PID 1916


Reflections from our Bookshelf: The Goal

The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement
By: Eliyahu M. Goldratt
Reflection by: Kylie Felker

What is it all about?

The Goal is a business novel written about a harried plant manager running a failing factory in a small American town. Unlike most business best sellers, this book creates a fictional world and uses the art of storytelling to weave together business concepts and operational best practices. The protagonist of the story, Alex, is immediately likeable as you learn about the tightrope he is walking trying to balance a faltering company and imperfect marriage. While there is nothing subtle about the book’s intent to explain capacity and throughput, little anecdotes about celebratory drinks, union drama and company politics keep things entertaining and relatable.

What caused me to pause?

Alex is a successful plant manager with fantastic pedigree and yet he is struggling because he cannot see the forest for the trees. This caused me to pause for two reasons. First, you can be too close to something so it’s crucial to have a personal board of advisors whom you respect to act as your sounding board. Second, the fact that everyone does things a certain way is not a reason to keep doing things that way. Complacence is normal, but complacence in allowing everything to become a fire drill is a choice.

How will this book change my habits/influence me? 

I have always been a big believer in continued evolution of people and processes. However, this book is a reminder that it is impossible to get it all right the first time. Process improvement requires continued tinkering and allows ample opportunity for trial and error. In the future I will be more willing to roll out a partial initiative rather than wait until I have everything buttoned up to “perfection.”

Add this to your reading list if …

You love reading Business books but tend to fall asleep when the narrator uses formal language or elaborate business terminology. The content is highly educational, but it reads like one long engaging analogy.

Pickle Rating: 4.5/5

Shannon Dermody

Shannon DermodyTEST

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