Peter Senge

Peter Senge Photo

The "Father" of Organizational Learning and Leading Thinker on Sustainability

Dr. Peter M. Senge is the founding chairperson of SoL and a senior lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has lectured extensively throughout the world, translating the abstract ideas of systems theory into tools for better understanding of economic and organizational change. He has worked with leaders in business, education, health care and government.

  • Fee Range: >$40,000
  • Travels From: Massachusetts
  • Topics: Leadership, Organizational Development, Social Responsiblity, Strategy, Sustainability, Team Building

Speaker Bio

Peter M. Senge is a senior lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  He is also founding chair of the Society for Organizational Learning (SoL), a global community of corporations, researchers, and consultants dedicated to the "interdependent development of people and their institutions."  He is the author of the widely acclaimed book, The Fifth Discipline:  The Art and Practice of The Learning Organization (1990, revised edition published 2006) and, with colleagues Charlotte Roberts, Rick Ross, Bryan Smith and Art Kleiner, co-author of The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook:  Strategies and Tools for Building a Learning Organization (1994) and a fieldbook The Dance of Change:  The Challenges to Sustaining Momentum in Learning Organizations (March, 1999), also co-authored by George Roth.  In September 2000,  a fieldbook on education was published, the award winning Schools That Learn:  A Fifth Discipline Fieldbook for Educators, Parents, and Everyone Who Cares About Education, co-authored with Nelda Cambron-McCabe, Timothy Lucas, Bryan Smith, Janis Dutton, and Art Kleiner.

Dr. Senge has lectured extensively throughout the world, translating the abstract ideas of systems theory into tools for better understanding of economic and organizational change.  His areas of special interest focus on decentralizing the role of leadership in organizations so as to enhance the capacity of all people to work productively toward common goals.  Dr. Senge's work articulates a cornerstone position of human values in the workplace; namely, that vision, purpose, reflectiveness, and systems thinking are essential if organizations are to realize their potentials.  He has worked with leaders in business, education, health care and government.

The Fifth Discipline hit a nerve deep within the business and education community by introducing the theory of learning organizations.  Since its publication, more than a million copies have been sold world-wide.  In 1997, Harvard Business Review identified it as one of the seminal management books of the past 75 years.  There have been feature articles in Business Week, Fortune , Fast Company, Sloan Management Review and other leading business periodicals regarding the work of Dr. Senge and his colleagues at MIT and SoL. 

The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook (over 400,000 copies sold) was developed in response to questions from readers of The Fifth Discipline who wanted more help with tools, methods and practical experiences in developing enhanced learning capabilities within their own companies.  The Dance of Change is based on more recent experiences of companies developing learning capabilities over many years, and the strategies leaders develop to deal with the many challenges this work entails.  Dr. Senge has also authored many articles published in both academic journals and the business press on systems thinking in management.

The Journal of Business Strategy (September/October 1999) named Dr. Senge as one of the 24 people who had the greatest influence on business strategy over the last 100 years.  The Financial Times (2000) named him as one of the world’s “top management gurus.” Business Week (October 2001) rated Peter as one of The Top (ten) Management Gurus.

Peter Senge received a B.S. in engineering from Stanford University, an M.S. in social systems modeling and Ph.D. in management from MIT.  He lives with his wife and their two children in central Massachusetts.



  • The Learning Organization
  • Systems Thinking Workshop
  • Leadership in the World of Living
  • The Dance of Change


Core Competencies Course
This course conveys the essence of SoL's mission by teaching new perspectives for individual and collective learning. It was first presented in March 1992, in conjunction with the MIT Center for Organizational Learning, and has since been attended by more than 2,000 managers and individuals from member and non-member companies.

Anticipated Learning
After attending the course, you will have an understanding of the core competencies required for building learning organizations and you will have the experience of participating in a learning community. You will have an enhanced ability to think systemically, communicate effectively, and lead honorably. You will be asked to clarify personal and professional visions, and then use those personal visions to create a shared vision that can guide an organization on its path to becoming a learning organization.

This course is designed as an intensive and comprehensive hands-on introduction to the concepts, methods and tools for building learning organizations. It is designed for teams interested in working together to apply organizational learning tools and methods to practical issues in the context of their organization. Participants need to be genuinely interested in attending, be open to a different experience, and be in positions to support further work in their organizations.

Detailed Course Description
This is not a typical management training course. This program emphasizes that knowledge is really the capacity for action and that learning is the development of that capacity. Although it will introduce you to new tools and methods, it is not primarily focused on tools and methods. It is based on a simple premise: that there is no better way to learn about learning organizations and how they can be brought about than to create such an organization. We endeavor to do so, insofar as that is possible in five days. The course invites you to think about your own aspirations, both in and out of the workplace. It focuses on the principles, concepts, methods and tools of organizational learning, and how to apply them in an organizational and personal context.


Accelerated Organizational Learning for Business Results:
Core Competencies in Action

What would significant performance improvement mean for your business? How can you increase your work team productivity and impact?
Companies such as Intel and Harley-Davidson know the value of using SoL's organizational learning principles to increase work team productivity and impact. In this interactive workshop your team will learn the tools and methods necessary for building a learning organization and apply them to your most pressing business challenges.

 Why this Workshop is Unique

  1. Customized in Real-Time to Address Your Business Needs: Your own projects and goals are used to shape the workshop content. The flexible curriculum allows facilitators Robert Hanig and Sara Schley to work with your team to integrate the tools and methods most relevant to your current work.
  2. With pre- and post-session consultation and support, the goal is to achieve effective, coordinated action and results in your ongoing projects through the power of learning as a collective process.  This is not a superficial training exercise. It is a generative learning experience that goes beyond the 4-day workshop. To set you and your team up for success, we provide support that extends the actual workshop experience:
  • Before the workshop, an experienced consultant will conduct individual and team enrollment calls to identify the critical success factors most important to you and your team.
  • Two consultative follow-up calls will help you and your team continue to apply the learning over a period of 4-6 months.
  • Your return on investment will increase as you share knowledge with others in your organization over time. Creating your own community of practice in the workplace will sustain and refine your competencies.
  • Further collaboration in the form of customized in-house workshops, coaching, team facilitation, intervention design and implementation is also available.
  • Learning Objectives
    You will uncover new approaches to your current team challenges, and acquire a broader perspective and skill set to sustain change. After attending this workshop you and your team will be able to:

  • Use system archetypes to clarify complex causal relationships and identify leverage points for sustained success
  • Initiate, lead, and participate in productive conversations that promote learning and bridge personal and organizational boundaries
  • Understand how your beliefs and assumptions influence your own behavior and your team's results
  • Recognize where vision and aspiration may be superior to problem-solving in producing critical business results
  • Create a learning community with people from outside and inside your organization to enhance your capacity for transformation and innovative action
  • Who Should Attend?

  • Teams and/or team members who want to build their capacity for effective decision making, accelerated performance, and inspired results
  • Leaders at all levels who want to tap into the collective intelligence of their organizations to address their toughest business challenges and leverage market opportunities.
  • Teams from all sectors - corporate, non-profit, government, and education - who recognize that a new way of doing business is needed to survive and succeed in the 21st century.

  • The Learning Environment
    Come to the workshop prepared to work on your challenges, and participate in a learning community of ongoing support, innovation, and growth. SoL's unparalleled attention to the quality of the "container for learning" stems from our desire to provide a safe, human-centered space that allows for the kind of reflective focus in which breakthrough results are achieved. As you work with your own and with other teams, you will have first-hand experience of leveraging the collective intelligence of an action-learning community. In recognizing the principles and values characteristic of this generative energy field, you will have taken the first steps toward extending the experience into your own organization.

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