Dr. Russell Ackoff, my systems theory guru. Dr. Ackoff did some really compelling research on advertising and personality that helped Anheuser Busch dominate the beer industry.
Over the course of the next few weeks I plan to share some of my favorite Ackoff fables on problem solving. Who says philosophers can’t be useful?
Systems theory in a nutshell:
It’s about interactions not actions
The whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts
Use force where you have the greatest leverage, regardless of where the problem is (i.e if you have a headache take an aspirin rather than attempt brain surgery.)
The nature of the whole is not the same as the nature of the parts. Every part affects the whole. Furthermore, actions on the parts will not produce equivalent results in the whole.
Synthesis is the opposite of analysis; looking at the whole as part of a bigger system (i.e. car as part of transportation industry) as opposed to looking at the parts to understand the whole (i.e car in the mechanic’s shop).