Problem Solving

Breaking Down the Problem

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 04-19-22

Problem-solving is always a battle to get more focused and specific in what gap we are trying to close. Both the capabilities of problem statements as well as breaking down the problems help us do this, but they are more than just steps in a problem-solving tool. I write about

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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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The 3-legged 5 Whys

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 02-09-22

When I wrote the book “People Solve Problems,” I approached the book in a tool-agnostic way. As far as the book is concerned, I don’t particularly care which problem-solving tools you are using. However, tools do still matter (which I also make clear in the book). Here’s a tool that

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Auditing Your Problem-Solving System

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 01-12-22

If you are an organization that does auditing or assessment, you should be looking at anything that’s important for success. This certainly should include your problem-solving. Whether you utilize Leader Standard Work, Layered Process Audits, or simply want to do an informal assessment, here are some things to think about

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The Power of Solving Small Problems

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 12-09-21

Fast Company published an article of mine, “The Power of Solving Small Problems.” I have observed even some of the most experienced and wise lean leaders struggle to get this principle correct, as I struggle with it as well. Perhaps that’s why I wrote it, to remind myself. Here’s a

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The Role of the Leader in a Problem Solving World

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 12-02-21

In “People Solve Problems,” I dedicate a whole section to the role of the leader. Whatever level of people-leader you find yourself in, this section of the book helps guide you to important aspects of your role. In this short video, I walk through a little bit of the role

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Learners Operate in “Perpetual Beta”

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 11-24-21

The very first problem-solving behavior I explore in People Solve Problems is to Learn Deliberately (Chapter 9). Learning is more than just a skill, just as problem-solving is more than just a tool. Learning deliberately is a mindset and behavior. One way to describe this is to hold our assumptions

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4 Steps for Small Daily Investments [from the archives]

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 05-04-21

What do you do when one of those little fires pops up? It’s not a big deal, it’s just a small problem. Put the fire out, move on to what’s next. After all, there are many important projects to complete. But of course, before you get to them, another fire

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Solving Complex Problems: Systems First, or Individual First?

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 08-31-20

Some problems in your organization permeate so thoroughly that you don’t know where to start. The problem statement usually starts with something quite broad, and of course, must be broken down to be solved. However, some of these large and complex problems are so invasive that the perspective we start

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Throw Away Your Favorite Lean Tool

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 08-06-20

Whether it’s problem-solving, or kaizen, or process optimization, or waste elimination…no matter what you’re trying to accomplish, you must have a firm understanding of the current reality. This doesn’t mean just the results, but the process or work or causes that lead to those results. Every lean thinker understands this.

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