Blog

How To Do an Effective Personal Work Retreat

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 09-01-22

No matter what your profession, everyone should consider at some point in time a personal work retreat. For me, it is usually about research and writing. Certainly, almost all of People Solve Problems was written across multiple retreats up to the mountains. Bill Gates would take his “think weeks” away

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The Important Gap Between Observation and Perception

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 07-26-22

Whether in problem-solving, or broad lean behaviors, or seeing the customer as an entrepreneur, there is much articulated about the idea of going to see for yourself. There are many terms for it, such as “direct observation” that we articulated in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Lean, or Gemba commonly used

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Overdesign, Overprocessing, and Overly-Complex

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 07-19-22

It’s too complicated. I don’t understand. It doesn’t work. It’s not for me.  Whether launching a new product, or a new company initiative, these might be phrases that you’ve heard. It stems from overdesigning the solution. It shows up as the waste of over-processing, doing more than your customer requires

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Select the Third-Best Solution

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 05-18-22

Problem-solving is ultimately about developing solutions, or better said, implementing solutions that work. This means that what actually works is an important filter on all the potential solutions that we may become enamored with. I cam across this interesting quote, thanks to The Economist’s daily Espresso Briefing, from the inventor

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3 Under-Appreciated Lessons on Entrepreneurship

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 05-12-22

Recently I was giving a very, very brief speech at Lehigh University at an event with the Baker Institute honoring entrepreneurs and the teaching of entrepreneurship. It wasn’t originally meant to be a topic of any substance, but I can’t pass up the opportunity to speak to some students and

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Problem Solving With the Board of Directors

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 02-23-22

Management teams run the company, and the board of directors provides governance and direction to do so. That seems simple enough to maintain some role clarity. A useful guiding phrase, repeated often by those with board experience, is “noses in, fingers out.” The meaning of that phrase is that you,

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Steps to Running an Effective Book Club

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 02-16-22

A long time ago I was running an off-shift in operations. Late at night, we didn’t have any resources coming to train the team, and so if we wanted to learn, we were on our own. We began reading and applying books, beginning with two books from Kiyoshi Suzuki, The

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Decision Making Is About Process, Not Outcomes

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 02-10-22

I happened to be watching the NFL playoffs recently. The game was going into overtime, and a coin toss determines who gets the ball first. This was the clip, and listen to what the announcer says at the end… Watch Here  For those not wanting to watch, he said “the

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Should Your Lean Journey Include Certification?

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 01-27-22

This article was originally published in March 2021.    I’ve been asked to help dozens of clients with their lean certification plans at some point in my engagement. How should we design our lean certification program? This is often the question presented to me. Before you get to design, you

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What Refereeing Has Taught Me

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 01-26-22

Those who know my teaching and coaching also know that I love to draw examples from my long tenure as a soccer coach. First, the examples are very relatable even if you aren’t a fan of soccer. Second, I am a fan of soccer, having been involved at some level

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