"Reading Russell Ackoff's slim new volume, Management f-Laws (with Herbert Addison and Sally Bibb, Triarchy Press), is like being pricked by a series of delayed electric shocks. At first glance and on their own, the book's 81 short aphorisms, paradoxes and put-downs seems nothing special. The first shock comes as the implication sinks in, followed by a chain-reaction of secondary ones as the first implication interacts with subsequent ones, until shocks are going off all over and you are left in no doubt that you are in the presence of one of the profoundest and wittiest brains ever to engage with the bizarre human activity called management." Simon Caulkin ~ The Observer "If you ever need a reality check after stumbling out of some appalling management meeting, or just need cheering up on a long business trip, this is the book for you. Just about every myth or pompous delusion about management gets punctured in the course of 160 feisty pages." Stefan Stern ~ The Daily Telegraph Skim it, if you like, and raise the odd wry smile of rueful recognition. Or undergo a self-examination course. Take each f-Law in turn and ask yourself how it applies to you, to your role in the organisation and to your organisation as a whole. Do it seriously and you might learn a lot. But the book might be best used as the basis for a serious conversation with colleagues. There is truth at the heart of all the laws, and it will be best dragged out in discussion, perhaps as one f-Law at a time. Every meeting, someone has suggested, could start with a short f-Law meditation - or might that be too American?
About the Author
Russell L. Ackoff is the Anheuser-Busch Emeritus Professor of Management Science at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He has written numerous books on Systems Management, the most recent of which are "Beating the System", "Re-Designing the Corporation", "Ackoff's Best" and "Idealized Design". A founding member of the Institute of Management Sciences, his work in consulting and education has involved more than 350 corporations and 75 government agencies in the United States and beyond. Management grandee, he was ranked 26 in the most recent list of the world's most influential business thinkers. Herbert J. Addison has worked for some 40 years in academic, educational and business book publishing, including for many years at Oxford University Press. He is the author of the business section in the "New York Times Guide to Essential Knowledge" and is a close friend of Russ Ackoff. Sally Bibb is Director, Group Sales Development for the Economist Group. She is based in London with responsibility for Europe, Asia and North America. She has specialised in organization and executive development for 15 years and has a Masters Degree in Organizational Change. Co-author of the award-winning book "Trust Matters - For Organisational and Personal Success", she is series editor for the "Truths about Business" series and author of "The Stone Age Company", the first title in the series.