Russ Ackoff once again does a great job of providing insight into management. I highly recommend A Little Book of f-Laws [the broken link was removed] where Ackoff, with Herbert Addison and Sally Bibb, present 13 common sins of management, such as:
See: Deming’s thoughts on unknown and unknowable figures. A book with over 80 management flaws (er I mean f-Laws) will be published in January – you can even submit your own [the broken link was removed].
Related: Ackoff articles and books – blog posts on Ackoff’s ideas – Management Advice Failures
It is more difficult to define what we want than what we do not want. Nevertheless, a ‘getting rid of’ strategy is a cop out. Great gains are seldom made easily. Therefore, it is important for managers to know what they would have if they could have whatever they wanted.
The most effective way of creating the future is by closing or reducing the gap between the current state and the idealized design.
Have your own f-Law? Submit your f-Law [the broken link was removed] and you could win fame and a splendid prize”
“f-Laws are are truths about organizations that we might wish to deny or ignore – simple and more reliable guides to managers’ everyday behaviour”
My f-Law, which I came up with some years ago though it has not to my knowledge been “published” formally:
“What gets rewarded appears to get done. What gets punished appears not to get done.”
It’s a twist on the old “What gets measured gets done” which I think is not quite true when rewards and punishments are involved, and it builds too on Goodhart’s law.