i borrowed this definition from Dr.Eliyahu M. Goldratt in his 1984 book titled The Goal,The five focusing steps

Theory of Constraints is based on the premise that the rate of goal achievement is limited by at least one constraining process. Only by increasing flow through the constraint can overall throughput be increased. [1]

Assuming the goal of the organization has been articulated (e.g., "progressive America now and in the future") the steps are:

  1. Identify the constraint (the resource or policy that prevents the organization from obtaining more of the goal)
  2. Decide how to exploit the constraint (make sure the constraint's time is not wasted doing things that it should not do)
  3. Subordinate all other processes to above decision (align the whole system or organization to support the decision made above)
  4. Elevate the constraint (if required or possible, permanently increase capacity of the constraint; "buy more")
  5. If, as a result of these steps, the constraint has moved, return to Step 1. Don't let inertia become the constraint.

So much time is spent on progressive radio talking about how little President Obama has accomplished, and how HE should make this or that law happen, and how he's a corporatist, etc., etc., etc. Consequently, progressives are increasingly more discouraged, and talk show hosts and guests are given more and more to the daily whine about what he hasn't done in each situation and that it feels as if either nothing is being done by him, or what has been done is not enough.Today i was struck by how casually some talking head (no disrespect meant) mentioned that the house passed energy legislation a year ago, and that is just starting to be addressed in the senate. Then i flashed back to during the health care debate that there were at least 295 bills passed in the House that were stuck in the Senate. The truth is that if all of our energy had been placed on forcing the Senate to take up and pass those bills, things would feel completely different. That is clearly THE CONSTRAINT and we have all been reduced to the inertia of looking elsewhere, creating anecdotal memes, and comfortably squatting ourselves in the defeated position of not having received the change we voted for. Thom Hartmann, whom i respect, used to always maintain a more objective perspective, but this fundamental truth has not been a part of the dialogue for a long time. Without this perspective, conversations just are not grounded well and end up with no real solutions. I understand that talking about the Senate day after day, show after show, probably makes for boring radio, but an educated, directed Progressive America armed with information and a purpose might actually make things happen


theory of constraints-the inertia of anecdotes


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