≡ Menu

Business Problems And Mistakes – Understand & Solve

A month ago, I wrote about how the Covid-19 crisis is making constraints blindingly obvious. These constraints limit the performance of a business but even when the crisis quietens down, constraints in your business will still exist. They will just go back into the shadows.

For 30 years I’ve believed that the Theory of Constraints (TOC) processes are very effective ways for a business to make substantial improvements.

So what does TOC have to say about the Covid-19 crisis?

I’d been planning to expand on this myself but then I found these videos on YouTube on the TOCExperts channel. I should warn you that they are all over an hour long but you have the opportunity to start learning how to apply TOC thinking to your business.

Video 1

This is what’s covered

Video 2 – Thinking About The Future

There are a few technical issues at the start of this video so you might want to jump to the 4 minute mark.

Video 3 – Post Covid-19 Scenarios and What You Can Learn From Them

I hope you find these helpful.

Books On The Theory of Constraints

If you’d like to know more about the Theory of Constraints, I recommend the following books as good places to start.

The Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt and Jeff Cox – This brilliant novel is where it all about as TOC is applied to a struggling manufacturing business.Goldratt has written other business novels that look at the TOC Thinking Processes (It’s Not Luck), project management (Critical Chain) and the retail industry (Isn’t It Obvious) but I feel The Goal is the place to start.

Forget the Urgent! by Matías Birrell and Javier Arévalo –

Absolute Certainty by John Haylock – This time the business novel is applied to an accountancy practice after learning TOC ideas from a web designer client.


in Business Problems And Mistakes, The Next Economic Crash

The full title of this book by Gerald Kendall and Gary Wadhwa is

Dentistry with a Vision: Building a Rewarding Practice and a Balanced Life

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book a 4 Stars rating. This means it is Good to Very Good if you want to read about how to apply the Theory of Constraints to a small service business. It’s a 5 Stars Rating if you’re a Dentist.

Here is my book review.

Theory of constraints applied to a small service business

This book is based on improvements in a dentist business. For me, this is just an example of how the theory of constraints (TOC) can be applied to a small service business. [continue reading…]

in Best Business Books, Business Problems And Mistakes

Now What? by Stan Peake

The full title of this book by Stan Peake is

Now What?: 50 Ways to Build Your Business in a Crisis

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book a 3 Stars rating. This means it is Worth Reading.

Here is my book review.

Worth reading

My feelings about this book were a bit like a yo-yo.

I was worried at first. The author tells the story of how he grew his coaching business after breaking his back. I thought it was a bit over long and boastful. The point was that you can turn adversity into something positive. [continue reading…]

in Business Problems And Mistakes, Other Business Books

The full title of this book by by Kristen Cox and Yishai Ashlag is

The World of Decorating the Fish: Twelve Indicators That Will Make You Understand If You Are Decorating the Fish

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book a 4 Stars rating. This means it is Good to Very Good.

Here is my book review.

Better than their first book but more to do

I took a risk buying this book because I only gave the original book 2 stars – 3 for the content with a star deducted for the formatting which made the kindle version hard to read.

The core idea is that much of what is done in organisations to drive improvement is nothing but a distracting waste of time, effort and money. This is the “decorating the fish” which I’ve heard previously referred to as “putting lipstick on a pig”. [continue reading…]

in Best Business Books, Business Problems And Mistakes

I’ve long been an advocate for focusing on identifying and then managing the constraints in a business as a follower of the great management thinking, Eli Goldratt.

I can’t think of anything that has brought home the importance of constraints as much as the current coronavirus crisis that is spreading around the world.

The Vital Importance Of “Flattening the Curve”

First and foremost, it is recognised that no health service in the world can cope with the pandemic in full flight so extraordinary measures have been introduced to “flatten the curve”.

This is because hospital beds and ventilators have become critical constraints. Behind those numbers are the constraints that will flow through from a shortage of doctors, nurses and other health staff as they fall ill or have to self-isolate because of illness in their homes.

So huge parts of the economy have been shutdown by government decree and we’re all being urged to stay within our home family units and not visit friends and relatives.

The UK government has a catchy phrase – stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives – which is repeated over and over again by spokesmen until we all get the message. [continue reading…]

in Business Problems And Mistakes

In my review of the book

The Logical Thinking Process: An Executive Summary by H William Dettmer

posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave it 4 Stars. This means that it is Good and Well Worth Reading.

Notice “An Executive Summary” in the title. This is very much an introduction to a topic brilliantly covered by the author’s much more extensive book, also called The Logical Thinking Process.

At the bottom of the page is a video by the author, explaining the differences between his process and that originally developed by Eli Goldratt.

Here is my book review.

Very useful overview of Goldratt’s thinking processes

The author has written an excellent book explaining how to use the Theory of Constraints Thinking Processes. However, if you learn a little, you can easily get scared off by the strange terminology in the original thinking like Evaporating Clouds and Current Reality Trees. [continue reading…]

in 2 – Your Inner Game, Best Business Books, Business Problems And Mistakes

The full title of this book by Sandy Steinman is

The Small Business Turnaround Guide: Take Your Business from Troubled to Triumphant

In my review of posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave it Five Stars. This means it is Very Highly Recommended.

Here is my review.

A very good book for helping under performing businesses

I feel this book gets off to a bad start by trying to be funny about a bad situation. It doesn’t create the right impression. It immediately corrects itself by saying there is nothing funny about a failing business.

Many turnaround books are written about big businesses but this one is aimed at owner managed businesses. It starts by giving you a pep talk. It’s going to be tough to turnaround your business but you can do it. [continue reading…]

in Best Business Books, Business Problems And Mistakes

Turnaround Management vs Turnaround Coaching

How Do Turnaround Management And Turnaround Coaching Compare For A Small Business In Financial Difficulties?

There are three main ways businesses get into financial trouble:

  1. A business start-up that has failed to achieved lift-off to become a viable business.
  2. A business that has hit a sudden financial problem often caused by a large bad debt, losing a contract with a major customer or a disaster situation like a major fire or flood.
  3. A business has gone into gradual decline.

If the business is to survive, it must be turned around before the money runs out and before it becomes insolvent without any realistic prospect of recovery.

Please note, insolvency is a legal issue where there can be serious implications for the directors and shareholders and you will need to check the legal situation in your own country. If in doubt, my advice is to consult an insolvency professional.

The turnaround solutions depend on the cause of the problem. [continue reading…]

in Business Coaching, Business Problems And Mistakes

Your Business Brickyard by Howard Mann – 5 Stars

The full title of this book by Howard Mann is

Your Business Brickyard: Getting back to the basics to make your business more fun to run

In my review on Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book Five Stars. This means it is Excellent and is Very Highly Recommended.

Here is my book review.

Put the fancy stuff to one side and get back to basics

I read a lot of business books but rarely do I find one that connects so strongly with the frustrated, stressed-out business owners from the very start.

It’s not the best of book titles but it’s a metaphor that refers to a catching exercise for wide receivers in American football. [continue reading…]

in Best Business Books, Business Problems And Mistakes

Rethink Your Marketing by Tom Shapiro – 5 Stars

The full title of this book by Tom Shapiro is

“Rethink Your Marketing: 7 Strategies to Unleash Revenue Growth”.

In my review at Amazon.co.uk, I gave it a FIVE star rating, meaning that I rate it as excellent.

Here is what I posted.

An excellent and thoughtful book to get your business back on track

The book encourages you to rethink seven different areas:

1-your audience
2-how they think
3-your goals
4-your marketing mix
5-your metrics
6-your revenue model
7-your future

The aim is to get your business growing again. Too often, companies get stuck and the owner-managers don’t know what to do other than more of the same, copying competitors or jumping on the latest fad. [continue reading…]

in 4 – Lead Generation, Best Business Books, Business Problems And Mistakes