Peter Senge

From Quotes
Often people attempt to live their lives backwards; they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want, so they will be happier.
Margaret Young
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Peter M. Senge is a teacher who wrote the seminal work on learning organizations, The Fifth Discipline (1990).


  • In a learning organization, leaders are designers, stewards, and teachers. They are responsible for building organizations where people continually expand their capabilities to understand complexity, clarify vision, and improve shared mental models – that is, they are responsible for learning.
  • In essence, leaders are people who ‘walk ahead,’ people genuinely committed to deep changes, in themselves and in their organizations.
    • The Dance of Change (1999)
  • It is a testament to our naïveté about culture that we think that we can change it by simply declaring new values. Such declarations usually produce only cynicism.
    • The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook (1994)
  • 'Learning organizations' [are] organizations where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning how to learn together.
    • The Fifth Discipline (1990)
  • Mutual reflection. Open and candid conversation. Questioning of old beliefs and assumptions. Learning to let go. Awareness of how our own actions create the systemic structures that produce our problems. Developing these learning capabilities lies at the heart of profound change.
    • The Dance of Change (1999)
  • We believe that, ultimately, the most important learning occurs in the context of our day-to-day life, the aspirations we pursue, the challenges we face, and the responses we bring forth.
    • The Dance of Change (1999)
  • When executives lead as teachers, stewards, and designers, they fill roles that are much more subtle and long-term than those of power-wielding hierarchical leaders.
    • "Leading learning organizations," Training & Development, 50 (12), December 1996.


  • Real learning gets to the heart of what it means to be human. Through learning we re-create ourselves. Through learning we become able to do something we never were able to do. Through learning we reperceive the world and our relationship to it. Through learning we extend our capacity to create, to be part of the generative process of life. There is within each of us a deep hunger for this type of learning.

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