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© Lapides UM-D5/3/20151 Five Disciplines for Building High Performing Learning Organizations Presented Campus Norrköping Linköping Universitet, Sweden September 24-25, 1998
© Lapides UM-D5/3/20152 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
© Lapides UM-D5/3/20153 The Laws of the Fifth Discipline l Today’s problems come from yesterday’s “solutions.” l The harder you push, the harder the system pushes back l Behavior grows better before it grows worse. l The cure can be worse than the disease.
© Lapides UM-D5/3/20154 The Laws of the Fifth Discipline (continued) l Faster is slower l Cause and effect are not closely related in time and space. l You can have your cake and eat it too--but not at once. l Dividing the elephant in half does not produce two small elephants l There is no blame. (Senge (1990) pp )
© Lapides UM-D5/3/20155 Organization Learning Disabilities l “I am my position” l “The enemy is out there” l The illusion of taking charge l The fixation on events l The parable of the boiled frog l The delusion of learning from experience l The myth of the management team (18-24)
© Lapides UM-D5/3/20156 Antidote to Learning Disabilities Aspiration: Individual & Collective Understanding Complexity and Change Collaboration
© Lapides UM-D5/3/20157 Systems Thinking l Is a language for learning and acting. l Helps us see how we create our reality l Points to higher leverage solutions to problems. l Helps us understand and describe complex issues. l Integrates the other disciplines.
© Lapides UM-D5/3/20158 Events, Patterns and Structure Structure is harder to see Events Trends and Patterns Increase leverage and opportunity for learning Like an iceberg the big important structure is hidden Structure
© Lapides UM-D5/3/20159 Levels of Structure Business structures Organizational Structures Interpersonal Structures Individual Structures (Mental Models)
© Lapides UM-D5/3/ Business Structures l Market Positioning l Customer Interface l Product Strategy l Distribution Strategy
© Lapides UM-D5/3/ Organizational Structures l Management structure/hierarchy l Strategic planning process l Reward system l Information system l Cultural norms l Written rules
© Lapides UM-D5/3/ Interpersonal Structures l Relational skills l Roles and role flexibility l Ability to recognize & capitalize on diversity l Problem solving and decision making l Unwritten rules
© Lapides UM-D5/3/ Individual Structures (Mental Models) l How I think l How I view myself and my role l My beliefs and assumptions
© Lapides UM-D5/3/ Systems Thinking l Is a discipline for seeing structures(the patterns and connections underlying seemingly diverse personal, organizational and societal issues.
© Lapides UM-D5/3/ Disciplines of Highly Performing Learning Organizations n Systems thinking n Personal mastery n Mental models n Shared vision n Team learning
© Lapides UM-D5/3/ Systems Thinking l An appreciation of how our actions shape our reality. l An appreciation that ones actions impinge all the members of the work unit. l Focus on interrelationships and not things l Think in circles, not in lines. l Moving beyond blame.
© Lapides UM-D5/3/ Systems Thinking (Cont.) l Systems Thinking shows that is no outside- -that you and the cause of the problems are part of a single system. l The language of systems thinking is “links” and “loops.”
© Lapides UM-D5/3/ Systems Thinking (Cont...) l Seeing interrelationships rather than linear cause-effect chains. l Seeing circles of causality. l Seeing processes of change rather than snapshots. l The practice of systems thinking starts with understanding the concept called “feedback.”
© Lapides UM-D5/3/ Levels of Perspective l Vision l Mental Models l Systemic Structures l Patterns l Events
© Lapides UM-D5/3/ If we were 99.9% free of defects in our life l Eighteen planes would crash every day. l The Postal Service would lose 17,660 pieces of mail every day. l More than 3,700 prescriptions would be filled incorrectly every day. l Ten new born babies would be dropped during delivery everyday. l Banks would deduct $24.8 million from the wrong accounts every hour
© Lapides UM-D5/3/ Personal Mastery l Based on personal vision. l Facing current reality. l Holding creative tension--the gap between reality and the vision we hold is creative tension. l Commitment to the truth. l Using subconscious, or, “you don’t really need to figure it all out.
© Lapides UM-D5/3/ Stages of Personal Mastery l Adopting a creative orientation toward life. l Articulating a personal vision and seeing current reality. l Choosing to commit to creating the results you want. l Balancing work and home life.
© Lapides UM-D5/3/ Personal Mastery l Is the emotional intelligence-capacity to use our intelligence (smarts) to the fullest extent. l Organizations learn only through individuals who learn.
© Lapides UM-D5/3/ Personal Mastery Capacity Our capacity is limited by 5 Demons: l Fear of not being good enough [you have untapped capacities within yourself] l Fear of losing control [letting go makes new things happen] l its a cruel world out there--life is always a struggle [there is generosity all around, all you have to do is ask]
© Lapides UM-D5/3/ Personal Mastery l I am in this all alone, I can’t count on anyone but myself [there is help everywhere] l 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.
© Lapides UM-D5/3/ Mental Models l Are the images, assumptions, and stories which we carry in our minds of ourselves, other people, institutions, and every aspect of the world. l Are like a pane of glass framing and subtly distorting our vision. l They determine what we see.
© Lapides UM-D5/3/ Mental Models l 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. l 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.
© Lapides UM-D5/3/ Mental Models l Are powerful in affecting what we do because they affect what we see. l The tools needed to practice this discipline are Reflection and Inquiry.
© Lapides UM-D5/3/ Skills for working & practicing the discipline on Mental Models l Reflection--slowing down our thinking processes to become aware of how we form our mental models. l Inquiry--holding conversations where we openly share views and develop knowledge about each other’s assumptions.
© Lapides UM-D5/3/ Skills for working & practicing the discipline on Mental Models Single-loop learning l 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 l Involves surfacing and challenging deep- rooted assumptions and norms of an organization that may lead to a a reformulation of the problem.
© Lapides UM-D5/3/ Ladder of Inference: A tool for examining your “mental models”
© Lapides UM-D5/3/ All that is knowable Observable data/experiences I select Data (from what I observe) I add Meaning (cultural & personal) I make Assumptions (based on meaning) I draw Conclusions (based on assumptions) I adopt Beliefs (about the world) I take Actions (based on my beliefs ) ADVOCACY INQUIRY Our beliefs affect what data we select the next time
© Lapides UM-D5/3/ Climbing the Ladder “I’d better consider bringing someone else in on this project.” “Paul arrives after the meeting started.” “Paul is late for my meeting.” “He’s not very interested in helping me with this project.” “He’s not going to be there when crunch time hits.”
© Lapides UM-D5/3/ INQUIRY -- makes your thinking process visible --Ask questions from genuine “not knowing” -- Moves you down the ladder of inference ADVOCACY --Moves you up the ladder of inference High Low High TELLING GENERATING OBSERVING ASKING Bystanding Sensing Withdrawing Dialogue Skillful Discussion Interrogating Clarifying Interviewing Dictating Asserting Explaining Testing
© Lapides UM-D5/3/ Benefits of the Ladder l Helps you check your assumptions l Helps you become more aware of your own thinking and reasoning l Prompts you to make your reasoning clear to others l Helps you inquire into the thinking and reasoning of others
© Lapides UM-D5/3/ When to Use the Ladder l When we notice ourselves jumping to conclusions l When you hear someone advocating a position without making their reasoning clear l When you fear that “group-think” may be occurring in the team’s conversation
© Lapides UM-D5/3/ “Left-hand Column” Analysis l 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
© Lapides UM-D5/3/ Tools for working & practicing understanding mental models Left-hand Column Exercise On a sheet of paper folded in half l Think of a conversation you had about a problem or issue that was hard to resolve l In the right-hand column write down what was actually said. l In the left-hand column write what you were thinking and feeling and not saying
© Lapides UM-D5/3/ Example of “Left-hand Column”
© Lapides UM-D5/3/ “Left-hand Column” Analysis MESSAGE: Make your left-hand column explicit l 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.”
© Lapides UM-D5/3/ How to use the “Left-hand Column” l First, practice on paper… –Write the actual conversation on the right –In the left-hand column, write what you were thinking but not saying l 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
© Lapides UM-D5/3/ w arning S igns of A SSUMPTIONS In Reality… The truth is... Everybody knows... As a matter of fact... Research states that...
© Lapides UM-D5/3/ The “Competency Trap” l 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! l Try asking, “What assumptions am I making about this situation that may limit my deeper understanding of the problem?”
© Lapides UM-D5/3/ Be aware of you own reasoning l Ladder of Inference helps prevent jumping to conclusions by: –reviewing the logic that produces conclusions –revealing gaps in reasoning
© Lapides UM-D5/3/ Make Your Reasoning Clear to Others l Ladder provides a tool to ask questions without embarrassment
© Lapides UM-D5/3/ Seek to Understand Others’ Reasoning l 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?” l 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?”
© Lapides UM-D5/3/ Shared Vision l Shared visions emerge from personal visions. l 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.
© Lapides UM-D5/3/ Shared Vision l 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?” l Vision creates a sense of commonality that binds people together for a greater good. l A shared vision must be co-created.
© Lapides UM-D5/3/ Team Learning l Team Learning is the process of aligning and developing the capacity of a team to create the results the members truly desire. l Team learning is a team skill.
© Lapides UM-D5/3/ Team Learning: Tools of Team Learning are Dialogue and Conversation l A flow of thoughts and meaning l No results or decisions l No stripes l Open and honest talk l Awareness of one’s assumptions, discovery of the assumptions of others.
© Lapides UM-D5/3/ Learning Organization l 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. l Generative and adaptive learning are the norm
© Lapides UM-D5/3/ Learning Organization (A definition) l 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.
© Lapides UM-D5/3/ Producing Business Results Engine for Success Quality of Relationship Quality of Thinking Quality of Action Quality of Results R
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