On his deathbed, Eli Goldratt was asked if he could advise, in the most general terms, where one should be looking for the constraint. After all, if the constraint governs the rate at which we create value, wouldn’t it help to know where it consistently shows up?
All improvement is change, but not all change is an improvement. We can optimise sales, or marketing, or manufacturing, or supply chain, or HR, or IT. Indeed, you can optimise any subsystem of your organisation. But how will it affect your business outcome?
In a recent workshop, I asked the team to state their goal. The number they gave me—expressed as a volume of safe, reliable tonnes—was a good deal less than the design capacity of the plant. A little surprised, I asked them what was going on.
Business is and has always been a reflection of and a transmission vector for the culture of its age. Business in our age is increasingly infected by what the evolutionary psychologist Gad Saad calls “idea pathogens”. If those of us in the world of business don’t dare to speak freely and give expression to heterodox
Complex systems, by their nature, generate a tangled web of connecting causes and effects. So it’s surprising how often solutions aimed at fixing root-cause issues come down to a binary choice: do ‘X’, or don’t do ‘X’. Both can seem necessary—the classic dilemma. So what’s the way out?
Many organisations confuse their goal with their vision, mission or purpose. When I help my clients define their goal, I specifically ask for an answer of at least how much by no later than when? It’s not a target, but rather a bearing with two coordinates. If you can make more, sooner, then why not?