John Seddon Comments on Managing Costs

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A Scottish business conference will be featuring a favorite of this blog, John Seddon, author of many books including “Systems Thinking in the Public Sector: The failure of the reform regime… and a manifesto for a better way“, and (I hope) a future podcast guest.

Professor John Seddon, who in the past has been described as a ‘reluctant management guru', is famous for challenging the orthodoxy of many leading management change programmes which are still in use today.

Here is a post with links to Seddon's view on targets and programmes for ambulances in the UK.

This quote below is brilliant and sums up a lot of the Lean mindset (a branch that traces back to Dr. Deming):

“At times like this the knee-jerk reaction is to manage costs, little knowing that managing costs drives costs up. Managers need to learn how to manage value; then costs fall naturally.”


Do you examples of where “managing costs” has helped drive costs up in your organization?



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