The Fifth Discipline
The title of this book gave me a different impression that what it actually consisted of. I thought that this book would go through methods of behaviour in different ways and that it would perhaps teach the reader how to train and educate children to become more successful in business life. Instead this book taught me what are the core learning capabilities for a team to as efficient, smart, understandable and polite as a team and all individuals of the team as well.
I thought of this book as a chair, which requires all the legs in order to function. The chair has three legs which all have meaningful purpose. The first legs is aspiration which consists of personal mastery, belief in own thoughts and opinions. It is also shared vision between individuals taking part of the “meeting”. The second leg is reflective conversation, which means that it holds different type of mental models. A good dialogue is a part of reflective conversation. At last, the third leg is understanding complexity, which enables systematic thinking.
Systems of management had many new things that I could learn from. I learned that management by measurement is focusing on short-term metrics, devaluing intangibles and that “it is only possible to measure max 3 percent of what actually matters.” (W.E. Deming). Compliance-based cultures are usually the ones getting ahead because they try hard to please their bosses and the management is run under fear, which is not good. In Managing outcomes management sets targets and people are held accountable for meeting management targets regardless of whether they are possible within existing systems and processes, which sounds a bit unfair in my opinion. “Right answers” vs. “wrong answers” is something where technical problem solving is emphasized and diverging problems are discounted. In uniformity diversity is a problem that has to be solved and conflict is suppressed in favour of superficial agreements. Predictability and controllability is the ability to control management in planning and organizing. My favourite one was Excessive competitiveness and distrust, because it sets competition between people which is essential to achieve desired performance and without competition among people there is no innovation. “We’ve been sold down the river by competition.” (W.E. Deming). Finally, to avoid the loss of the whole concept, it is crucial to use fragmentation and to know that local innovations do not spread.