Beating the System: Using Creativity to Outsmart Bureaucracies

Overview

When was the last time anyone interacted with an organization, a business, a government agency, a school, or a hospital and got a direct and accurate answer to a question or received a desired service without having to weave through a maze of frustrating and infuriating hand-offs? How often do people attempt to speak to a human in these organizations, but the system wouldn't allow it? Beating the System is for anyone who has faced the bureaucratic blank wall. The authors explain how systems are designed, how they...

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Overview

When was the last time anyone interacted with an organization, a business, a government agency, a school, or a hospital and got a direct and accurate answer to a question or received a desired service without having to weave through a maze of frustrating and infuriating hand-offs? How often do people attempt to speak to a human in these organizations, but the system wouldn't allow it? Beating the System is for anyone who has faced the bureaucratic blank wall. The authors explain how systems are designed, how they function (and, particularly, malfunction), where their weaknesses are, and the incentives that drive them - as well as how to be creative in beating a system. Entertaining and informative stories illustrate how each creative strategy is used, and the authors offer suggestions for how organizations themselves can avoid frustrating those they serve and employ.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781576753309
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/28/2005
  • Pages: 175
  • Sales rank: 1,082,061
  • Product dimensions: 5.62 (w) x 8.48 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author

Russell L. Ackoff is currently Chairman of Interact, an institute dedicated to education, consulting, and research, and Professor Emeritus of the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Considered one of the most innovative and insightful management thinkers of the 20th century, he is also the author of the acclaimed The Democratic Corporation: A Radical Prescription for Recreating Corporate America and Rediscovering Success, published by Oxford University Press in 1994.

Sheldon Rovin is Emeritus Professor of Healthcare Systems at the Wharton School and past Director of Healthcare Executive Education Management Programs at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2006

    Besting the Bureaucrats

    This is an amusing, entertaining and relevant book. At some point, senseless rules, mindless bureaucracies, or poor service and communication frustrate everyone. Authors Russell L. Ackoff and Sheldon Rovin offer a series of straightforward suggestions for getting the respect you deserve and fighting back against maddening treatment. They illustrate their principles with brief, accessible stories and, in at least one instance, even recommend lying to get your way. You can read this book quickly and immediately pull out tips you can use. However, you might want to consider the ramifications before, for instance, refusing to leave an airline clerk¿s desk or flooding an organization¿s voice mail. There may be lines you don¿t want to cross. Everyone has frustrating moments when they might want to apply these techniques, so it would help if the authors did more to sort the moments of justifiable frustration from the unjustified, or to help readers figure out when a rule is bad or a system needs changing. They seem to assume that if you are frustrated, you should retaliate quickly. As a result, the book seems a touch adolescent at times, despite the authors¿ impressive credentials. Everyone could enjoy this book, but we recommend it primarily to readers with a sense of perspective who can tell when to use these tactics - and when to just move along.

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