October 01, 2014
By Rejecting the Status Quo, Russ Ackoff Took Systems Thinking to Greater Heights
After World WAr II, the U.S. War Production Board sought to preserve the scientific knowledge gained during the war support efforts. Major advances expanded theoretical knowledge, such as the development of the discipline of operations research. Practical advances of knowledge resulted from the intense manufacturing efforts, such as the application of statistical methods in a practice of control for production methods. But somehow, theory and practice diverged—and today we are worse off because of it.
That was the lifetime message of Russ Ackoff, who died [October 2009]. He was a man who had one foot firmly planted in mathematical-analytical disciplines and the other in humanistic-participatory teamwork. His life story is instructive for quality professionals as it traces the development of systems thinking during its 60-year migration.
To read the article, click on the following link: By rejecting the status quo, Russ Ackoff took systems thinking to greater heights
August 27, 2014
- 1 Sourced
- 1.1 1950s
- 1.2 1960s
- 1.3 1970s
- 1.4 1980s
- 1.5 1990s
- 1.6 2000s
- 2 About Russell L. Ackoff
- 3 External links
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
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.
May 28, 2010
Seeing Your Company as a SystemMuch-needed guidance on making companies more employee-centered, adaptive, and capable
This is an article from Strategy+Business by Andrea Gabor:
… No matter how disparate the causes of failure, there is always a common thread: somewhere, somehow, management has let its attention slip. …[Now] is an opportune time to reflect on the leading ideas that have shaped what we know about the management of social systems, particularly corporations, and how to stabilize and improve them.
The recognition that a company is a complex social system and a living community has been an underlying theme of leading management thinkers as far back as the early 20th century. Nevertheless, the machine continues to be the dominant metaphor for business leaders, …
To read the rest of this article, please click on the following url: Seeing Your Company as a System
June 16, 2009
Systems Thinking and Design Thinking
Fred Collopy, co-editor of "Managing as Designing" (Stanford Business Books, 2004), has posted an essay on Design and Systems Thinking called "Why the failure of systems thinking should inform the future of design thinking" on Fast Company magazine's web site...
This - combined with two videos from last week's Business as an Agent of World Benefit conference at Case Western University .
The videos show (a) Peter Senge and Russ speaking about Systems Thinking and (b) Roger Martin, Dean of the Rotman School of Management at the Univ. of Toronto doing the same... at this leading edge corporate social responsibility conference which had "Management as a Design Activity" as one of its themes.
The video of Peter Senge and Russ Ackoff is here...
The video of Roger Martin is here...
Case Western's Dr. David Cooperrider's introductory remarks last about 3 minutes. Roger Martin then speaks for about 25 minutes. He also acknowledges Russ Ackoff before talking about how design thinking should be incorporated into business education.
November 22, 2008
Stefan Stern's top 20th-century management theorists
From Financial Times FT.com
By Stefan Stern
Published: November 22 2008 02:00 | Last updated: November 22 2008 02:00
Drucker(1909-2005): the original and best. He said most of it, really, over seven productive decades. He also said people only called him a guru because they weren't sure how to spell "charlatan".
To read the rest of the article, please click on:
May 10, 2008
Russell Ackoff and Mission Statements
On the Mark Frisse's Policy Blog Mark Frisse, wrote the following post on mission statements: "Participating in the AHIC 2.0 discussions, I am repeatedly reminded of an influential talk and paper delivered by Russ Ackoff several years ago. His advice should be heeded when one is talking of ambitious, sincere, and inclusive 'public private partnerships.'
I have located a copy of this paper attributed to him on Charles Warner's Web Site. It seems to be the paper I read long ago. I reprint in full. Emphases in bold or italics are mine."
Continue reading this content at the Mark Frisse's Policy Blog.
March 11, 2008
Blind Spot Creativity
On Creativity Central blog, there is an interesting post . Here's an excerpt from that blog:
Like an earthquake, every eureka moment has a series of aftershocks. One of the most fascinating of these after sights is discovering your blind spots. Typically, you'll hear lines like "The answer was right in front of me and I couldn't see it." "I was solving the wrong problem." "I never challenged the conventional thinking."
Isn't fallibility great?
Years ago, Russell Ackoff, a teacher at the Wharton School wrote a great article called "Infallibility." I am paraphrasing some of the highlights because it sheds some more light on our blind spots. In an experiment conducted by Alex Bavelas at MIT, subjects were taken into a room where slides were projected. The slides were produced by waving a flashlight in dark room over unexposed film.
The subjects sat at desks in front of two buttons. They were told to press one of the buttons after each slide. Here's the twist. If they pressed the "right" one they would be paid, if they pressed the wrong one, they would get nothing.
There was nothing said about what parameters determined the "right" choice. After a few slides, most subjects began to formulate theories to explain the rewards they received and soon they were quite sure that their theory was correct.
When the experiment was completed the subjects were asked to reveal their theories. Then Bavelas told them that they were rewarded at random. There was absolutely no relationship between the buttons pushed and the rewards. Most of the subjects were surprised, but insisted that they theories were correct. They would not abandon their theories.
The blog post continues with more details on the blind spot creativity, and additional footnotes. Continue reading this content at Blind Spot Creativity.