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?
Constraints aren’t your enemy—they’re your friend. If you want the most bang-for-buck for your effort, despite the connotation of the word constraint, it’s precisely at that place you’ll find the leverage you’re looking for.
In one of Eli Goldratt’s last essays, his introduction to the TOC Handbook, he wrote: ‘Can we condense all of TOC into one sentence? I think it is possible to condense it into a single word: focus.’
How do we decide whether we should adopt a new technology? It needn’t be new to the world, but new to our organisation. After all, Peter Drucker noted that selling Eskimos a fridge to keep meat from freezing was a creative new use of current technology.
Of all life’s gifts, time is the most precious. None of us escapes its clutches. As every minute ticks by, our quota is relentlessly reduced by that minute, then the next and the next. Prioritising how we spend our allotted time is one of our most consequential challenges.