|SKILLS THAT HELP TEAMS MAKE SENSE OF THE REALITIES (CURRENT AND FUTURE) SO AS TO
CREATE RESULTS THAT MATTER FOR THEM (Senge, Fieldboook, 18-19)
We know that a genuine learning cycle is operating when we can do things we couldn't do before in the
same reality. Evidence of new skills and capabilities deepen our confidence that, in fact, real learning is
The skills and capabilities that characterize learning organizations fall into three natural groupings:
|Aspirations: The capacity of individuals, teams and eventually larger organizations to orient |
|themselves toward what they they truly care about and to change because they want to, not just |
because they need to (all of the learning disciplines, but particularly the practice of personal
mastery and building shared vision, develop these capabilities).
|Generative Conversation: The capacity to reflect on deep assumptions and patterns of |
|behaviour, both individually and collectively. Developing capacities for real conversation is not |
easy. Most of what passes for conversation is more like a ping-pong game than true talking and
thinking together. Each individual tosses his or her view at the other. Each then responds.
“Learningful” conversations require individuals capable of their own thinking (these skills emerge
especially strong in the disciplines of mental models and team learning)
|Understanding Complexity: The capacity to see larger systems and forces at play and to |
|construct public, testable way of expressing our views. What seemed so simple from my individual |
point of view looks much less so when I see it from others’ point of view. And constructing
coherent descriptions of the whole requires conceptualization skills not found in traditional
organizations. Charles Keifer with Jennifer Kemeny, Peter Senge and Michael Goodman distilled
8 key themes / storylines in diagrams that help managers catalogue most of the common
complexities we face in organisations. These were called archetypes. (systems thinking is vital
for these skills especially with the reflectiveness and openness fostered by working with mental
Like any new skills, the skills and capabilities required in developing learning organisations shape
what we can understand and accomplish. But they are unusual because they affect us deeply.
They are not skills of specialization, like learning "financial accounting for executives". They
inevitably lead to new awareness because they bring about deep shifts in how we think
and interact with one another.