Mister Ambiguous

yes and no

Senge’s 7 organizational learning disabilities

with one comment

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”)

Written by misterambiguous

2011/02/02 at 10:39 pm

Posted in books

Tagged with ,

One Response

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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.

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