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August 28, 2003

Call for Papers -- ICSTM 2004

The 3rd International Conference on Systems Thinking in Management

Transforming Organizations to Achieve Sustainable Success

Modern organizations exist in an increasingly networked, globalized world facing fast-paced technological, environmental, demographic, and cultural change. Under these conditions, many organizations-and individuals-have lost their way. Some are destroyed by crisis, overwhelmed by global forces, or unable to adapt to change; others acquiesce to perceived trends regardless of ethical or long-term considerations. Even fundamentally strong organizations often feel powerless to confront changes that threaten their values or to prepare for potential crises that threaten their continued existence.

ICSTM 2004 will explore how to be proactive in the face of the seemingly overwhelming forces of the modern world. Systems thinking teaches that we need neither uncritically accept change nor blindly resist it. Rather, it provides us the means to proactively shape our environment towards desired ends. We will consider how we can shape and create our future rather than float powerlessly into it-- how we can stay true to central values, while also remaining viable and current.

To read the announcement, click on link "Call for Papers -- ICSTM 2004."

Posted by ACASA on August 28, 2003 at 11:05 PM in Announcements | Permalink | Comments (2)

August 25, 2003

Redesigning Society by Russell Ackoff and Sheldon Rovin

From the SoL (Society for Organizational Learning) website:

Redesigning Society by Russell Ackoff and Sheldon Rovin
available now from Stanford University Press.

This new book from two gifted systems thinkers, takes a no holds barred approach to radically transforming the way we think about societal infrastructures. "Health care, education, welfare, law - the perceived success or failure of these social institutions is constantly being debated in the public arena. In this book, Ackoff and Rovin join the discussion, using systems theory to develop new approaches to governance, the structure and function of our cities, and civic leadership in general. Each chapter tackles a different, important, and timely issue. The authors develop and present specific solutions, with the intention of starting a national dialogue about the structure and organization of American society. Their redesign, radical in its scope and ambition, draws upon existing technology and social constructs, but provides innovative ways to apply them. As the authors contend, ìit is only through creative thought and innovation that our society will be transformed into one that provides a more equitable distribution of wealth, quality of life, and opportunities for development."

Posted by ACASA on August 25, 2003 at 11:18 PM in Books | Permalink | Comments (10)

August 21, 2003

On Misdirecting Management

I've posted a copy of On Misdirecting Management, by Vince Barraba, John Pourdehnad and Russ Ackoff, on my site (in PDF format, with permission; permalink).
Posted by: Jerry Michalski

Posted by ACASA on August 21, 2003 at 10:00 PM in Systems Articles | Permalink | Comments (1)

On the Mismatch between Systems and their Models

In their article "On the Mismatch between Systems and their Models," Russell Ackoff and Jamshid Gharajedaghi discuss deficiencies in the management of our principal social systems. Noting that while there is no one reason for such system failures, they propose that the major contributing factor is a serious mismatch between increasingly more complex social systems and the oversimplified models of them in use. In response to this dilemma, the authors present five characteristics they believe social systems should have in order to function as effectively as possible.

This is a revised version of their original article: "Reflections on Systems and Their Models," by Russell Ackoff and Jamshid Gharajedaghi that was published in Systems Research, Vol. 13, No. 1, March 1966, pp. 13-23.

Posted by ACASA on August 21, 2003 at 09:57 PM in Systems Articles | Permalink | Comments (0)

Interview with Russel Ackoff

A most interesting interview with Russell Ackoff. "Strategy & Leadership" contributing editor Robert J. Allio speaks with Dr. Ackoff on a variety of topics, including business education, leadership, current fads, etc. Ackoff argues that systemic thinking considers problems in terms of how the interactions of the parts, and the parts with the whole and its environment, create the properties of the whole. Specifically, he talks about how managers learn to develop effective strategy and promote innovation.

To read the article, click on link "Russell L. Ackoff, iconoclastic management authority, advocates a 'systemic' approach to innnovation"
Posted by: Janet White

Posted by ACASA on August 21, 2003 at 09:55 PM in ACASA News | Permalink | Comments (0)