Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Fifth Discipline

Peter senge (MIT) wrote a book back in the 90s about management called The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization.

The Five disciplines (taken off of Wikipedia) for better/learning organization:

1) "Personal mastery is a discipline of continually clarifying and deepening our personal vision, of focusing our energies, of developing patience, and of seeing reality objectively." (p. 7)
2) "Mental models are deeply ingrained assumptions, generalizations, or even pictures of images that influence how we understand the world and how we take action." (p. 8)
3) "Building shared vision a practice of unearthing shared pictures of the future that foster genuine commitment and enrollment rather than compliance." (p. 9)
4) "Team learning starts with dialogue, the capacity of members of a team to suspend assumptions and enter into genuine thinking together." (p. 10)
5) Systems thinking - The Fifth Discipline that integrates the other 4.

Seven learning disabilities responsible for organizational failure (taken from greathumancapital.wordpress.com

[1]-I am my own position: is when people focus only on their position within the organization and have little sense of responsibility for the results produced -when all positions interact.

[2]-The enemy is out there syndrome: is when we focus only on our position; we do not see how our own actions extend beyond the boundary of that position.

[3]-The illusion of taking charge: is that we should face up to difficult issues, stop waiting for someone else to do something, and solve problems before they grow into crises but proactiveness is really reactive ness in disguise.

[4]-The fixation on events: leads to “event” explanations that are true for now but distract us from seeing the longer-tenri patterns of change behind the events and understanding the causes of the patterns to events.

[5]-The parable of the boiled frog: is in relation to the maladaptation of organizations to recognize gradually building threats to survival; just as the frog placed in a pot of water brought to boiling temperature will not attempt to jump out of the pot but adjusts to the temperature and slowly dies.

[6]-The delusion of learning from experience: is when our actions have consequences in the distant future or part of the larger operating system, which makes it impossible to learn from direct experience.

[7]-The myth of the management team: because teams in business tend to spend their time fighting for turf, avoiding anything that will make them look bad personally, and pretending that everyone is behind the team’s collective strategy.

--
more links:
Manager's learning disabilities
Learning traps
Friday reflections

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

2011 1st Quarter Expense Report

Here it is.  Jan-Mar expense report.  I'm not sure if this is entirely accurate because Mint.com has been acting up lately.  I'll check again in a few days, but I was fairly pleased with our expenses.  Like I said in the earlier post, travel expenses have been high, but overall we've been doing a great job.


I'll break it down each category versus my take home pay.

Home: 28%
Gifts: 15%
Travel: 13.5%
Auto: 8.33%
Food: 7.67%
Utils: 6.5%
Misc: 2%
Others: 2%

Compare to our budget and you'll see we're doing ok.