Monday, November 30, 2009

The Goal Movie by Eliyahu Goldratt on DVD on SALE

The Goal DVD normally sells for $895 but is on sale until December 31, 2009 at midnight ET. From now until then you can get $250 off. So The Goal DVD is yours for only $645. The Goal movie is ON SALE!!!!Yes, the best selling book, The Goal by Dr Eliyahu Goldratt was made into a 45 minute movie.

To take advantage of this great offer, check on any of the hyperlinks in this post.If you miss this opportunity, just send me an email and let me know that you want to be notified the next time there is a sale.

This video takes The Goal book and shows you how to put the theories to work in your company.

Based on the best-selling book by Eli Goldratt, The Goal tells the story of Alex Rogo, a plant manager facing the threat of his plant's closure. The video follows Alex and his team as they use the Theory of Constraints to transform their mediocre division.

The first obstacle standing in the way of implementing a major change is reaching a wall-to-wall agreement on the direction of change. A powerful tool that can be used to create such agreement is The Goal: The How-To Version” video. The use of this video is not limited just to the beginning of the implementation process. Reaching agreement on the change in direction is not a one-time effort. As the company moves in a new direction there will be some unavoidable diffusion. To prevent too much diffusion there is the need to repeatedly realign interpretations and periodically use the movie.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Theory of Constraints POOGI - Part 52: Dr. Goldratt’s book The Choice is better than The Goal

We are continuing our series based on The Goal by Eliyahu M Goldratt and the Theory of Constraints. {This series was co-written with Brad Stillahn.}

Most of you have read The Goal. Most of you enjoyed reading it. And most of you have lent or given a copy to someone you think will benefit from reading it. Today, it still sells as many copies a month as it did when it was first published.

Dr. Eli Goldratt’s newish book The Choice (his newest you will also find on this link) is even better than The Goal. It’s about thinking clearly and having a full life.

For those of you that follow Eli and the Theory of Constraints, you may know that when he was about twenty years old he chose as his goal in life “to teach the world to think”. What you may not know is that his daughter, Efrat, now a psychologist, chose as her life goal “to teach people how to be happy”.

Once again, he chose the format of a novel. In this one, Eli and Efrat have an ongoing conversation. Now 63, in this book Eli is summarizing their collective progress toward their respective goals.

In their conversation, Eli and Efrat chart the course for anyone and everyone to think clearly and have a full life. And in doing so, they reveal Eli’s unusual beliefs:

1. People are good. Rather than thinking that people are good, people tend to blame other people, or as Eli says “I want you to realize how careless we are in relating derogatory characteristics and intentions to people”. Once you blame someone, your ability to think clearly is blocked. “Blaming another person is not a solution… Blaming points us in the wrong direction, into a direction where we will not find a good solution. Even if the person is removed, in most cases the problem will stay. You will be able to refrain from blaming people when you are convinced there is no reason to blame them. Harmony exists in any relationship between people.”

2. Every conflict can be removed. “People’s perception is that conflicts are a given and the best we can do is to seek a compromise. When we face a conflict, especially when we cannot easily find an acceptable compromise, let’s do exactly the same thing scientists do when they encounter a contraction; let’s insist that one of the underlying assumptions is faulty. If, or should I say when, we pin down the underlying assumption that can be removed, we will remove the cause of the conflict; we solve the conflict by eliminating it.”

3. Every situation is exceedingly simple. “There is nothing wrong with people’s brainpower; there is something very wrong with people’s perception of reality. People believe that reality is complex, and therefore they are looking for sophisticated explanations for complicated solutions. Do you understand how devastating this is? The key for thinking like a true scientist is the acceptance that any real life situation, no matter how complex it initially looks, is actually, once understood, embarrassingly simple.”

4. Every situation can be substantially improved. “The undesirable effects people complain about are the result of a conflict—a conflict between the parties in cases of relationships, and an internal conflict in cases of individuals. People, and companies, lower expectations when they use protective mechanisms to camouflage from themselves the big chronic problems; the problems that they already gave up on resolving. Those who are not prepared will be blind to the stream of opportunities life presents them.”

5. Every person can reach a full life. “You claim that the only things standing in the way of me thinking clearly are some specific obstacles and practice. Rather than leaving it to chance—what people call good luck—my chances of living a full life will be much greater if I learn to think clearly. I’ll be able to generate, or at least to recognize, the right opportunities for me, and I’ll be better able to have more stamina to persistently follow enough of them to fruition.”

6. There is always a win-win solution. “For every relationship there is a change that will cause the parties to each achieve what they need from the relationship. Compromise is the attempt to share a finite cake. When do we find an acceptable compromise? When the perception is that the cake is not very important, or that it’s not too small to start with. But when the cake seems too small, seeking a compromise is a situation in which the more you win, the more I lose; seeking a compromise is, by definition, a win-lose approach. If we want our win to be bigger we have to ensure that the other side’s win will be bigger.”

To get The Choice at a price even lower than at Amazon, click on the book title. After you read the book, you may be interested in learning the TOC Thinking Processes. These are the tools Eli developed to help the rest of us systematically develop solutions to problems through rigorous cause and effect logic, just like he does in The Choice. The Management Skills Workshop will help your management team to learn and apply the Thinking Processes to your company. We’d be happy to point you in the right direction, so just call, email, or leave a comment below.

Here's to maximizing YOUR profits!

Dr Lisa Lang

(c)Copyright 2009, Dr Lisa, Inc. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Theory of Constraints POOGI - Part 51

We are continuing our series based on The Goal by Eliyahu M Goldratt and the Theory of Constraints. {This series was co-written with Brad Stillahn.}

What's my business worth ... now? continued

Brad: "What's happening on the deals that are getting done?"

Bob: "Seller's are being required to participate by providing owner financing. Banks and the SBA like to see the seller committed to the deal, and having owner financing as part of the deal does that. However, most of the deals that are getting done are using non-traditional financing."

Brad: "If transactions are down by 90%, are there fewer owners trying to sell?"

Bob: "Sure. There are 70% fewer businesses for sale. Some owners will not owner finance. Others have postponed selling for now. Some distressed businesses are running for cash, and will just close. Others are bypassing traditional financing and trying to sell with 100% owner financing."

Brad: "It seems as if the valuations should be dropping under these market conditions."

Bob: "For smaller transactions, and riskier transactions, if the deal is getting done at all, it's often for a lower price compared to a year ago. Then, multiples were in the 3 to 5 times EBITDA range, now they are in the 1 to 2 times EBITDA. These are the kind of deals you'd see main street business brokers handle.

Brad: "What happens to the value of a business that has suffered in these economic conditions?"

Bob: "If sales and/or profits have declined, it is difficult for a buyer to project future earnings. That makes the deal riskier, and most likely the business is worth a lot less, even if the seller has a very good story. The owner should get sales and earnings back on track as fast as possible. We like to see three to five years of improving performance to maximize the sales price."

Brad: "What's your recommendation to an owner that was planning on selling about now?"

Bob: "A good business should still sell for a good valuation. The most important thing is to be prepared. Have your books in order. Understand the selling process. Understand the due diligence process you'll be put through by the buyer. Assemble your team of experienced transaction attorney, CPA, sell-side M&A representative, and other appropriate advisors. Remember that while you'll sell your business once, the buyer may be very experienced in buying businesses. You don't want to be at a disadvantage by trying to conduct the selling process by yourself. Deal structures are very fluid now. You need to work with an advisor that is on top of things."

Brad: "Is there a silver lining?"

Bob: "Yes, for bigger and better businesses, there are classes of buyers with cash that are anxious to find good deals, and there aren't very many good deals right now. Our completed transactions, using a controlled auction process, continue to be at the same multiples as before." ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

What's your business worth? What do you want to sell it for? How are you going to close the gap? What's your exit plan? If you are a business owner that would like to sell your company or create your exit strategy, please contact Brad Stillahn at

Here's to maximizing YOUR profits!

Brad Stillahn

(c)Copyright 2009, Dr Lisa, Inc. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Theory of Constraints POOGI - Part 50

We are continuing our series based on The Goal by Eliyahu M Goldratt and the Theory of Constraints. {This series was co-written with Brad Stillahn.}

What's my business worth ... now?

Recent events have affected the value of privately held companies, including machine shops. The market is different. Demand is different. Supply is different. Availability of credit is different. Buyer's taste for risk is different.

In most cases-but not all-that means your business is worth less. We want you to bring your exit strategy up-to-date so you can manage your most valuable asset, your business. For an insider's view of what's happening and current business valuations, we're interviewing one of the top sell-side merger and acquisition specialists in the country, Bob Forbes.

Brad: "Bob, help us understand what's happened to market conditions for selling a privately owned business"

Bob: "As you know, with the turmoil in financial markets since last year, credit availability from traditional institutions has significantly decreased for financing business acquisitions. There has been a big drop, perhaps 90%, in completed transactions."

Brad: "Wow, that's huge, and at a time when many business owners have planned on selling."

Bob: "One complicating factor is a change of policy at the SBA. Both the buyer and seller could count on the SBA to guarantee loans up to $2,000,000 for goodwill (the difference between the value of assets sold and the total selling price). Now the SBA is only willing to guarantee $250,000. More than that requires a large application fee without any assurance of being approved. That's one reason fewer deals are getting done."

... to be continued.

Here's to maximizing YOUR profits!

Dr Lisa Lang

(c)Copyright 2009, Dr Lisa, Inc. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Theory of Constraints POOGI - Part 49

We are continuing our series based on The Goal by Eliyahu M Goldratt and the Theory of Constraints. {This series was co-written with Brad Stillahn.}

Do-it- yourself 'Viable Vision' continued ...

Brad: "Most businesses find that their fixed costs increase nearly proportionately when sales increase. How is this avoidable?"

Dr Lisa: "Yes, and some gleefully hit a sales goal only to notice that profits have decreased due to having to increase fixed costs to meet the goal."

Dr. Lisa: "By leveraging the resources they have. There needs to be a monitoring system for the performance of operations. By determining the reasons why due-date commitments are threatened, actions can be taken-using lean and six sigma tools-to improve performance, normally without adding resources."

Brad: "Can a small business owner lead this kind of improvement process?"

Dr. Lisa: "Sure. The companies going through the Velocity Scheduling System Coaching Program are doing that now. They are getting to 100% due date performance in about 2 months WITHOUT a consultant camped in their conference room and at a fraction of the price. Next, those companies will participate similarly in an on-line version of the Mafia Offer Boot Camp. The combination of those 2 programs will get those companies on their way to a Viable Vision."

Dr Lisa: "Actually, having the owner and his/her executive team really drive Viable Vision kind of improvement is the only way to go. They just need a proven process and little coaching so they know how to apply the concepts to their situation along the way."
If you are a business owner that would like to turn your company's sales level into its profit level in four years or less, please contact Brad Stillahn at with an email that says "I'm interested". We recommend our to develop your Mafia Offer, and our to achieve 'perfect' operations

Here's to maximizing YOUR profits!

Dr Lisa Lang

(c)Copyright 2009, Dr Lisa, Inc. All rights reserved.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The best Theory of Constraints self learning package ON SALE!

This is the package that I recommend most for people who really want to learn Theory of Constraints. What I like about it is that the tracks of the first 4 self learning videos match the tracks of the 4 Insights. So as your clicking around the Insights you can listen to Dr. Eliyahu Goldratt talking from the video CD.

There are 8 videos CDs (3 hours each) covering 1. Operations, 2. Finance & Measures, 3. Distribution and Supply Chain, 4. Project Management & Engineering, 5. Marketing, 6. Sales and Buy-In, 7. Managing People, and 8. Strategy & Tactics. Eliyahu M. Goldratt is the presenter in all 8 videos.

And there are 4 Insights coving the same first four topics as above. The Insights are like a PowerPoint presentation that you can click through an explore the topics in more detail.

Usually I recommend this package when it's on sale for $741 because it's such a good value. The 2 products sell for over $1400. But for the month of November 2009 you can get it exclusively (right here) for only $499.