Quotes in organization as a system

A tightrope over a chasm is fine for a trained acrobat with a balancing pole. It is foolish for someone without the right training or tools. They would be better served with something else - a rope bridge with railings.

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At a car dealership, the person who sells the car is the hero, and also gets the commission. But if the mechanics don't service that car well, the customer won't return.


Pay is not a motivator.


“We installed quality control.” No. You can install a new desk, or a new carpet, or a new dean, but not quality control. Anyone that proposes to “install quality control” unfortunately has little knowledge about quality control.


Management of a system requires knowledge of the interrelationships between all of the components within the system and of everybody that works in it.


Standardization does not mean that we all wear the same color and weave of cloth, eat standard sandwiches, or live in standard rooms with standard furnishings. Homes of infinite variety of design are built with a few types of bricks, and with lumber of standard sizes, and with water and heating pipes and fittings of standard dimensions.


Making it harder to make mistakes and making mistakes that are made more visible is good. Preventing them is even better.

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A good question for anybody in business to ask is What business are we in? To do well what we are doing-i.e., to turn out a good product, or good service, whatever it be? Yes, of course, but this is not enough. We must keep asking - What product or service would help our customers more? We must think about the future. What will we be making 5 years from now? 10 years from now?


the system that people work in and the interaction with people may account for 90 or 95 percent of performance.


The idea of a merit rating is alluring. The sound of the words captivates the imagination: pay for what you get; get what you pay for; motivate people to do their best, for their own good.

The effect is exactly the opposite of what the words promise.