ROME.  There were smart organizations before Peter Senge, but The Fifth Discipline helped the rest of us understand the importance of organizational learning. First published in 1987, The Fifth Discipline introduced boomer MBAs to systems thinking, mental models, shared vision, and team learning.

Almost twenty five years later, we have a wired version of systems thinking.  Rapid prototyping, iterative development, and data mining provide rich short cycle feedback loops.  Just-in-time learning is replacing classroom-based training.  But it is more useful than ever to consider and update our mental models.

Here’s “Five Learning Tips to Stay on Top of Your Game”:

  1. Focus your learning: know as much as anyone about the job you are on—understand the context, master the tasks, improve the work products.
  2. Broaden your learning: pick a new topic each year and go deep, connect your deep dives to career objectives/interests, find out what smart people are reading/learning.
  3. Manage your learning: think about your learning like a project and manage it—set some goals, track it, look for ways to learn more faster.
  4. Reflect on your learning: journal or blog about your learning—you’ll never really know what you know until you write it down.
  5. Portfolio your learning.  Use LinkedIn and Facebook as your portfolio—catalog your work product, ask for references.

I was making notes to myself about learning while wandering Roman ruins this afternoon.  It’s amazing the Colosseum was built 2000 years ago–those guys were pretty smart.

1 COMMENT

  1. I found this to be very useful. One thing I’ve learned about trying to grow and manage a small enterprise into something scaleable and useful is that it’s very easy to focus too much on the work, and to not focus on the focus. Good nudge for entrepreneurs that are planning and trying to streamline ways to be better.

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