53 pages • 1 hour readEliyahu M. Goldratt
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Alex’s first task, after his chance meeting with Jonah at the airport, is to determine the “goal” of a manufacturing organization. Though Alex is sure that the goal is to produce products, Jonah is firm that Alex is wrong. As this is his first task, the concept of goals and identifying goals flows throughout the novel. Alex’s first major turning point comes when he discovers the real goal of his plant. He has abandoned the division meeting with Bill, bought a pizza and a six pack, and is staring out at the landscape in despair. By any standards, he is not acting like a responsible manager, and it is easy to imagine Alex giving up at this point. Yet, it is in this moment that Alex identifies the goal: “The company exists to make money” (40). Once the goal has been identified, Alex is re-energized, throwing all his time and effort into explaining the goal to his advisory team and reconfiguring his plant to meet that goal.
The fact that Alex has the epiphanies that streamline company operations and turn his plant around while engaged in recreational activities (i.e., eating lunch on a cliff, hiking with his son, talking with his wife, etc.
By Eliyahu M. Goldratt