainers and anyone else interested in how successful learning is fostered. He introduces his key themes--systems thinking, personal mastery, mental models, building a shared vision, and team learning--in the first several pages of the book, then takes us on an engaging exploration of those themes as he shows us how successful learning organizations develop through what he term...more
Jeremy
This book is definitely 5-star quality, but in my opinion it is far too expansive for one book. Unless you view it as a reference book, it is at least five books in one, if not more. The primary drive of the book is the importance and mechanics of big-picture, systemic thinking. In addition to understanding these universally occurring systems, Senge unpacks how to identify them in your context and create positive change by utilizing your understanding of the relevant system.

I took a great deal f...more
Pisketti
What does it mean for a company to be a "learning organization"?
Previously, I though it only had something to do with knowledge transfer. Ie. documentation and making the information available. Boy, was I wrong.

Senge identifies 5 disciplines, all required for successfully enabling organizational learning. The disciplines are personal mastery, mental models, building shared vision, team learning and the fifth, systems thinking.

This was the book that introduced me to systems thinking. It was an...more
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Peter M. Senge is a senior lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is also founding chair of the Society for Organizational Learning (SoL), a global community of corporations, researchers, and consultants dedicated to the "interdependent development of people and their institutions."
--from the author's website
More about Peter M. Senge...
The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook: Strategies and Tools for Building a Learning Organization Presence: An Exploration of Profound Change in People, Organizations, and Society The Necessary Revolution: How Individuals And Organizations Are Working Together to Create a Sustainable World The Dance of Change: The challenges to sustaining momentum in a learning organization Schools That Learn: A Fifth Discipline Fieldbook for Educators, Parents and Everyone Who Cares About Education

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“the bad leader is he who the people despise; the good leader is he who the people praise; the great leader is he who the people say, "We did it ourselves” 16 likes
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