This website covers knowledge management, personal effectiveness, theory of constraints, amongst other topics. Opinions expressed here are strictly those of the owner, Jack Vinson, and those of the commenters.

What is the Goal

What is the goal of a company?  In the Theory of Constraints approach, this is one of the first questions to ask - even before you start down the path of the Five Focusing Steps (5FS).  

The first of the 5FS guides one to "identify the constraint of the system," which means you need to understand the system.  And the "constraint" is the thing which is preventing the system from achieving more of its goal.  Ah, the goal.

Again, in the TOC community, the goal has usually been generalized to "Make more money, now and in the future."  This generates a lot of conversation and discussion, as the terms are unclear and people react strongly to thinking that the only goal of a company is to make money.  Isn't there some kind of higher purpose?  To see how much discussion this generates, have a visit to LinkedIn to see the conversation Is "making money now and in the future" the real goal of a company?  It started 11 days ago and already has over 150 comments.  This isn't the first time I've seen a conversation like this - and it probably won't be the last.  

I happen to like Kelvyn Youngman's discussion of the Japanese Perspective on this kind of goal. Not all cultures see this question the same way.  And outside of Theory of Constraints, the question of the purpose/goal of a company is an ever-popular conversation.  Steve Denning talks about it in his thinking about Radical Management and in Is the Goal of a Corporation to Make Money? on Forbes. There are many other discussions on the topic as well.

In the last ten years or so, Goldratt and the TOC community developed the Viable Vision concept and modified the goal to become an "ever-flourishing company."  (There are two nice videos of Eli Goldratt talking through this topic: Part One and Part Two.)  

Nice article about TOC - and the Amazon connection

Gratitude in 2014