Dirty Rotten Strategies

Dirty Rotten Strategies : How We Trick Ourselves and Others into Solving the Wrong Problems Precisely

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People and organizations are perfectly capable of making the most outrageous missteps. But, how does a person, organization, or society know that it is committing an error? And, how can we tell that when others are steering us down wrong paths? Dirty Rotten Strategies delves into how organizations and interest groups lure us into solving the "wrong problems" with intricate, but inaccurate, solutions. Authors Ian I. Mitroff and Abraham Silvers argue that we can never be sure if we have set our sights on the wrong problem, but there are definite signals that can alert us to this possibility. While explaining how to detect and avoid dirty rotten strategies, the authors put the media, healthcare, national security, academia, and organized religion under the microscope. They offer a biting critique that examines the failure of these major institutions to accurately define our most pressing problems. For example, the U.S. healthcare industry strives to be the most technologically advanced in the world, but, our cutting-edge system does not ensure top-quality care to the largest number of people. Readers will find that far too many institutions have enormous incentives to let us devise elaborate solutions to the wrong problems. As Thomas Pynchon said," If they can get you asking the wrong questions, then they don't have to worry about the answers." From a political perspective, this book shows why liberals and conservatives define problems differently, and demonstrates how each political view is incomplete without the other. Our concerns are no longer solely liberal or conservative. In fact, we can no longer trust a single group to define issues across the institutions explored in this book and beyond. Dirty Rotten Strategies is a bipartisan call for anyone who is ready to think outside the box to address our major concerns as a society-starting today.

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Product details

  • Hardback | 232 pages
  • 157.48 x 228.6 x 25.4mm | 453.59g
  • Stanford University Press
  • Palo Alto, United States
  • English
  • 2 figures
  • 0804759960
  • 9780804759960
  • 1,271,187

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Review quote

"Ian Mitroff has done it again; He and Abraham Silvers have opened our eyes. Here's a lucid and thoughtful account of why we fail to be adequately lucid and thoughtful-and what we can do about it. Bravo!" -Robert B. Reich, Professor of Public Policy, University of California at Berkeley, former U.S. Secretary of Labor, and author of Supercapitalism: The Transformation of Business, Deomcracy, and Everyday Life "A bracingly powerful book, which should be required reading for all professionals and experts of every stripe. It will liberate all readers from the tyranny of conventional reasoning. The authors give new meaning to Veblen's classic phrase, "trained incompetence." --Warren Bennis, University Professor, University of Southern California and co-author of Transparency and Judgment "Dirty Rotten Strategies is insightful, provocative, and important." --Karen Armstrong, Best-selling author of The Spiral Staircase

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About Ian I. Mitroff

Ian I. Mitroff is an Emeritus Professor from the University of Southern California, where he taught for 26 years. He is currently the President of Comprehensive Crisis Management, a consulting firm which offers an integrated approach to Crisis Management. Mitroff is also the author of several well-received books, including Crisis Leadership (2003) and Why Some Companies Emerge Stronger and Better From a Crisis (2005). Abraham Silvers was Associate Professor of Statistics at Baylor College of Medicine and Adjunct Professor of Statistics at the University of California at San Francisco Medical School. Having written over 100 papers and book chapters, Silvers was elected a Fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA) in 1988 for his contributions to clinical trial methodology. In 1993 he received the distinguished medal in environmental statistics from the ASA. He currently provides environmental statistical consulting and support in the design, database management and analysis of health studies and clinical trials.

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