Tuesday, 15 October 2013
The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook - a review
[Originally published on the Aspley Consultants website]
A couple of months ago, I read “The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook” and heartily recommend it to anyone seeking skills and knowledge to help organisations learn about themselves and the world around them.
It is not a quick read, nor is it intended to be. However, it is a very user-friendly aid that should be kept close to hand for quick reference.
Each chapter in the main section of the book examines a learning discipline (i.e. Systems Thinking, Personal Mastery, Shared Vision, Mental Models and Team Learning) and contains exercises, reading recommendations and case-studies that combine to place Peter Senge’s original, “The Fifth Discipline” in a wider and more practical context.
The book finishes with more case studies and examples of how emerging technologies (e.g. modelling and simulation) can help organisations un-tap their learning potential. However, it is in these sections that the book is really showing its age and could do with a significant update. The absence of any mention of the internet, emails or any form of online collaboration is unfortunate, to say the least.
Nevertheless, I would encourage practitioners and others keen on developing a learning culture to acquire this book and take from it as much as they can.