Fall Reading 2012

Michael Stone, December 8, 2012, , (src)

Contents

Fall reading. Mostly not finished. Some jewels: Senge, Argyris, Porter.

The Fifth Discipline

Link: Amazon

Author: Peter Senge

Summary: Systems can be complex, complicated, or both. Complex systems feature “dynamic” – i.e., temporal – complexity. Complicated systems feature “detail” complexity. Feedback, delay, and indirect causality are three of the critical features of complex systems. Other key terms: leverage, personal mastery, mental models, shared vision, and team learning.

Related fun:

Competitive Strategy

Link: Amazon

Author: Michael Porter

Summary: tbd. (up to page 50, or so): profits in any given industry are heavily constrained by five structural forces of rivalry: “entry, threat of substitution, bargaining power of buyers, bargaining power of suppliers, and rivalry among current competitors”. These forces often result in industry-specific barriers to entry (and exit). There are three (mostly mutually incompatible) extremes of competitive strategy: cost leadership, differentiation, and focus.

Related fun:

The Art of Design

Link: usacac.army.mil

Author: SAMS Student Text Design Team

Summary: tbd. (up to page 30 or so)

Selected Quotes:

According to the doctrine, “design is a methodology for applying critical and creative thinking to understand, visualize, and describe complex, ill-structured problems and develop approaches to solve them.” – FM 5-0 (pg. 10)

The five pillars of design education at SAMS are history, theory, doctrine, philosophy, and practice. (pg. 28)

Related fun:

An Unknown Future and a Doubtful Present

Link: www.history.army.mil

Author: Charles E. Kirkpatrick

Summary: tbd.

Related fun:

The Reflective Practitioner

Link: Amazon

Author: Donald A Schön

Summary: tbd. (The basic blurb: for most professionals, effectiveness depends heavily on tacit knowledge and “reflection-in-action”.)

See also:

Related fun:

Educating the Reflective Practitioner

Link: Amazon

Author: Donald A Schön

Summary: tbd. “Where do professionals come from?”

Related fun:

Theory in Practice

Link: Amazon

Author: Chris Argyris and Donald A. Schön

Summary: Argyris and Schön think that many people in our society tacitly learn theories in order to cope with their environment but that, for structural reasons, their theories often are often “self-sealing” rather than testable and subject to incongruence (espoused theories and theories-in-use differ), incompatibility (control objectives conflict / configuration space is disconnected), ineffectiveness (objectives not met), and loss of value (inappropriate objectives are met). They suggest a paradoxical but (according to them) effective alternate path based on maximizing learning via valid information, free and informed choice, and internal commitment.

Related fun:

The Emotional Brain

Link: Amazon

Author: Joseph LeDoux

Summary: tbd.

Related fun:

The Definitive Book of Body Language

Link: Amazon

Author: Barbara Pease and Allan Pease

Summary: People often express their emotional state via pose and gesture clusters. (Note: the science writing here is mostly crap but the photos and illustrations are, mostly, convincing.)