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The difference between lean and systems thinking

November 9th, 2010 Posted in Lean, Systems Thinking Tags:

I think you will spend 62 seconds reading this post

Here is a short article from John Seddon about The difference between lean and systems thinking.

I think the article falls short of explaining that very difference. Yet, John makes a point against “lean tool heads”, which is a good thing IMHO. But not all Lean consultants/senseïs are tool heads.

Even if TPS is well known as “Toyota Production System”, Taiichi Ohno (the one that brought this management system altogether) kept calling it “Thinking Production system”, because it is a management system intended to make people think.

Tools are not more than ways of discovering problems, which people have to solve to make things better. And the tools mainly do that by making the processes always more sensitive to problems.

Of course, should management feel they have enough problems (but are they the most urgent problems to solve?) they won’t want more of them. It’s a pity since people usually love to solve problems and improve things (especially if it’s interesting for them, the customers and make their bosses happier!).

But do we still have managers interested in their people?

Back to the Vanguard method: a very good introduction (148p) is available here http://blog.newsystemsthinking.com/wp-content/uploads/TheVanguardGuidetoUnderstandingYourOrganizationasaSystem.pdf

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