IDEALIZED DESIGN. Creating an Organization’s Future. Russell L. Ackoff. Jason Magidson. Herbert J. Addison. Prentice Hall. In this chapter, we look at the stages in idealized design because success .. of the GM Strategic Initiatives group, who worked with Ackoff on problems at GM. by Herbert J. Addison, Jason Magidson, Russell L. Ackoff Russell Ackoff, and leading practitioner Jason Magidson, Idealized Design covers every facet of this .

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About ten minutes after the hour, the door to the room squeaked open.

We have assumptions about the current state of things, which might not hold true. I had to convince him otherwise. If we knew what we would do with ackof no constraints, we could modify it, if necessary, to become feasible and adapt it to changing internal and external conditions as time goes on.

What does that mean?

Idealized Design — To solve a problem, start with the ideal solution

Because we are not changing the environment, it means that the system must be able to function and dfsign in the current environment. They start brainstorming ideas on how to improve sales. The room was dead silent. These properties became very complicated near the end. He was a big man, extroverted, and voluble. Someone knew it had been between the two world wars. He was a pasty gray and bent over as he slowly shuffled down the aisle without a word to anyone. Get updates Get updates.

Addison build upon a simple notion. The first few were as follows:. Before the year was over, the groups had established the technological feasibility of each of our many design features.


By removing the constraints we clear our minds to think creatively. As a result, I spent a desig deal of time dssign the next year with that team. Russell Ackoff, a pioneer of systems thinking, has formulated the latter approach and calls it Idealized Design. We noted, however, that we had designed nothing yet, so decided to try our hands at ackogf.

He called on one of those with a raised hand. Among these are touch-tone phones, consumer ownership of phones, call waiting, call forwarding, voice mail, caller ID, conference calls, speaker phones, speed dialing of numbers in memory, and mobile phones. It began to dawn on all of us that his behavior had been a trick. The next one offered was multiplexinga way of transmitting multiple conversations simultaneously over one wire.

We were furious but decided idealizwd let it pass for the time being. Sign up for the weekly Knowledge Wharton e-mail newsletter, offering business leaders cutting-edge research and ideas from Wharton faculty and other experts.

Idealized Design: Creating an Organization’s Future [Book]

But we ran dry. Fortunately, the group decided this was too rare to be of concern but that the percentage of wrong numbers of each type was of concern. Do any of you know when we introduced the dial? The vice president looked up and glowered at the group. Ackoff, had many years ago. What a learning experience it was! The seven of us, six from the labs and I, met in a small breakout room.

Idealized Design: How Bell Labs Imagined — and Created — the Telephone System of the Future

Because we know that where we say today we would like to be five years from now is not where we will want to be when we get there. Almost every hand in the room went up. The idea behind having these two constraints is that we are creating a design for today, not the future.


Doing it how we most often do it, starting from today and moving towards the ideal, can be limiting. Several weeks later, the young men appeared at one of our sessions looking sheepish and apologetic.

We arrived at a typical classroom that held about forty people and was almost full.

I called him using the phone in the room. They sent two young men down to our meeting. At this point, I almost destroyed dssign credibility in the group by pointing out that there were two kinds of wrong numbers. At the same time, another group at the same company goes into another meeting room. He pressed on, asking for another candidate. It turns out to take about twelve seconds less to put in seven digits by pushing buttons than desigb a dial, and additional time is saved by not occupying a line until after the number is put in and the receiver is picked up.

Every call I receive is intended for me — no wrong numbers.