Submitted by shimrodmimir on
I read [url=http://www.amazon.co.uk/Fifth-Discipline-Peter-M-Senge/dp/1905211201/ref... Fifth Discipline[/url] about 2 months ago and absolutely loved it.
Short term thinking, and managing symptoms is something that has annoyed me in business and politics for years. The systems of short cycle targets, but perhaps also our instant gratification culture, have only made this worse over the past decades. I've never really been able to translate this uneasy feeling adequately though, let alone translate it into an effective strategy for my daily life.
Peter Senge, the author of the fifth discipline, does both very well. He identifies the problem on a very fundamental level as our obsession with single causal relationships (A is caused by B). This is the model of the world that we were taught for most of our lives, and it is how we deal with trying to understand it. In reality of course, the world is a much more complex inter-relational system, and we need to appreciate that if we want to effectively manipulate it.
The book is full of practical examples that illustrate these ideas, but also provides strategies of applying systems thinking together with some case studies of real life organizations and individuals who have tried to do so. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone that is looking to make structural and long term improvements to their situation.