Ackoff's best: his classic writings on management

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Wiley, Feb 16, 1999 - Business & Economics - 356 pages
Russell Ackoff is a very special management thinker. As an architect, city planner, doctor of philosophy, behavioral scientist, trailblazer in the fields of organizational, operations, and systems theory, bestselling author, distinguished Wharton School professor, and head of his own management education and consulting firm, he qualifies, as do few others in this century, for the title of "Renaissance Man." Fortunately, he makes up for this grievous shortcoming by also being an outrageously funny observer of homo commercium. Now, Ackoff's Best offers you an opportunity to become acquainted with this irreverent genius who, over the past forty years, has done so much to shape our understanding of the modern business organization.

Compiled by the author, Ackoff's Best encapsulates the author's most controversial, influential, and wittiest work to appear since the 1970s. Ackoff's groundbreaking exploration of systems theory and its effect on business provides the backbone of this collection. Also included are his most lasting and thought-provoking writings on an array of topics in business, society, and human behavior that well reflect the sweeping scope of Ackoff's intellect and expertise. From managing teams, maximizing the effectiveness of information systems, and problem solving, to creativity, crime, and the role of the corporation in a democratic society, these writings are a cornucopia of insights, observations, and powerful lessons that will help you maximize your personal development and the effectiveness of your organization.

An excellent introduction for newcomers to Russell Ackoff, and a welcome compendium of Ackoff's pithiest writings for those already familiar with his ideas from such classic works as Creating the Corporate Future and The Art of Problem Solving, Ackoff's Best is required reading for every intelligent businessperson.

"The range, depth, and perspectives of these essays on management illustrate, once again, Russ Ackoff's unique genius."-Warren Bennis, University Professor, University of Southern California, and Co-author, Co-Leaders

"Russ Ackoff uses words that cut through the familiar and open doors in one's brain."-Arie P. de Geus, Author, The Living Company

"Ackoff's Best captures the lucid and compelling explorations of one of the most profound and influential thinkers of our time."-Ray Stata, Chairman of the Board, Analog Devices

"This collection reminds me that I have learned my most valuable lessons from Russ Ackoff."-Vince Barabba, General Manager, Corporate Strategy and Knowledge Development, General Motors Corporation

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User Review  - Ron - Goodreads

Ackoff is simply the most accessible proponent of systems thinking. One of the great minds of our times writes about perhaps the most important issue - management and policy. Read full review


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About the author (1999)

RUSSELL L. ACKOFF, PhD, is the founder and Chairman of INTERACT, a Philadelphia-based educational consulting firm whose clients have included numerous Fortune 500 companies, not-for-profits, and government agencies, here and abroad. Since 1986, he has been the Anheuser-Busch Professor Emeritus of Management Science at the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Ackoff is the author of more than 200 articles and 15 books, including his international business classics, Management in Small Doses, Creating the Corporate Future, Redesigning the Future, and The Art of Problem Solving, all published by Wiley.

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