Russ Ackoff was a great proponent of the 'clean sheet' approach to
enterprise redesign, as described in his book "Idealized Design"
In that book, (which is one of many that I've bought because it looked
interesting but thus far only managed to dip into) there is a brief
description of an interesting-sounding project with Wharton Group
involvement about an 'idealized' approach to redesigning Paris in 1971. I
haven't as yet managed to track down any accessible references to this piece
of work, but I did find this interesting article about cities that need to
reinvent themselves, and the kind of changes being undertaken.
Of course some of the complexity people (Dave Snowden being notable here)
are now very dismissive of idealized approaches like Ackoff's, being more in
favour of evolutionary ones......
Re the layer model - In my OU course, we were initially introduced to a
model produced by Kenneth Boulding back in 1956, with 9-levels of hierarchy
- it looks like the Pirsig model is a simplification of this?
[BTW @Nigel, I have just noticed that, in Boulding's hierarchy, 'role'
appears as a fundamental element in the 8th level (I didn't actually know
this when I started looking this up.....honest! will reflect on yr latest
tweet on this).
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