T:WTF 028 – Overcoming The Resistance To Change

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.

In this ninth (last of this series) podcast on Theory of Constraints Ashton breaks down the layers of resistance and turning them into Moments of Agreements?


The myth That’s called “Resistance to Change!”

Ashton says that when we look at society it is clear that people are not naturally resistant to change. It is a myth.

People go through some of the biggest and most disruptive changes human beings can voluntarily go through – like getting married, having kids, moving home, changing jobs – all the time.

Yet, when companies start implementing the change you always hear that people are resistant to change. You can see from the above example that this is not generically true.

People resist change there must be more specific reasons than simply blaming it on human nature.

Taking People Through Change To Change.

The Theory of Constraints borrowed some psychology information, applied it to business and to come up with the 9 layers of resistance. They need to be addressed systematically if you want to ensure that people support a change.

If people do not support the change, you can use these layers to systematically identify exactly where the problem is.

Here are the 9 layers:

  1. Layer 0: There is no problem
  2. Layer 1: Disagreement on the nature or definition of the problem
  3. Layer 2: Believing that the problem is out of my control
  4. Layer 3: Disagreement on the direction of the solution – i.e. what exactly the issues are that a good solution should address
  5. Layer 4: Disagreement on the details of the solution. The details are the actual solution that is being proposed that should solve the problem.
  6. Layer 5: “Yes, but …” Concerns regarding negative ramifications of the solution, or ramifications even of having the problem solved.
  7. Layer 6: “Yes but we cannot implement the solution.” Concerns regarding the difficulty, cost, etc. of the proposed solution
  8. Layer 7: Disagreement on the details of the implementation. You cannot do it like this because of these laws, and those rules, and this part of our culture … and so on.
  9. Layer 8: The risk of the solution doesn’t justify the benefit.
  10. Layer 9: “I don’t think so” Social and psychological barriers, such as ethics, morals, generally accepted principles and so on.”

Moving into the Moments of Agreement

The moments of agreement is something that Ashton has built based on the layers of resistance.

He discovered is that if you systematically work through the layers, and at each layer get all the stakeholders to agree, then you can immediately catch the point where disagreement sets in, which would create a layer of resistance, and address is at the right level.

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

T:WTF 027 – Winning Through Your Staff

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.

So in the eighth podcast of this series we are talking about employee engagement.


What is employee engagement all about?

At the end of the day, you want to attract, retain, engage and develop the best talent you can find.

The 12 Questions

Ashton breaks down how Gallop found the best way to determine this was through 12 question. That’s it! Here they are and in this podcast, Ashton breaks this down:

  1. I know what is expected of me at work
  2. I have the materials and equipment needed to do my work right
  3. At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best, every day
  4. In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work
  5. My supervisor or someone at work seems to care about me as a person
  6. At work, my opinions seem to count
  7. The mission of my company makes me feel my job is important
  8. My co-workers are committed to doing quality work
  9. I have a best friend at work
  10. There is someone at work who encourages my development
  11. In the last six months, someone talked to me about my progress
  12. This last year I have had opportunities to learn and grow

From these 12 questions we can find four main themes:

  1. What do I get to enable me to do a good job?
  2. What do I contribute, and do I get recognized for it?
  3. Do I belong here?
  4. Is this a place where I can grow?”

Building The Exceptional

What this means is if you want to build an exceptional workplace, you need to make sure that people have the things they need to do a good job. That they are able to contribute their best skills and get recognized for it. That they have a sense of belonging, and that they have opportunities to grow.

Those are the things that the best talent are looking for – and that brings out the best in them.

How do your staff stack up?

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

T:WTF 026 – What? Spending Too Much Money? WTF!

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 third installment where we chat about spending to much money on increasing capacity.


What? Spending Too Much Money? WTF!

The point Ashton makes is that even when business try be frugal, they end up saving money that they should have spent. And the opposite, they spend money that they should not have spent.

As Ashton says, Money is just like time. It works much more effectively when it is focused.

By understanding where your constraints are, you have a much more focused plan and a clearer idea of exactly where to focus your resources – like money and staff effort.

Money Management Is About Managing A Flow

The key point here is that money management is about managing a flow. We can see the importance of always directing that flow to where it will have the biggest impact right now.

If you spend money on your constraint today, it will increase your throughput rate tomorrow. That increased Throughput will release cash flow for you to spend money on the next constraint. And that is money that you didn’t have before dealing with your current constraint.

This is why we see such incredibly short payback periods on TOC projects.

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

T:WTF 024 – Design for Delegation – Three levels of work

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 seventh Theory of Constraint installment and we talk about getting stuff done. Cos, that’s what really counts!


Focus on the Focus. Get the Right Things Done.

To often we get caught up in making the method the goal – and then we lose sight of the actual goal. What Ashton means is that you don’t want project management – You just want to get your projects done!

And this is what this really is about.

This becomes important because businesses get so focused on refining some or other method, that they don’t notice the fact that it’s not really serving the goal.

We see this with all the methodologies and frameworks we’ve invented over the past few decades.

When A Process Become A Risk

As an example, let’s say a company brings the Lean process. They then apply it to a certain area in the business, but its the wrong area. It’s helping the business become more profitable.

If the company is not making more money, then the cost of your project has actually moved the company backward.

You could agrue that this initiative is not ok and that it’s helping? Not many companies have enough reserves that they can afford to sponsor improvements that do not show on the bottom line. Most can not afford this.

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

T:WTF 025 – Planning too much is planning to fail

This is the sixth instalment of the Theory of Constraints conversation. We focus on project planning.

You Cannot Manage What You Do Not Plan

But don’t over plan!

What you scream! How can you over plan! There is an old adage that says failing to plan is planning to fail. Yet there is a risk of taking this piece of wisdom and stretching it beyond the truth that it is.

The false belief that almost naturally flows from the importance of planning is that more planning is better and that the elusive key to successful projects is better planning.

There are a lot of details around this and there is a clear structure and approach so jump in.

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

T:WTF 023 – Designing For Delegation!

Welcome to this series on the Theory of Constraints (TOC) with Ashton Fourie. It’s a 9 part series that looks at how the Theory of constraints can help you grow your business. This is the fifth instalment where we chat about Designing For Delegation!


Designing For Delegation!

There are two types of constraints in a business. One constraint is operational. It’s in your value stream – the way you deliver products and services to your customers.

The other constraint is strategic. It’s the constraint that is regulating how fast your organisation can grow. By default that constraint is management attention.

Unfortunately, in many organisations, the operational constraint is also management attention because the organisation was not designed to allow effective delegation.

The Three Levels of Work

In this episode, Ashton breaks down how a business grows and how delegation needs to happen within the organisation. Using a hypothetical example Ashton goes on to explain that as the organisation grows it moves through different levels. Delegation enables you to move between the different levels where:

  • The first level is technical work.
  • The second level is process work.
  • The third level is strategic work.

A Natural Upwards Flow

The most natural way for a business to grow is from technical upwards. First, do the technical work, then build the processes to be able to delegate that technical work. When that is in place, build the processes to manage the processes, and delegate that. Then begin to focus on the strategic work.

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

T:WTF 022 – Are you spending too much money for increased capacity

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.


Spending Money Wisley

This is the fourth installment where we about money and how to focus where you spend your money with the goal of making more money. And we all need that right?

In order to focus proper constraint, management gives us a five-step process that we should be cycling through over and over again. And in that five-step process, spending money is not the first, but the last thing we do to our current constraint!

Here are the five steps – which we covered in episode 2, where Ashton breaks down why spending money is part of step 5:

  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

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

T:WTF 020 – Why you cannot ignore TOC

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. In this introduction, Ashton takes us on a walk into what ToC is.


What Is the Theory of Constraints?

The idea behind TOC is a bit counter to the way most of us look at business. Yet it is something that can truly help break through many of the challenges that businesses face every day.

There is real theory behind the idea and has a proven method that enables rapid growth whilst at the same time helping to stabilise your business.

A Dynamic Management Methodology

It is a management methodology strongly based on scientific thought and research. It has a series of applications ranging from production management to product management, to strategy development & execution, supply chain management, financial management.

Ultimately it impacts every part of your business and integrates well with existing methodologies. This includes Lean, Six Sigma, Total Quality Management, Agile, Scrum. It helps improve the effectiveness of these methods by creating a massive amount of focus.

In this podcast, we dig into the idea of ToC, where it comes from, the type of applications that you can use it for. And really why it is so powerful!

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

The Future Financial Crisis

The team chats with maverick economist Prof. Steve Keen. Steve was one of the very few economists who predicted the 2008 financial crisis and has just written the book, Can We Avoid Another Financial Crisis? (The Future of Capitalism).

The short answer is no, we can’t avoid another financial crisis. To understand this, we dig into why Professor Keen’s prediction goes against mainstream economists. We also look at how this crisis will hit South Africa and the current thinking on how to solve our current economic challenge.


You can find the book Can We Avoid Another Financial Crisis? here.

More information and insights on Prof. Keen here.

Follow Steve on Twitter: @ProfSteveKeen

This show was originally published on the cliffcentral.com Futurology Page