Interesting book, not a page-turner like The Goal (which many people can't put down once they've started it) - this one is more about exploring the psychology of the normal manger's mind. Sure we want to get to the root cause, but too often when we think we are there, we do not explore things any further, so we stop or compromise - unlike Goldratt who approaches business problems as a scientist, looking for all possible outcomes with their (re)actions and implications. The book seems to build on the Viable Vision work he was doing a few years ago (recommend reading "Achieving a Viable Vision: The Theory of Constraints Strategic Approach to Rapid Sustainable Growth" by Dr Lisa Lang for an overview if not already familiar). This work challenged us to think bigger, rather than aiming for modest profits (eg 10% growth), aiming for massive increases then breaking down all those barriers 'we' put up - i.e. the reasons why we think it would 'never work'. The book is written as a series of conversations between Eli and his daughter Efrat, how much are Eli's words and how much are Efrat's does not matter - she acts as a sounding board on the readers behalf .... when Eli mentions things like 'abstract entities', 'circular logic', 'inherent simplicity' etc, Efrat (an organizational psychologist herself) asks the questions we would ask if we were there talking to him, asking him to clarify his thinking and provide examples - which he does, case studies mentioned include a textile / apparel manufacturer, a fresh baked bread operation, and an FMCG company having the huge distribution network in India to contend with. It contains moments of humanity, like when Eli gets distracted by his grandchildren to play, or when he stops to re-light his pipe or have a coffee. Worth reading, because like most of his work, I'm sure many readers will have a few of those eureka moments when we think to ourselves "of course, it's so obvious now, but I'd never really thought about it like that before.
As a fan of Goldratt's approach I was really looking forward to this new book. Content wise it is excellent and I will be buying copies for all the consultants who work for me. My only issue is that the writing is turgid especially in comparison to his normal business novel style.
This is possibly the most unusual book I've read from the Goldratt camp and certainly one of my favourites. The book is a transcript of discussions between Eliyahu and his daughter, Efrat. Don't be put off by this format - it's very coherent and, unlike "Late Night Discussions on the Theory of Constraints", it is not disjointed.
In the book, Efrat tries to understand how her father was able to become such a visionary. He makes things sound so simple and yet they are completely non-obvious until viewed in hindsight. How does he manage to arrive at these simple common-sense solutions? What thought processes and methodologies are involved? You'll have to read the book to find out!
While the book has been written so as not to require former knowledge of TOC, I would still recommend having at least some familiarity with TOC before reading this book - perhaps reading "The Goal" and "It's Not Luck".
Don your beard and get ready to stroke it - your perspective on the world is, once again, about to change.
He explains the basic thinking methods and the overall mental approaches that enable him to produce astounding solutions for companies. He was ably challenged by his daughter; she was tougher in examining him than I would ever be.
Some of the case studies in which he moves from problem to solution are jaw dropping.
Well worth reading and should be read more than once.