The three-minute read:
The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization
by Peter M. Senge
Skim or read? Read.
Can you get it from this review? No.
Recommended for: Anyone in leadership or who wants to be.
In a sentence: Understanding systems thinking will make your organization better.
Compare to: Other top 10 brilliant management books.
Very few business books offer truly original and ground-breaking thinking.
The Fifth Discipline does and it needs to be read. It needs to be digested and internalized. It’s that good. And there is no way I will do it justice — you really do need to put this one on your list this quarter.
Systems thinking is understanding the whole, and how the whole works unto itself.
Systems generate responses which create events. Processes generate behaviors which achieve results.
Processes are designed for long-term results based on goals and desires of those that may not be carrying them out. Those carrying out the processes may not understand the vision, and may have another, equally valid vision. In this scenario, the results will not align. Systems thinking helps eliminate this.
A-ha! That’s why it failed!
The system game was being played by multiple people with different rules. That’s what you’ve got to figure out. And the Beer Game outlined by Senge will illustrate that for you in a way you won’t forget.
Peter Senge helps us understand how to get to the core of the organization, the process and the people, and he teaches how to analyze the systems we operate within. Systems thinking doesn’t stop at business — it also applies to human nature.
The Fifth Discipline will change the way you look at the world, and your team.
Go read this book right now — it’s a life changer.
About the Author: Tanya Korpi Macleod is the founder of Minneapolis-based Macleod & Co. After more than 25 years of marketing and advertising experience in the U.S. and Europe, Tanya noticed the chasm that often exists between an organization’s theoretical marketing “plan” and its realistic ability to execute it. This led her to pioneer in the concept of “holistic marketing,” which redefines marketing as the complete process of bringing a product, service or company from inception to maximum ongoing profitability. Her mission is to show organizational leaders that a holistic mindset not only promotes a healthier culture, but a more profitable business.