The Goal

I’m going to start out by being very honest–I was NOT looking forward to reading “The Goal,” not even a teeny, tiny bit. The cover is blah, the description is boring and it was published before I was in the fourth grade. To make matters worse, THIS is the book that I get to talk about for 105 minutes–yikes!

An emoji doesn’t exist to express my displeasure toward having to read hundreds and hundreds of pages of a topic I have zero interest in. An emoji doesn’t exist to express the pleasant surprise that the book gave me–so much so, I finished it in ONE WEEK.

The old adage “you can’t judge a book by its cover,” definitely applies to “The Goal.”

While reading, I could feel myself sitting in the red Mazda (was it even red or did I make that up?!) while sitting in Julie’s parents driveway watching the drama play out between Julie and Rogo. I felt the panic that Alex faced while sitting in that same car, staring at his plant, while eating pizza.  Somewhere throughout my imagination, though, I found myself playing two movies in my mind–one in relation to the text and another that takes the principles in the text and relates them to today’s struggles and triumphs of the Lifecycle brands.

As I read, I found myself assigning our team to the UniCo team. Each character in the book exists in our plants. Every problem within the walls of UniCo are things we have faced or currently work against. AND, within each one of our plants, exists our very own Jonah(s).

My job while reading this book turned from program participant and Account Manager to Jonah-ette. I certainly don’t have all of the answers and don’t expect to ever have them at my disposal but, if myself and the group, can come together and apply the principles outlined to our day-to-day, everything and everyone will be much better for it.


Here’s what stood out:

  • Simple logic– we need to start using it in our highly scientific world
  • Goal of every company– make $$$
  • ROI— also known as “Return on Investment” looks at the money made relative to the investment
  • Even a company that shows net profit and a good ROI can go bankrupt
  • Bad cash flow— it’s what KILLS businesses
  • Goal of an executive team– make money by increasing net profit while increasing ROI and cash flow at the same time
  • Goal of the plant– throughput (sales), inventory and operational expense
  • Throughput– sales–if you produce but don’t sell, it’s not throughput
  • Inventory– all of the money the system has spent to purchase things that it intends to sell
  • Operational expense– money to turn inventory into throughput
  • Bottlenecks are a big deal– they determine the pace at what you can make money and be successful
  • A work/life balance is important– “Every sensible person should want to learn how to manage his or her life”

At the end of the reading, Rogo, Stacey, Bob, Lou and Ralph determine how to structure their chain by developing a five step process which boils down to creating an “if…then” hypothesis. While this book has been terrific for providing a baseline on how to solve the complex problems of our plant(s), it’s what we do with these and how we apply them that will make all the difference in our future.