A recent trip to the United Kingdom confirmed what I feared . . . the Vanguard Method is as potent and powerful as what W. Edwards Deming started with Japan, only this time in service.  While the US outsources to “play to its strengths” I am left wondering what strengths are left in the US.

The only way the US wins is if the rest of the world continues to embrace command and control management.  My visit to the UK confirmed that the US is much better than the UK with this (command and control) form of management.  Witnessing the transformation of a large insurance company has been something like observing the change from the ugly duckling to a beautiful swan. 

However, this UK swan stands to collect market share and competitive position in the world.  The US will once again be playing catch-up in the world marketplace that has left them far behind and there will be many countries cheering as the US goes down the tubes.

Recent management fads like lean and six sigma have done little to reverse the trend.  Despite the many books written and claims to success (which most have been anecdotal) service is falling behind.  The purveyors of tools have nothing new for service just manufacturing thinking, black electrical tape and pictures to trade.

Meanwhile the UK swans in the private and public sector are advancing the thinking and clearing a gap as wide as the Grand Canyon.  The use of a theory of work (the Vanguard Method) that is both adaptive and has plenty of room to grow is making the difference . . . a big difference.

So what are the differences, some I have talked about before like the important and impactful find by John Seddon that service has greater variety than manufacturing.  But more important are the human change methods and re-design of work capabilities that are inherent to the Vanguard Method.  It is smart, efficient and effective.

Sure, I am biased, but as a reformed Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt and former president of a Deming user’s group . . . I have seen a lot of the recent fads and their inability to change thinking or redesign service.  In fact, they feed the management system of command and control as it stays in place and is reinforced.  You have a choice where the duckling didn’t.

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Make the new decade a profitable and rewarding one, start a new path here.  Download free from www.newsystemsthinking.com “Understanding Your Organization as a System” and gain knowledge of systems thinking or contact us about how to get started at [email protected].  Reach him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TriBabbittor LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/trippbabbitt.

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