The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement by Eliyahu Goldratt [Actionable Summary]

This is a comprehensive summary of the book The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement by Eliyahu Goldratt (part of the business book summaries collection). Covering the key ideas and proposing practical ways for achieving what’s mentioned in the text. Written by book fanatic and online librarian Ivaylo Durmonski. Supporting Members get full access.

The Book In Three Or More Sentences:

Alex Rogo, manager and the main character in this business-like novel, has less than 90 days to save the plant he’s operating. What should he do? Luckily for him, he meets his old physicist teacher who, holding the torch of science, illuminates the constraint in his factory. But that’s not enough. More and more situations complicate the life of Alex. Strangely, his teacher is always available to answer all of his newbie questions. In the end, after finally figuring out the process of ongoing improvement, Alex saves the day. And while it might seem like I’m mocking the whole script. The book is a must-read if you want to make improvements in both your life and your business.

The Core Idea:

Eliyahu Goldratt, explains in a really approachable language the Theory of Constraints (TOC) – a theory developed by the author himself. The main message is the following: What determines the strength of a chain is the weakest link. So, what you must do is to find the weakest links in the systems you are part of and figure out a way to strengthen them. Sadly, what is often holding us back to make adjustments is the thinking: “that’s the way it was always done”. The book does have a cure for that, though. It gives the reader an innovative thinking process that can help overcome the resistance to change.

Reason To Read:

Plainly, the process of ongoing improvement is something everyone should get familiar with. It will not only save your company from becoming dysfunctional. But it will also equip your eyes with an extra set of lenses that will help you spot constraints in everything you encounter. All of this, allowing you to make appropriate modifications, so you can outrun your competitors and slay your obsolete thinking patterns that are holding your face in the mud.


  • The prime goal of every organization is always the same: to make money.
  • You make more money by increasing throughput while decreasing inventory and operational expenses.
  • Identifying the bottlenecks is not enough to make a positive change. You also need to instill enthusiasm in others.

6 Lessons from The Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt:

Lesson #1: Crystallizing The Goal

“There is only one goal, no matter what the company,” preached Jonah. The physicist teacher who will save the company Alex is managing.

No. It’s not winning awards. Nor giving more perks to employees.

It’s the egoistic pursuit of making money.

Add whatever you want on your careers page. But the main thing every organization on the planet is striving for is making money.

The sad part of this realization is that most business owners know that the goal is to make money.

“Of course, making money is inserted into the meaning of the word business. We need to make money to stay in business. I know that.”

Yet again, how many tasks do you or your company perform (or you) that are not related to this simple goal?

We label productivity with checkmarks and hours binged on chairs.

But real productivity is strangely simple: Making sure that every action by the people and the processes in the organization bring the company closer to the goal – making money.

Every action that does not bring the company closer to the goal of making money, means that this specific action is non-productive.

“Because what happens if a company doesn’t make money? If the company doesn’t make money by producing and selling products, or by maintenance contracts, or by selling some of its assets, or by some other means… the company is finished. It will cease to function. Money must be the goal. Nothing else works in its place.” Eliyahu Goldratt

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