PBTO: Asking the Right Questions and Questioning the right things with Dr. Alan Barnard


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In this conversation with @DrAlanBarnard, we explore how the principles of the Theory of Constraints (originally created by Dr. Eliyahu Goldratt) can be used to not only drive significant business results but also to help us make high stake decisions as leaders.

In this freewheeling conversation, we explore Dr Barnard’s story about how he met with Dr. Goldratt and his famous motto. We explore who is a true expert.

He shares how he got into an argument with Dr. Goldratt and how he then formed a life long connection with Dr. Goldratt.

He shares his most important lessons from all his interaction with Dr. Goldratt

What is a Life Goal? The definition of a Life goal is a “Dream taken seriously!


I will not sacrifice my goal for anyone and I will not sacrifice anyone for my goal!


He also introduces the concept of Theory of Constraint then, shares what is a constraint and the different kinds of constraints that we might face in any given system (Market/demand (external), Capacity (internal), Supply (external), Cash (Internal), Management Attention (internal) and probably the most crucial in any business.

He also shares two ways to improve a constraint and therefore significantly improve your impact. He shares the importance of “Flow” or “Throughput” in any given system and how “Flow” is two-dimensional. He also shared the importance of understanding and increasing flow (time and velocity). He also shares different Ways to improve any given system.

He also shares the story of how Tata Steel UK went from 1 Million Pound loss per day to 1 Million pound profit per day using Theory of constraints

We constantly see good people make bad decisions. He explains why this happens and how to avoid them. He talks about what he calls as the agency equation.

We then move into the realm of individuals and he shares how to identify what constrains our belief systems? Really? The power of questions – Really or unless.

He also shares insights about how our minds work? He talks about the importance of learning prompt engineering to engage not just chatGPT but ourselves as well.

He also shares insight on how to ask good questions as a leader and the 2 steps to make a breakthrough in any field. He also shares insight on how to measure people’s performance and its impact on the business.

Dr. Goldratt had started a movement called “Viable Vision”. He shares more information about this viable vision and how can one go about achieving the same in their business.

We then understand his own learning process and the key people he learns from – Herbert Simon and Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

What is so obvious to him that all of us miss?

We don’t usually learn from experience but from Experiments


In Summary:

We need to remember the 4F’s – Flow, Focus, Finish and Fast Feedback to become influential and impactful leaders. This has been one of the most insightful conversations I have had in a long time on the show and I learnt a ton from the same. Hope you learn a lot as well.

You can watch the entire conversation on YouTube here.

More information about the resources we mentioned in the conversation:

1. Goldratt Research Labs: https://goldrattresearchlabs.com

2. Dr. Efrat Goldratt-Ashlag:  / dr-efrat-goldratt-ashlag-44046212a

3. My interview with Dr. Efrat:  • Delivering Projects on time, on budge…

Books discussed in the video:

Goldratt’s Rules of Flow by Dr. Efrat Goldratt-Ashlag: https://amzn.to/3FrAa25

The Goal by Dr. Eliyahu Goldratt: https://amzn.to/3Q0iXSe

Antifragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb: https://amzn.to/3s0ieIK

Blackswan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb: https://amzn.to/40d9ewz

Apps mentioned by Dr. Alan Barnard: https://harmonyapps.com/apps/harmony-…

Dr. Alan Barnard’s podcast – https://dralanbarnard.com/category/im…

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Mukesh Gupta
I currently work for SAP as Customer advocate. In this capacity, I am responsible to ensure that the voice of the customer is being heard and play the bridge between customers and SAP. Prior to joining SAP, I have worked with different organizations serving in different functions like customer service, logistics, production planning & sales, marketing and business development functions. I was also the founder-CEO of a start-up called "Innovative Enterprises". The venture was in the retail & distribution business. I blog at http://rmukeshgupta.com.


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