The Greek SoL Fractal

The Society for Organizational Learning addresses to Greece from 2008 through SoL Greece, offering the opportunity for modern experiential learning with newer systemic approaches to management, contributing thereby actively in empowering people to lead in their organizations . Being one hub, we are a group of people with our own particular characteristics, and part of a set that reflects the character of a larger organization.

Our Vision

Our vision is the Greek Society for Organizational Learning to be recognized as:

  • A vibrant learning community, representative of the diversity of Greece, which maintains a high level of involvement of members.
  • A source of planning and facilitating joint-shapes.
  • A natural resource and partner for major academic centers and research centers and any other organization with similar orientation in Greece.
  • An organization that plays a decisive role in the “cradle to cradle” results.
  • A significant contributor to change local regional educational schools.
  • A significant contributor to the global network of SoL.

Our purpose

Our purpose is to study and share the principles of organizational learning in the context of organizational change, social and environmental sustainability and educational transformation, while constantly practicing and developing their individual and collective skills and values for thinking, confidence respect, understanding and expression.

Target

The Greek community of SoL targets organizations, companies, government organizations, non-profit organizations, independent consultants, researchers, students and generally any other unit or group interested in the Organizational Learning, our theories and our practices.

Organizational Learning

Organizational Learning is an area of knowledge that studies standards, theories and practices being on the way in which an organization learns, adopts and develops / grows.

It is located in a prominent position in the science of Change Management and widely used strategy to reorganize and Organizational Development. Organizational Learning is recognized as the most effective approach for the planned and immediate change: it is the way in which all the official literature has recognized as the most successful in any field / area of administrative change.

The usual traditional learning practices in business, through the Department of Human Resources, although beneficial activities (seminars, exercises, etc.) are the means for individual learning for workers. However, individual learning is only a necessary condition for Organizational Learning. Organizations and networks learn when people learn, but only if people share the knowledge they have acquired.

So the main difference is that a Learning Organization actively creates, captures, transports and uses the knowledge to empower and integrate it in a constantly changing environment. A learning organization actively promotes, facilitates and rewards collective learning. Therefore, the key point of Organizational Learning is the interaction that occurs between individuals.

To create a learning organization

The best approach on creating a culture of collaborative learning and practice is described in the book “The Fifth discipline field book: the Dance of Change: the Challenges to Sustaining Momentum in Learning Organizations”. Three main points are described:

  1. The interaction of community leadership to support the change.
  2. The key features of the system to enhance the culture of learning.
  3. Boundaries facing most change efforts.

With respect to community leadership, fundamental premise is that there is involvement of elders and leadership of field leaders, with the dedication to put in place new practices and informal leaders who will help facilitate the infrastructure and internal capacity building, support and exchange sources.

The basic system characteristics foster change according to our experience is not so surprising. The change in culture will spread if seen as something worth the time to look at it, if it consists of the right mix of being good at personal level and practice for better performance and professional results if favor interfaces so that a network of supporters to be accessible and visible to those who are committed to this change.

Peter Senge

Born in 1947, Peter Senge graduated from Stanford University in aerospace engineering and received a master’s degree in Social Systems Model from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Subsequently, he received a Ph.D. in Management (PhD). He holds the title of lecturer at MIT. He is founder and president of the Society for Organizational Learning (SOL).

His interest is focused on decentralizing the role of leader for organizations to enhance the ability of people to work more productively to achieve common goals.

Through his work, Dr.Senge, places human values at the heart of the workplace, proposing that vision, purpose, personal mastery and systemic thinking is essential to realize an organization’s perspectives.

He was declared as “Leader of the Century” by the Journal of Business Strategy and as one of the 24 men and women with “greater influence on the perception of business today” (September / October 1999). While studying how businesses and organizations develop adaptive capabilities, his book The Fifth Discipline in 1990 brought him firmly in the spotlight and made famous the idea of “Learning Organization”. Since the publication, more than one million copies sold and in 1997 the Harvard Business Review accepted the book as one of the most fertile of management books in the last 75 years.

Dr. Senge has given lectures around the world, translating the abstract ideas of systemic theory tools to bring about economic and organizational change. He has worked with leaders in business, education, health and government. He lives with his wife and children in eastern Massachusetts.

Apart from been author of the book The Fifth Discipline, Peter Senge has also worked with colleagues on other books associated with issues that were first developed on the book The Fifth Discipline. Some of them are, The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook: Strategies and Tools for Building a Learning Organization (1994), The Dance of Change: The Challenges to Sustaining Momentum in Learning Organizations (1999) and Schools That Learn (2000).

    Selected Bibliography

  • 1990, The Fifth Discipline: The art and practice of the learning organization,
  • 1994, The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook
  • 1999, The Dance of Change
  • 2004, Presence: Human Purpose and the Field of the Future
  • 2005, Presence: An Exploration of Profound Change in People, Organizations, and Society
  • 2008, The Necessary Revolution: How Individuals and Organizations Are Working Together to Create a Sustainable World

Five Disciplines

The Five Disciplines of Organizational Learning as published in The Dance of Change.

Each of the five disciplines represents a lifelong body of study and practice for individuals and teams in organizations.

Personal Mastery
This discipline of aspiration involves formulating a coherent picture of the results people most desire to gain as individuals (their personal vision), alongside a realistic assessment of the current state of their lives today (their current reality). Learning to cultivate the tension between vision and reality (represented in this icon by the rubber band) can expand people’s capacity to make better choices, and to achieve more of the results that they have chosen.
Mental Models
This discipline of reflection and inquiry skills is focused around developing awareness of the attitudes and perceptions that influence thought and interaction. By continually reflecting upon, talking about, and reconsidering these internal pictures of the world, people can gain more capability in governing their actions and decisions. The icon here portrays one of the more powerful principles of this discipline, the “ladder of inference” depicting how people leap instantly to counterproductive conclusions and assumptions.
Shared Vision
This collective discipline establishes a focus on mutual purpose. People learn to nourish a sense of commitment in a group or organization by developing shared images of the future they seek to create (symbolized by the eye), and the principles and guiding practices by which they hope to get there.
Team Learning
This is a discipline of group interaction. Through techniques like dialogue and skillful discussion, teams transform their collective thinking, learning to mobilize their energies and ability greater than the sum of individual members’ talents. The icon symbolizes the natural alignment of a learning-oriented team as the flight of a flock of birds.
Systems Thinking
In this discipline, people learn to better understand interdependency and change, and thereby to deal more effectively with the forces that shape the consequences of our actions. Systems thinking is based upon a growing body of theory about the behavior of feedback and complexity-the innate tendencies of a system that lead to growth or stability over time. Tools and techniques such as systems archetypes and various types of learning labs and simulations help 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. The circle in this icon represents the fundamental building block of all systems: the circular “feedback loop” underlying all growing and limiting processes in nature.

Senge, P. M., Charlotte Roberts, Rick Ross, George Roth, Bryan Smith, and Art Kleiner (1999). The Dance of Change: The challenges of sustaining momentum in learning organizations. New York, Currency/Doubleday. Page 32