02 June 2005

Commenting Comments

The Jenius noticed two significant points (amongst many) of the comments made about My last two posts.

Gabriel Pagán indicated that I had "summarized" Eli Goldratt's "Theory of Constraints." Having read The Goal, The Race and It's Not Luck, The Jenius acknowledges that the Theory of Constraints (TOC) is very much a part of "planning by negatives."

Briefly, TOC indicates that the total productivity of a system is determined by its constraints, or bottlenecks, so that the potential capacity of the total system is directly related to its smallest constraint. Expand or remove that constraint and the system's total capacity increases to the potential level of the next constraint.

Goldratt does point out that you can use TOC to plan a system, so that if a component (human, machine, process or resource) implies a limit, then you design the system to that limit (if it represents a vital, irreplaceable component.)

Okay, in English now: "Planning by negatives" starts with constraints (obstacles) that will consume resources (time, money, energy, etc.) By placing them in the context of time (chronological order), you are essentially "lining up" your bottlenecks and then, when you select the 1 or 2 that are "biggest" (hardest, most difficult, whatever) you are basically "opening up" the system (your plan) to greater potential. As you continue that process (eliminating bottlenecks called "obstacles") you are advancing the plan--the system--to its greatest potential: success.

And you thought The Jenius was just typing to keep his hands limber...

Kevin Shockey quotes the gargantuan Anthony Robbins to say that "the conversation with yourself is the most important." My friend Carol also pointed out that one has to BELIEVE first before achieving. To accept "pessimism by osmosis" is to allow others--demostrably less capable than one is--to dominate and limit one's potential. In earthier terms, you can't soar with eagles if you're surrounded by squirrels.

Yes, talk "good things, great future" to yourself and try to ignore the pessimists that swarm like gnats. Since shutting up the naysayers is impossible, the next-best step is to surround yourself with yea-sayers (Open Source Minds, anyone?) And remember that yea-sayers don't have to agree with you so long as you agree that a solution can be found.

Okay, on the count of "Three," We'll all become raging, focused optimists: One... Two...

The Jenius Has Spoken.

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