Theory of Constraints provides a scalable growth path in not only accelerating your operations but actually accelerating your growth rate. The focus you get from ToC enables you to focus learning only on the areas that are constraining you from faster operations and faster growth. This enables a Just in Time learning approach that greatly reduces the need for teaching, and greatly enhances the retention of applied learning.
A good friend of mine asked:
You recently wrote something on the risks of not doing ToC.
So let’s assume ToC is done. This creates increased efficiency. How is this (new / extra) efficiency then scaled?
And how is efficiency continuously scaled? (To continuously create (more) value)
The concept of scalable learning is one that you’ve also considered. How does scale learning address or implement the need for new / increased value (many times through disruption). Or, perhaps more particularly, how is the concept of scalable learning exploited in SME’s to achieve this need for unlocking new or increased value.
There is probably the potential of a short book in answering all of this, but I responded with a nutshell answer which I realized afterwards should become an article – because I think these questions are core to the concept of accelerated growth. This also connects to my article about Focus.
TOC is never done
The basic implementation of ToC is to get the company to start running the 5 focusing steps which are:
- Identify the constraint (the one area in your business that is currently preventing you from increasing your Throughput)
- Exploit the constraint (make sure none of its capacity is wasted)
- Subordinate everything else to the above decision
- Elevate the constraint (if it is still the constraint)
- Start again from step 1 and don’t let inertia become your constraint.
Instead of being simply efficient in your operations, the more you refine your own execution of this five-step process, the faster you are accelerating your throughput. This creates infinite scalability.
This directly impacts learning. TOC identifies the people that are impacting the constraint, identifies what knowledge they need and uses that to target learning.
With a basic knowledge of ToC throughout the organisation, you can run through the 5 focusing steps anywhere in the business, and then transfer only the specific knowledge needed to accelerate throughput through that specific area of the business.
From learning atrophying to natural knowledge growth
In traditional training you have knowledge beginning to atrophy as people are listening to you. With ToC, the teaching is through the Socratic method, and it is “JiT” (Just in Time) so it immediately gets applied. Consequently you get better retention during the training. But after a week instead of the learning having atrophied, it has actually grown and solidified through practice – so you get 120% “retention” and growing insight as they keep applying!
If you would like to explore how to implement this in your business, email firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation to see how we can help you accelerate your business growth.