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8 – Your Systems

Have you ever noticed that, almost always, if you want to buy some milk from a convenience store, medium sized supermarket or a huge superstore, the milk is usually stored against the back wall.

In my local Asda, Tesco and Morrison’s, the milk is right at the back. In the Sainbury’s, it’s in an aisle close to the back.

Milk is a popular item and it is something that many people buy. You’d have thought that, for convenience, a shopper friendly store would have a refrigerator quite close top the entrance so that people who only want milk can grab it quickly. [continue reading…]

in 8 – Your Systems

Why I Use Mind Maps In My Business Coaching & Advice

Over the years I have experimented with using mind maps as a way to store ideas and knowledge.

In 2017, I made the decision to make mind maps an integral part of my business coaching and advice process.

Generally I like people who deal with me to use Skype, at least some of the time because there is a facility that lets us share screens. This means that I can show you what’s on my screen or you can show me what’s on yours, even though we may be separated by hundreds of miles.

Using mind maps is just an extension of that principle.

Why Use Mind Maps?

When I was doing classroom training, I used a saying that went along the lines of…

  • Hear and forget.
  • See and remember.
  • Do and understand.

Business coaching is all about help business owners do more to solve business problems and issues. This involves analysing the situation, identifying potential actions, selecting the best or most appropriate steps and then doing them. It also then involves reviewing the implementation and seeing how well the original issue has been solved and then identifying what else needs to be done.

A mind map helps to do all those steps because it doesn’t rely on you taking accurate notes of what I’ve said or what we’ve discussed or, even worse, trying to remember on your own. [continue reading…]

in 8 – Your Systems

The full title of this book by Uwe Techt is

Goldratt and the Theory of Constraints: The Quantum Leap in Management“.

In my review at Amazon.co.uk, I gave this book a FIVE Stars rating. This means I think it is excellent.

Here is my book review.

A very helpful summary

Goldratt’s business novels like “The Goal“, “It’s Not Luck“, “Critical Chain” etc are an excellent way to get a general appreciation of the Theory Of Constraints. Their weakness comes apparent when you want to go back and remind yourself of the critical concepts because they are too buried into the story.

The author, Uwe Techt has written an excellent summary of the fundamental ideas within the Theory Of Constraints which serves as both a refresher and a reference for when you’re trying to implement the concepts. As an initial introduction, I still recommend starting with “The Goal“. [continue reading…]

in 8 – Your Systems, Best Business Books

Theory of Constraints Handbook – 5 Stars

Theory of Constraints Handbook

I gave this very large, very intensive look at the Theory of Constraints a rating of Five Stars in my review on Amazon.co.uk.

Here is my book review.

The Serious Guide To The Theory Of Constraints

If you’ve read “The Goal” and a few other books about the Theory Of Constraints and you want to implement it yourself or through a specialist consultancy, this is the most definitive guide I’ve seen.

It is massive with 38 chapters which end on page 1135 before the Bibliography and Index… and that’s with a smaller print font than I’d ideally like.

Its size is both a strength and a weakness. I’ve had it for five years and I use it to dip in and out of as a reference rather than as a book to read from start to finish. Its bulk is intimidating and it’s heavy to hold. [continue reading…]

in 8 – Your Systems, Best Business Books

The Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt and Jeff Cox

Book Review Rating – 5 Stars

“The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement” is a fantastic book about performance improvement in a manufacturing business wrapped up in a novel that is hard to put down.

First published in 1984 this book introduced the world to the Theory of Constraints.

The big idea is that many of the ideas for improving a business are misguided at best and expensive mistakes at worst.

That’s because an improvement in an area outside of the constraint that is holding back performance is more an illusion than substance. Real improvements come from removing the constraint.

The Story Of The Goal

I think this was the first popular management book to be written as a story but it is an extremely effective teaching method for putting across the big ideas. The weakness is that it’s hard to pick up the details to put the ideas into action. Eli Goldratt wrote The Race as the follow-up hands-on guide. [continue reading…]

in 8 – Your Systems, Best Business Books, Business Problems And Mistakes