Minimum Number of
Wage People on
Rate Rate of
People Number of
Unemployed People on
Federal Growth Inflation
Interest Rate of Rate
Number of Welfare
You are on the Board of Directors of a major automobile
manufacturer. The Senior VP of Marketing has just presented a
“brilliant” plan to increase sales.
Car rental fleets that currently replace their automobiles every 10
to 12 months will be induced (through appropriate discounts) to
speed up their purchases and replace their automobiles every 5
to 6 months.
Everyone thinks this is a wonderful idea, but does it still look
good after a cause map analysis?
Study of communication and control
"Communication is control in the animal and the
machine." (Norbert Wiener 1948)
Cybernetics means 'steersman' and indicates that a
system is guided by results
Communication of actual conditions and results of
previous actions are fed back into the system to control
Always begin by deﬁning the output.
Start your analysis by questioning the boundary.
Look both ways: up and down.
Expect side‐eﬀects ‐‐ loops, delays and lagged
impacts; look for them, it they are not evident.
Know what kind of complexity (detail or
dynamic) you are dealing with
Identify feedback and feed forward controls.
How does the system learn?
Worry about using just one view of a system.
Who is the client?
What is the environment?
What are the components?
Who is the management?
What is the measure of performance?
When you are busy earning money you
have no time to spend it
Picking the low-hanging fruit
Software is so far behind hardware that
hardware producers push to make ever
faster cheaper computers that will make
software further behind
Quick fix rather than long term solution
that addresses the key problem
Crisis management rather than fundamental
process redesign--people create crises to be
Outsider fixes problem, but insiders become
dependent on him/her and never learn to
solve problems themselves
Individuals benefit until everyone loses
New highways leading to new traffic jams
Every fax is urgent
Unintended long-term consequences
worsen the performance or condition that
is fixed in the short term
Borrowing money to pay debts
Downsizing to improve profits
Expediting customer orders
People who want to work together end up
Producers’ price promotions at odds with
retailers’ stocking strategies
GPS with built in traffic information bring
all the drivers in the same area