Doing the Wrong Things Righter
The more we manage, the worse we make things by Simon Caulkin
The distinguished systems theorist Russ Ackoff describes the trap as ‘doing the wrong thing righter’. ‘The righter we do the wrong thing,’ he explains, ‘the wronger we become. When we make a mistake doing the wrong thing and correct it, we become wronger. When we make a mistake doing the right thing and correct it, we become righter. Therefore, it is better to do the right thing wrong than the wrong thing right.’ Most of our current problems are, he says, the result of policymakers and managers busting a gut to do the wrong thing right.
I agree. There is too little understanding of what is important and too much focus on what amounts to tampering. As regular readers of this blog know I think Ackoff is great.
Dr. Ackoff related info: articles by Russ Ackoff – Doing the wrong things right podcast by Ackoff [the broken link was removed] – On Learning and Systems That Facilitate It by Russel Ackoff [the broken link was removed]
Related: Forget Targets – Life Beyond the Short Term – Managing with Control Charts – Management Advice Failures – Learning, Systems and Improvement