Books that changed my life 2: The GOAL

This is the second post in a series on books that have had a real impact ony my life. And this one is a bit of a strange one, in that its about production management. Uh?! Yep, it was the only book we had to read at INSEAD on this subject back in, ow, 1992.

What’s special about the Goal is that its written as a fast-paced novel, starring a factory manager who has 90 days to save his under-performing plant from closure. He stumbles across things in his life that give him insights into what he should do.

The biggest insight is seeing how the progress of a human chain 20 kids on a hiking trip is determined not by the fastest hiker, but by the big fattie who is slowing everyone down. This leads him to the theory of "constraints", about a factory’s efficiency being governed by bottlenecks.

Reading the Goal made me think that the format of a fast-paced story would work wonders in the field of marketing and branding, where how you execute things is just as important as the ideas you have. Well, I got there in the end… 15 years later and "Where’s the Sausage?" the book is on its own production line!

The Goal is also a good read if you are struggling with production in your job, which could be in an agency or marketing department producing ideas, not a real factory making widgets.