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Book Title: The Goal|
The author of the book: Eliyahu M. Goldratt
ISBN 13: 9780704506367
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 888 KB
Edition: Gower Publishing Ltd
Date of issue: October 19th 1989
Read full description of the books The Goal:It is hard for me to find the right tone to review this book, perhaps I'll open by saying that of all the business books I've read this remains the most approachable, and possibly also the best value for money once the case studies in the interview with the author at the end of the book are taken into account.
Really it is built around a very simple insight - that the speed of a convoy is determined by the slowest ship, what the book does is demonstrate the effect of consistently applying this insight to the workings of a business.
This is the basis of Goldratt's theory of constraints. On the whole human life exists within the triple constraints of time, cost and quality (view spoiler)[I'm too lazy to think up any exceptions, but I've left the claim neutral in case any crop up - cost understood broadly ie there was a labour cost to building the pyramids even though that society had no money (hide spoiler)]. For example if a house is built quickly at low cost the quality will be low, if you want a high quality house built quickly you have to be prepared to pay for it, or compromise on the time it will take. Goldratt has the idea of focusing on a constraint and redesigning the business around it.
The Goal is a novel, a groanworthy and terrible and didactic novel, a combination which makes it a success because it doesn't take itself entirely seriously (view spoiler)[unlike the worthy, but painful The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, or methodological rubbish like From Good to Great (hide spoiler)]. I cannot recommend reading this book highly enough as an opener to thinking about the flow of work through organisations, how organisations succeed or become dysfunctional. It's intended as a gentle introduction to the Theory of Constraints, but also opens the door to systems thinking. Editions with the extra interviews with how different businesses have applied Theory of Constraints are particularly enlightening and worth getting hold of.
The one message of the book that I found especially interesting was that eventually the greatest constraint on the fictional business in the novel is not its potential productivity but the capacity of the market to absorb its products. What I find interesting is that this is a message about the limits of the market in a business book. Maybe the boosters are correct and the ability of capitalism to invent products is near unlimited, maybe potential economic expansion could be extremely great however all that is irrelevant. The determining factor will be the size of the market. Or the inventiveness of advertisers to persuade us to want more junk.
There is a sequel: It's Not Luck which I don't find as successful a novel, partly because it is less groan-inducing and more worthy in tone but also because it doesn't go through the steps of the characters problem solving efforts in the same level of detail.
I suppose one reason why I am enthusiastic about The Goal is the part it plays in my thinking about the Industrial Revolution. There was nothing new in principle about the technologies of steam power, what changed was the ability of the market to consume - producing more is a high road to insolvency unless you can find the customers to buy your product. There maybe is the key, the world of The Goal, like our own, operates in a particular historical and sociological context, rather than a fantasy in which economic growth "to infinity and beyond", in the immortal words of Buzz Lightyear, is the solid basis in which all assumptions are rooted.
An example of the realism of the thinking (view spoiler)[at least from my own point of view (hide spoiler)] in The Goal is that at one point the protagonist is faced with the possibility of a price war - competing with other manufacturers on the basis of price alone - but this is something that he doesn't want to do. By contrast I notice from time to time the adverts for a UK furniture store which promise the purchaser that they will have nothing to pay for a year, four years free credit, or even both. A market strategy predicated on a loving relationship with their funders. Then again it strikes me from time to time just how fantastical real life is.
On the other hand there's a more basic reason why I like it. I was never any good at Maths in school and so it was from this book that I learnt that when looking at figures if the answer looks wrong, what you need to do is think about the assumptions rather than just check the calculation. It is impressive where adding up the wrong figures in the right way will get you, individually or as a society.
Read information about the authorEli Goldratt is an educator, author, scientist, philosopher, and business leader. But he is, first and foremost, a thinker who provokes others to think. Often characterized as unconventional, stimulating, and "a slayer of sacred cows," Dr. Goldratt exhorts his audience to examine and reassess their business practices with a fresh, new vision.
He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from Tel Aviv University and his Masters of Science, and Doctorate of Philosophy from Bar-Ilan University. In addition to his pioneering work in Business Management and education, he holds patents in a number of areas ranging from medical devices to drip irrigation to temperature sensors.
He is the author of "THE GOAL", an underground best seller that utilizes a non-traditional approach to convey important business information--it is a business textbook written in novel form, disguised as a love story. The ideas illustrated in "THE GOAL" underscore Dr. Goldratt's Theory of Constraints, an overall framework for helping businesses determine:
What to change---what is the leverage point
What to change to---what are the simple, practical solutions
How to cause the change---overcoming the inherent resistance to change.
In the subject of production, Dr. Goldratt also wrote "PRODUCTION THE TOC WAY", a self-learning kit for manufacturers interested in applying TOC techniques and spreading them within their companies..
Dr. Goldratt wrote the sequel to "THE GOAL", "IT'S NOT LUCK". All aspects of the corporate structure are revealed in his unique way, as the Theory of Constraints peels away the common nonsense and reveals what lies hidden beneath our inertia.
Eli Goldratt's novel, "CRITICAL CHAIN", reveals the reasons projects never finish on time or within budget or within specs, and develops an alternate TOC approach to managing projects. The action in Critical Chain takes place in a university setting and also deals with the problem facing academic institutions with large graduate business programs - MBA programs that are not producing what businesses need.
In addition, he has written several other books; "THE RACE", "WHAT IS THIS THING CALLED TOC?", "THE HAYSTACK SYNDROME". He is a frequent contributor to scientific journals, magazines and business publications and sits on several editorial boards.
One of Goldratt‘s masterpiece is an eight session educational series: the Goldratt Satellite Program (now available on CD-ROM and soon on DVD). This series is a common sense approach to business that provides a global picture that illustrates how functions/departments fit together allowing managers to obtain a solid grasp of seeing the company as a whole. Through this series a common language and understanding is acquired which will enhance the quality of decision making, improve communication and stimulate new solutions, providing benefits for the entire company.
Dr. Goldratt‘s latest book, "NECESSARY BUT NOT SUFFICIENT" was published in the Fall of 2000. This novel reveals that although new technology may be necessary in order to make major improvements, this technology is not sufficient to achieve results. Technology, by itself, does not make, but simply allows or creates opportunity for reality to change. For sufficiency, the rules must also be changed.
In October 2003, Dr. Goldratt revised the Production TOC Way with Simulator making it Windows compatible and showing how to jump the performance in production with the managerial know-how, the logistical know-how, and equally important the psychological know-how.
Eli Goldratt's latest masterpiece is the TOC INSIGHTS. Developed with Avraham (Rami) Goldratt the TOC INSIGHTS cover all the aspects of logistics (Operations; Finance and Measurements; Project Management and Engineering; Distribution and Supply-Chain). This material not only outlines the details of all the logistical applications of the Theory Of Constraints, but is as digestible as The Goal;
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