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Saturday, 31 January 2009

Book review - John Seddon's latest

"This waste of our money is just madness. Do you ever wonder how the Government came to make such a pig's ear of running the public services...? The argument compellingly made in this that the Government has designed failure into almost everything it does on our behalf... it is culpable because it has failed to listen to people who know better how to run services on behalf of the customer." 
--Philip Johnston,

"Essential reading for every national and local politician, every public servant or indeed anyone who cares about public services. It describes and explains how command-and-control thinking is having a devastating effect on our public services but more importantly identifies how we can go about putting it right! A cracking read from the first page to the last."
 --Steve Greenfield, County Trading Standards Officer, Suffolk County Council

"This book is uncomfortable, challenging and very direct. It offers huge learning and insight. It is buttock-clenching in places. It stimulates different thinking and methods that should be strongly encouraged and welcomed in the pursuit of excellent public services. A superb read."
 --David McQuade, Deputy Chief Executive, Flagship Housing Group 

With the UK's public sector in crisis, John Seddon's fiercely outspoken new book is already causing a stir. Wrong-headed, ill thought-out reform from a succession of monetarist governments has led to unwieldy systems of mass production that do little for the people they are supposed to serve. Hospitals, local authorities, schools, housing associations, taxation and benefits offices: all are victims of a dysfunctional regime created by a government-enforced culture of deliverology that puts targets and red tape before people. In Systems Thinking in the Public Sector, John Seddon argues powerfully for the government to forget sticking plasters like CRM and citizen empowerment and says don't tweak the system. Ditch it. Systems Thinking in the Public Sector gives example after example of exactly how the system fails from housing benefits and care for the elderly to call centres like Consumer Direct. Drawing on Seddon's extensive experience working as a consultant with UK public sector managers, this is a fiercely uncompromising, yet rigorous manifesto for change.

my only connection is as a reader of this outstanding book

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