Jonah Quotes in The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement
“…consistent parameters…essential to gain…matrix of advantage…extensive pre-profit recovery…operational indices…provide tangential proof…”
I have no idea what’s going on. Their words sound like a different language to me—not a foreign language, exactly, but a language I once knew and only vaguely now recall. The terms seem familiar to me, but now I’m not sure what they really mean. They’re just words.
You’re just playing a lot of games with numbers and words.
“Everything is for your job,” she says. “It’s all you think about. I can’t even count on you for dinner. And the kids are asking me why you’re like this—”
There is a tear forming in the corner of her eye. I reach to wipe it away, but she brushes my hand aside.
“No!” she says. Just go catch your plane to wherever it is you’re going.”
She walks past me.
“Julie, this is not fair!” I yell at her.
She turns to me.
“That’s right. You are not being fair. To me or to your children.”
Our hike is a set of dependent events…in combination with statistical fluctuations. Each of us is fluctuating in speed, faster and slower. But the ability to go faster than average is restricted. It depends upon all the others ahead of me in line. So even if I could walk five miles per hour, I couldn’t do it if the boy in front of me could only walk two miles per hour. And even if the kid directly in front of me could walk that fast, neither of us could do it unless all the boys in the line were moving at five miles per hour at the same time.
“This much is clear to me. We have to change the way we think about production capacity. We cannot measure the capacity of a resource in isolation. Its true productive capacity depends upon where it is in the plant. And trying to level capacity with demand to minimize expenses has really screwed us up. We shouldn’t be trying to do that at all.”
“A bottleneck […] is any resource whose capacity is qual to or less than the demand placed upon it. And a non-bottleneck is any resource whose capacity is greater than the demand placed upon it.”
“Look, I’m convinced you did the right thing back there. Aren’t you?”
“Maybe I did the right thing,” [Bob] says, “but I had to break all the rules to do it.”
“But what are we supposed to do?” asks Bob. “If we don’t keep our people working, we’ll have idle time, and idle time will lower our efficiencies.”
“So what?” asks Jonah. […] “Take a look at the monster you’ve made. It did not create itself. You have created this mountain of inventory with your own decisions. And why? Because of the wrong assumption that you must make the workers produce 100 percent of the time, or else get rid of them to ‘save’ money.”
“It’s perfectly okay to have more setups on non-bottlenecks, because all we’re doing is cutting into time the machines would spend being idle. Saving setups at a non-bottleneck doesn’t make the system one bit more productive.”
A chill goes down my back as I remember it. I was in deep trouble. My plant was under a real threat of being closed down; over 600 people were about to join the already long unemployment lines; my career was one inch from being kissed by limbo; and on top of all that, the unbelievable hours I was putting in at work had pushed our marriage to the brink of going down the tube. In short, I was about to change from a bright, rising star to an ordinary bum.
“[Jonah’s] solutions look trivial, but the fact is that for years we’ve done the exact opposite. Moreover, the other plants insist on sticking to the old, devastating ways. Probably Mark Twain was right saying that ‘common sense is not common at all’ or something similar.”
“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?”