The Fifth Discipline by Peter Senge is one of my favorite books on management, and happens to be renowned as one of the best leadership books out there. In it, Peter Senge outlines the five key elements of what makes a “learning organization”.

In it, there are five key elements: personal mastery, mental models, team learning, shared vision and systems thinking. It is a management framework that spans multiple parts of the leadership lattice.

  • Personal mastery is about developing an inherent desire to make ourselves better
  • Mental models are ofcourse the explanations of our thought processes
  • Team learning is about the practices of dialog and discussion to acheive common objectives in a group
  • Shared vision is the notion of carrying a shared understanding of what you’re trying to achieve
  • Systems thinking is the underlying approach that puts it all togehter.

These elements live across the lattice:

  • Personal mastery is a function of self management (for leaders), and managing individuals
  • Mental models and team learning are the domain of organization - both help to achieve organizational flow
  • Shared vision lies in the domain of application and/or impact, as it helps to clarify the overall objectives that a team is trying to accomplish.
  • Systems thinking is an approach that doesn’t live in any place within the lattice, but underlies the approach to constructing the lattice itself.