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Freedom from Command and Control: Rethinking Management for Lean Service [Hardcover]

John Seddon
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
RRP: 31.99
Price: 28.72 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

12 Aug 2005
"Command and Control is failing us. There is a better way to design and manage work - a better way to make work work - but it remains unknown to the vast majority of managers."

An adherent of the Toyota Production System, John Seddon explains how traditional top-down decision making within service organizations leads to managers who are detached from employees and remote from operations. He demonstrates that decision-making based on purpose-related measures (such as putting customers first and improving services) can help managers reconnect with operations, see waste, and exploit opportunities for improvement. Through extensive case material, he differentiates between command and control and systems thinking and illustrates how the latter leads to improved service, revenues, and staff morale. He also posits that the service industry is fundamentally different from manufacturing, and shows how Toyota production principles must be transformed for application in service organizations.


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Freedom from Command and Control: Rethinking Management for Lean Service + Freedom from Command and Control: A Better Way to Make the Work Work + Systems Thinking in the Public Sector: The Failure of the Reform Regime... and a Manifesto for a Better Way
Price For All Three: 65.72

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Productivity Press (12 Aug 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1563273276
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563273278
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16.4 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 446,169 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By Nicholas J. R. Dougan VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
John Seddon does not like "management fads" like IiP, Charter Marks, CRM, TQM, BPR, EFQM or Six Sigma, and he especially does not like ISO 9000. He is not particularly keen on the "toolheads" who promote stand-alone techniques derived from the Toyota Production System (TPS), aka "lean" manufacturing. He is damning about the government's application of target-based systems on the public services, and devotes an appendix to that aspect. Applying tools without really thinking through the problem, he says, is almost invariably counterproductive.

Seddon has built a career applying the philosophy of the TPS to service organisations. He venerates Taiichi Ohno, the man who, above all, created and developed TPS, and the storey is littered with references to what Ohno said and did. Much of the manufacturing detail of car manufacture is not applicable to service organisations, however, so Seddon has attempted to think things through from first principles. I came across reference to Seddon's work in his distinguishing of "failure demand" from "value demand". Failure demand is demand that only exists because initial demand was not satisfied properly. It includes, e.g., the 40% of calls that some call centres receive chasing up enquiries made earlier and any work to correct earlier work that was not done properly. As one of the key aims of "lean" is to eliminate waste, failure demand represents a first and obvious type of waste in service organisations. Seddon demonstrates, however, that by treating failure and value demand alike in statistical analysis, failure demand can help give a quite false impression of greater productivity. This merely reinforces the need to look in, from the customer's perspective, and ask what he or she might think of the service.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Bad 5 Mar 2010
Format:Hardcover
The book was ok, a little repetative at times but I guess that helps embed what you are learning.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
John Seddon explains why we should all look at how our current management thinking designs work in very inefficient ways.

It is a real lightbulb read and once you get it you will never want to work in the old ways again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fab read ! 8 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you work in a business and are frustrated with all the reporting that goes on, KPIs and figures etc..., read this and be prepared to think differently forever....
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There seems to be another very similar book - what's the difference? 0 18 Dec 2009
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