Being Green Profitably

CareerCast - Life-long Career Development

Peter Senge Imagine a world where the environmentally sound products and services are the more cost-effective choice. Peter Senge, senior lecturer at MIT and author of The Necessary Revolution, believes that the world of being green profitably is already emerging. In this CareerCast, Peter shares how companies around the world are implementing transformative strategies that are creating revolutionary—not just incremental—changes in the way we live and work.

Aired September 18, 2008

Peter M. Senge, PhD, coauthor of The Necessary Revolution: How Individuals and Organizations Are Working Together to Create a Sustainable World, is a senior lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is also founding chair of SoL, the Society for Organizational Learning, a global community of corporations, researchers, and consultants dedicated to the “interdependent development of people and their institutions.”

Peter is the author of the best seller The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization (1990, revised edition published 2006). With colleagues Charlotte Roberts, Rick Ross, Bryan Smith, and Art Kleiner, Senge is coauthor 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 coauthored 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, coauthored with Nelda Cambron-McCabe, Timothy Lucas, Bryan Smith, Janis Dutton, and Art Kleiner. Presence: Human Purpose and the Field of the Future, coauthored with Claus Otto Scharmer, Joseph Jaworski, and Betty Sue Flowers, was published in March 2004 by SoL.

Peter 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. His 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 potential. He has worked with leaders in business, education, healthcare, 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 two million copies have been sold worldwide. Harvard Business Review identified it as one of the seminal management books of the past 75 years. The Financial Times hailed it as one of the “Greatest Business Books of All Time,” and the Boston Globe called it a “management classic.” There have been feature articles in Business Week, Fortune, Fast Company, Sloan Management Review and other leading business periodicals regarding the work of Peter 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 experiences of companies developing learning capabilities over many years, and the strategies leaders develop to deal with the many challenges this work entails. Peter has also authored many articles published in academic journals and the business press on systems thinking in management.

The Wall Street Journal ranked Peter among 2008’s “20 most influential business thinkers.” The Journal of Business Strategy named him one of the 24 people who had the greatest influence on business strategy over the past 100 years. The Financial Times named him one of the world’s “top management gurus,” and BusinessWeek rated him as one of The Top (10) Management Gurus.

Peter received a BS in engineering from Stanford University and an MS in social systems modeling and PhD in management from MIT. He lives with his wife and their two children in central Massachusetts.

The Necessary Revolution: How Individuals and Organizations Are Working Together to Create a Sustainable World, by Peter Senge, 2008. 

Social Entrepreneurship: New Models of Sustainable Social Change, by Alex Nicholis, 2008. 

Ethical Markets: Growing the Green Economy, by Hazel Henderson and Simran Sethi, 2007. 

Making a Living While Making a Difference: Conscious Careers in an Era of Interdependence, by Melissa Everett, 2007. 

Theory U: Leading from the Future as it Emerges, by C. Otto Scharmer, 2007. 

The Clean Tech Revolution: The Next Big Growth and Investment Opportunity, by Ron Pernick and Clint Wilder, 2007. 

Learning for Sustainability, by Peter Senge, Joe Laur, Sara Schley, and Bryan Smith, 2006. 

The High-Purpose Company: The TRULY Responsible (and Highly Profitable) Firms That Are Changing Business Now, by Christine Arena, 2006. 

The Triple Bottom Line: How Today’s Best-Run Companies Are Achieving Economic, Social and Environmental Success and How You Can Too, by Andrew W. Savitz and Karl Weber, 2006. 

Environmental Policy: New Directions for the Twenty-First Century, by Norman J. Vig and Michael E. Kraft, 2005. 

World of Risk: A New Approach to Global Strategy and Leadership, by Mark Daniels, 2004. 

Triple Bottom Line: Does It All Add Up: Assessing the Sustainability of Business and CSR, by Adrian Henriques and Julie Richardson, 2004. 

Triple Bottom Line Risk Management: Enhancing Profit, Environmental Performance, and Community Benefits, by Adrian R. Bowden, Malcolm R. Lane, and Julia H. Martin, 2001.

Peter Senge The Necessary Revolution

Read an excerpt of The Necessary Revolution: How Individuals and Organizations Are Working Together to Create a Sustainable World, by Peter Senge.

Read the Excerpt