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Book Title: Presence: Exploring Profound Change in People, Organizations, and Society|
The author of the book: Peter M. Senge
ISBN 13: 9781857883558
Format files: PDF, Epub, DOCx, TXT
The size of the: 634 KB
Edition: Nicholas Brealey Publishing
Date of issue: July 1st 2007
Reader ratings: 5.1
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Read full description of the books Presence: Exploring Profound Change in People, Organizations, and Society:
In seminary, I took a class called "Mysticism and Human Presence." Later, I stumbled onto Ralph Harper's book, "On Presence." Then I discovered Bernard McGinn's magnum-opus-in-progress, a history of Western Christian mysticism called "The Presence of God." All of these were significant to the formation of my theology. So when I saw this book - co-written by Peter Senge, whose work on "learning organizations" I have found so helpful - it was irresistible. When I began reading it, I was reminded of Jane Jacobs's "The Nature of Economies." While Jacobs invented a fictional dialogue to get her ideas across, rather like Plato's dialogues, here was an account of a real dialogue among the authors. There is something inherently inviting about a written dialogue. I feel welcomed to the table. There is something about the form that forces the language to be more accessible. I feel involved in the thought process. And I'm led to compare the ideas expressed to my own experience. That's how this book engaged me.
How it felt to read this book enhanced my grasp of its message. Many of us struggle with change in our lives, wanted and unwanted. Communities, even whole societies, struggle collectively with change. When the collective struggle is upon us, how do we struggle well, productively, and collaboratively? The authors describe seven capacities to cultivate: suspending (becoming aware of our habitual thoughts and actions), redirecting (from the habits to their sources), letting go (of feeling like you need to control it all), letting come ("surrendering into commitment" to a larger whole; envisioning new habits), crystallizing (making our intent and work explicit), prototyping (enacting a new way of working, adjusting as you go - the plan doesn't have to be perfect before you act, if you are doing something genuinely new), and institutionalizing (holding onto what's valuable in our intent and our work). These, in this order, are also steps toward change. The authors offer a diagram to show the steps, and they are easily gleaned from the table of contents. What persuades - at least, it persuaded me - is the authors' descriptions of the inner work needed to effect significant change (drawn in part from the wisdom of religious or spiritual ideas and practices) and the examples they cite from their own and their colleagues' work helping to facilitate large-scale collective change. We all resist inner work, we all struggle to collaborate, and we are all inspired by real results. The authors connect the struggles with the results, offering hope and motivation both for doing the inner work and for collaborating.
Concepts from mysticism abound in this book. Mystical sources cited range from Plato to Masaru Emoto - a great range both in epoch and in methods. What anchors and ties them together is how they are related throughout the book to experience, place and presence. If we wish to be the change we want to see, both the seeing and the being must go deep. That is the authors' challenge and invitation.
Read information about the authorPeter 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."
--from the author's website
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