The fifth discipline – Peter M Senge


I have this habit of buying books, and then dumping them without reading them completely. After a while they surface again. This 445 page masterpiece by Peter M Senge took a while to resurface again, about a decade. Here is a paragraph written by Deming, to Peter M Senge from the 10th page of the book. This paragraph resonates with my feelings after training a group of people who are used to command and control mode of working to self organizing teams. Here are Deming’s words of wisdom;

” Our prevailing system of management has destroyed our people. People are born with intrinsic motivation, self respect, dignity, curiosity to learn, joy in learning. The forces of destruction begin with toddlers – a prize for the best halloween costume, grades in school, gold stars – and on up through the university. On the job, people, teams and divisions are ranked, reward for the top, punishment for the bottom. Management by objectives, quotas, incentive pay, business plans, put together separately, division by division, cause further loss, unknown and unknowable.’

This highlights the depth of the problem, when we move from traditional management styles to agility.


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