Idealized design is a great concept: in order to find the ideal solution to a business challenge, you envision the perfect solution, then work backward to the possible. The authors appear to have followed that concept, asking themselves what the ideal business book should include. A thorough explanation of the concept and convincing proof of its value in a variety of situations and organizations? Check. An inventory of the ideal environment for performing idealized design experiments? Check. Case studies? Check. The development of idealized design is largely credited to Ackoff, a management professor emeritus and author of 22 books who is praised in the foreword as "no doubt one of the greatest management innovators of our time." The progressive concepts described here are useful to companies undergoing a difficult transition or wanting to push themselves to the next level. More impressively, this volume ventures beyond the business realm to explore how idealized design can be applied to larger social issues, such as a national health care system or a new electoral system. Regardless of whether the reader agrees with the proposed designs, those examples expand the interest of this book beyond its traditional category and readership. (July)
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