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

A phone I can use with no hands. For example, we wanted to be able to talk simultaneously to groups in multiple locations, see all of odealized, and be able to transmit documents or charts instantaneously. The room was dead silent. At this point, I almost destroyed my credibility in the group by pointing out that there were two kinds of wrong numbers.

Idealized Design: Creating an Organization’s Future

desjgn The phone was to be used as follows. By focusing on what we want right now, we can eliminate that potential source of error. Never miss a story from Blog by Sami Honkonenwhen you sign up for Medium. If these numbers, on examination, appear to be correct, one would lift the receiver and the whole number would go through at once. Things will happen between now and then that will affect our goals and objectives. A group of people enter a meeting room.

Doing it how we most often do it, starting from today and moving towards the ideal, can be limiting. If the number on the register was wrong, one would press the red button in the corner. We did not want to take the time to explain. We arrived at a typical classroom that held about forty people and was almost full.


As a result, we have been improving the parts, ideaalized not the whole.

Several weeks later, the young men appeared at one of our sessions looking sheepish and apologetic. None of the structures they used to have exist anymore. What do you think are the most important contributions we have ever made to this development?

Before the year was over, the groups had established the technological feasibility of each of our many design features. This would clear the phone, acoff one would start over.

Give it a small test. In every life, there are seminal experiences that exert their influence on a great deal of experience that follows. As we described what we were trying to do, they began to whisper to each other and were soon more absorbed in their private conversation than in what we were saying. However, they suddenly got up and hurried out of the room with no explanation. Many in the room had used a phone that morning.

Next time you need to solve a problem, by yourself or with a group of people, start by imagining an ideal. The seven of us, six from the labs and I, met in a small breakout room. The first few were as follows:. We replaced the dial by — what did not exist at that time — a small handheld calculator. He exploded at the end of the line. Nothing better illustrates the power of this idea in action than the experience that one of the authors, Russell L. They sent two young men down to our meeting.

He mounted the platform, stood behind the podium, put his elbows on it, and held his head in his two hands, looking down. 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. We continued to add to this list for several weeks, ending with just more than ninety properties we wanted a phone to have. The idea behind having these two constraints is that we are creating a design for today, not the future.


Therefore, I am going to divide you into six subgroups of about six each, each with responsibility for a subsystem. The experience both enlightened him and proved to him that the idea could facilitate profound change in a major corporation. When the meeting was adjourned, the teams immediately gathered so that their members got to know each other.

We decided to select the first property on our list — no wrong numbers — and see if we could design a phone that met this requirement. The design must be technologically feasible. There were ten keys, one for each digit, a register, and a red key in the lower-right corner. For example, it will have to obey current laws and regulations. The impact of the design we produced was greater than the impact of any other effort to change a system that I had ever seen.

He then looked down again.

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

We have assumptions about the current state of things, which might not hold true. He said that no one would know the difference. These numbers would appear on the register.

This was very unusual. Log In or sign up to comment. What does that mean?