Seth's Blog: Sheepwalking

Excellent reading from Seth Godin. If we're a lean organization, we don't want a bunch of “Sheepwalkers” hanging around.

Seth defines it as:

I define “sheepwalking” as the outcome of hiring people who have been raised to be obedient and giving them a braindead job and enough fear to keep them in line.

Yesterday, I was talking to managers about implementing standard work and how that shouldn't make robots out of people. There's a strange balance between having to 1) follow standard work and also 2) giving ideas to improve standard work. Sheepwalkers won't do this. Sheepwalkers will just “go along” with things, to the detriment of the organization.

Please check out my main blog page at www.leanblog.org

The RSS feed content you are reading is copyrighted by the author, Mark Graban.

, , , on the author's copyright.

What do you think? Please scroll down (or click) to post a comment. Or please share the post with your thoughts on LinkedIn – and follow me or connect with me there.

Did you like this post? Make sure you don't miss a post or podcast — Subscribe to get notified about posts via email daily or weekly.

Check out my latest book, The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation:

Get New Posts Sent To You

Select list(s):
Previous articleKaizen or "Greedy"?
Next articleParanoid Dangers of Lean
Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


  1. An interesting post with which I mostly agree. I think his comments about education, though, are off the mark:

    “Teaching to the test, ensuring compliant behavior and using fear as a motivator are the easiest and fastest ways to get a kid through school. So why does it surprise us that we graduate so many sheep?”

    This has little to do with the real issues in K-12 education today. The problem isn’t “compliant behavior”; in many schools, it’s such complete lack of behavioral standards that learning is impossible for everybody. The problem isn’t “teaching to the test”; it’s been such a complete lack of disinterest in the transmission of knowledge that basics like reading and arithmetic are not being learned.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.