« Is systemic thinking enough to explain networks? | Main | Vince Barabba, Named To Market Research Council Hall of Fame »

June 15, 2006

Thinking about the Future and Globalization

Forum 2006 keynoter, Dr. Russell Ackoff, discusses his thoughts on the issue of global development at the occasion of his receipt of the Tallberg Foundation / Swedbank Leadership Award.

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 to constantly 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.
I have found widespread agreement among governmental and organizational executives that their current state is more a product of what their organizations did in the past than a product of what was done to them. Therefore, our future state will be more a product of what we do now than of what is done to us.
If we don't know what state we would be in right now if we could be in whatever state we wanted, how can we possibly know in what state we would like to be in the future? Furthermore, statements   of where we want to be in the future are usually based on forecasts of what the future will be. Such forecasts are inevitably wrong; we cannot identify all the significant changes that will occur in our environments between now and then.           
It is for this reason that so many plans are never completely implemented; they are dropped when it becomes apparent that the forecasts on which they are based are false. I was once told by a public planner that only two percent of the public-sector plans produced in my country were ever completely implemented for this and other reasons.

Download ackoffstallbergtalk.pdf

Posted by ACASA on June 15, 2006 at 02:46 PM in Interesting | Permalink


Like everything I read from you Dr. Ackoff, I loved this piece! Thanks for making it available here.

Posted by: Harsh Dhundia at Jun 20, 2006 1:31:36 AM

Post a comment