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?

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