Betting on the weak link : a fundamental change in organisations

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Pierre JAECK

Portfolio & Program Office Director, Geoservices (Schlumberger)

Seminar Business life | Friday March 9, 2012 - 9h30 - 12h

Eliyahu M. Goldratt, an Israeli physicist who became a professor and organisation consultant, wrote ‘The Goal’ in 1984. It was translated into thirty-five languages and five million copies were printed. It presents an original idea in the form of a work of fiction. Weak links exist in every system of interdependent resources: one should identify them and concentrate on them rather than seek to optimise everything in the company. This approach, which Goldratt later formalised as the Theory of Constraints, leads to actions which are contrary to traditional processes including the Lean Production (a practice which considers the expenditure of resources for any purpose other than the creation of value for the end customer to be wasteful, and therefore should be eliminated). Like any simple idea, it is difficult to accept. To achieve this concept, Eli Goldratt created an original organisation. Today, this theory has a significant influence in the United States, Germany and India, each with its own conferences, brands and annual prizes. Pierre Jaeck applied this approach to a real-life situation in a French company and is currently writing his thesis about it.

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