Goldratt Marketing Group is now one of the distributors of The Path. It has come out with following description of the book:
“This book is written partially in novel form using TOC concepts implicitly and it shows how the pharmaceutical industry can significantly improve. Towards the end of the book the authors speaks more explicitly about Theory of Constraints (TOC).”
We are very happy with such a description which gets as close as we meant the book is attempted to be.
When various chunks of The Path was being co-created at the Hub of Operational Excellence, we knew that there is a big circle of influence, and we wanted to create a niche for The Path. We wanted The Path be read on its own value proposition. Content of The Path was therefore attempted to be more about execution and much less about concepts. In fact, it shows how different concepts need to be executed for an organization to walk on the path of operational excellence.
But most of us came with a pre-existing influence by the masterpiece, the Goal and the underlying concept of TOC. It was very difficult to avoid comparison of The Path with the Goal. We deliberately avoided drawing comparison and parallels with the Goal. In fact, the explicit mention of TOC concepts occurs only at the end of the book. We were also very happy to get the name of the book and align cover page of the book to Operations (Excellence) than business goal. We were too cautious to avoid coming closer to a comparison with the Goal.
If one has read the Goal, it is very easy to get seduced by its style and compare ‘The Path’ with it. In fact, that is happening now, even though The Path contains over 80 figures and is not a complete novel. We got the first reader review on Amazon and it straight way compares with the Goal. T A Acker, mentions it ‘a feeble attempt to imitate Goal’, he is disappointed and recommends not to waste money.
Looks like, however much we avoid comparison with the Goal, comparison will be made. The truth is that the Goal is very powerful work. It has been an all time best seller and constantly ranked among top 25 management books. And it has been #1 bestseller under the category ‘production and operations’ and ‘operation research’ on Amazon. It is a classic in operational management.
Acker does though helps us in knowing that ‘the story’ comes on the way of teaching. By writing so, Acker has identified one more issue that we have been trying to avoid. The idea of the Path is about sharing an experience of many, in a partial story format. We did attempt to avoid making it a prescriptive book. Alas! it seems that there is much to be done in that respect as well. Probably, the corresponding promotional activities are not aligned away from prescriptive tone. We need to again check our promotional material and be true to avoiding over use of the words like, ‘the book shows’, ‘readers will learn..’, ‘it provides a solution’ etc, which make it sound indeed like a prescriptive book.
In the meanwhile, while we can not avoid the review by readers to do unavoidable comparison with the Giant, co-creation of ‘The Path’ path goes beyond the book. We are now out in the field and passing on the experience described in the Path to managers inside organizations and on the shop floor.
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