The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement

The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement

by

Eliyahu M. Goldratt and Jeff Cox

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Hilton Smyth Character Analysis

Hilton Smyth is a plant manager for UniCo, Alex’s rival, and the story’s only true antagonist. Smyth adheres strictly to traditional corporate methods and metrics, making him a foil for Alex, who embraces new ideas and revolutionizes his approach to management. Throughout the story, Smyth actively tries to undermine Alex and turn Peach against him, hoping to see Alex fail. However, when Alex’s plant succeeds and Smyth’s plant continues to struggle, Peach promotes Alex to a higher position than Smyth. Alex’s victory over Smyth thus represents the superiority of Goldratt’s innovative manufacturing practices over traditional corporate methods.

Hilton Smyth Quotes in The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement

The The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement quotes below are all either spoken by Hilton Smyth or refer to Hilton Smyth. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the The North River Press edition of The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement published in 1984.
Chapter 31 Quotes

I start to speak, but Hilton Smyth raises his voice and talks over me.

“The fact of the matter is that your cost-of-products measurements increased,” says Hilton. “And when costs go up, profits have to go down. It’s that simple. And that’s the basis of what I’ll be putting into my report to Bill Peach.”

Related Characters: Hilton Smyth (speaker), Alex Rogo , Bill Peach
Page Number: 260
Explanation and Analysis:

“Hilton, this morning I asked you to sit in for me because we were meeting with Granby. Two months from now the three of us are moving up the ladder, to head the group. Granby left it to us to decide who will be the next manager of the division. I think that the three of us have decided. Congratulations Alex; you will be the one to replace me.”

Page Number: 262
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 38 Quotes

“Things start to be connected to each other. Things that we never thought were related start to be strongly connected to each other. One single common cause is the reason for a very large spectrum of different effects. You know Julie, it’s like order is built out of chaos. What can be more beautiful than that?”

Related Characters: Alex Rogo (speaker), Julie Rogo, Jonah, Hilton Smyth, Eliyahu Goldratt
Page Number: 318
Explanation and Analysis:
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Hilton Smyth Character Timeline in The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement

The timeline below shows where the character Hilton Smyth appears in The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
Ineffective vs. Effective Business Metrics Theme Icon
The Cost of Corporate Success Theme Icon
...unemployed within months. Alex enters the meeting and sits with the other managers, including Hilton Smyth, whom Alex dislikes and who glares at Alex as he sits down. Peach and his... (full context)
Chapter 5
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
The Cost of Corporate Success Theme Icon
...are doing. Peach and Frost are showing complex charts and using big words, and Hilton Smyth enthusiastically applauds anything Peach says, but Alex senses that it’s all meaningless chatter. He needs... (full context)
Chapter 17
The Cost of Corporate Success Theme Icon
...them off at school and arrives at the office to a phone call from Hilton Smyth, demanding some missing part of an order be entirely shipped by tonight. After he hangs... (full context)
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
As they are speaking, an expeditor asks to speak with Bob about Smyth’s order of 100 parts—if Pete’s (one of the supervisors) workers maintain their regular pace of... (full context)
Chapter 27
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
Efficiency vs. Optimization Theme Icon
...better than any of the other plants, but it’s still is not financially stable. Hilton Smyth resents Alex’s success, and Peach seems only mildly impressed. Alex gives his own report of... (full context)
Chapter 30
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
Working with Constraints Theme Icon
Ineffective vs. Effective Business Metrics Theme Icon
Efficiency vs. Optimization Theme Icon
...to showing what he has done. However, Alex’s enthusiasm wanes the next week when Hilton Smyth drops by unexpectedly while Alex is away at a meeting. Smyth notices that some machines... (full context)
Ineffective vs. Effective Business Metrics Theme Icon
Ethan Frost calls Alex, having just heard from Smyth, with questions about their new accounting methods. He sends an auditor named Neil Cravitz who... (full context)
Chapter 31
Ineffective vs. Effective Business Metrics Theme Icon
The Cost of Corporate Success Theme Icon
Alex arrives at headquarters to find that only Hilton Smyth and Neil Cravitz will be conducting his performance review—Bill Peach and Ethan Frost are elsewhere.... (full context)
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
Ineffective vs. Effective Business Metrics Theme Icon
Efficiency vs. Optimization Theme Icon
The Cost of Corporate Success Theme Icon
...goal isn’t to keep costs down but to make money, Cravitz immediately agrees with him. Smyth looks skeptical, but Alex makes his case for the next hour and a half. Smyth... (full context)
Ineffective vs. Effective Business Metrics Theme Icon
Efficiency vs. Optimization Theme Icon
...secretary tells Alex that Peach is already waiting for him. When Alex tells Peach that Smyth’s bad report on his plant is completely wrong, Peach calls Smyth, Ethan Frost, and Johnny... (full context)
Chapter 32
The Importance of Goal-Setting Theme Icon
...To Alex, it seems more effective than simply telling someone the answers, since, like Hilton Smyth, that person might simply refuse to agree. Julie points out that only asking questions is... (full context)
Chapter 39
Ineffective vs. Effective Business Metrics Theme Icon
In the morning, Bill Peach calls Alex to ask him to come into headquarters. Hilton Smyth’s plant’s traditional metrics look good, but he continues to lose money. Ethan Frost is convinced... (full context)