Picture of Senge's Disciplines? LO6867

William J. Hobler, Jr. (bhobler@cpcug.org)
Fri, 19 Apr 1996 05:15:51 -0400

Replying to LO6715 --

>> Has anybody come up with a picture or graphic depicting how Senge's
>> disciplines are interrelated?

By separate message I have forwarded to Rick a GIF of a try at relating
the five disciplines.

[Host's Note: Bill's graphic can be seen with a web browser at


...and with any luck, the ritual incantations just below will make it
appear here, in-line, for web readers. ...Rick]


In working with the concepts of the disciplines and how to illustrate them
I could not conceive of them in isolation from their human aspects. That is,
to me the disciplines are either personal to you or I as individuals or they are
practiced by you and I as a group or community. I chose to call the community
a team. This duality led me to include in the diagram symbols of two
and a team. Within the individual's symbol are Self Mastery and Mental Models,
the remaining three discipines are in the Team symbol (rectangle).

The relationships among the disciplines are illustrated by arrows (directed
At the head end of each arrow is a plus or minus to indicate the direction
of influence
the originating discipline has on the influenced (arrow end) discipline.
The rule is that
this influence is a result of increasing the capability in the originating
discipline causes
a positive or negative influence on the influenced discipline. For example;

An increase in the level of self mastery has a positive influence on
the ability
to use mental models.

Or something of that order.

I could not discriminate between the influence good Systems Thinking has on
Self Mastery or Mental Models or both. So I copped out and terminated the
arrow on
the Individual's rectangle.

With all of the positive relationships shown one would expect that whenever
a critical
mass of learners in a community got started, that explosive growth in
capability would
solve all the problems. That is not the experience, it seems these things
take a long

I also do not like the geography of the illustration. I would be more
comfortable placing
the two individuals within the team rectangle. But employees, volunteers
and others
in teams are normally only there part time. In fact a persom may be on more
than one
team at a time. Therefore, this representation may be closer to the truth.

I welcome comments and suggestions. I don't expect to do much more with
this in the
near future. What I want to do is to stare at this for a while to sort out
the implications
of it and your comments, if any. Perhaps, someday, I will use this in a
seminar as a
way of putting the disciplines into some mental framework.
Just The job is not done until we are humbled
Bill by what we accomplished together.


"William J. Hobler, Jr." <bhobler@cpcug.org>

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>