August 19, 2018

Which significant bodies have made a solid case for systems thinking?

By:

"A friend of a friend is facing some push-back on the status of systems thinking as compared e.g. to managemen, psychology, other organisational thinking. This could potentially have impacts on her immediate career prospects.

So we are looking to create a collection of high profile organizations who have stated that we need more systems/holistic/joined-up/integrated/etc. thinkers to solve world problems."

Ellen Lewis contributed three stonking examples:

1. 2017, UN Chief Executives’ Board for Coordination described systems thinking as a “key way of working” and an essential “leadership characteristic” needed to respond to the “interconnectedness and indivisibility” of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

United Nations Chief Executives Board for Coordination, 2017
First regular session of 2017, summary of deliberations
Added to Library: 30 Jun 2018Last Updated: 02 Jul 2018

2. In 2018, the Governance Directorship of the OECD declared that “the time for piecemeal solutions in the public sector is over” and they recommended the use of systems thinking to instigate innovative solutions to cross-cutting and complex issues.
Governance Directorate of the OECD
Embracing Innovation in Government
Global Trends 2018
http://www.oecd.org/gov/innovative-government/embracing-innovation-in-government-2018.pdf

3. The International Council for Science (ICSU), which reports to the UN, has released a report saying that a massive shift towards systems thinking for coordinating the SDGs is needed. This report is more systems-focused than any I have seen before, and ICSU are putting their money where their mouths are: they are integrating themselves with the Social Science equivalent body, to have a more systemic approach themselves.
https://www.icsu.org/cms/2018/04/Science-and-Technology-Major-Group-Position-paper-HLPF-2018.pdf

And I came up with (clearly linked to (2) above):
4. OECD-OPSI (Observatory of Public Sector Innovation) said this strongly:
https://www.oecd.org/media/oecdorg/satellitesites/opsi/contents/files/SystemsApproachesDraft.pdf
https://oecd-opsi.org/scotland-improves-national-performance-with-systems-approach/
https://oecd-opsi.org/good-news-systems-change-in-the-public-sector-is-possible-2/
https://oecd-opsi.org/taking-the-systems-work-forward-workshop-for-senior-slovenian-officials/

5. Paulibe Roberts (who has featured here more than once as http://www.systemspractitioner.com) adds the World Health Organisation: http://www.who.int/alliance-hpsr/resources/9789241563895/en/

 Which significant bodies have made a solid case for systems thinking?

Posted by ACASA on August 19, 2018 at 11:14 AM in blog post | Permalink | Comments (0)

March 02, 2018

System Leadership in the Face of Dynamic Change

Presentation by Banny Banerjee who is Director of Stanford ChangeLabs, and teaches Design Innovation and Strategy at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (Stanford University's d.school). His area of expertise is the use of Design Thinking for strategic initiatives and large-scale transformations directed towards sustainable futures. He founded Stanford ChangeLabs, which has ongoing research in Innovation Methodologies and transdisciplinary initiatives aimed at developing a new field: Innovation of Scaled Transformations. His research initiatives are centered on processes, paradigms, and integrated strategies to address complex challenges such as the future of water, energy, governance systems, and organizational transformations. In this presentation, Banny looks at...

1. We are entering an era marked by rapid changes and profound questions.
2. Our dominant models of leadership are ill suited for these new class of challenges.
3. System Leadership is a new approach that is a leadership style better suited to scaled and complex challenges - it has implications at personal, organizational, and policy levels.

System Leadership in the Face of Dynamic Change

Posted by ACASA on March 2, 2018 at 03:10 PM in blog post | Permalink | Comments (0)

February 22, 2018

ACKOFF TAPE # 1

This is the first of eight segments recorded over two days at a Naval Training Facility in the 80's. In the first segment Russell Ackoff walks us though the progression of system science from mechanical, to organic, to social systems.

ACKOFF TAPE # 1

Posted by ACASA on February 22, 2018 at 10:28 PM in blog post | Permalink | Comments (0)

December 05, 2017

A Quote from Russell Ackoff

Ackoff & Organizations

Posted by ACASA on December 5, 2017 at 10:45 AM in blog post | Permalink | Comments (0)

May 23, 2017

The Powerful Emotion Connection to Productivity

By Jonathan McClellan | May 16, 2017 | Blog Posts

Dr. W. Edwards Deming understood, probably better than anybody on this planet, the power of connections in business. More importantly, he understood the impact connections had on business productivity, success and prosperity. Deming was the architect of Total Quality Management and recognized for his instrumental role in Japan’s industrial recovery and growth after the devastation of World War II. His grasp of the principles of efficiency, quality, innovation, employee involvement and the critical role of management to guide, inspire and nurture productivity is legendary.

The Powerful Emotion Connection to Productivity

 

Posted by ACASA on May 23, 2017 at 07:26 PM in blog post | Permalink | Comments (0)

April 29, 2016

We’re Trying To Do “The Wrong Thing Right” in Schools

By Will Richardson

Co-publisher of ModernLearners.com.

"A couple of weeks ago, thanks to some serendipitous surfing online, I came across this 10-minute snip of an interview with Ackoff, a pioneer in the field of systems thinking who was a professor at the Wharton School prior to his death in 2009. I was staggered a bit after watching it because he was able to articulate something I have been feeling for a while now but had been unable to find the words for:

“Peter Drucker said ‘There’s a difference between doing things right and doing the right thing.’ Doing the right thing is wisdom, and effectiveness. Doing things right is efficiency. The curious thing is the righter you do the wrong thing the wronger you become. If you’re doing the wrong thing and you make a mistake and correct it you become wronger. So it’s better to do the right thing wrong than the wrong thing right. Almost every major social problem that confronts us today is a consequence of trying to do the wrong things righter.”
To continue reading, please click on: We’re Trying To Do “The Wrong Thing Right” in Schools

Posted by ACASA on April 29, 2016 at 07:05 AM in blog post | Permalink | Comments (0)

September 05, 2015

An Interview with Russell L. Ackoff

By Glenn Detrick –

Academy of Management Learning and Education
Volume 1, Issue 1 September 2002

Russell L. Ackoff is one of the pioneers in management education. With an undergraduate degree in architecture and a PhD in philosophy, Ackoff is one of the founders of operations research and systems thinking, linking science and business. Influential in management thinking for the entire second half of the 20th century, Ackoff has published 22 books and over 200 articles in journals and books, on a myriad of topics. His illustrious academic career has played out primarily at Case Institute of Technology and The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Such is the breadth and reach of his intellectual contribution that the Ackoff Center for Advanced Systems Approaches at the University of Pennsylvania was established as part of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Ackoff has consulted with more than 350 corporations and 75 governmental agencies in the United States and abroad. All have benefited greatly from his “out of the box” thinking and point of view.

Ackoff provides a particularly useful perspective for this the first issue of the Academy of Management Learning and Education. As you will see from what follows, Ackoff challenges much of current thinking about teaching and learning in terms of what is effective and what isn’t when the ultimate objective is to improve the learning process.

To continue reading, please click on: An Interview with Russell L. Ackoff

Posted by ACASA on September 5, 2015 at 01:02 PM in blog post | Permalink | Comments (0)

March 25, 2015

Ackoff's rules of system interdependency, Part I

BY Gordon Housworth -- From ICG Blog

"Anyone familiar with my systems side knows that I treasure Russ Ackoff, whose three rules of system interdependency are never far from hand when approaching any system, human, natural, or mechanical. Any analysis of our own or of an opponent's system calls for them as they immediate flag disconnects and suboptimization. I summarize Ackoff’s rules of interdependency as:

  • Rule One: If you optimize a system, you will sub-optimize one or more components
  • Rule Two: If you optimize the components of a system, you will sub-optimize the system
  • Rule Three: The components of a system form subgroups that obey Rules One and Two

They show why a system can be so maddeningly complex, especially when its parts are examined in isolation to others and to their environment. It is Rule Three that so often brings an expression similar to that of the Sheriff Brody in the film, Jaws, when he turns from the shark to say, "We need a bigger boat." Indeed we do.

Ackoff corrects our commonly held view that a system is the sum of its parts. Instead a system is the product of the interactions of those parts: "…the essential properties that define any system are properties of the whole which none of the parts have." Ackoff likes to cite the automobile's essential property is to transport us from place to place, a property that no single part of the car can perform, i.e., once a system is dismantled, it loses its essential characteristic even if we retain its parts.

Ackoff zeroed in on the need for understanding (of a system or anything else) in "Mechanisms, organisms and social systems":

"One can survive without understanding, but not thrive. Without understanding one cannot control causes; only treat effect, suppress symptoms. With understanding one can design and create the future ... people in an age of accelerating change, increasing uncertainty, and growing complexity often respond by acquiring more information and knowledge, but not understanding."

To Read the Post, Click on the following URL: Applying Ackoff's rules of system interdependency, Part I

Posted by ACASA on March 25, 2015 at 01:58 PM in blog post | Permalink | Comments (0)

December 15, 2014

Russ Ackoff on An Idealized Design for a University

By Skip Walter

In 1986, while managing Digital Equipment Corporation’s ALL-IN-1 $1B per year office automation development efforts, a colleague sent me a copy of Russ Ackoff’s Creating the Corporate Future (1981).  To paraphrase Russ’s famous introductory lectures on how he came across the process he turned into his Idealized Design methodology through his work with Bell Labs (the story is an introduction to his book Idealized Design:  How to Dissolve Tomorrow’s Crisis …Today), I really wished she had not sent me the book as I spent most of the next year interacting with Russ and his team at the Wharton School instead of doing what I was supposed to do at DEC.

After reading the book and a previous book The SCATT Report:  Designing a National Scientific and Technical Communication System (1976), I immediately called Russ and asked if I could visit him to learn more about his methods and his way of systems thinking.  I shared with him many of the challenges we were facing at Digital Equipment with our rapid growth and with the dramatic impact that the PC revolution and the networking revolution were having on our business.  He graciously agreed to meet and the next day I went to Philadelphia to meet him at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

To Read the Post, Click on the following URL: Russ Ackoff on An Idealized Design for a University

Posted by ACASA on December 15, 2014 at 11:49 PM in blog post | Permalink | Comments (0)

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

Posted by ACASA on October 1, 2014 at 04:35 PM in blog post | Permalink | Comments (0)