Peter Senge's Learning Organization

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To: Dr. Nancy Van Leuven
From: Alyssa Gracia
RE: Midterm; Learning Organization explained & applied to NWSF

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  • - Adaptive learning (aka survival learning) is the organization’s basic needs to survive. It is important and necessary, but it is not enough to create a learning organization.- Generative learning enhances our creative capacity.- These two techniques combine to create a learning organization, which is an organization that is continually expanding its capacity to create its future.
  • Personal mastery is the discipline of continuously indulging deeper into our personal vision, of focusing our energies, of developing patience, and of seeing reality objectively. It is merging our personal vision with current reality in order to make better choices and gain results.
  • Mental models are deep-rooted assumptions, generalizations, pictures, or images that influence our viewpoint and how we take action. With mental models it is important to first look at our own assumptions and understanding of the world. It also includes the ability to carry out thought provoking conversations where individuals expose their own thinking effectively, as well as influence the thinking of others.
  • - A sense of commitment to a group is established by developing shared images of the future they seek to create. - When there is genuine vision people excel and learn because they want to, not because they are told to.
  • When teams are effectively learning they are producing successful results, and the individual team members are growing faster than they could have on their own. Team learning starts with communication (dialogue) and the ability to rest aside assumptions in order to engage in a process of “collective mindfulness”, and learning to recognize patterns of interaction that undermine learning. If teams can not learn, neither can the organization.
  • According to Senge and his colleagues, team dialogue moves from initiation -> conversation -> deliberation. From deliberation, the dialogue may follow a path to discussion or to suspension and dialogue. Team learning encourages members to think about dialogue as the “free flow of meaning” accompanied by logical analysis. (Eisenberg/Goodall, 228)
  • - The individual begins to understand that the organization is interdependent,recognizes its relationships between key factors (i.e. population, natural resources, food production) and continuously changing. Once the individual acknowledges this they are capable of dealing with the consequences to the action or event. This discipline is based upon a growing body of theory about the behavior of feedback and complexity. It deals with the natural occurrences of a system that lead to growth or stability over time.
  • A relevant amount of time was spent at the NWSF retreat discussing identity politics within the group and trust-building. Personal mastery was far from mastered. Participants noted many organizers did not follow through with their commitments. Participants also commented that there was little respect for them and their needs.
  • The organizing committee had a “particular conception of what it meant to be non-racist and non-classist and they were going to make sure that everyone understood how that worked.” These are assumptions made by the committee and their individual viewpoints, they do not take into consideration the viewpoints of others. Participants also commented that they were not given an opportunity to participate or take part in an open forum, instead they were lectured. Disagreements arose surrounding diversity and people’s visions of “justice, peace, and democracy embodied in practice”
  • No clear structure for decision-making process. The structure is just an important as the outcome and the committee did not wish to educate the participants. This led to a lack of follow-through and ends not being reached. Without communication goals, and the means by which they would be reached, were unclear.
  • Several participants noted there was no clear structure for a decision-making process. They also commented that there was not an open flow of communication between themselves and organizers. Lack in communication disabled the forum to work together, share ideas, and learn as a team. Group learning would have been more effective than individual ideas being lectured to participants.
  • Peter Senge's Learning Organization

    1. 1. Alyssa Gracia<br />Peter Senge’s Learning Organization<br />
    2. 2. The Learning Organization<br />Learning organizations are places “where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning how to learn together.” (Senge 2006, p. 3)<br />
    3. 3. Five Basic Disciplines <br />Personal Mastery<br />Mental Models<br />Building Shared Vision<br />Team Learning <br />Systems Thinking<br />
    4. 4. Personal Mastery<br /><ul><li> Connecting personal and organizational learning
    5. 5. Merging personal vision with current reality
    6. 6. Commitments between the individual and the</li></ul> organization<br />
    7. 7. Mental Models<br />
    8. 8. Shared Vision<br /><ul><li> Developing shared images of the future
    9. 9. Genuine Vision</li></li></ul><li>Team Learning<br />Groupeffectiveness> Individual position<br />
    10. 10. Evolution of Dialogue<br />“Free Flow of Meaning”<br /><ul><li> Discussion
    11. 11. Suspension & Dialogue</li></li></ul><li>Systems Thinking <br />Learning organizations are <br />interdependent<br />and<br />continuously changing<br />
    12. 12. Application: NWSF<br />Step 1: Personal Mastery <br /> Pass Fail <br />Organizers did not follow through with commitments<br /> Little respect for participant’s needs<br />
    13. 13. Application: NWSF<br />Step 2: Mental Models<br /> Pass Fail <br />Committee held personal assumptions<br />Participants were lectured<br />Disagreements surrounding diversity<br />
    14. 14. Application: NWSF<br />Step 3: Shared Visions<br /> Pass Fail <br /> Lack of:<br /> Structure<br /> Decision-making<br />Reaching Goals<br />
    15. 15. Application: NWSF<br />Step 4: Team Learning<br /> Pass Fail <br />Lack of participation inhibits group learning which is hurtful to the organization.<br />
    16. 16. Application: NWSF<br />Step 5: Systems Thinking<br /> Pass Fail <br /><ul><li> Geographical area (NW) too broad
    17. 17. Lack of time to reach goals </li></ul> in large area<br />
    18. 18. References <br />Eisenberg, E. M., Goodall Jr,, H. L., & Trethewey, A. (2010). Organization Communication: Balancing Creativity and Constraint (Sixth ed. , pp. 40-232). Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's. <br />Senge, P. (2006). The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organizations. New York: DoubleDay. Retrieved February 14, 2010<br />

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