Ohmae's Key success factors LO12097

Virginia I. Shafer (vshafer@azstarnet.com)
Mon, 20 Jan 1997 23:51:53 -0700 (MST)

Replying to LO12016 --

Replying to Joe Katzman, Malcom Jones writes:

> I do not think the Theory of Constraints helps at all in the situations I
>am describing. IMHO Theory of Constraints and the Principle of Leverage
>when effecting change in a system are very different. TOC seems to me to
>be a very good way of picking some low hanging fruit, but does not address
>the systemic nature of problems in any way. Using TOC may simply move the
>bottleneck to somewhere else in the system without getting a fundamental
>understanding of what the systemic problem is - a shifting of the burden
>maybe. The vocabulary of links and chains is the give-away - it only
>works if you are describing a linear situation.

I'd like to share an excerpt from a side-bar with another list member. He

[quote] First, I think the revelation of the "next bottleneck" is an
essential aspect of process improvement. Certainly, we cannot infer that
just because the next bottleneck exists we shouldn't try to improve.
Second, it seems to me that Goldratt's notion of buffers more than
adequately addresses at least interim remediation for the inevitable next
bottleneck. This, in and of itself, would appear to be leveraging in much
the same sense as Senge intended. [end quote]

So, how else would you effect change in an organization? Introduce
differences simultaneously at multiple points throughout the organization
without regard for interrelationships? I maintain it is the non-linearity
of the organizational system that makes it imperative to take things "one
bottleneck at a time." Quoting from Margaret Wheatley's _Leadership and
the New Science_, "If the system is non-linear, iterations [information
feeding back on itself and changing in the process] can take the system in
any direction, away from anything we might expect...Until recently, we
discounted the effects of non-linearity, even though it abounds in life.
We had been trained to believe that small differences averaged out, that
slight varinces converged toward a point, and that approximations would
give us a fairly accurate picture of what could happen. But chaos theory
ended all that. In a dynamic, changing system, the _slightest_ variation
can have explosive results."

Can we then define the leverage point as the "next bottleneck?"



Ginger Shafer The Leadership Dimension "Bringing Leadership to Life" (c) vshafer@azstarnet.com

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>