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LED-6030 v1

Leadership in the 21st Century

Required Resources

Review the textbook chapters, article, video, and resource below to assist you with your studies this week. The following readings are the same for Modules 1 and 2. You must complete all readings by the end of Module 2.  


The Fifth Discipline

Senge, P. (2006). The fifth discipline: The art and practice of the learning organization. Revised and updated. Currency Doubleday.  

  • Please read: 
    • Chapter 1: Give Me a Lever Long Enough...And Single-Handed I Can Move the World-“The organizations that will truly excel in the future will be the organizations that discover how to tap people’s commitment and capacity to learn at all levels in an organization.” This chapter discusses the concept of learning organizations and introduces systems thinking, personal mastery, mental models, building shared vision, and team learning (the five disciplines). Systems thinking is the “fifth discipline” because it “integrates the disciplines, fusing them into a coherent body of theory and practice” (p. 24). 

    • Chapter 2: Does Your Organization Have a Learning Disability?- “Most organizations learn poorly” (p. 32). This chapter introduces seven organizational learning disabilities and provides examples of each.  

    • Chapter 12: Foundations- This chapter discusses how organizations can shape culture to achieve success. Topics such as change through conversations, reflective openness, growing people, commitment, transformative relationships, and organizations as living systems are discussed.  

    • Chapter 15: The Leader’s New Work- this chapter answers the question “what do we mean by ‘leaders’?” and it gives examples of leaders as designers, organizations as IT infrastructures, leaders as teachers, and leaders as stewards. 

Please access this textbook via the RedShelf link in the Course Resources section of the Getting Started module.

  • Please read: 
    • Chapter 1: Discovering an Orderly World- “Organizations lack faith that they can accomplish their purposes in varied ways and that they do best when they focus on intent and vision, letting forms emerge and disappear” (p. 17). This chapter introduces the concept of organizational order, and it describes organizations as living systems within a chaotic and disordered environment. 

    • Chapter 2: Newtonian Organizations in a Quantum Age- this chapter discusses the concept of organizations as complex machines and how science can be used to explain but not predict human behavior. The term enactment, strategy, and planning are also explained. 

    • Chapter 3: Space is Not Empty: Invisible Fields that Shape Behavior- the author introduces the idea that there are multiple fields (invisible, non-material influences) that exert visible influences on people and organizations. Examples of non-material forces in organizations include culture, values, vision, and ethics. 

    • Chapter 9: The New Scientific Management- this chapter emphasizes the importance of systems thinking or ecological thinking as it pertains to leading within organizations. Various paths between business thinking and scientific thinking are discussed. 



[Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)]. (2017, October 26). The value of systems thinking [Video]. YouTube. (10m 9s)