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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 in 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 goalbook writing a resume 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 goalbook writing a resume.
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 Peopleor 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.Grammarly: Free Writing AssistantEliminate grammar errors · Easily improve any text · Write anywhere · Detect plagiarism,+ followers on Twitter.
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