11 laws of the Fifth Discipline

Subject: Psychology
Type: Exploratory Essay
Pages: 3
Word count: 939
Topics: Critical Thinking, Leadership, Management
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Peter M. Senge’s 11 laws of the Fifth Discipline

System Thinking fosters sustainability and builds a shared vision aimed at improving team learning as well as personal mastery of potential. Through system thinking, it becomes easy to realize the understated aspects of the learning organization. Therefore, it can be understood as a new way people and organizations perceive themselves as well as their world (Senge, 2010).

Part II of Peter M. Senge, The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of the Learning Organization, New York: Currency DoubleDay, 1990, p.371 a revised edition and published by Broadway Business in 2010, is devoted to the Fifth Discipline, Systems Thinking which he refers to them as the cornerstone of any learning organization. Chapter 4 begins with a more qualitative interpretation of 11 Laws of the Fifth Discipline. These Laws include (McMahon, 2010).

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  • 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 easy way out usually leads back in
  • The cure can be worse than the disease
  • Faster is slower
  • Cause and effect are not closely related in time and space
  • Small changes can produce big results—but the areas of highest leverage are often the least obvious
  • You can have your cake and eat it too—but not at once
  • Dividing an elephant in half does not produce two small elephants
  • There is no blame

When I think about my company known as Mulembe Africa Group, the 3 laws that I believe to have experienced include;

  • Behavior grows better before it grows worse
  • Cause and effect are not closely related in time and space
  • There is no blame

Identify each law, define it and describe how you’ve experienced this law at work

  • Behavior grows better before it grows worse
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The short-term solutions we make only give us a short break and temporary improvement. Such a short-term intervention do not actually eliminate the fundamental problems. In the long-run, therefore, the problems will make the situation unbearable or worse.

In my company known as “Mulembe Africa Group, our manager realized that the business of advancing loans to people was struggling to make a profit due to the declining revenues, therefore, he thought that by laying of some employees as a way of reducing pay would help him to maintain a steady bottom line in this problem of reduced revenue for the company. Unfortunately, this action that he took without discussing with these most talented employees whom he laid off as a way to cut costs hurt the growth of the Mulembe Africa group in the long run. This is because other important services could not be delivered as it was before, so the number of clients also reduced.

  • Cause and effect are not closely related in time and space

In most cases, we pay more attention on finding causes to our problems, even if we are aware that they are just symptoms and not closely related to the real root causes.

At my company Mulembe Africa Group, our colleague by the name Ekoyang’ was an addicted cigarette smoker despite the fact that we used to have a health care consultant in the causes of the deadly disease Cancer. The management of the company could bring in the health counselor on monthly basis to enlighten us about the main causes of different types of cancer and how to avoid them. So, our colleague new very well that lung cancer occurs a result of smoking cigarettes but he always thought that it won’t happen to him. He continued to smoke without any apparent, one day after several months of cancer consoling he complained of complications with his breathing system. He was taken for x-ray checkup and the inevitable effect was revealed. Therefore, what seemed not to occur soon, but it finally happened.

  • There is no blame

We have a tendency of blaming and pointing fingers to other people or raise suspicious about the occurrencesof some circumstances, and a times we believe the blame we make around. However, we need to understand that we and the cause of problems that affect us are all part of the system(Magalhães, 2015).

In my company Mulembe Africa Group, after the manager realizing that the business of advancing loans to people was struggling to make a profit due to the declining revenues. Instead of discussing with all employees to see how to balance the companies costs or expenditures with managing income, he thought that by laying of some employees would help him reduces costs, and maintain a steady bottom line in this problem of reduced revenue for the company. Unfortunately, this action that he took without discussing with these most talented employees whom he laid off, made him too loose clients who could bring in more revenues as there were enough employees to work as field ambassadors and credit officers to offer the service of assessing credit worthiness both at the main office and in the field.

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Discussion of what I have learned from this law

The lessons I have learned from the 3 laws is that the shift of mind is the driving force towards the learning organization. It is important that we shift our mind from viewing ourselves as separate entities from the world to being connected to the world. Therefore, we need to shift our mind from seeing problems as being caused by someone else or something different to considering how our own actions lead to the problems we experience. It is really interesting to find that a learning organization has become a place where individuals are continually discovering the reality of what their actions lead to and how they can effectively change it.

Did you like this sample?
  1.  Magalhães, L.I (2015). Peter Senge’s 11 Laws of Systems Thinking.
  2. McMahon, T (2010). 11 Pointers toward Systems Thinking in Lean Management.
  3. Senge, M.P (1990). The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of the Learning Organization. New York: Currency Doubleday, (1990), 371 p.
  4. Senge, M.P (2010). The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of the Learning Organization published in 1990, New York, a revised edition published by Broadway Business.
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