Reading: Elihayu Goldratt's The Goal. The book is set in a failing plant run by the narrator. What turns it around? A clearly-stated strategic goal with a small number of measures to assess performance against it.
The narrator has numerous distractions to deal with: a tight deadline, internal company rivalries and misallocation of resorces, and personal problems at home. In these kinds of situations, it's easy to defer strategic thought - for not doing the kind of analysis that Jonah (consultant) and the company team do on bottlenecks in chapter 19. Or, the earlier analysis that the narrator performs prior to that time to develop The Goal, which then determines three metrics for achieving them.
The importance of leadership stands out: The narrator's; the core team's (including one member who brings back retired equipment capable of supporting a critical production machine, in parallel); and, importantly, line staff who embrace the changes and suggest additional improvements consistent with them. And related, the counterintuitive nature of nonbottleneck management, a point emphasized by Jonah: "A plant in which everyone is working all the time is very inefficient."
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"Nothing so sharpens the thought process as writing down one's arguments. Weaknesses overlooked in oral discussion become painfully obvious on the written page.”