Beating the system

is an excellent book edited by Russell Ackoff and Sheldon Rovin (isbn 1-57675-330-1). As usual I'm going to quote from a few pages:
Beating the system can be a serious and occasionally risky business; some courage is needed.
Bureaucrats are usually empowered to say no to even reasonable requests, but they cannot say yes to them. This requires passing requests to a higher authority. Saying no inflates bureaucrats' self-images.
Nothing beats knowing how the system you're trying to beat actually works because the chances are that no one else knows, with the possible exception of secretaries.
We do not try to cure headache by perfuming brain surgery. Rather, we put a pill in our stomach.
The usual way of doing things often gets in the way of doing things.
Time is our only absolutely nonrenewable and, thus, most highly valued resource. To place a low value on another's time is to show a lack of respect for that person.
Persistence is a fundamental attribute of a system beater.
In most workplaces explicit and implicit assumptions often constrain behaviour.
Implicit assumptions lead to behaviours that are carried out automatically, without thought, and these behaviours constitute an organisation's or a society's culture. Culture is what we do when we do not consciously decide what to do.
Most assumptions made in and about organisations usually go unquestioned, and their validity is taken to be self-evident, despite Ambrose Bierce's (1967,289) admonition that "self-evident" means evident to oneself and no one else. "Obvious" does not mean "requiring no proof" but "no proof is desired."
No particular virtue exists in doing things the way they've always been done and in thinking about things in the way they've always been thought about.
Undesirable customs persist because they are tolerated without thought.
Effective police officers think like criminals; effective criminals think like police officers.
The major obstructions between a person and what he or she wants is not "out there" but in the person's mind.
A problem tends to be placed into the discipline of the one who first identifies it.
Problems are not defined by disciplines, although disciplinarians think so.

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