Ackoff, Russell L.
February 1981
Interfaces;Feb81, Vol. 11 Issue 1, p20
Academic Journal
The design-oriented planner, in effect, has a major responsibility for providing inputs to the planning process, in organizing and guiding it, in educating those involved in it, in specifying the nature of the output that is required, in providing criteria by which the output can be evaluated, and in facilitating such evaluation. The design-oriented planner must be competent in the use of the methods, techniques, and tools of both the clinician and the researcher. He need not be as skilled in the use of their instruments as they are, but he must know them well enough to be able to use those who have these skills effectively. He must do more than this: he must know how to design and invent, and he must be able to encourage and facilitate the efforts of others to do so. He must be a generalist who is familiar with the capabilities and limitations of relevant specialists; he must be a humanist as well as a scientist; and he must be as much at home with art as he is with technology. Finally, he must be as concerned with the qualities of life as he is with its quantities. None of us in S³ pretend to be all these things, but collaboratively we are trying to produce professionals who are. We believe that doing so requires new forms and content of education. We must redesign the educational process. The focus on design of those of us in academia leaves us with more than the need to develop a new kind of education; it leaves us with the need to develop an adequate methodology of design, a logic of creativity. This must be very different from the conventional logic of classes because it must be a logic of uniqueness, of individuality. It cannot be an inductive or deductive logic such as is adequate for clinical judgment or scientific inference. It must be a logic of intuition from which creativity springs. This sounds like a contradiction because we have traditionally taken intuition to be immune to logic, to be the antithesis of it. Therefore, we must generalize the concept of logic itself. What an exciting challenge this is! It is at least as exciting as Aristotle's effort to harness reason in logic, and the efforts of John Stuart Mill [1862] and R. A. Fisher [1949] to harness experience in experiment.


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