I found The Goal to be very intriguing in that I love learning about business problems and how they come up with solutions to overcome them. I know it's a lot harder in reality, but now I feel as if I could go run a manufacturing plant, (yeah right). Another thing I loved was that it was a narrative and had a story behind the problems the plant was facing, which involved family issues that a real person would go through. Most books fall flat somewhere, but I felt like I kept guessing what was going to happen, or how I could figure out the problems the plant was having.
Since there were multiple breakthrough's, the best thing to do would be to go through the events that the breakthroughs occurred, and the background behind them. So the book begins by giving a normal day-to-day scene of what was happening. Al arrived at work and noticed right away that Peach was there, which probably came with bad news. Sure enough he was right, because Peach was told they had until the end of the year to improve performance or the whole division would shut down and everyone would lose their job. So, during the meeting they were having one morning, Peach explains that "the future of our business depends on our ability to increase productivity". This got Al thinking about a conversation he had with his old college professor, Jonah, a couple of weeks earlier about what productivity was, and how it wasn't just about efficiencies that the robots were putting out.
Productivity then, is when you accomplish a goal, but knowing what that goal is, is the most important factor. Al then thinks about all the different measurements that enables a company to make money: Cost effective purchasing, producing quality products, hiring good people, obtaining the latest technology, and capturing market share. He concludes with, "any action that moves us towards making money is being productive." Al then goes on to speak with Jonah again, explaining what the goal was and the measurements to achieve the goal, but Jonah tells him that those are conventional measurements and do not lend themselves very well to daily operations.