Beating the System

Using Creativity to Outsmart Bureaucracies

Russell Ackoff (Author) | Sheldon Rovin (Author)

Publication date: 05/06/2005

Beating the System

The need to beat the many systems that compromise our quality of life goes without saying. When was the last time you dealt with a bureaucracy--a business, a government agency, a school, a hospital--and got a direct answer to a question or received a service you wanted without having to weave through a maze of infuriating hand-offs? Have you found these systems to be utterly indifferent to the inconvenience or hardship they cause? Want to learn how to beat them?

Beating the System shows you how. Coauthors Russell Ackoff and Sheldon Rovin have spent their lives studying how organizational systems work, and here they share both perversely entertaining anecdotes about the abuse of individuals by a variety of bureaucracies, and descriptions of the creative--and deeply satisfying--approaches these people used to get even.

The authors begin by exploring how systems function and malfunction, where their weaknesses are, and what drives them. They then show that much of bureaucratic power is based on unchallenged assumptions--assumptions systems make about themselves and us, and assumptions we make about these systems and ourselves, and that challenging these assumptions is the essence of creativity and the first step in system beating. Ackoff and Rovin use stories to illustrate successful strategies and tactics for defying these assumptions and turning the tables on the many bureaucracies that frustrate us.

  • Provides practical, easy-to-use tactics and strategies for creatively beating any bureaucratic system that is trying to beat you
  • Full of entertaining real-world stories of people who have been frustrated by unresponsive systems and have successfully fought back
  • Coauthor Russell L. Ackoff is an internationally renowned pioneer in the world of systems thinking who has spent over 50 years studying how organizations work

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Book Details
Overview

The need to beat the many systems that compromise our quality of life goes without saying. When was the last time you dealt with a bureaucracy--a business, a government agency, a school, a hospital--and got a direct answer to a question or received a service you wanted without having to weave through a maze of infuriating hand-offs? Have you found these systems to be utterly indifferent to the inconvenience or hardship they cause? Want to learn how to beat them?

Beating the System shows you how. Coauthors Russell Ackoff and Sheldon Rovin have spent their lives studying how organizational systems work, and here they share both perversely entertaining anecdotes about the abuse of individuals by a variety of bureaucracies, and descriptions of the creative--and deeply satisfying--approaches these people used to get even.

The authors begin by exploring how systems function and malfunction, where their weaknesses are, and what drives them. They then show that much of bureaucratic power is based on unchallenged assumptions--assumptions systems make about themselves and us, and assumptions we make about these systems and ourselves, and that challenging these assumptions is the essence of creativity and the first step in system beating. Ackoff and Rovin use stories to illustrate successful strategies and tactics for defying these assumptions and turning the tables on the many bureaucracies that frustrate us.

  • Provides practical, easy-to-use tactics and strategies for creatively beating any bureaucratic system that is trying to beat you
  • Full of entertaining real-world stories of people who have been frustrated by unresponsive systems and have successfully fought back
  • Coauthor Russell L. Ackoff is an internationally renowned pioneer in the world of systems thinking who has spent over 50 years studying how organizations work
About the Authors
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Table of Contents

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