We use cookies and other similar technologies (Cookies) to enhance your experience and to provide you with relevant content and ads. By using our website, you are agreeing to the use of Cookies. You can change your settings at any time. Cookie Policy.

The successful adoption of business process management (BPM) and its use as a new source of competitive advantage requires individual, team and organizational learning. After all, BPM isn’t something a company can go out and buy -- it’s a way of doing business. How does a company learn this new way of competing for the future? It takes a lot more than just acquiring new technical skills. It also takes leadership, and demands that IT professionals help the overall business organization gain the knowledge and skills it needs to succeed, for IT professionals have a unique expertise in general systems thinking that must be fostered throughout the enterprise. BPM is, indeed, about systems thinking.

Peter Senge, a senior professor of behavioral policy science at MIT and author of The Fifth Discipline, is a leading proponent of the concept of the learning organization. Senge describes four core disciplines, in addition to the fifth discipline of systems thinking, that are required to build such an organization: personal mastery, working with mental models, building shared vision and team learning. These disciplines have yet to be written into the personnel manuals of today’s corporation, but are vital to building a process-managed enterprise.

Teams and organizations can learn, just as individuals can, but the learning process is more complex. Personal mastery is a prerequisite for team learning, just as team learning is a prerequisite for organizational learning, but learning disabilities abound in all three domains: individual, team and organizational.

The process of individual adult learning is a compound challenge because learning new ways of doing work requires “unlearning” existing, ingrained thinking and work patterns. Learning is often a painful experience, as it disturbs existing deeply held assumptions, beliefs and generalizations (mental models) people use to get through the day, at home and at work. The pain level can be so significant that adults practice defensive procedures in learning situations that threaten their existing mental models.

Successful corporations of the 21st century will systematically manage their mental models. The discipline of working with mental models is a vital enabler of change, the kind of change needed for corporate transformations. Individuals are not simply updating or adding to their current knowledge. Instead they are fundamentally altering the way they think about problems, and altering the way they view their world. Companies will no doubt need to take specific steps to help individuals think “outside the box” of existing mental models. A first step is to embrace the field of creative thinking. A classic book on creative thinking is Roger von Oech’s book, A Whack on the Side of the Head. This classic takes a refreshing look at the ten mental locks that keep us from being creative.


1  2  

   Next Page

Explore Our Topics

  • Virtual Conferences
  • Webinars
  • Roundtables

BPM in Action

March 10, 2011

The sixth annual BPM in Action 2011 Virtual Conference will explore cutting-edge market developments in BPM and describe how to leverage them for improved business operation and performance. More

View All Virtual Conferences

Smart Case Management: Why It's So Smart.

Date:Nov 05, 2009
Time:12:00 PM ET- (17:00 GMT)


Date:Oct 29, 2009
Time:15:00 PM ET- (19:00 GMT)

View All Roundtables
  • Research Library
  • Podcasts
  • News

Joe McKendrick: Part II of II: Designing Evolve-ability into SOA and IT Systems

In part two of Joe McKendrick's recent podcast with Miko Matsumura, chief strategist for Software AG, they talk about how SOA and IT systems need to change and grow and adapt with the organization around it.

Listen Now

Phil Wainewright: Helping Brands Engage with Social Media

Phil Wainewright interviews David Vap, VP of products at RightNow Technologies, and finds out how sharing best practices can help businesses understand how best to engage with online communities.

Listen Now

Peter Schooff: Making Every IT Dollar Result in a Desired Business Outcome: Scott Hebner of IBM Rati

Scott Hebner, Vice President of Marketing and Strategy for IBM Rational, discusses a topic on the top of every company's mind today: getting the most from IT investments.

Listen Now

Jessica Ann Mola: Where Will BI Fit In? Lyndsay Wise Explains

In BI, this tough economy and the increasing role of Web 2.0 and MDM are certainly topics on people's minds today. WiseAnalytics' Lyndsay Wise addresses each of them in this informative podcast.

Listen Now

Dennis Byron: Talking with...Deepak Singh of BPM Provider Adeptia

Deepak Singh, President and CTO of Adeptia, joins ebizQ's Dennis Byron in a podcast that gets its hand around the trend of industry-specific BPM.

Listen Now
More Podcasts
  • Most Popular
  • Quick Guide
  • Most Discussed

Quick Guide: What is BPM?

Learn More

Quick Guide: What is Event Processing?

Smart event processing can help your company run smarter and faster. This comprehensive guide helps you research the basics of complex event processing (CEP) and learn how to get started on the right foot with your CEP project using EDA, RFID, SOA, SCADA and other relevant technologies. Learn More

Quick Guide: What is Enterprise 2.0?

A lot of people are talking about Enterprise 2.0 as being the business application of Web 2.0 technology. However, there's still some debate on exactly what this technology entails, how it applies to today's business models, and which components bring true value. Some use the term Enterprise 2.0 exclusively to describe the use of social networking technologies in the enterprise, while others use it to describe a web economy platform, or the technological framework behind such a platform. Still others say that Enterprise 2.0 is all of these things. Learn More