Jamming with Eli
Waaaaaaaaay back in business school - in the first semester of my first year in 1992 - I read a book called The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement for my Technology and Operations Management class. The book made a big impression back then and is pretty much a must-read for anyone interested in improving the performance of manufacturing or distribution operations.
Fast forward 16 years. One of our main priorities at work this year is to improve the performance of our supply chain - which in book publishing incluseds everything from printing to distribution to returns. Our work on supply chain led us to some consultants with a company called the Goldratt Group. As in Eli Goldratt. As in Eli Goldratt, author of The Goal along with a bunch of other books. Goldratt has a really interesting story as he's a physicist by training who has turned his scientific approach to solving business problems.
Eli (pictured above with me and my colleagues and two consultants - Eli is the one on the far right) took a particular interest in our project and offered to work with us for a few days to see if he could help address some of the challenges facing book publishing. A group of five of us flew over to Amsterdam and started our work with him earlier today. We had a great day with a great exchange of ideas and concepts. What I like best so far is that he starts from a place assuming everything is possible, which is consistent with my own view of the world. I'll be here for just one more day; the rest of the team will be here working into the middle of next week.