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"The Gold Mine" Book Review by Stephen Parry

Posted by Stephen Parry on Dec 13, 2012 12:39:12 PM

The Gold Mine: A Novel of Lean Turnaround (2005) by Michael Ballé and Freddy Ballé contains some gems. Its format is very similar to The Goal (2004) by Eliyahu Goldratt -- a novel-style portrayal of a company trying to get back to profitability, so there is a case for comparison.

The Gold Mine illustrates Lean Manufacturing Principles, whereas The Goal uses a framework based on a theory of constraints.

In terms of the storyline, The Gold Mine is a little weak because it is difficult to get to know the characters or feel any concern or empathy for them. In this aspect The Goal wins hands down.

Lean Difference LI

In regard to practical and effective theory of management (i.e. Lean Production), The Gold Mine is far superior. As this book is a bit more of a case study or documentary, there are some excellent practical examples within the work environment.

In conclusion, if you want a good story and poor theory then The Goal is a better choice. However, if you want something that works in practice, The Gold Mine is a clear winner.

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Topics: Lean, Operating Strategy, Operations Strategy, Organisational Design, Service Delivery

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