Moments of truth and constraints

Listening to some podcasts on the plane, and I came across the Get-It-Done Guy's entry from December 24th, Moments of Truth.

The essence of the podcast is that you'd better know what those one or two things are that you do that adds value to your work, your relationships, your life, etc.

He starts out with the example of a designated hitter in baseball.  His moment of truth?  When the bat hits the ball for a home run.  Everything advance of that is preparation for the moment.  Batting practice that doesn't focus on making the moment happen is probably the wrong kind of batting practice.

As I listened to the show, I couldn't shake the idea that these moments of trust are similar to strategic constraints.  (I can't help it - I'm stuck on TOC.)  An organization that knows what and where its constraints are can operate accordingly.  First off, are they the right constraints?  Are you limited from reaching your goal because you don't have enough office space?  Or are you limited because that million dollar machine appears to be doing everything it can?

Once you find the place where you want the constraint to be, then there are the all-important steps of making the constraint as effective as it can be.  If the constraint is people: are they doing only work on the key projects?  If the constraint is equipment: is it running all the time?  Is it working on things only it can process?  Similarly, all other resources, are they supporting the constraint?  Do they stay out of the way?  Do they pick up those other activities?

Back to moments of truth in my life.  Am I arranging my life and my plans such that I can be the best at my role?  Do I make sure that those moments of truth are as solid as possible?  Do I keep the extraneous stuff out of the way?

1 Comment(s)

Hi, Jack,

Score! I'm a big fan of the theory of constraints from "The Goal" by Eliyahu M. Goldratt et al. The Goal is about operations, but you can map the concepts to management processes and thus strategy.

Watching baseball, the parallel struck me that bottlenecks in production are similar to "moments of truth" in productivity. I never in my wildest dreams thought someone would follow my little 7-minute podcast back to the Theory of Constraints.


Stever Robbins
host of The Get-It-Done Guy

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