"Stafford Beer is undoubtedly among the world s most provocative, creative, and profound thinkers on the subject of management, and he records his thinking with a flair that is unmatched. His writing is as much art as it is science. He is the most viable system I know." Dr Russell L Ackoff, The Institute for Interactive Management, Pennsylvania, USA. "If anyone can make it [Operations Research] understandably readable and positively interesting it is Stafford Beer everyone in management should be grateful to him for using clear and at times elegant English and even elegant diagrams." The Economist Based on the Massey Lectures, this book examines the reasons why the institutions of our society may well be failing, and opens a discussion as to what could be done. Drawing on the science of effective organization, which is his definition of cybernetics, Stafford Beer explains key cybernetic principles in words and pictures that all can understand. He concludes that our society commits more and more resources to plastering over the cracks in the system which simply reappear while freedom itself is increasingly eroded. The institutions must be redesigned, and returned to the people, to whom the scientific tools for doing this ought to belong.