Citaten van systeemdenkers

Altijd leuk: citaten van grote denkers, compleet uit hun context gerukt, maar desondanks toch interessant, nuttig of inspirerend… of is dit gewoon ‘blogvulling’?  Hierbij een aantal mooie citaten, doe ermee wat je niet laten kunt:



William Edwards Deming:quotation-marks2

A leader must understand that the system is composed of people, not mere machinery, nor activities, nor organisation charts.

William James:

The world we see that seems so insane is the result of a belief system that is not working. To perceive the world differently, we must be willing to change our belief system, let the past slip away, expand our sense of now, and dissolve the fear in our minds.

Stephen Covey:

Management works in the system; Leadership works on the system.

Russell Ackoff:

System is more than just a concept. It is an intellectual way of life, a worldview, a concept of the nature of reality and how to investigate it – a weltanschauung.

Russell Ackoff:

In analysis, something to be understood is first taken apart…Synthesis is exactly the opposite. The thing to be understood is taken as part of a larger whole.

Russel Ackhoff:

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.

Russell Ackoff:quotation-mark

An important aspect of a part’s performance is how it interacts with other parts to affect the performance of the whole.

Russell Ackoff:

A ‘mess’ is a set of strongly interacting problems. It is standard practice to reduce messes to aggregations of problems: to prioritize and treat them separately, as self-contained entities. Managers do not generally know how to deal effectively with any system, let alone messes.

Russell Ackoff:

Understanding of a system cannot be obtained by analysis. Analysis…reveals its structure and how it works. Its product is know-how, knowledge, not understanding.

Russell Ackoff :

Because a system is a whole that cannot be divided into independent parts, its performance is never equal to the sum of the actions of its parts taken separately; it is a function of their interactions.

Ronald Coase:

Economists don’t study the working of the economic system. That is to say, they don’t think they’re studying any system with all its interrelationships.  It is as if a biologist studied the circulation of the blood without the body.

Roby James:

It is always easier to destroy a complex system than to selectively alter it.

Peter Senge:

The essence of the discipline of system thinking lies in a shift of mind: seeing interrelationships rather than linear cause-effect chains, and seeing processes of change rather than snapshots.

Peter Senge:

The art of systems thinking lies in seeing through complexity to the underlying structures generating change…it means organizing complexity into a coherent story than illuminates the causes of problems and how they can be remedied in enduring ways.

Peter Senge:quote12

Systems thinking is a discipline for seeing wholes. It is a framework for seeing interrelationships rather than things, for seeing ‘patterns of change’ rather than static ‘snapshots.’

Peter Senge:

Reality is made up of circles but we see straight lines. Herein lies the beginnings of our limitation as systems thinkers.

Peter Scholtes:

Changing the system will change what people do. Changing what people do will not change the system.


For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.

Lewis Thomas:

When you are dealing with a complex social system…with things about it that you are dissatisfied with and eager to fix, you cannot just step in and set about fixing with much hope of helping. This realization is one of the sore discouragement’s of this century.

Johann Richter:

Keiner denkt mehr frei, der ein Systeem hat.

Ian Mitroff:

In essence, the systems approach postulates that since every problem humans face is complicated, they must be perceived as such, that is, their complexity must be recognized, if they are to be managed properly.

Howard Pattee:

Sufficiently simple natural structures are predictable but uncontrollable, whereas sufficiently complex symbolic descriptions are controllable but unpredictable.

Herbert Simon:

Human beings, viewed as behaving systems, are quite simple. The apparent complexity of our behavior over time is largely a reflection of the complexity of the environment in which we find ourselves.

Herbert Simon:

Learning is any change in a system that produces a more or less permanent change in its capacity for adapting to its environment.

Grace Murray Hopper:

Life was simple before World War II. After that, we had systems.

Gene Brown:

Foolproof systems don’t take into account the ingenuity of fools

Eliyahu M. Goldratt:curved-quote

A system of local optimums is not an optimum system at all.

Donella H. Meadows:

The original purpose of a hierarchy is to help its originating subsystems do their jobs better.

Claudio Ciborra:

Organizational models tend to focus only on snapshots of a complex, evolutionary process

Albert Einstein:

Everything must be made as simple as possible. But not simpler.

Amit Kalantri:

System fails when people with ability don’t have authority and people with authority don’t have ability.




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