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The Necessary Revolution: How individuals…
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The Necessary Revolution: How individuals and organizations are working…

by Peter Senge

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Although this book is not destined to become a classic like The Fifth Discipline, The Necessary Revolution does describe what will become a classic example of the need for Organizational Learning.

The book gives detailed examples of revolutionary creative collaboration to create a more sustainable world and provides specific tools that you can use to get to similar breakthroughs.

The first part of the book lays out the argument for change. Most readers will not see anything new in the data of the collapse in fish stocks, rising CO2 levels or dwindling non-renewable resources. However, the discussion uses systems descriptions to show very effectively the need to fix the root cause rather than to continue to chase and fix symptoms of the problem.
They liken participants in the Industrial Age – everyone today – to investors caught up in a stock market bubble. The people drawn into the bubble have their positive beliefs reinforced by the continuing successes. They do not see what could possibly go wrong until it is too late. To recognize the problems, we must look “beyond the bubble” and see the entire interconnected system. The success and growth of the Industrial Age has reinforced our assumptions of infinite resources, endless room for growth and the resilience of the Earth to recover from our assaults. We must learn how to see the entire system.

The change in our thinking and acting depends on three core capabilities: seeing systems, collaborating across boundaries and creating the desired futures.

The second part of the book tells the stories of some of today’s innovators and the successful results they have achieved. Although the stories emphasize the difficulty of changing institutions, they also sometimes come across as somewhat naïve. Did Coca-Cola, Alcoa and GE really change or will they regress when the economy turns against them?

The real value of the book comes in the rest of the chapters that give examples and lessons of specific techniques of the three core capabilities. There is a good introduction to describing systems, recognizing artificial boundaries and applying some of the system archetypes. In the sections on collaborating, there are tools for building relationships, tempering advocacy and uncovering hidden assumptions. In the chapters on creating futures, there are skills for creating visions and achieving early successes to build momentum and generate creative energy.

Different people will get something different out of this book. Those who work in organizational change can appreciate this as a real world application of learning organization principles introduced in The Fifth Discipline. Those who are struggling with changing an organization may find some of the tools immediately applicable. Everyone should find it heartening to see that people are using “business” techniques to drive positive social change. ( )
  futureman | Aug 10, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 038551901X, Hardcover)

Imagine a world in which the excess energy from one business would be used to heat another. Where buildings need less and less energy around the world, and where “regenerative” commercial buildings – ones that create more energy than they use – are being designed. A world in which environmentally sound products and processes would be more cost-effective than wasteful ones. A world in which corporations such as Costco, Nike, BP, and countless others are forming partnerships with environmental and social justice organizations to ensure better stewardship of the earth and better livelihoods in the developing world. Now, stop imagining – that world is already emerging.

A revolution is underway in today’s organizations. As Peter Senge and his co-authors reveal in The Necessary Revolution, companies around the world are boldly leading the change from dead-end “business as usual” tactics to transformative strategies that are essential for creating a flourishing, sustainable world. There is a long way to go, but the era of denial has ended. Today’s most innovative leaders are recognizing that for the sake of our companies and our world, we must implement revolutionary—not just incremental—changes in the way we live and work.

Brimming with inspiring stories from individuals and organizations tackling social and environmental problems around the globe, THE NECESSARY REVOLUTION reveals how ordinary people at every level are transforming their businesses and communities. By working collaboratively across boundaries, they are exploring and putting into place unprecedented solutions that move beyond just being “less bad” to creating pathways that will enable us to flourish in an increasingly interdependent world. Among the stories in these pages are the evolution of Sweden’s “Green Zone,” Alcoa’s water use reduction goals, GE’s ecoimagination initiative, and Seventh Generation’s decision to shift some of their advertising to youth-led social change programs.

At its heart, THE NECESSARY REVOLUTION contains a wealth of strategies that individuals and organizations can use — specific tools and ways of thinking — to help us build the confidence and competence to respond effectively to the greatest challenge of our time. It is an essential guidebook for all of us who recognize the need to act and work together—now—to create a sustainable world, both for ourselves and for the generations to follow.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:11 -0400)

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This book reveals how ordinary people at every level are transforming their businesses and communities. By working collaboratively across boundaries, they are exploring and putting into place unprecedented solutions that move beyond just being "less bad" to creating pathways that will enable us to flourish in an increasingly interdependent world. Among the stories told are the evolution of Sweden's "Green Zone", Alcoa's water use reduction goals, GE's ecoimagination initiative, and Seventh Generation's decision to shift some of their advertising to youth-led social change programs.… (more)

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