I really enjoyed this book. It works. It's a business book but it's message is woven into a novel with a plot, a hero, a climax and a happy ending.
As a non-business person, I can't really tell if the business ideas are sound or not. They seem to be plausible and they are appealing; particularly the ideas that relate to the futility of many modern management techniques.
The writer sells us his theories by letting the underdog characters - those on the factory floor (hero included) - show us that the conventional way of doing things doesn't work. Only by rebelling and taking risks, are the underdogs able to turn their factory around. The bad guys, that is, management in their ivory towers, are more of a hindrance than a help. Somehow, this all rings true - the writer really taps into something about management not having a clue.
The hero is made attractive to us because he doesn't have all the solutions himself. He is forced to nut out many of his new concepts with his colleagues. Their team work and team spirit is
inspirational. They come across as mere mortals, prone to latching onto erroneous beliefs and only after much blood, sweat and tears are they able to make their triumphal breakthroughs.
The road to these breakthroughs is a gripping ride: will the team, lead by Alex, the hero, be able to save the factory? The clock is ticking and with the solution of each problem, comes new problems. Nail biting stuff! Some of the jargon gets tedious at times but most of it can be skimmed through.
Some proof of the effectiveness of this book's ability to sell its message is that it makes me want to rush out and try to solve all of my problems - not just business ones - by applying the techniques canvassed in the book.
The thing I like most about this book is that one could easily justify reading it at work.