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Systems Thinking for Curious Managers: With 40 New Management F-Laws Paperback – March 18, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Triarchy Press Ltd (March 18, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0956263151
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956263155
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #729,599 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"* "One of the biggest breakthroughs in how we understand and guide change in organizations is systems theory and Systems Thinking." Dr Carter McNamara * "...taking a Systems Thinking approach we have achieved transformational results in a matter of weeks and months, not years." Denise Lyon, East Devon District Council * "Systems Thinking offers a powerful new perspective, a specialized language, and a set of tools you can use to address the most stubborn problems in your everyday life and work." Pegasus Communications * "Systems Thinking is both a mindset and set of tools for identifying and mapping the inter-related nature and complexity of real world situations. It encourages explicit recognition of causes and effects, drivers and impacts, and...helps anticipate the effect a policy intervention is likely to have..." UK Cabinet Office: Prime Minister's Strategy Unit * "...one of the most influential management gurus of the 20th century... His ideas about systemic thinking are vitally important today if the world is to come out of the current economic crisis in better shape than it went into it." The Economist * "The Einstein of Problem-Solving" Steven Brant, Huffington Post * "...a too well-kept secret... a brilliant thinker" Stefan Stern, Financial Times * "In a world of high sounding qualifications, Professor Russell Ackoff was a genuine subversive.... businesses - and many other organisations - still have lots to learn from him." Peter Day, BBC"

Customer Reviews

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See all 8 customer reviews
The full book of f-Laws, however, provides greater detail and commentaries as well.
Dan Bergevin
If you are not yet a systems thinker, you need to be, and this book can get you off to a quick start.
Bret L. Simmons
Many middle managers will enjoy reading through Ackoff's Systems Thinking for Curious Managers.
Denis Benchimol Minev

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Dan Bergevin VINE VOICE on April 15, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Russell Ackoff was a true renegade. His books have so changed my way of thinking that I don't know how I ever functioned without them.

Systems Thinking for Curious Managers is an excellent book, but it's only the tip of the iceberg. This is intentional, for it is meant as an introduction to and summary of Ackoff's work, in addition to some new content that no Ackoff student should go without.

Before reading this book it is highly recommended that you also get a copy of Ackoff's book "Management f-Laws." The introduction of Systems Thinking for Curious Managers references them heavily, and they are only briefly summarized over about 6 pages of the book. The full book of f-Laws, however, provides greater detail and commentaries as well. You will learn more, and in greater depth, by reading the two books in tandem.

The new content I referenced earlier is the addition of 40 new f-Laws, which are all just as important, useful, and sometimes mind-blowing as the original 81 f-Laws published in the aforementioned book.

If you're new to Ackoff's work, start with this and the original f-Laws book, then work your way into his more complex works. Of these I highly recommend Beating the System and Re-Creating the Corporation. The former book applies systems thinking to dealing with nasty bureaucratic hairballs of red tape, and is critical for anyone who lives in modern society. The latter is an incredibly profound and thorough work that will provide the most comprehensive stufy of Ackoff's ideas and applications.

Of course, you won't go wrong with any of Ackoff's books, but it can be difficult to know where to start since there is quite a large number of them. This concise and instantly useable book is the solution.

If you're too busy to study his other works, this will also do the trick.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Bret L. Simmons on March 25, 2010
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This is a short and easy read, but it does not skimp on the essentials. If you are not yet a systems thinker, you need to be, and this book can get you off to a quick start. All of the basics of systems thinking are covered and excellent references provided for those that want to dig deeper. Russell Ackoff was not as well known as Senge and Deming, but he makes a big and valuable contribution to systems thinking. This book summarizes his first 81 F-laws and then introduces 40 new ones. Managers looking for a prescription or to be spoon-fed can pass on this book. This is for people serious about changing themselves and their organizations and willing to commit to a lifetime of learning the discipline of seeing the big picture. "Don't fight the system; change the rules and the system will change itself."
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Denis Benchimol Minev on January 18, 2011
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Many middle managers will enjoy reading through Ackoff's Systems Thinking for Curious Managers. The systems thinking approach is one which most will see some benefit from. There is a f Law for everyone and everyone certainly will be able to relate to some of the concepts or see the mistakes of oneself or others through the systems thinking lens. The content in this book, including the 120 or so f laws are meant to be an intro to the rest of Ackoff's work.

Ackoff was a legendary man in his industry, although most were not as well aware of him as they were Deming, who helped rebuild Japan's post WWII economy. He introduced Kaizen and Just in Time thinking which helped propel certain Japanese businesses to worldwide domination. Ackoff was doing the same thing, producing excellent work on supply chain management and systems thinking while generally increasing the body of knowledge in each of these fields.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jan326 VINE VOICE on September 12, 2010
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quick read over the old and new rules of Ackuff's f-laws. I teach graduate nursing leadership courses and the students enjoy reading the f-Laws. even though they are not healthcare specific, their universal application, regardless of discipline or field of work/study, the f-Laws hold true.

Dr. Jan Eckhart
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