New thinking is making its way through management and now is getting internationally recognized by the Management Innovation Exchange (MIX). Under the category Reinventing Leadership Moonshot, John Seddon won with the submission Forget Your People – Real Leaders Act on the System.

W. Edwards Deming challenged us to transform management and not just copy the Japanese to improve quality.  I put the work of John Seddon and the Vanguard Method as an advancement of thinking in direct relation to Dr. Deming’s challenge.

The difference is that the Vanguard Method was built from application rather than copying.  This has led to better thinking pointing out several things:

  • Service is different than manufacturing in the variety of demand service companies receive from customers
  • Human change methodologies to help management and workers change their thinking
  • Archetypes to aid all service systems beyond just demand-based systems
  • Evidence of why outsourcing and shared services increases costs and worsens service
  • Redesign of the work gets greater improvement than modernization and automation using technology
  • Standardization, simplification and centralization creates waste and sub-optimization to service organizations
  • The concept of failure demand as a measure to improve service

As more light and awards shine on John Seddon and the Vanguard Method we will have new organizations and governments benefiting from this new thinking and unlocking new counter-intuitive truths and management paradoxes.  It goes with the territory.

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Tripp Babbitt is a columnist (Quality Digest, PSNews and IQPC), speaker, and consultant to private and public service industry.