What can you get from listening Peter Senge…once?

Posted in Systems Dynamics by wikithink on July 5, 2011

Thanks to a classmate, I got my chance to listening Peter Senge in a conference held as part of the World Business Forum 2011.

This mainly reminded to me that I should go back to one of the most recommended books that I got from my master: The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of the Learning Organization

He is a senior lecturer at the System Dynamics Group at MIT Sloan School of Management. If you don´t know what Systems Dynamics is, you might want to take a look on this post.

That said,…these are his insights from the conference:

1. Peter has been studying companies trying to understand what makes some of them long lived ones, and why others simply don´t survive. His model tries to explain what are the core learning capabilities an organization should have in order to survive:

– Understanding complexity using systems dynamics. As we said in our early post, these tools allow us to better understand complex systems. When solving problems, we usually try to take of care of symptoms without going to the root cause of them because of the complexity. Systems dynamics provide us those tools needed to understand them and make better solutions.
– Reflective conversation: mental models. They are those comfort zones that our mind needs to create in order to keep us away from complexity or unknown. Peter said that we need to challenge our minds and be out of our comfort zones once in a while.
– Aspiration and creative process: this capability helps us on focusing on not just in short term objectives, but in our long term ones. It’s not about solving day by day problems, it is related to creating a process for a long term ones. Being far away from reactive mode and understand what’s our vision.

2. Paper recommended: The living company.

3. “Anything is changed until we have a crisis. And “fear is not a good friend for long period of change, it is just good one short periods (during crisis).”

4. Characteristic of long lived companies:

– Identity: sense of who we are that transcends what we do. Here a 100 years of survival example.
– Tolerance: openness of what we don’t know.
– Fiscal conservatism: maintain control of one’s destiny.
– Sensitivity to environment: large sense of responsibility.

5. This is not the End of Industrial age, Internet is a shift like power electricity. The is no end for Industrial age, Internet is just an evolution of it.

6. Another recommended book: The necessary revolution.

7. Water crisis: India and China will not meet they demand by 2030.

8. Coca Cola and water efficiency: 3.3 lts of water for 1 lts of Coca Cola. Coca was looking at the water they bought, but they didn’t think about how many water is needed for sugar…(Which is water intensive), so they went from 3.3 lts to 2500 lts of water.

9. US food needs to drive 2000 miles from where is created to where is consumed.

If you want to see a part of his presentation, here you have it.

Hoping you enjoy these insights too! I surely did.


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