Russell L. Ackoff quotes

  • To manage a system effectively, you might focus on the interactions of the parts rather than their behavior taken separately.
    -- Russell L. Ackoff

    #Leadership #Taken #Focus

  • Managers are not confronted with problems that are independent of each other, but with dynamic situations that consist of complex systems of changing problems that interact with each other. I call such situations messes. Problems are extracted from messes by analysis. Managers do not solve problems, they manage messes.
    -- Russell L. Ackoff

    #Independent #Risk #Analysis

  • Art inspires, produces an unwillingness to settle for what we have and a desire for something better. It is the product and producer of creative activity, change; it is essential for continuous development.
    -- Russell L. Ackoff

    #Art #Creative #Inspire

  • Traditional education focuses on teaching, not learning. It incorrectly assumes that for every ounce of teaching there is an ounce of learning by those who are taught. However, most of what we learn before, during, and after attending schools is learned without its being taught to us. A child learns such fundamental things as how to walk, talk, eat, dress, and so on without being taught these things. Adults learn most of what they use at work or at leisure while at work or leisure. Most of what is taught in classroom settings is forgotten, and much or what is remembered is irrelevant.
    -- Russell L. Ackoff

    #Children #Teaching #School

  • The lower the rank of managers, the more they know about fewer things. The higher the rank of managers, the less they know about many things.
    -- Russell L. Ackoff

    #Higher

  • The more efficient you are at doing the wrong thing, the wronger you become. It is much better to do the right thing wronger than the wrong thing righter. If you do the right thing wrong and correct it, you get better.
    -- Russell L. Ackoff

    #Get Better #Efficiency #Right Thing

  • Nothing is harder to topple than a fact that supports a deeply held prejudice denied by its holder.
    -- Russell L. Ackoff

    #Support #Facts #Prejudice

  • Successful problem solving requires finding the right solution to the right problem. We fail more often because we solve the wrong problem than because we get the wrong solution to the right problem.
    -- Russell L. Ackoff

    #Successful #Risk #Management

  • The objective of education is learning, not teaching
    -- Russell L. Ackoff

    #Teaching

  • Most managers receive much more data (if not information) than they can possibly absorb even if they spend all of their time trying to do so. Hence they already suffer from an information overload.
    -- Russell L. Ackoff

    #Data #Suffering #Trying

  • It is the satisfaction we derive from 'going there' in contrast to the satisfaction derived from 'getting there.' Recreation provides 'the pause that refreshes.' It recreates creators.
    -- Russell L. Ackoff

    #Satisfaction #Recreation #Contrast

  • We can only learn from mistakes, by identifying them, determining their source, and correcting them... people learn more from their own mistakes than from the successes of others.
    -- Russell L. Ackoff

    #Mistake #People #Learning From Mistakes

  • Every problem interacts with other problems and is therefore part of a set of interrelated problems, a system of problems…. I choose to call such a system a mess.
    -- Russell L. Ackoff

    #Problem #Mess

  • Omnicompetence,' the ability to obtain whatever one wants or needs, is an unattainable but continuously approachable ideal for all mankind - past, present, and future.
    -- Russell L. Ackoff

    #Past #Unattainable #Want

  • Managers who don't know how to measure what they want settle for wanting what they can measure.
    -- Russell L. Ackoff

    #Want #Settling

  • So much time is currently spent in worrying about the future that the present is allowed to go to hell.
    -- Russell L. Ackoff

    #Worry #Hell

  • Creativity is the ability to identify self-imposed constraints, remove them, and explore the consequences of their removal.
    -- Russell L. Ackoff

    #Creativity #Self #Chaos

  • A problem never exists in isolation; it is surrounded by other problems in space and time. The more of the context of a problem that a scientist can comprehend, the greater are his chances of finding a truly adequate solution.
    -- Russell L. Ackoff

    #Space #Risk #Adequate

  • Most corporate mission statements are worthless. They consist largely of pious platitudes such as: "We will hold ourselves to the highest standards of professionalism and ethical behavior." They often formulate necessities as objectives; for example, "to achieve sufficient profit." This is like a person saying his mission is to breathe sufficiently.
    -- Russell L. Ackoff

    #Risk #Example #Management

  • It is far better to do the right thing wrong than to do the wrong thing right.
    -- Russell L. Ackoff

    #Risk #Management #Risk Management

  • Errors of omission, lost opportunities, are generally more critical than errors of commission. Organizations fail or decline more frequently because of what they did not do than because of what they did.
    -- Russell L. Ackoff

    #Business #Opportunity #Organization