Ackoff: Corporations Are Not Led By Those Seeking to Maximize Shareholder Value

If I had to limit myself to a handful of management experts, Russel Ackoff would definitely be in that group. Thankfully there is no such limit. Ackoff once again provides great insight, with great wit, in the above clip.

A corporation says that its principle value is maximizing shareholder value. That’s non-sense. If that were the case executives wouldn’t fly around on private jets and have Philippine mahogany lined offices and the rest of it. The principle function to those executives is to provide those executives with the quality of work life that they like. And profit is merely a means which guarantees their ability to do it.

If we are going to talk about values, we got to talk about what the values are in action, not in proclamation.

Related: Ackoff, Idealized Design and Bell LabsDr. Russell Ackoff Webcast on Systems ThinkingA Theory of a System for Educators and ManagersCEOs Plundering Corporate Coffers

8 thoughts on “Ackoff: Corporations Are Not Led By Those Seeking to Maximize Shareholder Value

  1. This is an amazing video from a brilliant man. Values are seen as vectors of focus. People are motivated to pursue and capture what they value, and they will often (without knowing because of the system they are in) alter their values to match the organization, and the executive team. Ackoff’s way of looking at Universities and hospitals has made me, reexamine what are my values and how they are seen by others.

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