Dr Eliyahu M Goldratt
BUSINESS SUPREMO and author of best-seller The Goal, Dr Eliyahu Goldratt, who has died of cancer, was considered a global leader and pioneer in the field of management. He spent his entire adult life fighting to show that it is possible to make this world a better place. Dr Goldratt believed it essential to have the honesty to see reality as it is, the courage to challenge assumptions, and above all, to use the gift of thinking.
Having applied these principles to various management fields, he created the Theory of Constraints, a model used by international business. His concepts and teachings are described as having expanded beyond management and are being used in healthcare, education, counselling, conflict resolution process, government, agriculture and personal growth across the globe. His father, Avraham Goldratt, was a member of Israel’s first Knesset.
As a prolific writer, many of his business books are in novel form. The Goal, featured a guru like character named Jonah. The name derives from the biblical story of Jonah and the whale in which the prophet tries to evade God’s call to preach repentance to the people of Ninevah, Israel’s enemies. Dr Goldratt saw Jonah as the reluctant prophet, afraid to heed his calling because he considered it too difficult, and he stretched the analogy to describe successful participants in his effective thinking skills course, as Jonah’s. We are all reluctant prophets, he felt, but he insisted great things are within the reach of everyone, provided they set a “lofty goal” for their lives.
Dr Goldratt was a consultant to many leading organisations around the world, including many Israeli corporations dealing with military and intelligence issues. His methods allowed business users to achieve targets within a stated time frame.
Dr Goldratt extended his theory to benefit children, parents and teachers internationally, including autistic children. The Theory of Constraints is considered to be one of the most effective business tools and is required reading on many business courses.
For me, Dr Goldratt, who many knew simply as Eli, was not Jonah but God’s great whale, sent to save each of us from wasting our gifts.
He is survived by his wife, two children and grandchildren.
Dr Goldratt: setting a lofty goal