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Discipline has two distinct meanings --

Controlled behavior --
Great discipline is required to develop and follow a strategic focus. While the focus needs to be followed, it must not be followed blindly. Discipline is required to continually say 'no' to those opportunities outside the strategic focus while constantly testing the hypothesis of the focus and renewing it before performance tanks. Discipline pertains as much, if not more so, to what not to do -- to reject investments and moves into areas not proven to be within the strategic focus. It also takes great discipline and courage to face the facts regarding your theory of business. This requires a culture of openness, honesty, and broad participation.

Branch of knowledge --
Discipline is also a branch of knowledge and the associated activities. Disciplines make up an innovation in human behavior like technologies make up an engineering innovation such as the airplane or personal computer. As such, a discipline is a body of theory and technique that must be studied and mastered to be put into practice. A discipline is a developmental path for acquiring certain skills and competencies. Some people will have an innate ""gift"" for a exercising a discipline and others will develop proficiency through practice (Senge, 1990, pp 10-11). See strategic management discipline for its application to strategic management.

Practicing a discipline is radically different than emulating a model, or best practice. Practicing a discipline builds general knowledge of the discipline and contextual knowledge of its application to the organization at hand.

Culture of discipline --
See culture of discipline for the role of discipline as an essential factor, embedded in the organization's culture, in the ongoing success of a business organization.

Arthur Rubenstein, Polish pianist, on discipline --
""When I don't practice for a day, I know it. When I don't practice for two days, the orchestra knows it. And when I don't practice for three days, the world knows it.""