Adaptive learning (aka survival learning) is the organization’s basic needs to survive. It is important and necessary, but it is not enough to create a learning organization. - Generative learning enhances our creative capacity. - These two techniques combine to create a learning organization, which is an organization that is continually expanding its capacity to create its future.
Flexibility - core value of organization People - appreciated for skills, values and work Staff Opinions - sought and treated with respect. Exchanging information - sharing ideas and experiences is encouraged. Learn new skills - apply to jobs to enhance services and improvement. Opportunities exist - creative, learn from mistakes, take risks and reach new levels of expertise. Learning Occur – at individual, group and organization
For those capable of a high level of personal mastery, this tension is a highly positive force.
Systems thinking also needs the disciplines of building shared vision, mental models, team learning, and personal mastery to realize its potential
Building shared vision fosters a commitment to the long term. Mental models focus on the openness needed to unearth shortcomings in our present ways of seeing the world. Team learning develops the skills of groups of people to look for the larger picture beyond individual perspectives. And personal mastery fosters the personal motivation to continually learn how our actions affect our world."
Peter Michael Senge
Born 1947, Stanford, California.
Received a B.S. in Aerospace engineering from Stanford University.
Earned an M.S. in social systems modeling from MIT in 1972.
Ph.D. from the MIT Sloan School of Management in 1978.
Founding chair of the Society for Organizational Learning (SoL).
The FifthDiscipline: The Art and Practice of the LearningOrganization
Convert companies into LEARNING ORGANIZATIONS.
Group problem solving using the systems thinking method .
The five disciplines represent approaches :-
Developing three core learning capabilities:
○ Fostering aspiration,
○ Developing reflective conversation,
○ Understanding complexity
The Learning Organization
Organizations where people continually expand
their capacity to create the results they truly
New and expansive patterns of thinking are
Collective aspiration is set free.
People are continually learning to see the whole
The Learning Organization
In a Learning Organization
Learn new skills
A company that needs to learn…
1. Employees seem unmotivated or uninterested in their
2. Workforce lack the skill and knowledge to adjust to
3. Workforce simply follow orders.
4. Lack communication between each other.
5. Teams argue constantly
and lack real productivity.
The Five Disciplines
Distinguishes the learning organisation from traditional ones on
the basis of the mastery of five disciplines.
All five are concerned with a shift in focus from people as
‘helpless reactors’ to ‘active participants’.
Who create the future instead of reacting to the present.
1. Personal mastery
Measured by the difference
between our goals and our current
Relieve the tension by reducing
your goals to match your current
Change your perception of your
current reality to be closer to your
2. Mental Models
Deeply ingrained assumption,
generalizations, or even pictures of images
that influence how we understand the world
and how we take action.
The widely acknowledged truth that many
good ideas never get past the drawing board.
Senge explains reason for this with people’s
profoundly held ‘mental models’ which reject
anything untried or unfamiliar.
3. Shared Vision
Shared vision is the difference between people doing work because they
are told to and doing it because they want to.
Vision must be dictated to the organisation through a ‘top-down’ process.
An organisational vision is not truly shared until it connects with the
personal visions of everyone inside the organisation
3. Shared Vision
Allows the group to discover insights not attainable individually.
Is a shared vision only when it connects with the personal vision of people
throughout the organization.
Shows group how to recognize the patterns of interaction that undermine learning.
Vision creates the spark; the excitement that lifts an organization out of the
Fosters risk taking and experimentation.
Encourages building personal vision-personal mastery
Pooling knowledge, expertise and intellect to produce results which are beyond the
sum of the individual parts.
Begins with the practice of ‘dialogue’, “the capacity of members of a team to
suspend assumptions and enter into a genuine ‘thinking together’ .
When teams are effectively learning they are producing successful results.
Individual team members are growing faster than they could have on their own.
If teams can not learn, neither can the organization.
4. Team Learning
5. Systems Thinking
Fifth Discipline that integrates the other four:-
Is a language for learning and acting.
Helps us see how we create our reality.
Points to higher leverage solutions to problems.
Helps us understand and describe complex issues.
One can only understand a system by stepping back and viewing it from a
The Laws of the Fifth Discipline
Today’s problems come from yesterday’s “solutions.”
The harder you push, the harder the system pushes back.
Behavior grows better before it grows worse.
The cure can be worse than the disease.
Faster is slower.
Cause and effect are not closely related in time and space.
You can have your cake and eat it too--but not at once.
Dividing the elephant in half does not produce two small
There is no blame.
(Senge (1990) pp.. 57-67)
The Learning Disabilities:
Most organizations learn poorly and create fundamental learning disabilities
The seven learning Disabilities:-
1. "I am my position."
2. "The enemy out there."
3. The Illusion of Taking Charge
4. The Fixation of Events
5. The Parable of the Boiling Frog
6. The Delusion of Learning from Experience
7. The Myth of the Management Team
1. I am my Position
Trained to be loyal to our job and confuse them with our own identities.
Tendency to see responsibilities as limited to the boundaries of position.
When people in organizations focus only on their position, they have little
sense of responsibility for the results produced when all positions interact.
2. THE ENEMY IS OUT THERE
The propensity to find someone or something outside ourselves to blame
when things go wrong.
Thou shall always find an external agent to blame.
Marketing blames manufacturing blames engineering blames marketing.
This syndrome is a by-product of "I am my position”.
3. THE ILLUSION OF TAKING CHARGE
Proactiveness is reactiveness in disguise.
Aggressive fighting the ‘enemy out there’ means we are
True proactiveness comes from seeing how we contribute to
our own problem.
4. THE FIXATION ON EVENTS
• Focusing on events distract from seeing the longer-term patterns of change.
• Distracts from understanding the cause of those patterns.
• Cave men needed to react to events quickly for survival-ability.
• Generative learning cannot be sustained in an organization if people's
thinking is dominated by short-term events.
5. The Delusion of Learning fromExperience
Practice makes permanent, rather than
6. THE PARABLE OF THE BOILED FROG
We are adept at responding to sudden changes in our
We are terrible at assessing slow, gradual changes, even
when they threaten our survival.
7. The Myth of the Management Team
The team may function quite well with routine issues.
But when they confront the complex issues that may
be embarrassing or threatening, the teamness
seems to go to pot.
Avoiding anything that will make them look bad
Pretending that everyone is behind the team’s
Books by him
The Fifth Discipline Field book: Strategies and Tools for
Building a Learning Organization (1994).
The Dance of Change.
The Challenges to Sustaining Momentum in Learning
Schools That Learn (2000).