Starting with the TOC Thinking Process

Theory of Constraints Handbook authors John G. Schleier, Jr. and James F. Cox III were part of my recent podcast Holistic approach to the Theory of Constraints. We covered so much material during the interview that I split the discussion to 2 parts. The one preceding and another on the Thinking Processes of TOC. This will be featured in my next podcast release, Tuesday, June 22nd. An excerpt from the upcoming podcast:

Joe: That seems like the passion that you have for Theory of Constraints is really personal development. Is it not?

Jim: I think so. I think Goldratt’s major contribution to all this is, the thinking tools. And it’s just the practical application from logical to common sense. But it’s so uncommon with most people today. They take actions, and they don’t understand the full ramifications of these actions. And then they have to live through the consequences of these actions. And I think his tools offer tremendous opportunity to change people’s lives where they can achieve their goals.

John: If we go back to the chapter we were taking about earlier of Kathy Suerken on TOC and education, one thing kind of connected to this that impressed me, was that her observation was that the thinking tools can really be learned. At least some of them can be learned by grade school children. And in her chapter there’s a picture of a conflict cloud.

That’s drawn in chalk, I think it’s in chalk, on the side walk in grade school in the UK. And these grade school kids come out and resolve conflicts that they have, by walking through that sidewalk diagram of a conflict cloud, because they have been taught how to do it. And it’s just kind of interesting. I think that these tools can be understood and used by very, very young people.Capture

The conversation I had with them prompted me to re-visit the thinking process and even blog about it last week, Problem Solving – Think 3, Not 5. I have always liked the concept of the thinking process but admittedly struggle using it. As stated by John above, if grade schools kids get it why can’t I? So starting small or simpler was my goal. So why not start at grade school level, I read the paper everyday? My recent reading took me to Thinking Smart: Applying the Theory of Constraints in Development Thinking Skills. I found the book delightfully simple and relevant. In fact, it has spurred me on to take the learning skills developed to the next level. There still may be a Jonah left in me.

Tomorrow’s podcast not only discusses the Thinking skills but the applications such as: Schools, Juvenile Centers, Prisons, Healthcare, Athletics and College Courses.