The surprising inverse relationship between number of improvements and actual improvement

Many small improvements will add up to a large improvement … right?

Chances are that you’ve experienced that somehow, despite the appealing logic of this approach, the results seems to be somewhat elusive in reality.

The reason is quite simple.

There are many improvement opportunities

I am still on the topic of Focus as one of the core reasons why TOC delivers results.

A common approach to business improvements is to ask the question, “Where can we improve?”

The number of opportunities that begin to emerge in answer to that question tends to trend in the direction of infinity.

You have limited resources

In the book The three Primary Resources, Getting from Here to More,” there is a section on the impact of making changes in a business on time, energy, and money, which can be summarized as follows:

As a business, you do not have infinite resource in the form of money, time, and energy, to pour into this black hole of so called improvements. Most of these improvements are not going to help you generate more money. They will most probably cost you some money, and they will most certainly cost you some time and energy.. Most probably a significant portion of that time and energy will be management time and energy – which happens to be the most common growth constraint.

Every change destabilizes your business

To further compound this, every change you make, has a destabilising effect on your business, which absorbs more management time and energy.

So, every improvement that you make in your business, that is not focused on your constraint, is eroding the value of your business, instead of building it.

Constraint-focused improvements create stable growth

If you would like to create a growth plan that will systematically maximise the use of your resources to fuel your growth, you have to identify your constraint, exploit it, subordinate the rest of the business to this decision, and then elevate your constraint. Once this is done and the system is performing at the new, higher level, repeat this process. In this way you can grow consistently whilst protecting the stability of your business.

To your success


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