by M. Anthony Sacco for Stratalyne
In his classic work, The Goal, Eli Goldratt established himself as not only an expert on solving problems in the manufacturing environment but established himself as a problem solver in a much more general sense. He is well known from this work as one who developed the model used in constraint based management. And to me, it seems so naturally related to the commonly used methods of management by exception practices as well. Therefore, Goldratt is a broader resource offering applicability beyond the basic innovative problem solving technique. In its other dimensions it demonstrates a creative approach to communicating about constraint theory. That extra learning level made his work well accepted and has sustained its value.
The Goal weaves together the constraint theory as it relates to manufacturing with an (I think not so subtle) awareness of how constraints affect people’s lives. And it focuses the reader on the ability to solve life’s problems using constraint management. Inversely, this leads to the concepts like strengths focused talent management, value of leveraged diversity and emotional content awareness approaches (see Strengths Based Leadership and others). And then this can be extended to the next level. The level which speaks to the flow of constraints within a closed system. And the natural progression as one is relieved and another is uncovered.
So, if you haven’t already done so, I recommend you read Goldratt. Let his message soak into your problem solving and general thinking.