The Goal – Chapter 35 – Prediction and Practice

[The fastest way to read The Goal, and the absolute fastest way to learn The Theory of Constraints.][Watch a short video summary on Chapter 35.]

We enter the chapter sitting with Rogo’s team in a meeting to prepare him for his next role in a promotion.  As noted in Chapter 34 – this really feels like a luxury in 2018!


“His classification gave him the ability to predict their weight and other properties.”

A framework that helps predict what will happen in the future and how the organization should respond is of immense value. If we can know the game we are playing, we can formulate a strategy for our team to win.  This roadmap also gives us a way to let our team practice.

Finding sustainable ways for an organization to improve and practice are often more important than having the right strategy.  Practice enables coordination and flexibility for a team.  Rogo’s team’s brainstorming how to win in his next role is effective because they have worked together closely over the past quarter to turn around the plant.

Rogo has built a team to create change and is now utilizing that team to create change on a broader playing field.

Page by Page

P288 – “I think we were too hasty in our decision that classification of data can’t lead to something good.”

Ralph isn’t wrong – but this is leading to Rogo’s eventual aha moment.  Is data classification the best use of Rogo’s teams time?  Sure, something good can happen – but that is true of any activity.

P289 – “Yes Bob,” Ralph smiles at him, “But there was one professor who claimed that in his eyes it resembled dealing with the leaves while nobody had found yet the trunk.”

P290 – “This number provided Mendeleev with a unique numerical identifier for each element.”

“He had noticed that each seventh soldier represents basically the same chemical behavior, though with increased intensity.”

“In this way all the elements were displayed according to ascending atomic weight, and in each column you find elements with the same chemical behavior in ascending intensity.

“His classification gave him the ability to predict their weight and other properties.”

Goldratt’s appreciation for science and discovery foreshadows the increased use of science and engineering in startup strategy.

P291 – “Did his predictions come true?”

Written predictions are of great value.  Writing notes to your future self that signal if you have succeeded or failed is a great way to track development.  Just like the team in Chapter 1, it is easy to get wrapped up in activity and lose track of the goal – be it personal or professional.

P292 – “We can always procrastinate by wasting our time playing with some artificial, external order.

Lou says this to Ralph and recalls Goldratt’s common references that, ‘activating a resource is not the same as utilizing the resource.’  [Best covered in Chapter 31.]

P293 – “How does one go about revealing the intrinsic order?”

This is a puzzle building problem and resembles something we had encountered when writing the Report on Forecasting Future Disruptive Technologies.  Imagine being handed a bag and having random puzzle & game pieces pulled from it.  How do you guess what game will be played?

P294 – Julie to Alex, “I wouldn’t touch philosophy with a ten foot pole, but to learn a method to persuade my stubborn husband and kids—for that I’m willing to sweat.”

Goldratt starts to pull Julie Rogo in a different direction now – she starts to guide Alex, rather than serve as a foil.  Prioritizing family is rarely the wrong thing to do!

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1 Response to The Goal – Chapter 35 – Prediction and Practice

  1. Pingback: Goldratt’s The Goal: Chapter by Chapter Review | Fred Lybrand

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