The failure of many programmes of change is masked by the plausible aspiration to ‘do things right’. There is a critical difference between doing things right and doing the right thing. Much of the effort in programmes of change is given to doing things right: there is not much questioning whether these are the right things to do. In 1999, John Seddon wrote this article to explore these issues and states that doing the right thing means we have to learn how to view an organisation as a system and understand the implications of that view for what it means to manage.