1. For the Goldratt and Cox chapters, discuss the goal attainment process and terminology discovered by Rogo and his team as they strived to meet their collective business goal. For the Harford readings, examine in the essay his examples and the lessons learned from them. For both sets of readings, provide your thoughts and reactions to the events and examples in the concluding paragraph of the respective sections.
Goldratt, E. M., & Cox J. 1992/ The Goal:A process of ongoing improvement. (2nd Edition) Harford, T. (2011). Adapt: Why success always starts with failure. New York: Farran, Strong, and Giroux.
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Adapting to Failure & the Goal
Harford, Goldratt and Cox examine how to design one's business or life to improve upon the existing design and make it better. Harford strives to help readers design life to make effective use of failures, utilizing trial and error to learn from past mistakes. Goldratt and Cox illustrate the importance of identifying the goal and taking actions to achieve the goal. In The Goal and Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure, the authors point out that the most successful companies are built through evaluation and adaptation, not planning.
Harford gives several examples throughout Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure to illustrate his point. It was incredible to learn "At the dawn of the automobile industry, two thousand firms were operating in the United States. Around 1 per cent of them survived" (Harford, 2011). A similar example within the automobile industry would be a car engine fifty to seventy years ago that achieved 100,000 miles was a maintenance achievement, now an engine failure at 100,000 miles would be seen as flawed. This is due to the ability of the surviving automobile companies to learn from past failure and re-design processes.
Tracing the fortunes of the largest companies in the world in 1912 to the present shows a similar winnowing of the ranks. Adapt or perish, Harford suggests, stating, "failure is fundamental to the way the market creates sophisticated wealthy economies" (Harford, 2011).
Harford illustrates how the basic model of "variation, survivability and selection" (Harford, 2011) is key in adapting. The author urges readers to seek out new ideas and experiment, to make sure that the scale of experiments is small enough that failure will not lead to catastrophe, and to seek feedback, learning from failures and adjusting to adapt to gain better results. The Iraq war is used as an example to show the success of using a bottom up approach that "contrasted vividly with the disastrous top-down approach being implemented by Washington at the time" (Brown, 2012).
Harford uses examples to show different kinds of error, as identified by James Reason. The first types are slips. An example of this would be when a young Japanese trader meant to sell one share of stock at 600,000 yen but mistakenly sold 600,000 shares at 1 yen. Another type of error would be violations, when the law is intentionally broken. An example would be Bernie Madoff. Then, there are things one does on purpose that result in unintended consequences. Of course, each of us can ...
This detailed solution discusses 'The Goal' in regards to the goal attainment process and terminology discovered by Rogo and his team as they strived to meet their collective business goal. It also discusses Harford's 'Adapt: Why success always starts with failure" and provides examples and the lessons learned as well as personal reflections on both books. Includes APA formatted references.