February 20, 2014
GRADUATE EDUCATION – An Idealized Design
Russell L. Ackoff notes 3/3/2006
Education, as previously noted, involves subjects and practices. A subject is a body of information, knowledge and/or understanding that can be learned by reading and listening to relevant material and, in some cases, by engaging in exercises. Examples of subjects are history, literature, logic, mathematics, and economics. Practices, on the other hand, are activities that can only be leaned by engaging in them. Such learning can be significantly supplemented and consolidated by reading and listening. Examples are the practices of medicine, law, and architecture.
The importance of the distinction between subjects and practices becomes apparent when we take the position that graduate education should be exclusively directed at practices, even the practice of teaching or conducting research on subjects. It is this characteristic of graduate education, as we see it that dictates many of the properties it ought to have. It is also this characteristic that differentiates it from undergraduate education.
please click the link to read more Download Ackoff -- Graduate design
January 28, 2014
Message from System Dynamics Society
18 books now available through the Society
Are you a book collector? Back in August, Jay Forrester, Bob Eberlein, and numerous Society officers and members convened to discuss how to keep the important publications previously sold by Pegasus Communications in circulation. We are very excited to announce the new home for these books is at the System Dynamics Society. These are some of the best teaching books in the field. The Society’s goal is to keep these books available – they are now on sale at here: http://www.systemdynamics.org/books-for-sale/.
We see this as a huge benefit to the field. To celebrate the launch of the sale of these books through the Society, we are auctioning off a rare first edition signed copy of your favorite author’s book, World Dynamics. It is a great book, but a signed first edition is even better. Have this unique book on your library shelf and help support the System Dynamics Society!
Please visit the Books For Sale site to see the list of the eighteen titles and to learn how to participate in the auction.
Roberta Spencer, Executive Director
System Dynamics Society
300 Milne Hall, 135 Western Avenue
Albany, NY 12222
January 08, 2014
Thinking About the Future
By Russell L. Ackoff
This is the transcript of the talk given by late Russell Ackoff at the Tällberg (Sweden) Forum 2005:
"I am not the right person to have been assigned the topic, “Thinking about the Future.” I am a presentologist, not a futurologist.
So much time is currently spent in worrying about the future that the present is allowed to go to hell. Unless we correct some of the world’s current systemic deficiencies now, the future is condemned to be as disappointing as the present.
My preoccupation is with where we would ideally like to be right now. Knowing this, we can act now so as constantly to reduce the gap between where we are and where we want to be. Then, to a large extent, the future is created by what we do now. Now is the only time in which we can act."
To download the transcript click on: Download Ackoff's Tallberg talk DOC copy 1
November 30, 2013
Leadership Cannot be Taught
By Russsell Ackoff
This is the transcript of the talk given by Professor Ackoff on many occasions in the mid 2000s. Different versions of the same talk have been published in several of his books and journal articles. This talk highlights the need for systems thinking and design as core leadership competencies as envisioned by Ackoff.
To download the transcript click on: Download Leadership Cannot be Taught
October 13, 2013
A Major Mistake that Managers Make
Full Transcript of the Talk given by Russell L. Ackoff at the University of Pennsylvania in 2006.
All through school we are taught that making a mistake is a bad thing. We are downgraded for them. When we graduate and enter the real world and the organizations that occupy it, the aversion to mistakes continues. As a result one tries either to avoid them or, if one is made, to conceal it or transfer blame to another.
We pay a high price for this because one can only learn from mistakes; by identifying and correcting them .
To read the transcript, Download Ackoff: A major mistake that managers make.
September 06, 2013
Systems Thinking and Logistics Positions at the University of Hull
The Business School at the University of Hull (UK) is making a major investment in systems thinking and logistics, two of the research areas where we already have a strong international reputation and see scope for continued growth and development. There are two professorships, one senior lectureship and one lectureship available.
The Professor of Systems Thinking will join both the Management Systems Subject Group and the Centre for Systems Studies. The latter has 22 staff members and 38 PhD students, making it one of the largest systems thinking research groups in the Western world. We have a strong and well established international reputation in the systems community, and a growing national and international reputation in operational research and other management research communities. The new Professor will take forward and enhance this reputation.
We are also advertising Senior Lecturer and Lecturer positions. Ideally, one of these will be filled by a systems thinker and the other by a logistics specialist.
In addition, we are recruiting a Professor of Logistics & Supply Chain Management to join our internationally renowned Logistics Institute and play a leading role in taking forward our supply chain research.
I would like to encourage applications for these positions, which have a deadline of 20 September 2013. Links to them can be found below.
Professor of Systems Thinking (BS0009)
Professor of Logistics & Supply Chain Management (BS0010)
Senior Lecturer in Management Systems (BS0011)
Lecturer in Management Systems (BS0012)
Professor Gerald Midgley
Director, Centre for Systems Studies
Associate Dean for Research and Enterprise
T +44 (0)1482 463316
Hull University Business School
University of Hull
Hull, HU6 7RX, UK
August 22, 2013
Source for Idealized Design
Idealized Design, a segment of Interactive Planning, is an organizational development process developed by Russell L. Ackoff in the 1950's which enables an organization to get beyond the problem solving mode and unleash their innovative potential.
July 29, 2013
Russell Lincoln Ackoff Systems Thinking Library
To commemorate the death (on October 29, 2009) of Professor Russell L. Ackoff, Distinguished Affiliate Faculty in Organizational Dynamics and Anheuser Busch Professor Emeritus of Management Science in the Wharton School, a generous gift was provided to the Russell Lincoln Ackoff Systems Thinking Library and Archive by the Anheuser Busch Foundation. The physical space of the Ackoff Library is used regularly for meetings, presentations, and holds Professor Ackoff’s academic books, papers, manuscripts, photos, as well as books written by students and colleagues who attribute thanks to him. Under development, as well, is the Ackoff Virtual Inquiry Center which serves as a “central nervous system” for the global Systems and Design community.
The mission of the Russell L. Ackoff Systems Thinking Library is to support , develop and advance within academia and organizations across the world the scholarship and application of systems and design thinking, methods and practice conceived and established by Professor Russell L. Ackoff.
July 19, 2013
On Organizational Learning as Dealt With By Chris Argyris and Russ Ackoff
By Russ Ackoff
In 1999, as a result of inquiries made by his clients, colleagues and students, Dr. Ackoff wrote the attached memo. In this memo he explains the differences between Chris Argyris and himself on the subject of organizational learning.
To read the memo download the attached pdf file.
May 19, 2013
By Jamshid Gharajedaghi
During the last 50 years, our worldview has gone though a profound transformation in two critical dimensions.
There has been a shift in our way of knowing from analytical thinking, the science of dealing with independent sets of variables, to systems thinking, the art, and science of handling interdependent set of variables. There has also been a fundamental shift in our understanding of the nature of social systems from a mindless mechanical system to a purposeful socio-cultural system.
Unfortunately, despite all of the rhetoric to the contrary, our newfound insights have had little influence on our choices. A dominant analytical culture, with a scientific tag, has kept reproducing the same set of non-solutions all over again. Effective use of these discriminating conceptions requires both a clear understanding of the operating principles of socio-cultural systems and unambiguous recognition of the emerging challenge of handling interdependent variables.
This paper will try only to shed some light on the latter of the two dimensions, the nature and the behavior of socio-cultural systems.
To read more click here: Download Gharajedaghi Sociocultural systems revised 1-23-12 with edits