Freedom from Command and Control: Rethinking Management for Lean Service

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Overview

"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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781563273278
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 8/28/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: There Is a Better Way
Chapter 1: Once Upon a Time in Manufacturing
Chapter 2: The Customer Service Center as a System
Chapter 3: Redefining the Purpose, Measures, and Method of Work
Chapter 4: Better Measures, Better Thinking
Chapter 5: The 'Break-Fix' Archetype
Chapter 6: Learning to See, Learning to Lead
Chapter 7: Customers - People Who Can Pull You Away from the Competition
Chapter 8: Do These Hold Water?
Chapter 9: Watch Out for the Toolheads
Conclusion: Revisiting Taylorism
Appendix: The Better Way to Improve Public Services
Notes
Further Reading
Index
About the Author

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2007

    New tactic for service firm management explained

    This brief book offers a lot in a small package. Although the customer-driven systems management strategy that John Seddon outlines is hardly new, he offers a fresh discussion about applying it to service organizations. Although this management tactic has proven itself indisputably, many managers and most organizations will find it radical. The author clearly, concisely illustrates its merits with numerous examples from a range of industries, with particular reference to the successful Toyota Production System. However, Seddon is frank about the kind and degree of opposition that reform will encounter. He also debunks other management systems in light of this approach. We highly recommends this book to all managers with the note that you can only implement its findings if you enjoy the full support of top management.

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