Russ Ackoff interview and some f-laws

An article in the Telegraph, reporting from an encounter and interview with Russell Ackoff, grand-father of systems thinking.

Some gems include:

The idea that you can improve a business by focusing on just part of it is plain wrong, Ackoff says. In fact, it’s more serious than that: attempted “improvements” can actually make everything else worse.

“There is futility in doing things in isolation,” he says. “You can actually destroy a system by improving just a part of it.


“We don’t call it consulting,” he states firmly. “We make a distinction between consulting and being an educator. A consultant goes in with a solution. He tries to impose it on a situation. An educator tries to train the people responsible for the work to work it out for themselves. We don’t pretend to know the way to get the answer.”

Worthwhile read, and mend the F-Laws of Management, his new book looks promising:

Management f-Laws – How Organisations Really Work by Russell L Ackoff and Herbert J Addison, with considered responses by Sally Bibb, is published by Triarchy Press (sample and free pdf sample)

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