Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Idealized Design: How to Dissolve Tomorrow's Crisis...Today (paperback) Paperback – April 30, 2006
All Books, All the Time
Read author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more at the Amazon Book Review. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From Publishers Weekly
Idealized design is a great concept: in order to find the ideal solution to a business challenge, you envision the perfect solution, then work backward to the possible. The authors appear to have followed that concept, asking themselves what the ideal business book should include. A thorough explanation of the concept and convincing proof of its value in a variety of situations and organizations? Check. An inventory of the ideal environment for performing idealized design experiments? Check. Case studies? Check. The development of idealized design is largely credited to Ackoff, a management professor emeritus and author of 22 books who is praised in the foreword as "no doubt one of the greatest management innovators of our time." The progressive concepts described here are useful to companies undergoing a difficult transition or wanting to push themselves to the next level. More impressively, this volume ventures beyond the business realm to explore how idealized design can be applied to larger social issues, such as a national health care system or a new electoral system. Regardless of whether the reader agrees with the proposed designs, those examples expand the interest of this book beyond its traditional category and readership. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Digital edition.
From the Back Cover
What's the best way to drive fundamental, transformative change within your organization? Envision your ideal solution: then, work backwards to where you are. It's called idealized design, and -- as executives in hundreds of organizations will testify -- it's one of the most powerful techniques you'll ever use. Authored by its legendary creator, Wharton Professor Emeritus Russell Ackoff, and leading practitioner Jason Magidson, "Idealized Design" covers every facet of this breakthrough methodology. You'll learn the fundamental differences between idealized design and traditional process re-engineering, and understand how idealized design eliminates many conventional obstacles to change. Start-to-finish techniques and examples drawn from hundreds of companies, non-profits, and government organizations will show you how to use idealized design to solve your own crisis of tomorrow...today.
Top customer reviews
Along with reading this book. I am reading " Leader of One" by Dr. Gerald Suarez which I also recommend reading.
Well worth the read and trying to implement.
I think the process put forward here can be quite powerful. The concept of formulating the mess and then planning the ends without regards to the past is terrific. Then you plan how to get there and while what you end up with will probably not be what you "idealized", it will almost certainly be innovative and far ahead of where you would have been with incremental change. The authors' concept of dissolving the problem by looking at the containing factors and making the problem disappear by changing the container is also especially good.
However, it is in part III where the authors discuss the "urban car" and a health system for all Americans that things fall completely apart. They let the "container" of left-wing politics enter their notions without letting the reality of the marketplace discipline their final recommendations. The car is embarrassingly idiotic and the health care system is nothing more than a single payer system with all the fantasies of its supporters put forward as facts. Maybe the containing problem for urban congestion isn't the car but the way we subsidize life in cities. Maybe the containing problem in health care is the way we call pre-paid health care insurance and we need to rethink what needs to be insured and what needs to come out of pocket, like almost everything else in life.
Anyway, I think the process is quite good and is very much worth examining. There is much to be said for the very effective notions about Positive Change I heard at the University of Michigan Business School which now has a Center for Positive Change. Idealized Design and Positive Change are not equivalent, but they both share the notion that fixing problems and incremental change are more traps than cures. The organization you are a part of and the products you sell or the services you offer all arose to meet past needs. It may be that they have outlived their usefulness and tweaking them just won't get you where you need to go. Visualizing them as gone can be a great beginning of thinking about where you need to be tomorrow. The book (at least most of it) can be quite helpful in getting a process into place to help create and implement such constructive and complete change.
In focusing on the idealized vision, Ackoff and his colleagues concisely spell out how many obstacles, often self-inflicted, are eliminated and go as far as identifying the preventative measures that represent a major sea change to a company. What makes the eminently readable book particularly useful is the wide-ranging variety of case studies presented which show empirical evidence of idealized design in action. Most inspiring is Ackoff's own example of working with Bell Labs in the 1950's with the intent of redesigning the telephone. The company was applying then-common practice in looking at making incremental improvements in the standard telephone features - the dial, coaxial cabling and multiplexing. However, by looking at what the management team wanted to achieve as a whole, Ackoff was able to lead the effort toward more revolutionary items such as touch-tone phones, call waiting, call forwarding, conference calls, voice mail, and what was then the beginning of the mobile phone.
From this seminal case study come several contemporary applications of idealized design including fascinating looks at subjects ranging from the redesign of Paris for the future to a drastic overhaul of the current health care system to General Motor's launch of the OnStar system. The most useful chapters are the three most thorough case studies presented - Energetics as an example of the private sector, the Academy of Vocal Arts for non-profits, and the White House Communications Agency as a specific application within the perceived constraints of the U.S. government. The case for idealized design is executed with a minimum of polemics, and the book offers practical information on how best to implement such change in currently vision-blocked companies.