Business and Military
In a nutshell, these five disciplines: (1)A shared Vision, (2)Mental Models , (3)Team Learning , (4)Personal Mastery and (5)System Thinking. Personally, I just watched <The Unknown Soldier>, and that inspired me that business somehow has some similarities to military. However in business strategy is a means to achieve business objectives not stopping a competitor’s business continuity. With military planning and doctrine centers on one enemy and the purpose is to design the best approach that bring the enemy down. I will shortly address the 5 disciplines in this article and my thoughts.
A LEARNING ORGANIZATION in more detail, are: First and foremost, a shared vision should be created that all the employees in a company understands and has the passion to work for it. As long as the shared vision is authentic, employees will automatically participate in the improvement processes to get the company closer to accomplishing its vision.
Mental Models represents the images, assumptions and stories people have which influence their actions . The first step in having people change their Mental Models is to have people reflect on their own behavior and beliefs. . One important Value Senge describes is openness. One part of openness is to quit playing ´power games´ and be open and honest about what your real needs are.
Personal Mastery means as a leader you should improve the strength to be proactive and work very hard to achieve results which could influence other employees to become Personal Mastery.
Team learning can be divided into two parts. As we all know, results that achieved by effective teamwork are nearly impossible for individuals. Firstly, individuals within a team learn more and faster than they would have without the team. Secondly, the team members need to have the willness to shift their mental models and be open to learn from their colleagues.
System Thinking When you split an elephant in two, you do not have two small elephants which you can take care of. You can only take care of the one complete elephant. An organization is like a living organism and should according to Senge also be managed as one. So whenever making any decisions, we should think in a way that results would not break a team into two.
The final constraint Senge describes is the myth of the management team in which people truly believe that management can solve all problems. When one thinks about it, it is obviously impossible that one manager knows everything about all processes and has all capabilities needed to solve each problem.
As a starting point for systems thinking, Senge describes 7 key learning disabilities which deserve management’s attention:
• “I am my position”
• “The enemy is out there”
• The illusin 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
In the Fifth Discipline (which is Systems Thinking) Senge encourages managers to look at problems from a holistic perspective. He suggested that managers should stop trying to divide problems into smaller pieces and then try to solve each part. The metaphor Senge uses is the example of the broken mirror. When all small pieces of a broken mirror are glued back together, the reflection of the mirror will not be the same as the reflection from the originally unbroken mirror. Within Systems Thinking, the in this article described 7 key learning disabilities can help to prevent common situations from happening and focus on improving the organization as a whole.