“For over 1200 years Taxila and Nalanda were the finest centres of learning in Asia and the world. Emperor Ashoka was the political outcome of this intellectual leadership. As Taxila and Nalanda declined, centres of learning emerged elsewhere. This process continues.
What is now emerging is far more exciting, driven primarily by open — often free — real-time access to information and technology. With social networks and the immense possibilities of online learning, the centres of learning have shifted homeward. Critical to the success of these new, emerging centres of learning is the maturity of the learner. In fact, the key outcome of this new literacy is the emergence of the adult who thrives on dialogue and community. Yet existing leadership styles and organisational practices often tend to stifle the blossoming of the adult, especially in large organisational and governance systems.
This is where First Discipline comes in — as the management equivalent of the graphic user interface. The graphic user interface took technology to the masses; this book seeks to do the same for management, facilitating accelerated learning and mastery of the critical set of sustained high performance competencies.
Management is often understood as a derived discipline. This book though, rests on the conviction that management is a foundational discipline that offers a meta-framework to integrate all other disciplines. The limitations of the discipline of management thus arise from the failure to recognise its integrative role. Through visual semiotics, the integral First Discipline Framework takes the reader to the philosophical foundations of management, highlighting its integrative nature, connecting the east and the west and the process of achieving accelerated mastery of this practice.
Developed in 1990, the First Discipline Framework is a visual compass for our journey through personal, organisational and community life. The tool continues to be used in diverse contexts — schools, MBA programmes, start-ups, industry, non-profits, government and for capacity building among the ecosystem people.
From 2007, the dialogue has gone online and global. This book is an outcome of the expanding dialogue on First Discipline.”