Systems Thinking Tools: The Core Competencies of Organizational Learning


What turns you on? What are people really passionate about? Organizational learning gives you the tools to answer these questions through personal and organizational transformation. When you are able to see the structures that impact the way people think and see, you uncover their passions and discover what drives you.

Systems thinking stool

Shared Vision and Personal Mastery are the base of the leg of Aspiration. Personal mastery helps people develop a coherent picture of desired results by balancing the tension between their vision and their reality. Through shared vision people learn to nourish a sense of commitment in a group by developing shared images of the future they seek to create, and the practices by which they hope to get there. Mastering these two disciplines allows groups and individuals to shift from a reactionary mindset to a creative mindset.

Mental Models and Team Learning are the base of the leg of Working Collaboratively. Mental Models is focused around developing awareness of the attitudes and perceptions that influence thought and interaction. Team Learning transforms a group’s collective thinking, teaching them to mobilize their energies and ability greater than the sum of individual members’ talents. Upon mastering these disciplines, individuals will shift from knowing to learning.

The third leg of Dealing with Complexity is based on Systems Thinking. In this discipline people learn to better understand inter-dependency and change. Through the tools of this discipline people see how to change systems more effectively, and how to act more in tune with the larger processes of the natural and economic world. With mastery in Systems Thinking people will see connections instead of parts and shift from blaming to understanding.

Understanding the five core competencies of organizational learning will help you and your team better understand yourselves and each other, learn what really drives you, and overcome the challenges in front of you.

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This article is an extract from the Society of Organizational learning.

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