The Fifth Discipline

“Today’s problems come from yesterday’s solutions” (Senge, 1990).

Our Actions

A shift of mind. The expectation to see the “bigger picture”. But if we constantly break down complex tasks into chunks and something more manageable, then we may lose the intrinsic ability to see the larger whole (or bigger picture).

Fifth Discipline

  1. Personal Mastery: a level of proficiency and maintain lifelong learning philosophy.
  2. Mental Models: the assumptions or priors that influence behaviours on an individual and organisational level. The changes to alter organisational practice and learning.
  3. Building Shared Vision: organisation goals, a mission statement and values.
  4. Team Learning: intelligence of a team versus intelligence of the indivudual. The sum of a whole philosophy where everyone is developing beyond expectations.
  5. Systems Thinking: the integrative discipline. To see the whole, the system involves a shift of mind. It is the systems thinking that is considered the fifth discipline.  The aim is for the people and organisation to see the system.

Building The Learning Discipline

This involves people expanding their personal capacity and learning. Then the individuals collectively contributing to create a learning organisation. People become active participants with increased confidence and responsibility from working in a healthy business. This is the teamwork aspect of the organisation. Senge focuses on the future, long term thinking and creativity over fixation on past events and reactionary practices.

In a constantly changing world, the reviewing of organisation learning requires more focus. From an educational perspective the discipline of “Team Learning”, in particular the development of multi-disciplinary education will likely be an important area of focus to develop quality and safe health systems.


Senge, P. M. (1990). The Fifth Discipline. The Art & Practice of Learning Organization. Doupleday Currence, New York. [sample here]

Edmondson, A. C., Dillon, J. R., & Roloff, K. S. (2007). Three Perspectives on Team Learning: Outcome Improvement, Task Mastery, and Group Process. The academy of management annals, 1(1), 269-314.

The Future of Education: Interview with Peter Senge