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Pixar Company Essay (Essay Sample)



In order to complete the task correctly, please follow the link and read the “Five Learning Disciplines” carefully.  Then read the Pixar Foster article and follow and follow task below:

Short essay question: Is Pixar a Learning Organization?

-Write a short essay no more than 3 paragraphs. Explain whether you think Pixar is a learning organization based upon the information in the article “How Pixar Fosters Collective Creativity”

-Use the five discipline of a learning organization as evaluation criteria to help identify the characteristic you feel Pixar met a leaning organization.



Five Learning Disciplines 

The 5 Learning DisciplinesShared Vision, Mental Models, Personal Mastery, Team Learning and Systems Thinking – are each made up of a set of tools and practices for building and sustaining learning leadership capability in organizations. Each Discipline consists of:


Principles, propositions or concepts (Senge calls these ‘guiding ideas’)


Tools or techniques that, once learned and practiced, assist in making the Disciplines come to life


Practices or precepts to follow in your own leadership behavior and approaches

According to Senge, leaders in learning organizations learn to thrive on change and constantly innovate by methodically cultivating these 5 Disciplines. They may never be fully mastered, but learning-centred leaders, teams and organizations practice them continuously.

Our approach to workplace improvement and learning-centred leadership is based firmly in the values, concepts, principles and language of learning organizations.

The 5 Leadership Learning Disciplines in brief are:


Shared Vision: The key vision question is ‘What do we want to create together?’. Taking time early in the change process to have the conversations needed to shape a truly shared vision is crucial to build common understandings and commitments, unleash people’s aspirations and hopes and unearth reservations and resistances.  Leaders learn to use tools such as ‘Positive Visioning’, 'Concept-shifting’ and ‘Values Alignment’ to create a shared vision, forge common meaning/focus and mutually agree what the learning targets, improvement strategies and challenge-goals should be to get there.


Mental Models: One key to change success is in surfacing deep-seated mental models - beliefs, values, mind-sets and assumptions that determine the way people think and act. Getting in touch with the thinking going on about change in your workplace, challenging or clarifying assumptions and encouraging people to reframe is essential.  Leaders learn to use tools like the 'Ladder of Inference' and 'Reflective Inquiry' to practice making their mental models clearer for each other and challenging each others' assumptions in order to build shared understanding.


Personal Mastery is centrally to do with ‘self-awareness’ – how much we know about ourselves and the impact our behavior has on others. Personal mastery is the human face of change – to manage change relationships sensitively, to be willing to have our own beliefs and values challenged and to ensure our change interactions and behaviors are authentic, congruent and principled. Leaders learn to use tools like 'Perceptual Positions' and 'Reframing' to enhance the quality of interaction and relationship in and outside their teams.


Team Learning happens when teams start ‘thinking together’ – sharing their experience, insights, knowledge and skills with each other about how to do things better. Teams develop reflection, inquiry and discussion skills to conduct more skillful change conversations with each other which form the basis for creating a shared vision of change and deciding on common commitments to action. It’s also about teams developing the discipline to use the action learning cycle rigorously in change-work.  Leaders learn to use tools like the 'Action-Learning Cycle' and 'Dialogue' to develop critical reflection skills and conduct more robust, skillful discussions with their teams and each other. 


Systems Thinking is a framework for seeing inter-relationships that underlie complex situations and interactions rather than simplistic (and mostly inaccurate) linear cause-effect chains. It enables teams to unravel the often hidden subtleties, influences, leverage points and intended/unintended consequences of change plans and programs and leads to deeper, more complete awareness of the interconnections behind changing any system. Leaders learn to use 'Systems Thinking Maps' and 'Archetypes' to map and analyze situations, events, problems and possible causes/courses of action to find better (and often not obvious) change options/solutions


Pixar is a company that can be considered to be a learning organization relative to way that it has managed over the years to steer its objectives in the industry guided by creativity harnessing policies and approaches. The company has a vision to make animations that are blockbusters and none of the ideas that have come to the screens have been borrowed or b...
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