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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to change the service world
This book is potentially revolutionary, in the same way as The Machine That Changed the World, introduced the world to the Toyota Production System in 1990. This ignited interest in lean production. Not surprisingly both authors have over two decades' experience working for Fujitsu's Services Organization, and one of their biggest customers is Toyota. They use the...
Published on 4 April 2008 by Dr. C. Parker

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3.0 out of 5 stars Zen and the Art of Management
This is an attempt to create new insight into the concept of adaptive service through the creation of a metaphor related to human life. I.e. Adaptive service at its best is linked to its environment by rational, thinking, living beings with a mind, body and soul.

The underlying premise behind this metaphor is that organisational behaviour can be explained using...
Published on 6 Dec. 2008 by Stephen Parry


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3.0 out of 5 stars Zen and the Art of Management, 6 Dec. 2008
This review is from: Living Service: How to Deliver the Service of the Future Today (Financial Times Series) (Hardcover)
This is an attempt to create new insight into the concept of adaptive service through the creation of a metaphor related to human life. I.e. Adaptive service at its best is linked to its environment by rational, thinking, living beings with a mind, body and soul.

The underlying premise behind this metaphor is that organisational behaviour can be explained using principles demonstrated at the individual level and if we can harness these characteristics we can create new ways of doing business. However, there is ample evidence to demonstrate that as individuals we behave very irrationally in groups or within organisational systems where governance processes are designed to focus people on functional disconnected outcomes.

We get the behaviour we design for. Behaviour is an output not an input. This book assumes that behaviour is an input which can somehow overcome the problems of a badly designed system.

Organisations are artificial systems and do not contain control mechanisms that even come close to the adaptive mechanisms of Living Systems. So I think the choice of this metaphor actually creates constraints to the great insights, expertise, innovation and breakthrough ideas being put forward. Unfortunately the metaphor is the story and becomes less credible as the metaphor is stretched beyond its usefulness.

This book contains many ideas which are counter-intuitive,however, its really not Zen, it's really good rational thought about getting humans beings to do what they do best by creating organisational governance systems to promote employee creativity and innovation.

The implicit message which should have been more explicit in this book is this, The world is full of highly skilled problem solving people, lets start creating organisations that allow them to use all their skills to solve customer problems and create wealth together with their customers.

Read this book with this in mind, the rational mind.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to change the service world, 4 April 2008
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Dr. C. Parker (Irish Republic) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Living Service: How to Deliver the Service of the Future Today (Financial Times Series) (Hardcover)
This book is potentially revolutionary, in the same way as The Machine That Changed the World, introduced the world to the Toyota Production System in 1990. This ignited interest in lean production. Not surprisingly both authors have over two decades' experience working for Fujitsu's Services Organization, and one of their biggest customers is Toyota. They use the metaphor of Mind, Body and Soul throughout the book .those wanting to embrace living service must understand, honour and respond to the mind, body and soul of their customers. Living service is a way of life, a mindset. It can be achieved - it must be achieved.

The book is written in an engaging but inspirational style, illustrated by examples from many segment of business, as well as from the authors own experiences.

It is for anyone in the business world, not just those in front-line positions dealing with customers. Remember what Ted Levitt of Harvard Business School said. "Everybody is in service."
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