For the late Russell Ackoff, the important principles and qualities on which his work was based - clear-sightedness, looking at the bigger picture, working backwards to dissolve problems, radicalism - crossed over into most, if not all, other aspects of his life. Ackoff's Memories tell of his experiences of serving in the US Army during World War II; of bringing up a young family; of encountering different cultures whilst working abroad. From analyzing birth rates in India, to a fireside chat with the Queen of Iran, to introducing theme parks to the US, the stories collected in 'Memories' lay bare the workings of a number of well-known businesses and other organizations - and the people who run them. They describe common attitudes, behaviors and assumptions, which, if left unchallenged, can destabilize or even destroy an organization. This book shows how thinking systemically leads to real organizational improvements in a variety of academic and workplace settings and - just as important - how failure to do so can be both personally embarrassing and damaging to the organization. Each story is used to illustrate a belief, principle or conclusion central to Ackoff's theories of Systems Thinking and Design Thinking. And each of them is told with his customary generosity, wit and wisdom. With a Foreword by Peter Senge.
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