Mister Ambiguous

yes and no

Senge’s 7 organizational learning disabilities

with 3 comments

According to …

Peter M. Senge.  (1990).  The Fifth Discipline. Doubleday

Organisms and organizations are susceptible to the following learning disabilities:

  1. “I am my position” – with this disability, individual units in the organization focus too closely on their own positions and responsibilities, thus missing out on bigger pictures and inter-unity.
  2. “The enemy is out there” – the disability enables us to find an external agent to blame (“no one can catch a ball in that darned field”, “the customers betrayed us”)
  3. “The illusion of taking charge” – when reactivity is mistaken as proactivity
  4. “The fixation on events” – when conversations and media are dominated by short-term events, leading to “event” explanations (instead of “pattern” explanations that describe longer-term events)
  5. “The parable of the boiled frog” – where we do not see gradual changes, much like a frog in a pot will relax into drowsiness as its water is slowly heated
  6. “The delusion of learning from experience” – because some effects are beyond the current limits our awareness (e.g., effects in time, non-linear effects), we do not experience many of the effects of our actions
  7. “The myth of the management team” – with this disability, management protects itself from the threat of appearing uncertain or ignorant in the face of collective inquiry, resulting in “skilled incompetence” (“people who are incredibly proficient at keeping themselves from learning”)
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Written by misterambiguous

2011/02/02 at 10:39 pm

Posted in books

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3 Responses

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  1. Senge has consolidated his analysis in such a brilliant way… wish more people took the time to learn this stuff in it’s holistic nature. The world would certainly be a better place to live in.

  2. […] Discussion Prompt and Links: Part 1: Please visit the following link: http://qaspire.com/2017/02/20/peter-senge-how-to-overcome-learning-disabilities-in-organizations/ Having just completed your personal mastery paper, identify a learning disability within yourself that you have at one time or another fostered. Provide honest feedback and potential tools on how you can prevent yourself from falling victim to that same disability in the future. Part 2: Now that you have reflected on Senge’s learning disabilities in the context of yourself, take time to reflect on learning disabilities in the context of your leadership or work environment. Access the following link: https://changingwinds.wordpress.com/2011/01/01/naughty-ceos-in-2010-revisiting-senge’s-7-learning-disabilities/amp/. Provide an example from your work environment, past or present, in which the leadership could have learned from their mistakes. Which of the 7 learning disabilities do their mistakes correlate with? According to Taggart (2011), “There’s indeed a strong learning element embedded within all of these types of leadership miscalculations and mistakes. They can generally be traced back to the 7 learning disabilities.” References Taggart, J. (2011). Naughty CEOs in 2010: Revisiting Senge’s 7 learning disabilities. Retrieved from https://changingwinds.wordpress.com/2011/01/01/naughty-ceos-in-2010-revisiting-senge’s-7-learning-disabilities/amp/ Vora, T. (2017, February 20). Peter Senge: How to overcome learning disabilities in organizations. Retrieved from http://qaspire.com/2017/02/20/peter-senge-how-to-overcome-learning-disabilities-in-organizations/ For more information on Senge’s learning disabilities, please see our power point as well as the following links and references: https://changingwinds.wordpress.com/2010/03/22/the-five-learning-disciplines-how-they-help-us-become-better-leaders-part-1of-six/ Senge’s 7 organizational learning disabilities […]

  3. […] Discussion Prompt and Links: Part 1: Please visit the following link: http://qaspire.com/2017/02/20/peter-senge-how-to-overcome-learning-disabilities-in-organizations/ Having just completed your personal mastery paper, identify a learning disability within yourself that you have at one time or another fostered. Provide honest feedback and potential tools on how you can prevent yourself from falling victim to that same disability in the future. Part 2: Now that you have reflected on Senge’s learning disabilities in the context of yourself, take time to reflect on learning disabilities in the context of your leadership or work environment. Access the following link: https://changingwinds.wordpress.com/2011/01/01/naughty-ceos-in-2010-revisiting-senge’s-7-learning-disabilities/amp/. Provide an example from your work environment, past or present, in which the leadership could have learned from their mistakes. Which of the 7 learning disabilities do their mistakes correlate with? According to Taggart (2011), “There’s indeed a strong learning element embedded within all of these types of leadership miscalculations and mistakes. They can generally be traced back to the 7 learning disabilities.” References Taggart, J. (2011). Naughty CEOs in 2010: Revisiting Senge’s 7 learning disabilities. Retrieved from https://changingwinds.wordpress.com/2011/01/01/naughty-ceos-in-2010-revisiting-senge’s-7-learning-disabilities/amp/ Vora, T. (2017, February 20). Peter Senge: How to overcome learning disabilities in organizations. Retrieved from http://qaspire.com/2017/02/20/peter-senge-how-to-overcome-learning-disabilities-in-organizations/ For more information on Senge’s learning disabilities, please see our power point as well as the following links and references: https://changingwinds.wordpress.com/2010/03/22/the-five-learning-disciplines-how-they-help-us-become-better-leaders-part-1of-six/ Senge’s 7 organizational learning disabilities […]


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