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Five Disciplines for Building High Performing Learning Organizations

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Presentation on theme: "Five Disciplines for Building High Performing Learning Organizations"— Presentation transcript:

1 Five Disciplines for Building High Performing Learning Organizations
Presented Campus Norrköping Linköping Universitet, Sweden September 24-25, 1998

2 A High Performing Organization is …
“… a group of people who are continually enhancing their capacity to create the results they want. This statement has two parts to it: One, you have to know what you want to create, so you are continually reflecting on your sense of purpose, vision. And secondly, you have to be continually developing the capability to move in that direction.” Peter Senge, 1990

3 The Laws of the Fifth Discipline
Today’s problems come from yesterday’s “solutions.” The harder you push, the harder the system pushes back Behavior grows better before it grows worse. The cure can be worse than the disease.

4 The Laws of the Fifth Discipline (continued)
Faster is slower Cause and effect are not closely related in time and space. You can have your cake and eat it too--but not at once. Dividing the elephant in half does not produce two small elephants There is no blame. (Senge (1990) pp )

5 Organization Learning Disabilities
“I am my position” “The enemy is out there” The illusion of taking charge The fixation on events The parable of the boiled frog The delusion of learning from experience The myth of the management team (18-24)

6 Antidote to Learning Disabilities
Aspiration: Individual & Collective Understanding Complexity and Change Collaboration

7 Systems Thinking Helps us understand and describe complex issues.
Is a language for learning and acting. Helps us see how we create our reality Points to higher leverage solutions to problems. Helps us understand and describe complex issues. Integrates the other disciplines.

8 Events, Patterns and Structure Structure is harder to see
Trends and Patterns Increase leverage and opportunity for learning Like an iceberg the big important structure is hidden Structure

9 Levels of Structure Business structures Organizational Structures
Interpersonal Structures Individual Structures (Mental Models)

10 Business Structures Market Positioning Customer Interface
Product Strategy Distribution Strategy

11 Organizational Structures
Management structure/hierarchy Strategic planning process Reward system Information system Cultural norms Written rules

12 Interpersonal Structures
Relational skills Roles and role flexibility Ability to recognize & capitalize on diversity Problem solving and decision making Unwritten rules

13 Individual Structures (Mental Models)
How I think How I view myself and my role My beliefs and assumptions

14 Systems Thinking Is a discipline for seeing structures(the patterns and connections underlying seemingly diverse personal, organizational and societal issues.

15 Disciplines of Highly Performing Learning Organizations
Systems thinking Personal mastery Mental models Shared vision Team learning

16 Systems Thinking An appreciation of how our actions shape our reality.
An appreciation that ones actions impinge all the members of the work unit. Focus on interrelationships and not things Think in circles, not in lines. Moving beyond blame.

17 Systems Thinking (Cont.)
Systems Thinking shows that is no outside--that you and the cause of the problems are part of a single system. The language of systems thinking is “links” and “loops.”

18 Systems Thinking (Cont...)
Seeing interrelationships rather than linear cause-effect chains. Seeing circles of causality. Seeing processes of change rather than snapshots. The practice of systems thinking starts with understanding the concept called “feedback.”

19 Levels of Perspective Vision Mental Models Systemic Structures
Patterns Events

20 If we were 99.9% free of defects in our life
Eighteen planes would crash every day. The Postal Service would lose 17,660 pieces of mail every day. More than 3,700 prescriptions would be filled incorrectly every day. Ten new born babies would be dropped during delivery everyday. Banks would deduct $24.8 million from the wrong accounts every hour

21 Personal Mastery Based on personal vision. Facing current reality.
Holding creative tension--the gap between reality and the vision we hold is creative tension. Commitment to the truth. Using subconscious, or, “you don’t really need to figure it all out.

22 Stages of Personal Mastery
Adopting a creative orientation toward life. Articulating a personal vision and seeing current reality. Choosing to commit to creating the results you want. Balancing work and home life.

23 Personal Mastery Is the emotional intelligence-capacity to use our intelligence (smarts) to the fullest extent. Organizations learn only through individuals who learn.

24 Personal Mastery Capacity
Our capacity is limited by 5 Demons: Fear of not being good enough [you have untapped capacities within yourself] Fear of losing control [letting go makes new things happen] its a cruel world out there--life is always a struggle [there is generosity all around, all you have to do is ask]

25 Personal Mastery I am in this all alone, I can’t count on anyone but myself [there is help everywhere] Fear of losses to great to bear, fear of our own mortality [leaving something behind creates space for something new] Source: Personal communication Judy Brown, Ph.D.

26 Mental Models Are the images, assumptions, and stories which we carry in our minds of ourselves, other people, institutions, and every aspect of the world. Are like a pane of glass framing and subtly distorting our vision. They determine what we see.

27 Mental Models They are our cognitive maps of the world people hold in their long-term memory and short-term perceptions which people build up as part of their everyday reasoning processes. According to some cognitive theorists, changes in short-term every day mental models, accumulating over time, will gradually be reflected in changes in long-term deep-seated beliefs.

28 Mental Models Are powerful in affecting what we do because they affect what we see. The tools needed to practice this discipline are Reflection and Inquiry.

29 Skills for working & practicing the discipline on Mental Models
Reflection--slowing down our thinking processes to become aware of how we form our mental models. Inquiry--holding conversations where we openly share views and develop knowledge about each other’s assumptions.

30 Skills for working & practicing the discipline on Mental Models
Single-loop learning People respond to changes in their organizational environment by detecting errors and correcting them to maintain the current desired status. No reflection or inquiry that leads to reframing the situation. Double-loop Learning Involves surfacing and challenging deep-rooted assumptions and norms of an organization that may lead to a a reformulation of the problem.

31 A tool for examining your “mental models”
Ladder of Inference: A tool for examining your “mental models”

32 (based on assumptions)
I take Actions (based on my beliefs) INQUIRY I adopt Beliefs (about the world) I draw Conclusions (based on assumptions) I make Assumptions (based on meaning) Reflexive Loop Our beliefs affect what data we select the next time ADVOCACY I add Meaning (cultural & personal) I select Data (from what I observe) Observable data/experiences All that is knowable

33 “I’d better consider bringing someone else in on this project.”
Climbing the Ladder “I’d better consider bringing someone else in on this project.” “He’s not going to be there when crunch time hits.” “He’s not very interested in helping me with this project.” “Paul is late for my meeting.” “Paul arrives after the meeting started.”

Low High TELLING GENERATING OBSERVING ASKING Bystanding Sensing Withdrawing Dialogue Skillful Discussion Interrogating Clarifying Interviewing Dictating Asserting Explaining Testing --Moves you up the ladder of inference ADVOCACY High INQUIRY -- makes your thinking process visible --Ask questions from genuine “not knowing” -- Moves you down the ladder of inference

35 Benefits of the Ladder Helps you check your assumptions
Helps you become more aware of your own thinking and reasoning Prompts you to make your reasoning clear to others Helps you inquire into the thinking and reasoning of others

36 When to Use the Ladder When we notice ourselves jumping to conclusions
When you hear someone advocating a position without making their reasoning clear When you fear that “group-think” may be occurring in the team’s conversation

37 “Left-hand Column” Analysis
What is it? A way of checking our assumptions A method of checking out what we’re thinking but not saying A method to remind us to use the ladder of inference if necessary A method of mutual inquiry

38 Tools for working & practicing understanding mental models
Left-hand Column Exercise On a sheet of paper folded in half Think of a conversation you had about a problem or issue that was hard to resolve In the right-hand column write down what was actually said. In the left-hand column write what you were thinking and feeling and not saying

39 Example of “Left-hand Column”

40 “Left-hand Column” Analysis
MESSAGE: Make your left-hand column explicit From example, try this… “What I hear you saying is that we should move ahead with the project. I want to share a concern that I’ve been thinking but not saying. I am worried about the current staffing…” “I want to share a conclusion I formed from our last conversation, and check how it fits with your thinking.”

41 How to use the “Left-hand Column”
First, practice on paper… Write the actual conversation on the right In the left-hand column, write what you were thinking but not saying Then use it as a tool for “reflection-in-action” Examine your thinking while you are in a conversation Look for opportunities to share your thinking with others, and inquire into others’ thinking

42 5 warning Signs of ASSUMPTIONS
BEWARE 5 warning Signs of ASSUMPTIONS In Reality… The truth is... Everybody knows... As a matter of fact... Research states that...

43 The “Competency Trap” Too often when confronted with a problem we “speed listen” and assume this problem is the same as one we encountered before. This leads to a limited range of possible solutions! Try asking, “What assumptions am I making about this situation that may limit my deeper understanding of the problem?”

44 Be aware of you own reasoning
Ladder of Inference helps prevent jumping to conclusions by: reviewing the logic that produces conclusions revealing gaps in reasoning

45 Make Your Reasoning Clear to Others
Ladder provides a tool to ask questions without embarrassment

46 Seek to Understand Others’ Reasoning
Ladder is a tool that permits mutual inquiry into each others’ thinking without being rude. For example, you can ask, “Can you lead me through the steps which led you to that conclusion?” Rather than rudely asking, “Are you sure you know what you’re talking about?”

47 Shared Vision Shared visions emerge from personal visions.
Personal mastery is the bedrock for developing shared vision. Commitment to the truth and creative tension can generate levels of energy that go beyond individual abilities.

48 Shared Vision Leaders intent on building shared visions must be willing to continually share their personal visions. They must also be prepared to ask, “Will you follow me?” Vision creates a sense of commonality that binds people together for a greater good. A shared vision must be co-created.

49 Team Learning Team Learning is the process of aligning and developing the capacity of a team to create the results the members truly desire. Team learning is a team skill.

50 Team Learning: Tools of Team Learning are Dialogue and Conversation
A flow of thoughts and meaning No results or decisions No stripes Open and honest talk Awareness of one’s assumptions, discovery of the assumptions of others.

51 Learning Organization
The Learning Organization is an organization that has woven a continuos and enhanced capacity to learn, adapt and change its processes and culture. Its values, policies, practices, systems and structures support and accelerate learning for all who work in it. Generative and adaptive learning are the norm

52 Learning Organization (A definition)
A learning organization is one in which people at all levels, individually and collectively, are continually increasing their capacity to produce results they really care about.

53 Producing Business Results
Engine for Success Quality of Relationship Quality of Results R Quality of Thinking Quality of Action

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