June 17, 2014
Systems Wisdom, Pioneers in Translational Consulting
In 2013, a group of practitioners, including some of the Ackoff’s former students and colleagues came together to create Systems Wisdom, an organization with the objective of going beyond traditional boundaries of various disciplines and consulting practices. They shared the following concerns and opportunities:
Frustrations with traditional consulting approaches: i.e., if what is offered by traditional organizations is so good why has the average life expectancy of organizations decreased from 75 years in 1937 to 11.5 years today?
Limitations by those who believe one methodology or consulting approach fits all customer/client requirements; and who adhere to one methodology even within the systems and design thinking community.
Inadequate integration of systems and design thinking particularly when confronted with complexity – a topic “everyone” talks about.
Constraint of 2nd generation design in which experts study users but remain the designers.
From this emerged the pioneering work on “translational consulting” in which similar to translational medicine there is focus on the unique organizational DNA of a client, on capturing lessons learned, and where an intervention must be individually designed, implemented and controlled/tracked. Another objective was to bring a greater degree of realism to computational thinking to make it more effective for teaching decision making processes.
To read more go here: Systems Wisdom
May 08, 2014
Russell Ackoff Doctoral Fellowship from Wharton School
Doctoral student Minji Kim is the recipient of the Russell Ackoff Doctoral Student Fellowship Award for 2014 from the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center.
The 58th Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences
The George Washington University, Washington, DC.
July 27 – August 1, 2014
Theme: Learning Across Boundaries: Exploring the Variety ofSystemic Theory and Practice
CALL FOR PAPERS
The International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS) was founded in 1956 as a section of the AAAS, to “encourage the development of theoretical systems which are applicable to more than one of the traditional departments of knowledge”. There are now many thousands of systems thinkers, complexity scientists and cyberneticians worldwide. As more and more new application areas, practices, systems methodologies, theories and philosophies are developed, the number of research communities continues to increase. Fragmentation is the inevitable result of the proliferation of new systems ideas in response to new issues and contexts. While this might, at first, appear to be a negative consequence of our success, it brings with it an enormous opportunity: mutual learning from each other to enhance systems, cybernetic and complexity theories and practices in all our diverse domains. It is this opportunity that provides the focus for our 2014 conference.
This conference will reach out to all the diverse systems communities and provide a forum for mutual learning across their boundaries.
This year we will innovate in three ways:
- Not centrally determining all the conference streams. While the ISSS ‘special integration groups’ (SIGs) will each have their own stream (as in previous years), we also encourage anyone with an interest not already represented by the SIGs to put forward their own ideas for streams. Inviting thought leaders from as many research communities as possible.
- Designing hour-long boundary-spanning workshops where a single theory or practice, developed in a given research community, will be presented.
- This conference represents a tremendously exciting learning opportunity, and we warmly welcome your participation, whether you are a long-standing member of the ISSS or have never heard of us before. We particularly welcome systems, cybernetics and complexity researchers who have knowledge of a particular domain of theory, methodology or practice, and want to expand their understanding of what else might be available. We invite abstracts and papers in all areas of systemic thinking and practice, and details of possible SIG streams and Exploratory groups are listed on the ISSS website.
This year, the American Society for Cybernetics (ASC) meeting "Living in Cybernetics" will also be held at GWU in the week following the ISSS meeting (3-9th August). There will be a discount for those attending both conferences, and details are on each society’s conference web pages.
Note that the conference fee includes free membership of the ISSS for a year, including electronic access to our journal, Systems Research and Behavioral Science.
May 31, 2014 End of Early Discount Rate on ISSS conference
May 31, 2014 Deadline for Workshop Proposals
June 30, 2014 Last date for Abstracts to be included in the Conference Programme.
Full Papers may be submitted at any point, but people must first submit an abstract for review. See website for further details on publications, and all conference information is available at http://www.isss.org/world or by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
April 04, 2014
Transforming the Systems Movement
By Russell L. Ackoff
Posted on 3/31/2014
March 31, 2014
Towards the Social Business School
Posted March 18, 2014
This post is a summary of a devastating critique that the great systems thinker Russell Ackoff made of business schools twenty years ago, why he’s still mainly right, and why social technologies now provide us with phenomenal possibilities for the Social Business School – an alternative and highly effective approach to business education.
To read more click here: Towards the Social Business School
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.