T:WTF 021 – Growing Your Business Where It Really Matters

Welcome to this series on the Theory of Constraints (TOC) with Ashton Fourie. It’s a 9 part series that looks how the Theory of constraints can help you grow your business.

This is the second installment where we chat about improvements that really matter!


New Improvement That Really matters

As Ashton points in this podcast, there is a bit of a contradiction with improvements. We look at why there is an inverse relationship between the number of improvements and actual improvement

Common wisdom says that we will get a large result when we make many small improvements. Through Ashton’s experience with Theory of Constraints we see the opposite is true, where
It’s difficult to predict real bottom line success

  • People getting change weary – you will know this if you have gone through it.
  • It gets expensive. The cost of the many changes impacts exponentially – both financially and emotionally
  • The results of the improvements were unpredictable and didn’t even add up.

Why The Traditional Approach Does Not Work!

Ashton goes on to explain that traditional approach does not work. Here is why:

  • Organisations are complex
  • Everything is connected. When you push one thing, it will pull elsewhere. The moment you start moving one thing, everything else is impacted.
  • When multiple people start moving things, things move in unpredictable directions.
  • Every change requires predictable resources – time, money and energy. This unpredictability cost of time, money and energy when driven by the chaos factor.
  • Multiple simultaneous changes exponentially increase the complexity and chaos in your business.

To solve this, Ashton provides five steps to help focus things:

  1. Identify your constraint
  2. Exploit and protect your constraint.
  3. Subordinate everything else to the above decision.
  4. Elevate the constraint.
  5. Don’t let inertia become your growth constraint.

Business Relearnt – Learn To Unlearn, Relearn.

Fast constant change demands that we keep looking at how we do things and to keep learning new ways to solve our customer’s problems. What business relearnt series provides you with approaches and methodologies to help you do that.

The Full Business Relearnt TOC Series – Broken Down?

TOC offers you many opportunities to look at doing things in a different way. Ashton breaks down how you can do this in this series. Here are the topics around the theory of constraints that we will cover:

  1. Why you cannot ignore TOC
  2. The surprising inverse relationship between the number of improvements and actual improvement
  3. Are you spending too much money for increased capacity
  4. The costly mistake of elevating your constraint first
  5. Design for Delegation – Three levels of work
  6. Planning too much is planning to fail
  7. You don’t want project management – You just want to get your projects done!
  8. Theory of Constraints and Employee Engagement
  9. Turning the layers of resistance into moments of agreement

Who Is Ashton Fourie:

Ashton is a proven growth strategist and looks at building sustained success in tough economic climates.

He is the CEO of 5-2-50 (pronounced Five To Fifty). This is a South African based company with a vision to eradicate poverty through ensuring that there is a good job available to every woman and man on earth who is able and willing to work.

5-2-50 help’s their clients formulate a clear vision and strategy to grow up to ten times in size in a period of no more than five years. Their toolset is a combination of Theory of Constraints, Lean and Agile interventions, combined with their strategic management methodology that has been tested in the local and international market.

You can find Ashton on Linkedin and Twitter

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Michael Cowen

Michael Cowen

Michael Cowen is the CEO of WTF and co-host on the ThinkWTF Podcast. Want to hear my keynote on How To Thrive In A World of Mistrust

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