The Goal – Chapter 03 – Awful Corporate Meeting

[Visit the full Chapter by Chapter Summary!]

In the first two chapters, Goldratt has set the stage with a troubled plant combined with the demands of family life.

  • Chapter 3 is short.
  • Our narrator, Rogo, faces a dreaded event – attending a short noticed, bad news corporate meeting.
  • As is common, the corporate meeting offers few solutions – merely more complex information delivered via powerpoint.
  • From a writing standpoint, Goldratt introduces himself (via Jonah) with a flashback sequence that leads into Chapter 4.

Operations Highlight

“He wasn’t afraid to delegate responsibility.”

If there isn’t enough trust in your organization to delegate, then there are broader issues that need to be addressed.  Are you training correctly?  Are you developing your team?  Are position descriptions written clearly and used to create accountability?

Writing Highlight

“For a few seconds I’m wondering where the hell this cigar came from.”

Like Bilbo Bagins clutching the One Ring in his pocket, Rogo finds the cigar and is summoned to a flashback which will lead him on a path to resolution.

Page by Page

Page 021 / 360 ~ 7% – “The irony is that in order to be there at such an early hour, half the people attending will have had to fly in the night before.”  If Rogo’s employer has a long term goal of saving money, then why are they losing money to create this meeting?  If they are losing money, shouldn’t they make sure it is a good use of everyone’s time?

P022 – “He wasn’t afraid to delegate responsibility.”  Rogo has a good relationship with his boss when he felt trusted and had clear delegation.

P023 – “He’s got till the end of the year to improve performance, or the whole division goes up for sale.” While this assignment may be tough, a clear goal with a timeline creates amazing clarity.

P024 – “The first quarter has just ended, and it’s been a terrible one everywhere.” If the whole company has had a terrible quarter, this presents real opportunity for Rogo.  His plant’s challenges are not unique.  He has the chance to show real improvement and differentiate from the pack.

P025 –  “For a few seconds I’m wondering where the hell this cigar came from.”  This line provides the segue to Chapter 4, where Jonah – Rogo’s sherpa – is introduced.

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