Systems Thinking and the Learning Organization

Peter Senge’s vision of a learning organization is a group of people who are continually enhancing their capabilities to create what they want. In his book, The Fifth Discipline, Senge sees five disciplines that are central to learning organizations:

  • Personal Mastery – continually clarifying and deepening our personal vision, of focusing our energies, of developing patience, and of seeing reality objectively.
  • Mental Models are deeply ingrained assumptions, generalizations, or even pictures or images that influence how we understand the world and how we take action.
  • Building Shared Vision suggests that if any one idea about leadership has inspired organizations for thousands of years, it’s the capacity to hold a shared picture of the future we seek to create.
  • Team Learning is vital because teams, not individuals, are the fundamental learning unit in modern organizations.
  • Systems Thinking – The Fifth Discipline that integrates the other 4.

Watch Peter Senge on Navigating Webs of Interdependence via IBM Social Media.

Description: Whether you are part of a family, organizational team or business in a supply chain, systems thinking is a valuable approach to understanding the complexity of today’s world. Peter Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline, Senior lecturer at MIT and Founder of the Society for Organizational Learning shares his perspectives on leadership and systems thinking with IBM. Senge focuses on the problems that are most difficult to solve and the mental models today’s leaders need in order to build a smarter planet. Leaders today need to be able to be prepared reassess their strategies, work across multiple groups to find solutions and have the vision to work through high leverage solutions over time. Working smarter means working in ways that are collective and are based on collective intelligence across cities and supply chains to produce social, ecological and economic well being.

Great infographics on Systems Thinking in Action –