BOOK OF THE MONTH: The Goal
Little did I know I was embarking on a tricky mental adventure when I started reading The Goal, by the late Eli Goldratt. I was glad to find out the book was written as a business fable, which made it easier to understand than a technical style.
The Goal walks us through the journey of a manager who is told he has only three months to turn his plant around, all while his marriage is on the brink, in part, due to overwork.
The manager figures out, with his team, what the ultimate goal of his plant is, how to make that goal relevant to their people and how to optimize the plant to achieve the goal.
The story walks the reader through a mind shift from seeing a plant as a collection of parts to be individually optimized, towards seeing it as a whole system that requires careful coordination of the parts.
Based on the same underlying principles as Lean manufacturing, the approach addresses the root causes of inefficiency by identifying and resolving bottle-necks between these different parts of the plant to improve the productivity of the whole.
The manager also applies this approach to a company-wide scenario to determine the most important things to improve. This is the same way we have our clients prioritize changes and improvements in their business.
The story also weaves in other useful best practices, such as tackling company-wide issues as a united management team and using outside expertise, lessons learned discussions, transparency and vulnerability.
Book: 408 pages; 11 hour 45 minute audio book.
How can you improve your efficiency?
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