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Resources for The Fifth Discipline
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Resources for the Revised Edition of The Fifth Discipline

Additional resources will be posted as they become available.

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A Prequel to The Fifth Discipline

When Peter Senge spoke with writer Tom Ehrenfeld about the themes that he and his co-authors address in the book Presence, Peter explained that, paradoxically, the new book establishes a context for The Fifth Discipline and the Fifth Discipline fieldbooks.

Tom Ehrenfeld: You have referred to Presence as a "prequel" to The Fifth Discipline. Can you explain why?

Peter Senge: Presence deals with the state of mind, or state of spirit, of attempting to work with the five disciplines, in order to build a learning-oriented culture. There is an unexamined aspect of this process that the book explores. Otto Scharmer has referred to this as the "blind spot." [Hanover Insurance former CEO] Bill O'Brien referred to this as the interior state of the leader or intervener. When discussing how to build a learning-oriented culture, we often talk about tools and methods and frameworks, but rarely ask the question of "where the heck is this person coming from?" This matters quite a bit, because the first rule that we all know is that change is threatening. And if you are in an organization with pressures to perform and people trying to climb the ladder, you will always be dealing with the issue of "whose agenda is this?" To what extent are these ideas self-serving? Creating the foundation of trust means addressing where we are coming from. This enables people to explore the extent to which change is aimed at the benefit of the whole or towards individuals. Read More...

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Appendix 3: The U Process
Appendix 3: The Fifth DisciplineThis appendix to the revised edition of The Fifth Disciplineexplains how the U process "can provide a framework for organizing how the five disciplines are used in time."

Download Appendix 3: The U Process (PDF file).



For more on W. Edwards Deming, visit the W. Edwards Deming Institute website, where this page sharesan excellent condensation of his 14 points on management. Among these gems are: "Create constancy of purpose toward improvement of product and service, with the aim to become competitive and to stay in business, and to provide jobs." And "Drive out fear, so that everyone may work effectively for the company."


For another take on sustainability, read the John Ehrenfeld article "Searching for Sustainability: No Quick Fix" from Reflections 5.8.


A visit to the Sustainability Institute's site is critical to anyone interested in that topic:www.sustainabilityinstitute.org You'll find an overview of projects, and a great list of columns to read by Institute staff.


For an excellent piece on how people view global warming, see "Cloudy Skies: Assessing Public Understanding of Global Warming" (2002), Sterman, J. and Sweeney, Linda Booth. Special edition of The System Dynamics Review, (18), p. 207-240, Wiley and Sons. The published version can be found on the MIT website: http://web.mit.edu/jsterman/www/cloudy_skies.html


For more on the work of Tom Johnson and especially the evolution of his thought on cost management, see this excellent interview with Otto Scharmer at www.dialogonleadership.org/Johnson-1999.html#one. Johnson shares fascinating insights into developing new ways of tracking a living company.


One of the best articles on Dee Hock's chaordic theories was published in Fast Company's fifth issue, titled "The Trillion-Dollar Vision of Dee Hock." You can also access an article written by Dee Hock titled "The Art of Chaordic Leadership" at the site for Leader to Leader magazine.

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Steven Speare has written two excellent Harvard Business Review articles that provide the most detailed explanation of how Toyota generates organizational level at a genetic level. They are available athttp://harvardbusinessonline.hbsp.harvard.edu/ the HBSP website--though for a fee. They are "Decoding the DNA of the Toyota Production System," and "Learning to Lead at Toyota."

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For a nice interview with Darcy Winslow of Nike on sustainable product development, check out this article.

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You can find an excellent overview on the works of Chris Argyris here. And there's a comprehensive page on the work of Chris Argyris, along with links to his articles, at the Monitor Group.

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Another terrific interview from the series of dialogs with leadership is this conversation with Arie de Geuson the dynamics of managing a living company. There's also a lengthy, lively interview with Randall Rothenberg from strategy+business magazine.

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There's a wealth of information on cradle to cradle design, available at the website for McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry. And you can view many of innovative projects, including Nike's European headquarters, at the website for William McDonough's architectural firm.

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You can read Mieko Nishimizu's entire 2002 keynote address atwww.solonline.org/reflections/authors/author?author_id=104886 .

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For more on the current state of the art on systems thinking in education see:

The Shape of Change 
By Rob Quaden and Alan Ticotsky
A key selection of introductory and intermediate lessons that focus on using systems thinking to teach critical thinking. Written by a team of master teacher mentors. See www.clexchange.org for more information.

Lessons in Mathematics: A Dynamic Approach 
By Diana Fisher
Mathematics is tough-sledding for many. The difficulty is that most students fail to appreciate that mathematics is "just a language." It happens to be a rigorous language, one with little ambiguity associated with its symbols. It's also an abstract one. And it's primarily the latter attribute, abstractness, which causes many students to falter. This book focuses on making the abstractness more concrete with interesting and fun lessons. It uses STELLA software's icon-based, non-abstract language to structure problems in ways that students can easily visualize. Students use the software's simulation capabilities to explore solutions to the problems. Diana's years of teaching experience ensure that her lessons are right-out-of-the-box-ready for you to use in your classroom today. See iseesystems.com for more information.

Modeling Dynamic Systems: Lessons for a First Course 
By Diana Fisher
This book provides a set of tools that enable educators at the secondary and college levels to teach a one-semester or one-year course in System Dynamics. Developed for beginning modelers, the lessons contained in this book can be used for a core curriculum or for independent study. Course materials meet National Science Education Standards (NSES) and National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) standards and are out-of-the-box ready for use in your classroom today. See iseesystems.com for more information.

When a Butterfly Sneezes: A Guide for Helping Kids Explore Interconnections in Our World Through Favorite Stories 
By Linda Booth Sweeney
Kids face all sorts of situations throughout their lives that demand their understanding and problem-solving skills. As parents and educators, we want to help them understand why troubling things happen, and then figure out what they can do about them. One way to help our children develop such life skills is to share ideas from the field of systems thinking. This groundbreaking new book can show you how! This powerful resource will help you engage children in a fascinating and stimulating world--in an imaginative, playful, and memorable way. See www.pegasuscom.com for more information.

The Systems Thinking Playbook 
By Linda Booth Sweeney and Dennis Meadows
The Systems Thinking Playbook enables teachers to brief, facilitate, and debrief 30 exercises for groups of 5-500. It is accompanied by a two-hour video on DVD to illustrate good practice in introducing and facilitating each of the games. The exercises are brief, 5-20 minutes for each. They illustrate basic concepts of paradigms, structure, and dynamics. Each chapter contains easy-to-follow directions for the trainer specifying the purpose, outcomes, context, resources, time, space, equipment, set-up, and ideal number of participants. Suitable for all ages. See www.pegasuscom.com for more information.

Waters Foundation Website. The Systems Thinking and Dynamic Modeling (ST/DM) Sitewww.watersfoundation.org/
Provides educators with background information, examples, and guidance in the use of systems thinking and dynamic modeling in K-12 education. The work shared here was generated by educators supported by Waters Foundation K-12 Educational Partnerships.

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