We lost another of the absolutely best minds in management history, this week. Somehow, many managers, do not know of Russell Ackoff’s ideas. I find that amazing. Dr. Ackoff is one of two management thinkers that any manager, that is serious about improving management results in their organization, must study (the other is Dr. Deming).
The Curious Cat management library includes many articles by Russell Ackoff. Transformation and Redesign at the White House Communications Agency by March Laree Jacques is a great articles exploring adopting his ideas.
Like many management greats he had no limit to the great ideas he put forth. He believed in the value of people and the importance of social systems. He is well known his ideas on systems thinking and specifically human systems. He understood to create effective management structures the human element must be at the heart of the system. He firmly believed in respect for people and his management ideas built on providing the opportunity for people to flourish.
We lost another great management mind. But by reading Ackoff’s books and articles and learning from him we can continue the improvements he brought to management during his life. His ideas will continue to provide those that adopt them great success for a long long time. And the management community will continue to build on his work and that of others to help managers improve their organizations.
Earlier this year we lost Peter Scholtes, another management leader and friend of Russell Ackoff. Russell wrote the forward to Peter’s Leader’s Handbook.
Peter Scholtes is an education, not a guru. A guru is one who develops a doctrine and seeks disciples who accept and transmit it without modification. No deviation is acceptable…
Educators, on the other hand, encourage and even try to inspire progressive deviations from what they have said. Their objective is not to remove the need for further learning, as is the guru’s, but to initiate it
Those words also describe Russell Ackoff perfectly. He inspired those he worked with to adapt and transform his ideas as they worked to improve their organizations. Take this opportunity to learn more about his ideas, you will not be disappointed.
Related: Russell L. Ackoff, Management Consultant & Systems Thinker, 1919 -2009 – Ackoff, Idealized Design and Bell Labs – Quotes By Dr. Russell L. Ackoff – Dr. Russell Ackoff Webcast on Systems Thinking – From Mechanistic to Social Systemic Thinking – Traffic Congestion and a Non-Solution – Write it Down to Improve Learning – Designing a New Organization – Ackoff’s New Book: Management f-Laws – The Importance of Management Improvement