The Change Business Ltd

developing people
delivering projects


Quotes we like

"There are two kinds of truth. There are superficial truths, the opposite of which are obviously wrong. But there are also profound truths, whose opposites are equally right." Niels Bohr

Begin it now

Until one is committed

there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back,

always ineffectiveness.

Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation)

there is one elementary truth

the ignorance of which kills countless ideas

and splendid plans

That the moment one definitely commits oneself

then Providence moves too.

All sorts of things occur to help one

that would never have otherwise occurred.

A whole stream of events issues from the decision

raising in one's favour all manner

of unforeseen incidents and meetings

and material assistance

which no man could have dreamt

would have come his way.

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.

Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.Goethe

The emergence of new theories is generally preceded by a period of pronounced professional insecurity. The failure of existing rules is a prelude to a search for new ones. Thomas S Kuhn – in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

If a factory is torn down but the rationality which produced it is left standing, then that rationality will simply produce another factory. If a revolution destroys the government, at the systematic patterns of thought that produced that government left intact, then those patterns will repeat themselves…. There’s so much talk about the system. And so little understanding. Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.  Margaret Meade

Our command and control suite of theories with their supervision, budgets, targets, performance appraisal, incentives etc is notoriously bad at utilising the spirit and creativity of those at the work face.  Gordon Hall

More projects fail because the sponsoring organisation can’t come to grips with the truth about their project than for any other reason.  David A Schmaltz

Expectations speak louder than actions  David A Schmaltz

The pursuit of perfection means not just enthusiasm for doing a top-notch job in important things, it means attention to detail and an itch to innovate and improve in whatever we have to do. It means to be dissatisfied with the status quo. … We ought always to know precisely why a given job is done in a particular way, and why it is done at all, and why it can't be done more efficiently, if it must be done at all. This is the attitude that built our modern industrial society. It is the attitude that built IBM. I hope we never lose it.   Tom Watson Jr IBM 1962

Yet the use of the above techniques is accelerating. Is this a sign that we are approaching a tipping point where the wasteful command and control theories are about to be replaced by the new knowledge that is readily available or has our old inefficient ways going to continue to dominate for several years yet?  Gordon Hall, A Learning Society in Scotland

The ones upstream from you must be doing the best work they can.  At the same time, you have to ensure that your processes are well understood by those working downstream. If you don’t closely coordinate between processes up and down the line and to the right and left, your own processes aren’t going to be complete  Katsuaki Watanabe (Sato 2008, 115)

Our task is not to blame the past, but to fix the course of the future   JF Kennedy, 27 October 1964, Amherst College, Massachusetts,

Good Thinking. Good Products  Toyota Company motto

People pursue creative ideas most avidly in difficult times  Taizo Ishida (Sato 2008, 58)

Learning without thought is labour lost  Confucius Analects

The secret of success is constancy to purpose  Benjamin Disraeli 1870

There is nothing so wasteful as doing with great effort, that which needn't be done at all. Peter F Drucker

It is far better to do the right thing wrong than to do the wrong thing right.  Russ Ackoff & Sheldon Rovin Redesigning Society

It is better to do the right thing wrong, than to do the wrong thing righter.  Russ Ackoff, Oct 2005

In the knowledge age however, new knowledge is created by reconciling our unique perspective with those of others who disagree with us.  Recognising opposing insights is essential to understand the organic whole. (Osono et al 2008, xii)

‘Fix it yourself.  Make the best use of what we already have.’ Masaharu Yamamoto (Osono et al 2008, 11)

“Never be satisfied” Top Toyota Executives (Osono et al 2008, 15)

“There’s got to be a better way” Top Toyota Executives (Osono et al 2008, 15)

“Reform business when business is good.” Former Toyota Chairman and President Hiroshi Okuda (Osono et al 2008, 15)

“No change is bad” Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe (Osono et al 2008, 15)

“Harmonious Growth” (Osono et al 2008, 43)

“Global Vision” (Osono et al 2008, 43)

“always optimizing” Toyota Value (Osono et al 2008, 45)

“Action at the Source” Suzuki (Osono et al 2008, 53)

“Not Yet Philosophy” Suzuki (Osono et al 2008, 53)

“One team, One aim, Working together,” Nakagawa (Osono et al 2008, 61)

“While Toyota is often perceived as a success story, we have also had numerous failures.  We have used these experiences as learning tools for our people.  That’s how I was trained.” Aiko Toyoda (Osono et al 2008, 65)

“Let’s give it a try.” Sakichi Toyoda, President of Toyoda Automatic Loom Works (parent company to Toyota) (Osono et al 2008, 67)

“Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.” Sakichi Toyoda (Osono et al 2008, 67)

“lofty ambitions force people to break [the] mould and explore” (Osono et al 2008, 69)

“If you’re 60 percent sure, take action.” (Osono et al 2008, 86)

“Before you say you can’t do something, try it.” Sakichi Toyoda (Osono et al 2008, 86)

“I have seen more failures than successes.” Sakichi Toyoda (Osono et al 2008, 87)

“Endure a hundred times, strengthen yourself a thousand times, and you will complete you tasks in short order.” A phrase that hung in Sakichi Toyoda’s home, quoted by Matsubara (Osono et al 2008, 127)

“To do what you believe is right, to do what you believe is good, and doing these things right then and in that way is a calling from on high.  Thus, do it boldly, do as you believe, do as you are.” Eiji Toyoda quoted by Matsubara (Osono et al 2008, 127)

“At Toyota, we expect every assembly line worker to direct their wisdom toward originating ideas for improving base costs, quality, and safety.  Here the job of the line manager is to create an environment in which line workers can easily make suggestions and are supported to implement those suggestions.” Matsubara (Osono et al 2008, 131)

“Each person thoroughly fulfilling their duties generates great power that, gathered together in a chain, creates a ring of power.” Kiichiro Toyoda (Osono et al 2008, 134)

“Since it’s the customer that pays our salary, our responsibility is to make the product they want, when they want it, and deliver quality that satisfies them.” Retired factory worker, Kiyoshi Tsutsumi (Osono et al 2008, 136)

“Unless we visit genba [the place where the action is], we cannot develop a good plan.” Katsuyoshi Tabata (Osono et al 2008, 141)

“In the [Toyota] vernacular these information processing skills are called, ‘not listening to what you are told,’” Funo of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. (Osono et al 2008, 153)

“the head of an abundant rice plant hangs down” old Japanese Adage, describing the humility of senior executives of Toyota and the Toyoda family members (Osono et al 2008, 167)

“If your boss refuses you something that you really want to do, don’t give up,” he said, “try pitching it two or three times.  By the third time, the boss will realise, ‘Hey, this guy is serious.’” Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe (Osono et al 2008, 182)

“We have to waste resources by trying many things when we are unsure of which are best.” Toyota Chairman Fujio Cho (Osono et al 2008, 207)