I attended Goldratt Consulting's Viable Vision Offer Event last week in anticipation of working with another consulting group as an "application expert" in the Critical Chain Project Management (and possible more, pending additional training). This was my first opportunity to see Eli Goldratt himself, and he certainly knows how to sell his materials. He is someone who bakes his methodologies into everything he does, and the Viable Vision is another example of this. He steps you through the thought process with prodding questions and straightforward logic. In the end, he leaves you with the belief that it truly is possible to turn your company's current sales into operating profits within four years.
Theory of Constraints still applies, and now Goldratt argues that the constraint is the market, rather than anything internal. And this is where most companies get stuck. They are convinced that they have no control over the market or that they've tried everything. Goldratt suggests that you have to make an irresistible offer to your market: an offer they cannot refuse because it will benefit them far more than it costs them.
The Viable Vision is not simply the goal of changing current sales to operating profits. It includes this irresistible offer up front and the basic path of how to get there. The work behind this is putting your company in a position where it can make such an offer to the market. Goldratt Consulting and their associated consultants work with you to refocus the organization on subordinating to the constraint that is the market. It's a four year plan, not only because some of the changes take time but also to ensure that the Process of On Going Improvement (POOGI) continues for the entire period and that your company is left with the skills and abilities to continue improving.
Personally, the result of this seminar is that I am seeing the world in terms of constraints once again, just as I did when heavily invested in Critical Chain Project Management at Pharmacia, or as happens after reading The Goal or other Goldratt books. This means I get to work more closely with clients to see where knowledge supports or hinders their constraint.
I also realize that I have several friends at manufacturing companies who would have been quite interested in the Viable Vision Offer event. His next US-based workshop will be in Dallas in October. He will be presenting this offer in Europe next week (Amsterdam and Kiev) and China in May.