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Russell L. Ackoff

Data de nascimento: 12. Fevereiro 1919
Data de falecimento: 29. Outubro 2009

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Russell Lincoln Ackoff was an American organizational theorist, consultant, and Anheuser-Busch Professor Emeritus of Management Science at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Ackoff was a pioneer in the field of operations research, systems thinking and management science.

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„The less sure managers are of their opinions, the more vigorously they defend them.“

—  Russell L. Ackoff
Context: The less sure managers are of their opinions, the more vigorously they defend them. Managers do not waste their time defending beliefs they hold strongly – they just assert them. Nor do they bother to refute what they strongly believe is false. p. 8, bold text cited in: Gregory H. Watson (2010).

„The less important an issue is, the more time managers spend discussing it.“

—  Russell L. Ackoff
Context: The less important an issue is, the more time managers spend discussing it. More time is spent on small talk than is spent on large talk. Most talk is about what matters least. What matters least is what most of us know most about. p. 16, bold text cited in: Gerald Haigh (2008) Inspirational, and Cautionary Tales for Would-be School Leaders. p. 142.

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„Managers who don't know how to measure what they want settle for wanting what they can measure“

—  Russell L. Ackoff
Context: Managers who don't know how to measure what they want settle for wanting what they can measure. For example, those who want a high quality of work life but don't know how to measure it, often settle for wanting a high standard of living because they can measure it. p. 4, bold text cited in: Colin J. Neill, Phillip A. Laplante, Joanna F. DeFranco (2011) Antipatterns: Managing Software Organizations and People.

„The only managers that have simple problems have simple minds.“

—  Russell L. Ackoff
Context: The only problems that have simple solutions are simple problems. The only managers that have simple problems have simple minds. Problems that arise in organisations are almost always the product of interactions of parts, never the action of a single part. Complex problems do not have simple solutions. Ackoff (2007) as cited in: Stefan Stern (2009) "Fond farewell to a brilliant thinker". in: Financial Times, November 9, 2009.

„Out of this basic language, we build up the other languages of the sciences, beginning with the language of physics, and proceeding to biology, psychology, and the social sciences.“

—  Russell L. Ackoff
Context: … All other languages can be translated into the thing-language, but the thing-language cannot be translated into any other language. Its terms can only be reduced to what are called "ostensive" definitions. These consist merely of pointing or otherwise evoking a direct experience. Hence, the thing-language is absolutely basic. Out of this basic language, we build up the other languages of the sciences, beginning with the language of physics, and proceeding to biology, psychology, and the social sciences. Charles West Churchman, Russell Lincoln Ackoff (1950) Methods of inquiry: an introduction to philosophy and scientific method. p. 185; Partly cited in: Britton, G. A., & McCallion, H. (1994). An overview of the Singer/Churchman/Ackoff school of thought. Systems Practice, Vol 7 (5), 487-521.

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„Managers cannot learn from doing things right, only from doing them wrong“

—  Russell L. Ackoff
p. 37 cited in: Andrew Carey (2008) Inside Project Red Stripe: Incubating Innovation and Teamwork at the Economist. p. 49.

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