Freedom from Command and Control: Rethinking Management for Lean Service

John Seddon

August 12, 2005 by Productivity Press
Reference - 256 Pages
ISBN 9781563273278 - CAT# PP7327


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  • Practical, in-depth descriptions of cultural issues in a lean transformation, written in a conversational, easy-to-read style.
  • Invaluable case studies demonstrating systems style management
  • Articles categorized by specific area provides easy reference
  • Suggestions for applying Toyota principles to service organizations
  • Summary

    "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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