Tag Archives: Vanguard method

How to spoil someone for work (for ever more)

  There were 7 reasons why you shouldn’t touch systems thinking, and here’s an 8th… 8: You might get a sniff of systemsy heaven, but then end up working in command and control hell. Systems thinking makes no promises about being … Continue reading

Posted in systems thinking, systemz comix, targets | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Write your own blog post!

Posted in systems thinking, systemz comix, vanguard method | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Why I cannot stand leaders

I just cannot stand leaders. Simply cannot stand the very idea of leaders. Look at them! Look how special they think they are! Look how special we think they are. It’s our own fault, we fetishize them. We call them … Continue reading

Posted in command and control, knowledge, leadership, systems thinking, vanguard method | Tagged , , | 21 Comments

One weird trick to outfox the Henry Ford gambit

I done got a letter from a reader! Here is a dramatic reconstruction…. Remember these two diagrams? THIS one, the usual, the boring old triangle? And then there is this one, the one thats not a triangle, the one that … Continue reading

Posted in all wrong, command and control, plausible but untrue, public sector, purpose, strategic, systems thinking | Tagged , , , , ,

Fedoras and other hallmarks of failure

Have you noticed the HUGE amount of men in their 20s and 30s who wear Fedoras? A fedora is a hat that Humphrey Bogart or Indiana Jones wears. However the typical fedora wearer these days looks more like this… As Urban Dictionary … Continue reading

Posted in all wrong, systems thinking, thinking, tools, vanguard method | Tagged , ,

Why targets are good

Targets are good. They work. Comparing this quarters performance with last quarters, is good. It works Benchmarking performance against a group of other organisations, is good. That works too. Calm down! Let’s go back a bit…. Q: What’s the first … Continue reading

Posted in data, systems thinking, targets, thinking, vanguard method | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

7 ways to do the Vanguard Method all wrong

Read this first. It was very popular and there’s marbles in it. If you’re too lazy here’s a summary: I went to the executive leadership team, I talked to them about something that started with studying demand and eventually led to huge … Continue reading

Posted in me doing it, systems thinking, vanguard method | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

How to break the first rule of systems thinking

The problem with having to go into a room to speak about systems thinking is The First Rule. You know, the first rule… 3 months ago I had to go into the senior leadership team meeting to say what had … Continue reading

Posted in communication, me doing it, systems thinking in housing benefits, vanguard method | Tagged , | 31 Comments

Deming sucks

I can’t stand Deming. I used to have a mug with his photo on and a snappy quote, but thats all changed now I think he’s dangerous. Not the old bald dude who was an actual person who did actual … Continue reading

Posted in deming, John Seddon, systems thinking | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

The Highlander principle

Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will … Continue reading

Posted in command and control, systems thinking, thinking | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

How to NAIL it!

You read a management book about the latest thing. It makes out you can do all-sorts of wondrous things like this… But when you try and do it in your workplace it doesn’t quite turn out like it did in … Continue reading

Posted in change, systems thinking, thinking, vanguard method | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

4 steps to win PLUS free Gandhiometer

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” -Gandhi* Ignore If all you’ve got as leverage is anecdote or theory then this is all that going to happen. What would you do? Pay attention to … Continue reading

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John Seddon is not systems thinking

Truth or Lie? Read on to find out… One of the cool things about WordPress is that you can see what people have entered into search engines that pointed them to your blog. Some people find mine through phrases such … Continue reading

Posted in John Seddon, systems thinking, thinking, Uncategorized, vanguard method | Tagged , | 9 Comments

Hitting old women

This photo shows a “careworker” slapping a confused old lady who suffers from Alzheimers. It is from a BBC Panorama documentary about abuse in an old people’s care home called Ash Court. The daughter of this old lady found unexplained … Continue reading

Posted in command and control, inspection, systems thinking | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

A better mousetrap

“Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door” I have found a better mousetrap! It is easier, better, quicker, and cheaper. But what will people say when I show them it? The mousetrap doesn’t … Continue reading

Posted in command and control, psychology, systems thinking, Uncategorized, vanguard method | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Magic Goggles

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”. You’ve probably come across this quote, not thinking it applied to you and people like you. When you think of it you probably nod indulgently, imagining some kind of tribesmen cowering beneath … Continue reading

Posted in plausible but untrue, systems thinking | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Documents ‘Я’ Us

Remember when I had a gas leak? Click above, or read it below in 66 dull words. My gas meter was exchanged for a newer gas meter, a few days later there was a lingering strong smell of gas, I … Continue reading

Posted in command and control, plausible but untrue, psychology | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Magical pixie dust

The following are all real answers given in organisations in answer to the question: “How will we achieve our targets?” “Improvements in service delivery focussing on services which really matter to customers” “Ongoing training and evaluation of training needs. Increase … Continue reading

Posted in all wrong, command and control, deming, setting a numerical target is like..., systems thinking, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Which reality do you work in?

You have an idea for a change to the way your service or product is delivered. How do you test this idea? (a)  Against your manager. He knows what is acceptable, he knows other managers opinions and preferences and he … Continue reading

Posted in command and control, experiment, systems thinking, very short posts | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Why onions? (slight return)

Holy Inspirational Petunias!

Posted in leadership, systems thinking, Uncategorized, vanguard method | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Command and control makes me sick

And you. And everyone around you. That’s a SCIENTIFIC FACT.

Posted in systems thinking, Uncategorized, vanguard method | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Myths about Systems Thinking

Myth: Systems Thinking is only applicable in areas where a spot of process improvement would be just the ticket.

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51 things I have learned doing Systems Thinking in Benefits so far.

Listening to demand is exciting, enjoyable and worthwhile I thought I knew about Systems Thinking, turned out I had just memorised content from books. People like looking at control charts You don’t need to follow good design when putting data … Continue reading

Posted in Check, experiment, me doing it, systems thinking in housing benefits, vanguard method | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

80% of BPR projects fail

70% to 80% of BPI/BPR projects fail, the same as the % of projects in general that fail. There is also the well known 98% of companies that don’t see anticipated results from their lean programme  There is an excellent article … Continue reading

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Improve Service, Reduce Costs, Transform Morale

I saw those words on some Vanguard consultants linkedin page. What a neat message. That’s exactly what we are finding Systems Thinking does do. (see following posts on ST in Housing Benefits). My new tagline for my work email. “Improve … Continue reading

Posted in vanguard method, very short posts | Tagged | Leave a comment

purpose from PUSH to PULL

The following types of council services THOUGHT they knew what their purpose was, until they listened to their customers and looked at actual demand on their service. Using data gathered from their customers, listening to the problem the customer had, … Continue reading

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Systems thinking in Benefits-before

I have worked at a local authority for several years in performance management, the authority has no background in systems thinking and as far as I am aware no-one else there was interested.  I spent my time consistently boring people … Continue reading

Posted in me doing it, systems thinking in housing benefits, vanguard method | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

things i used to believe in and no longer do-ISO9001

ISO9001! God, what was i thinking? I was a qualifed lead auditor, and i loved it. I know, really. Sadly, here are the reasons I loved ISO9001 The manuals. There are so many manuals. You have your Quality Manual, the ISO9001 … Continue reading

Posted in all wrong | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments