Managing Messes

Managers are not confronted with problems which are independent of each other, but with dynamic situations that consists of complex systems of changing problems that interact with each other. I call such situations messes … Managers do not solve problems, they manage messes.

– Russell Ackoff, Operations Theorist

2 Responses to Managing Messes
  1. Socorro Torres
    May 27, 2010 | 8:26 am

    Hehe I’m literally the first reply to this awesome read!

  2. Steve
    January 12, 2012 | 10:19 am

    The post speaks to my theory of “Monkey Management”. A monkey is defined as an unmanageable situation or problem that a person “owns” but would ether like you to help them with or you to take over completely. (Like caring for a monkey?) Your job as a manager is to reject their Monkey and give them two of yours to resolve.

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