Quotes in systems thinking
Government service is to be judged on equity as well as on efficiency.
There are three ways to get better figures... Improve the system... Distort the system... Distort the figures
Toyota's real achievement is not merely the creation and use of the tools themselves; it is in making all its work a series of nested, ongoing experiments, be the work as routine as installing seats in cars or as complex, idiosyncratic, and large scale as designing and launching a new model or factory.
A problem never exists in isolation; it is surrounded by other problems in space and time. The more of the context of a problem that a scientist can comprehend, the greater are his chances of finding a truly adequate solution.
Real benefits come when managers begin to understand the profound difference between "cost cutting" and "eliminating the causes of costs."
In a system the best way to treat a problem is seldom where the problem appears, because of the interactions of the parts.
Stamping out fires is a lot of fun, but it is only putting things back the way they were.
Managers must have the discipline not to keep pulling up the flowers to see if their roots are healthy.
A system is never the sum of its parts its the product of their interaction.
When we are blind to systemic causes of problems, all the solutions we try will likely make matters worse.