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Most mines are struggling to reach their targets. Their costs are higher than expected, and they are under pressure to cut corners, all while grades are declining. Their managers’ stress levels are very high and they are under ever more pressure on safety and social obligations. Much of management’s time is spent dealing with finding ways to catch up and meet their targets.

Every day they are caught up in firefighting, silo behaviours, finger-pointing between various departments. Managers and frontline leaders are working long hours with limited success. Engagement of especially frontline leaders is poor. This environment creates a straitjacket from which employees and managers can only escape with difficulty.

The Theory of Constraints (TOC) provides the theoretical underpinning to enable managers and employees to use the best of current management theory, to mitigate the parts holding performance back  and to reap benefits previously considered unachievable. Because we focus on changing the way people think to better align with the reality on the ground, significant results appear very quickly.

We also need to adjust organizational culture, the Achilles heel of most productivity interventions. Instead of a change program we need a change platform which allows bottom up initiatives driven by engaged employees.

At Stratflow, we have developed a change platform, the Productivity Platform, that makes this possible. Over 20 years and in more than 90 mining interventions, this has typically delivered 25% more output with the same resources. This has delivered value to clients such as Anglo American, De Beers, Gold Fields and Glencore.


The prevailing mining management paradigm and how it limits operational performance.

How to build on this paradigm for superior performance- what to keep, what to change and what to change to.

The basic principles of TOC and how it is applied in Operations, Supply Chain and Projects.

How to quickly build a productivity platform, (a dual management operating system) what it does, how it frees up managerial time, stabilizes production and lowers cost, and increases engagement

Case studies showing application of these concepts.


Hendrik Lourens is the owner of Stratflow, a company that provides solutions to mining companies that are looking for immediate and significant results. Stratflow solves its client’s problems by enabling them to reliably meet production and cost targets, while improving on safety, lowering stress levels and becoming more innovative.

Hendrik has qualifications in Physics, Polymer Science, and an MBA. He has worked at Director level in manufacturing businesses and for a number of Tier 1 companies. On completing the “Managing the Theory of Constraints Way” in 2010, he became the first practitioner to pass all exams involved in the TOC Body of Knowledge within one year. His focus is on applying Complexity Science & Theory of Constraints to deliver breakthrough results. He has worked with companies such as BHP, Anglo American, Aurizon, Qantas, John Holland, CPB, and Downer as well as published in various journals on efficiency and innovation. 

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Hendrik Lourens

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