The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization

Written by:
Peter M. Senge
Narrated by:
Peter M. Senge

Abridged Audiobook

Release Date
July 2000
4 hours 19 minutes
Senge's best-selling The Fifth Discipline led Business Week to dub him the "new guru" of the corporate world; here he offers executives a step-by-step guide to building "learning organizations" of their own.

Excellent book. This book is a great application of practical and intellectual concepts. My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed it. She's an entrepreneur and I'm in corporate life, and we both found the book applies to many aspects of our businesses and personal philosophies.

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Weird abridgment. It seems additional material (interview bits with Senge) was added to make up for editorial decisions, but it’s unclear.

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Biliana V.

The book is great. I loved listening to it while going for a walk in the park. The only downside is that I did not discover, in advance, that it was an abridged version. After listening to it, I had to go back to the paperback for further examples to translate theory into practice.

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Book Worm

This book was a little lighthearted for me. If you're interested learning about the encyclopedia, you might enjoy it. I did not finish the book.

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I'm a fan of leadership books and principles, which I try to apply in my own professional life and personal life. This book was an incredible letdown and waste of my time. I managed to get through the entire book, thanks to a long road trip, but the book was extremely boring and very little that I could take away and apply. Stale is probably the word, since it was a rehash of any number of much better-written leadership and growth books. If you insist on renting this one, make sure you drink a Red Bull before listening to keep yourself awake (especially if driving!).

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Perhaps the most enjoyable and engaging parts of the book were those narrated directly by Senge himself.

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Dave Paulson

I actually had to listen to this book twice. The first time through my impression was that it breezed to lightly over it's many topics, and that it spent too much time on explaining the Beer Game at MIT. My second time around was quite a different experience. The Beer Game does indeed provide a frame of reference for the entire work, though I still think the explanation goes into far too much detail. Using this as an anchor and building out into the disciplines is actually quite effective. The areas of Personal Mastery, Shared Vision, Mental Models, Team Learning and System Thinking all provide valuable insight into the interrelations of people working together and how a motivated leader can leverage this understanding to effect real and lasting change. I do still think that overall content lacked the depth that the subject matter deserved, hence 4 instead of 5 stars, but this is definitely worth the read.

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Christopher B

Wow, I sure am glad I received the abridged version! While I think Senge has some interesting ideas, I do not think this selection was very good. The narrator belabors his points and renders interesting concepts much less so by dint of repetition. I did find Senge's description of creative tension to be compelling, but the rest of it could be skipped, in my opinion.

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