Sunday, October 31, 2010

John Seddon Wrongly Accuses Womack & Jones of being "Command and Control"

John Seddon and his followers love to portray James Womack and Daniel Jones as top-down command-and-control thinkers.

One piece of evidence about this being wrong is this quote from the Womack, Jones, and Roos book "The Machine That Changed the World":

In a lean setting:
"Responsibility means freedom [for workers] to control one's work - a big plus."
See the quote on google books.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tripp Babbitt's (@tribabbitt) webpage is labeled "Lean Six Sigma"

Tripp Babbitt is John Seddon's American lackey, a foaming-at-the-mouth sort of chap who makes Seddon look calm and reasonable.

Tripp loves identifying himself as a "reformed lean six sigma black belt," as if that puts him above everyone else who is not reformed.

He mindlessly rips lean at every chance (never making a very compelling case), but yet his website is labeled "lean six sigma" in the browser header, as you'll see below. Click for a larger view (look in the upper left corner) and proof in case he decides to change his web page (if he knows how). If you're going to rip lean, at least don't have that be the label for your site.

Monday, October 18, 2010

John Seddon Says Not to Give your Method a Name, but he does

John Seddon loves to complain that if you give a method a name, like "lean," that progress stops and you're codifying method.

His beloved Taiichi Ohno actually gave Toyota's method a name in 1973, calling it the "Toyota Production System", as you can read about here:

Did Toyota cease to continue evolving TPS after giving it a name?? I think not.

Does Seddon's Vanguard method cease to improve after he adopted the "systems thinking" name or called it the "Vanguard Method"? Seddon publishes training and manuals - does that codify method???

Saturday, October 16, 2010

John Seddon Complains about "Pretend" Systems Thinkers

John Seddon and the Seddonistas love to bitch and moan about how lean people make a distinction between "fake lean" and "real lean."

To the Seddonistas, the existence of any "fake lean" implies that lean is inherently bad, that there is no such thing as "fake lean."

Being a hypocrite, as he tends to be, Seddon complained in a newsletter about "pretenders" or what we make call "fake systems thinking":
Pretenders screw up

Vanguard's unique contribution has been the creation of a method to help organisations change from a conventional 'command-and-control' design, to a systems design. Because it works so well we have created a market - all sorts of people have popped up claiming to offer systems thinking. It takes us at least a year to train a Vanguard consultant; they have to learn how to work alongside managers as the managers employ the method.

The pretenders won't have our method, and, as I have said here before, perhaps the best way to spot a pretender is to ask them about their method of intervention - training people in 'systems tools' is an obvious indication that they are purveyors of the wrong answer.

But of course training in tools appeals to managers. And so it has been in three cases reported to me last month. Managers bought 'systems thinking', did their training, set up their projects and it failed. So now they think systems thinking doesn't work. They just got duped by a pretender. Tragic.

So there are "tool heads" in the systems thinking world? Obviously the Vanguard method is inherently evil. Right, "Professor" Seddon?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

John Seddon is NOT Really a Professor?

John Seddon loves to call himself a professor.

He does not have a PhD.

His professorship is a three-year honorary appointment, which is now actually over (as a reader emails to tell me).

So why does he still call himself a "professor"? You can't make this up!

John Seddon is So Arrogant That...

John Seddon is so arrogant that he expects the government ministers to call him begging for help:

From a 2001 newsletter:
Will the minister call?  

Last month I joined a radio programme ('You and Yours' - BBC Radio 4) discussing the value of targets in improving public sector performance.
During the programme I described how targets had, in practical and detailed terms, worsened performance in the Police and Fire services. The government representative - pro targets of course - is the man responsible for scrutiny of the public purse.
So I got to thinking. I just told the man how we currently waste millions and I indicated - again with examples - how there was a better way. Yes, we could reduce the costs of public services and at the same time improve them. 
Do you think the minister called?

I'd assume the answer is not, because the minister had either never heard of John Seddon or wrote him off as a prat.

John Seddon Says Lean is a "Wicked Disease"

Another outrageous statement from John Seddon in this article:

John Seddon: Why Lean is a Wicked Disease

John used to sell and peddle this wicked disease himself...

John Seddon Used to Sell an Audio Tape Promoting Lean

John Seddon of 2010 would loudly criticize John Seddon of just a few years ago.

From this old newsletter:

New audio-tape: “Introducing lean service”   return to top
A new audio-tape has been added to our series. “Introducing lean service” runs for 27 minutes and explains how we have taken the concepts of ‘lean thinking’ and applied them to service organisations. Click here to order.
I thought lean doesn't work in services, John?

John Seddon Was Happy to Sell You a Conference on Lean for Services

John Seddon hollers about how lean does work for services. Well, that's the NEW John Seddon.

The old John Seddon was happy to run conferences (see this old newsletter:

Lean Service Conference - October 24th 2000   return to top
Buckingham Conference Centre.
The Lean Service Conference. How to improve service and cut costs. What is 'lean service'? Lean service takes the principles developed in world class manufacturing ('lean thinking') and applies them to service organisations. The consequence is rapid change, for little is 'made' in service organisations.
New John Seddon says lean doesn't work because he wants you to buy HIS new "Vanguard" branded services.

John Seddon Used to Say Lean Worked in Services

Although he screams today about Lean being "a wicked disease," John Seddon was happy to sell you Lean "for services."

From an old newsletter:

We are pleased to announce the completion of our new web site:
Why 'lean service'? Many people will have heard of lean thinking - it underpins world class manufacturing operations. Lean service takes this thinking and applies it to service organisations.
Funny how he changed his tune on this. Self serving and opportunistic.

John Seddon Had "Senseis" to Teach You About Lean

Again from the Internet Wayback Machine:

DVD - An Introduction to Lean 
"Are you ready to change the way you think?"

John Seddon Claims He Developed "Check First," Not Brian Joiner

From the Evolving Excellence blog, a comment on this post...

The video in question can be found here.

The comment:
I was watching the video you linked to and I was aghast at what Seddon was taking credit for.
At about 19:15 he says:
"I developed the model of Check Do Act."
Actually, Brian Joiner published that Check Do Act model in his 1994 book "Fourth Generation Management."
Joiner shares this Check-Act-Plan-Do model on page 49 of his book, talking about why it's more appropriate to start the cycle with "Check."
At best, Seddon is derivative of Joiner (I saw that Joiner's book is curiously missing from his of recommended books, this can't be an accident) or Seddon is ripping him off and not giving credit where it's due.

Read more: 
at Evolving Excellence 

John Seddon Used to Embrace the Word Lean

From a comment on Mark Graban's blog about John Seddon:
With a final comment on this blog, all one has to remember is that John Seddons original site was
Seddon, at that point in time, was in a market that was becoming saturated with “lean” so the two possible outcomes were to “ante up” or to “fold”. Seddon “folded” and at some point changed his companies domain and distanced his self from “Lean”.
The problem he has is that his site was “lean-service”, clearly he has since had a “crossing the rubicon” “moment”, or subsequent “epiphany”, but let no one here forget for one moment when posting that his original site was “”.
For all those acolytes, if you’d been paying attention your “chosen one” was as bought in to “lean” as Dan Jones, Jim Womac or the the next consultant. It simply turns out that at some point post 05/06 he felt that “systems thinking” would more clearly reflect his personal offering. A cynic, on the other hand, might think that it was needs must, and that you’d exit a saturated market, change the offering, and disparage a methodology that works (to whatever extent) for some organisations.

Read more: The One Where John Seddon Might Be Lying (or Has His Facts Very Very Wrong) — Lean Blog

John Seddon Used to Trumpet Lean Tools

"Professor" John Seddon (we should say "former Professor") is one of the most obnoxious bashers of the lean methodology out there, pushing instead his "Systems Thinking" or Vanguard Method.

Thanks to the Internet Wayback Machine, you can see clearly that John Seddon, as recently as 2008 was trumpeting his "lean" approach and offered "lean tools" in 2004 - an offering that would get you or me labeled a "tool head" in an angry Vanguard newsletter.

The page offered:

What are the benefits of going lean?

Practical tools for action

What a hypocrite! See screen capture below (click for bigger view):

Monday, October 11, 2010

Why "Anonymous"?

Why is this blog anonymous?

Well, I'll be attacked as a coward by the John Seddon crowd, his blind followers, the "Seddonistas," but it's much better than being sued, as Seddon is quite litigious you might know...