- Paperback: 228 pages
- Publisher: Triarchy Press Ltd; First Edition edition (11 April 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0955008182
- ISBN-13: 978-0955008184
- Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 1 x 23.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 32 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 215,756 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Systems Thinking in the Public Sector: The Failure of the Reform Regime... and a Manifesto for a Better Way Paperback – 11 Apr 2008
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This waste of our money is just madness. Do you ever wonder how the Government came to make such a pig's ear of running the public services...? The argument compellingly made in this book...is that the Government has designed failure into almost everything it does on our behalf... it is culpable because it has failed to listen to people who know better how to run services on behalf of the customer. --Philip Johnston, telegraph.co.uk
...essential reading for every national and local politician, every public servant or indeed anyone who cares about public services. It describes and explains how command-and-control thinking is having a devastating effect on our public services but more importantly identifies how we can go about putting it right! A cracking read from the first page to the last. --Steve Greenfield, County Trading Standards Officer, Suffolk County Council
This book is uncomfortable, challenging and very direct. It offers huge learning and insight. It is buttock-clenching in places. It stimulates different thinking and methods that should be strongly encouraged and welcomed in the pursuit of excellent public services. A superb read. --David McQuade, Deputy Chief Executive, Flagship Housing Group
About the Author
Professor John Seddon is a widely-published occupational psychologist and management thinker credited with translating the Toyota Production System (TPS) for service organisations. John began his career researching the reasons for failures of major change programmes. This led him to W. Edwards Deming, who taught him the importance of understanding and managing organisations as systems and Taiichi Ohno who showed the practicality and power of doing so in manufacturing. The economic performance of the TPS is legendary. John is Managing Director of Vanguard, a systems thinking consultancy practice for service organisations, and Visiting Professor at the Lean Enterprise Research Centre, University of Cardiff. He is an entertaining, controversial and informed public speaker
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For the material covered, the author is obviously extremely passionate about the waste he feels exist in the public sector. He and his consulting company clearly have a lot off experience in the field with both local and central government. Lots of pertinent examples are cited, which makes for an eye opening read, but at times the author does come across as being a bit evangelical about his ideas, even a bit self righteous. This goes back to the author being passionate about the subject. I would have preferred the author to be a bit cooler and balanced in his writings.
The author also has quite a crusade around public use of targets and the consequences of their use on services, becoming the purpose of the system above the actual consumer need. You probably will have read quite a bit about govt targets in the press; this book provides some great examples on how these work in practice and just how much of a negative impact they can have.
The book majors describing three problem in public administration drawing on systems principles, rather than add in-depth look into systems engineering principles using the public sector. I had been hoping for the latter, but received the former. I probably read something into the description that was not there. If you are looking for a book explaining the range of tools in systems thinking that can be used, this book feels a little light. But if you are looking for a simple perspective of public services through a systems thinking lens... then this is the book too buy.
This book is well worth a read, spending some time pondering the ideas and how they may bee relevant to your line of work.
If anything the point is reiterated beyond that required for a thorough explanation.
An impassioned plea to free the sector from targets and the unaffordable industry created by them.
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