I bought this audio book in the company of 2 others, “The Peter Drucker Lectures” and “The McKinsey Mind.” I was not aware it was a novel at that time. I am not un-happy with the result.
I got a light exposition of the classical big business Lean Six Sigma implementation in comparison and contrast to “The Theory of Constraints” set in a mostly manufacturing context. This novel is another example of that long history of novels that were written by the likes of George Orwell and Aldous Huxley that explore and/or expound on a particular philosophical point of view. It also has the advantage of being that apparently rare sub-genre the “business novel.”
If you have no exposure to either Lean Six Sigma or the Theory of Constraints this is probably the most painless way to get an introduction to either. You will need to do significant additional reading on both topics before you will be able to appreciate all the details that are both included and left out of any of the 3 methodologies.
While Lean and Six Sigma are often lumped together and do “get along” with each other pretty decently as I understand it, Lean has its own quality control methods that are not the same as Six Sigma. So if the improvement in quality that comes directly out of the manufacturing re-design of Lean are not sufficient then the quality improvement methods of Six Sigma can be applied.
As far as I can understand it, it is the Lean manufacturing re-design towards a “balanced” production line/system and the Theory of Constraints aimed towards a designed Constrained production line/system are where the two theories part in their goals to improve production. I will leave you to decide which one is supported by “the evidence.”
I will note that a WSJ article I just googled says that LSS is currently failing 60% of the time. I am going to assume they are talking about the classic top-down big business implementation that has huge up front costs and the results that take years. The version of LSS described in the novel is the classic top-down big business implementation. There doesn’t seem to be an equivalent article for the TOC available under “TOC failure rates” so I can’t compare. So let me offer principles: “You are entitled to your own opinion. You are not entitled to your own data” Senator/Professor Patrick Moynihan and “Speak truth to Power” (lots of researchers to lots of decision-makers).
This is a straight forward exposition of how to improve your business processes without the use of the jargon of Lean Six Sigma or Japanese words. I can't think of a single manager or business owner who might not get some useful ideas from this recording
This collection of 7 audio files includes a variety of points of view and levels of production values. If you were to buy all 7 individually it would cost about a buck more total. None of these are a waste of time. Some are more tightly cohesive in their narratives than others. Some are presented better than others.
The topics are lead successfully by Peter Drucker's articles. But do not expect all of the articles to reflect Peter Drucker's point of view. They don't.
Some of these articles are more like essays than concise business articles.
There is good content and varied points of view here. Take a listen, you might take away a new view point.
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