The Learning Organization Essay

1653 words - 7 pages

Peter Michael Senge was born in 1947, he is an American scientist. Senge received a B.S. in Aerospace engineering from Stanford University. While at Stanford, Senge also studied philosophy. He later earned an M.S. in social systems modeling from MIT in 1972. He also earned a Ph.D. from the MIT Sloan School of Management in 1978 (Wikipedia, 2011).
He was the Director of the Center for Organizational Learning at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and as of 2005 was on the faculty at MIT.
He is the founding chair of the Society for Organizational Learning (SoL). This organization helps with the communication of ideas between large corporations. It replaced the previous organization known as, The center for Organizational Learning at MIT.
He has had a regular meditation practice since 1996 and began meditating with a trip to Tassajara, a Zen Buddhist monastery, before attending Stanford. He recommends meditation or similar forms of contemplative practice (Wikipedia, 2011).
Aside from writing The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of The Learning Organization (1990), Peter Senge has also co-authored a number of other books linked to the themes first developed in The Fifth Discipline. These include The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook: Strategies and Tools for Building a Learning Organization (1994); The Dance of Change: The Challenges to Sustaining Momentum in Learning Organizations (1999) and his latest Schools That Learn in the year 2000 (Smith, 2001).
The article begins with Senge stating that he believes that in today’s organizations there are five new component technologies that provide a different dimension that can build to learning organizations. As stated by author Michael Marquardt:
Four main forces have brought us quickly to this global age: technology television, trade, and travel. These four T’s have laid the groundwork for a more collective experience for people everywhere. People are watching the same movies, reading the same magazines, and dancing to the same dances from Boston to Bangkok, to Buenos Aires (Marquardt, 2002).
The first component is Systems Thinking. He uses a rainstorm as an example of how humans interrelated actions have a diverse affect on each other, and how humans usually don’t see those invisible links because it takes years to take form. Because people don’t usually see them for years and only focus on snapshots, it arises the questions of why there problems never seem to get solved. According to the author Peter Senge, “Systems thinking is a conceptual framework, a body of knowledge and tools that has been developed over the past fifty years, to make the full patterns clearer, and to help us see how to change them effectively” (1990, p.468).
The second component is Personal Mastery; the special level of proficiency. It is the discipline of continually clarifying and the deepening of personal vision, focusing of energies, developing patience, and seeing reality objectively. ...

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