Can ISO 9000 Hinder Organization Learning/Innovation LO24216

From: Roy Greenhalgh (
Date: 03/21/00

Replying to LO24194 --

A fellow Brit, Dr John Seddon has written at least two books, "In Pursuit
of Quality: the case against ISO9000" and "I want you to cheat: the
unreasonable guide to service and quality in organizations".

The slipcover of the former reads in part...:-

In this blistering attack on one of the sacred cows of business today,
John Seddon shows how the ISO standards are not only failing to deliver
the improved quality they promise, but in most cases are actually damaging
the companies that have implemented them.

Seddon explains why the command-and-control ethos that pervades the ISO
way of thinking - an inflexible compliance to a rigid set of rules - is
precisely what most companies do not need. In its place, he shows how real
quality can be achieved in business today by viewing the organisation as a
system and then taking a customer - focused view of the company's products
and procedures.

Seddon argues persuasively that managers must not allow themselves to be
coerced into adopting harmful procedures in order to satisfy some external
auditor's notion of quality. After all, there is a better way. A better
way to treat customers; a better way to treat employees; the better way to
make decisions; a better way to run an organisation. All managers have
suffered long enough.

I have used Seddon's smaller book, I want you to cheat as excellent
background reading to change programs.

Details of the books:-
In Pursuit of Quality: the case against ISO9000 -- ISBN 1-860776-042-2
I want you to cheat: the unreasonable guide to service and quality in
organizations -- ISBN 0-9519731-0-X

Roy Greenhalgh wrote:

> Any thought about the rigorous/rigid structures of ISO creating a culture
> hostile to flexible thinking/creativity/innovation?


Roy Greenhalgh <>

[Host's Note: In assoc with, these links:

Hmm... Seddon's books are not listed at Amazon in the US; the first book is listed at Amazon in the UK.

In Pursuit of Quality: the Case Against 1SO 9000 John Seddon


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