fifth discipline

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The term fifth discipline comes from Peter Senge's book The Fifth Discipline, (1990), where he describes the five disciplines of a learning organization. The five disciplines are (Senge, 1990, pp 6-10) --

  • building shared vision -- a picture, figuratively, of a desirable future identity, that fosters genuine commitment and enrollment when it is ""unearthed"" and built by group members, rather than being given to a group to comply with
  • mental models -- an individual's view of reality stored in their mind, often deeply ingrained assumptions and generalizations, often at the subconscious level
  • team learning -- effective team learning comes about when there is effective dialogue between the members, ultimately resulting in the intelligence of the team exceeding the intelligence of the individuals and individual development
  • personal mastery -- the discipline of continually clarifying and deepening our personal vision, of focusing our energies, of developing patience, and of seeing reality objectively
  • systems thinking -- the discipline, the fifth one, that pulls the other three together to produce a learning organization. Systems thinking is a conceptual framework, a body of knowledge and tools to make patterns clearer, and to help us see how to change them effectively (pp 7)