1st Edition

The Human Constraint How Business Leaders Can Embed Continuous Innovation, Conflict Resolution, and Problem Solving Into Daily Practice

By Angela Montgomery Copyright 2024
    264 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    264 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    The Human Constraint is a business novel with supplementary material for business leaders. It is inspired by dozens of implementations of the Decalogue methodology in Europe and North America since 1996. The Decalogue blends Deming’s philosophy with the Theory of Constraints in a cohesive, systemic approach to management. The novel explores an increasingly complex, interdependent, and fast-changing world where companies must find a way to overcome obsolete mental models and embed continuous innovation in their operations with a coherent organizational model.

    The story in Part One unfolds during the financial crisis that developed after 2008 and illustrates how this affects a group of executives engaged in a transformation process. It charts their attempts through the crisis to transform part of an industry dominated by a zero-sum game mentality using a very different approach: an ethical and value-based supply chain where all stakeholders benefit.

    Through the narrative in Part One, readers are exposed to a way to embed continuous innovation, conflict resolution, and problem-solving in action. In Part Two they will find an introduction to a systemic method for management and the Thinking Processes from the Theory of Constraints.

    These Thinking Processes can help them develop the skills to:

    • Understand and analyze our current reality, as individuals and organizations.
    • Surface assumptions that keep us trapped in less-than-desirable situations.
    • Generate robust solutions/innovations.
    • Identify unintended consequences of what may seem like an effective idea and avert them upstream.
    • Resolve conflicts in a win-win way.

    The knowledge, methods, and tools to overcome obsolete mental models and practices exist. This book aims to present the reader, through narrative and supplementary material, with elements of a new way and new economics that are fit for purpose in our age of complexity.




    1.      Unreal City

    2.      Stability and Chaos

    3.      Vertigo

    4.      The Deming Dimension

    5.      Dreams and Secrets

    6.      A Conflict in a Cloud

    7.      A Gap in the Skyline

    8.      An Invisible Web

    9.      Treasure Hunt in Dumbo

    10.  An Unrefusable Offer

    11.  The Woes of Winter

    12.  They’re All Traders

    13.  Arrivederci New York

    14.  Shaker Heights

    15.  Pictures from an Exhibition

    16.  But We’re Only Just Getting Started

    17.  Spring Awakening

    18.  Stuck in the Middle

    19.  Counterpoint

    20.  Slow, Slow, Quick, Quick, Slow

    21.  All That Fall

    22.  Aftershocks

    23.  Oh, Canada

    24.  Enter A Ghost

    25.  Inherent Conflict

    26.  East Coast, West Coast

    27.  Fire in the Hole

    28.  A Celebration

    29.  The Original Thought

    30.  Choices

    31.  The Human Constraint

    32.  A New Economics


    PART TWO: Insights into a systemic management methodology and the Thinking Processes from the Theory of Constraints





    Dr. Angela Montgomery co-founded the first Decalogue Method company with Dr. Lepore in Milan, Italy in 1996 and co-founded Intelligent Management in Canada in 2010 to expand the work in North America. As a Partner of Intelligent Management, she has worked with CEOs and Executive Teams to break down barriers, build organizations as networks, create a positive culture, and accelerate growth. The Intelligent Management team helps leaders counter the sub-optimization that silo-thinking and behavior bring in organizations and radically improve performance to build sustainable prosperity.

    Angela’s years of experience in adult education, research, and writing have allowed her to contribute meaningfully over the years to the development and promotion of the Decalogue knowledge base since its inception. She has a Ph.D. from the University of London in Literature and Science and has published with Cambridge University Press, MacMillan, CRC Press, and Springer.