Book News: March 12th, 2009

By Russell L. Ackoff, Herbert J. Addison and Sally Bibb.

The authors describe more than 80 f-Laws, or flaws. They are truths about organizations that we might wish to deny or ignore. It is a simple and more reliable guide to managers’ everyday behaviour than the complex truths proposed by scientists, economists, sociologists or politicians.

An example of an f-LAW is ‘The less important an issue is, the more time managers spend discussing it.’ Everyone is an expert on trivia. So everyone can discuss trivialities with equal authority and at great length. This is not true with important issues on which there are alleged experts. Experts, those who know a great deal about a subject, tend to limit discussion to what they know about it. Their authority is vulnerable to new ideas, which, of course, seldom come from other experts, but from non-experts whom experts try to exclude from the discussion.

Experts seldom accept any responsibility for errors resulting from following their advice. However, they accept full responsibility for any successes that result from following their advice, however remote the connection.

Published by Triarchy Press ISBN 0-9550081-1-5. 20 Pounds.