The role of “System 3” thinking – Planet Lean on the drivers of improvement

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The role of “System 3” thinking – Planet Lean on the drivers of improvement

Nov 16, 2020Michael Ballé

The role of “System 3” thinking

Michael Ballé on System 3 thinking and lean management

FEATURE – This compelling article explores how our brain constantly looks for emotional resonance with the environment around us. Is this System-3 type thinking the key to enabling joint problem solving?



Words: Michael Ballé, lean author, executive coach and co-founder of Institut Lean France.



Nobel prize recipient Daniel Kahneman distinguishes two different thinking pathways according to whether we think hotly, which is quickly and automatically, or coldly, that is slowly and reflexively:

• With the system 1 thinking process, the brain forms thoughts that are fast, automatic, stereotypical, emotional and often unconscious – think of the first thing that comes to mind when you are presented with an object, an idea or a situation.
• With the system 2 thinking process, the brain calculates wilfully a response by directing attention to the situation, figuring it out and formulating a deliberate response.

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The role of “System 3” thinking – Planet Lean on the drivers of improvement