Showing posts from January, 2009


Usually, beauty brings indulgence and not progress.

Systems Thinking as taught by Ackoff

One of my heroes is Dr. Russell Ackoff . I have read a few books he has written and have learned Systems Thinking from him. I am surprised that the field of Systems Thinking is not well understood. Following is my attempt to share what I learned from one of Ackoff's recent lectures. Albert Einstein once said, "You can't solve a problem with the same mind that created it." According to Dr. Russell Ackoff most managers agree with Einstein's statement but not many know what it means. It is easy to agree with something whose meaning is vague. In the Renaissance era, when the science as we know it today was born, a scientific inquiry method called Analysis was developed. Analysis comes naturally to us. Just watch kids breaking new things and being curious about the parts. The understanding of something follows a three step process in analytical thinking: 1. Take it apart 2. Understand (function, role, behavior) what the parts do 3. Assemble the understanding of the pa

Why is Ed worried?

I spent the month of December in Boston and went to my first Hanukkah celebration. I notice that all religions teach you the value of family, love, and compassion. At the human level, the Hanukkah celebration was similar to many other holiday celebrations; such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. These celebrations bring families together to share food, drink wine, enjoy laughs, play games, and exchange gifts. It is good to see the compassion come alive and visible during the holiday season. At the Hanukkah party, I met a wonderful, old and wise man, Ed. He has lived in more countries than most of us and understands human behavior exceptionally well. One of my highlights of staying in Boston was meeting Ed. We talked about various things for hours. Ed is worried! He is worried about the lack of evolution in democracy. The decision-making process in the US democracy has not changed in 200+ years. All major decisions are still made in DC which is a centralized decision making approach. And, w