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It's Not Luck Paperback – October 1, 1994
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The story follows Alex, who is a senior manager at a firm responsible for 3 divisions. In the past, he has had enormous success in turning businesses around. Now he is heading three large departments that are outside the core business of the company. The CEO will be leaving and he wants to re-structure the group and therefore the three departments Alex is in charge of will either need to be suddenly enormously successful or else they'll get sold. Alex is obviously not happy with that and will need to do *something* that will turn these 3 companies around.
Alex uses "The Thinking Process" as a way of analyzing the current situation and speculating potential future situations. From these future situations, he then works back to find the constraints and tries to break these. This technique is the main technique that is promoted in this book. He first uses it one one of the companies and it turns out to be incredibly successful. They find a new business model and that way turn the company unexpectedly around. The same will need to happen for the other companies if Alex has any chance of success. Will he be able to do that? I'll leave it here and you can read the rest yourself.
"It's Not Luck" was very easy to read. It was well written and kept me engaged and I read it fairly quickly. It was interesting to follow Alex and see how he would resolve the problems in his companies using "The Thinking Process." However, the book never gave me the insights that "The Goal" gave me. I found it hard to imagine how and when I would to use "The Thinking Process" in real life. I guess this book would just be a start and further study would be needed. I've been doubting whether it ought to be 3 or 4 stars. 4 stars because it was well written and an easy read. Three stars because I had hoped for more insight and was a bit disappointed (due my high expectations). I decided to stay with 3 stars.
I find that Goldratt novels provide simple frameworks that can be easily adapted and provide guidance to business thinking and process. For instance, from The Goal I constantly use and teach the three money measures for helping people understand the true impact of a proposed change in their business processes or automation.
It's Not Luck is a great springboard for considering root cause analysis, program management for organizational change, sales tactics developed from customer needs, and generally good business thought processes for leadership.
When you consider how many managers and executives have made it into the business world with out the MBA, this is great starter information that can have the "formal" business labels attached to it later. Additionally, when you consider how many people went through B school but do not remember to apply what they learned, this is a simple reminder and a tutor for implementation.
I highly recommend any of the TOC novels these reasons.
I work as a teacher in a public school and know very little about business management. Yet as the story developed I could draw many direct connections between the story and working with students parents, and faculty. The theory of constraints, the underlying theme of the books, has many levels of use: personal, social and professional.
The book is brief. The thinking it inspires can last and last, and that is my favorite kind of book.