Eliyahu M. Goldratt “The Goal”

Posted On 25/12/2007

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There is a limit to our life, but to knowledge there is no limit. With what is limited to pursue after what is unlimited is a perilous thing; and when, knowing this, we still seek the increase of our knowledge, the peril cannot be averted.
ZhuangZi , Inner page, Things about living

吾生也有涯 ,而知也无涯 。以有涯随无涯 ,殆已; 已而为知者,殆而已矣
庄子 – 养生主

When I learn the whole things about Theory of Constraints , I start thinking of ZhuangZi philosophy about limit. And limit is about constraints.

Written in 1984, it is a good excuses for anyone to ditch the idea of this book. The bad news is, the scenario describe inside the books still happen today, in every company, any organisation that you name it (yes, including the government).

For any analyst, whether financial analyst, journalist or curious bystander like me, The Goal has give a clear hints how improvement rather than efficiency can lead to success of a company.

For example, if you do spend time checking every fail listed company, GLC, etc, if you understand the methodology use by “The Goal” and apply it, you can sort out things that you have overlook in their accounts book. It doesn’t matter how good the creative accounting hide the money, solid operation wastage, sales method is always there.

You will argue funds manager are better than us on such analysis, unfortunately,few funds manager rarely know the operation of every company. What they rely on are human factor, e.g. information leak than a methodology to detect weakness of a company.

For GLC or company with heavy capital, it will take sometime to show the poor performance. With protection and limit of competition, poor performance may cover by unsustainable products and earning. When the WTO open market pressure arrived the shores, you can assure the hell of competition will break lose, and investor are not aware of it will be trapped.

The idea of “The Goal” is beyond trouble shooting. A methodology of asking question is raised, it is a technique about asking question.

In this less than perfect world, you will be surprised that school rarely teach to resolve real life situation by asking right question, and how to deal with things when shits happens. Although Goldratt doesn’t say the word SNAFU (Situation Normal All Fuck Up), always, problem are not handle in the most effective way.

To make things more interesting, the book pointed out that it is inefficient to make people work all the time (well, I think some people will complain that government servant do it all the time). It is all common sense, but I can assure you, all those “experienced’ manager and MBA holder will not buy it until they hit the buckle, pay the price to understand what it means(Or never understand it forever).

Who should read this book
Anyone. No kidding. Even a hawker can learn something useful to improve their way of work. Even people that already apply the real life concept without reading the book may solidify the method they are currently using to manage the work.

Who shouldn’t read this book
Well, stubborn people that think they know everything. They won’t buy it anyway. 😉


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