Dr Eliyahu M Gol­dratt

The Jewish Chronicle - - Obituaries - DEBI ROBERTS

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

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