Problem Solving

Are you working on the right problems?

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 05-17-12

Lean is not all about waste, despite what we see in most definitions and applications. If it were about one thing (which oversimplifies things) it would be about problem solving, at all levels of the organization. We take problem solving for granted. Why? Because we’ve been doing it since we

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Building a Problem Solving Organization Presentation

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 05-15-12

I want to thank Enterprise Minnesota and the Center for Business & Industry for hosting me during the Lean Enterprise Summit held today. The following are my slides from my talk on building a problem solving organization.  

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To hell with your competitors, compete against perfection

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 05-10-12

  This is a quote from the book Lean Thinking by Jim Womack and Daniel Jones, and I think one of the most useful phrases brought out from this book. What does it mean? So many companies spend considerable amount of time focusing on their competitors: what are they doing?

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The failure of "Don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions!"

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 02-07-12

I head this approach many times, and in many different forms. Managers say “I don’t want people to bring me problems; I want them to bring me solutions.” Or “I don’t want more questions, I want answers.” I ran across this on the Harvard Business Review Blog in The No

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Fearless Problem Solving [Guest Post]

by Donald Sweigart on 06-14-11

Guest Post: Donald Sweigart worked with “The Body Shop @” which developed the “Star-Link Certified” Lean business model improving Profitability, CSI, and Cycle Time in the Collision Repair Industry. This model is now licensed by a Fortune 100 in it’s Industry-wide Lean Training. His passion is implementing Lean solutions in

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Entrepreneurship is problem solving

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 04-26-11

I’ve written before that problems solving is a key still for innovation, in 3 Key Stills that Enable Innovation. This is why we must be building problem solving skills at every level of the organization. Perhaps one of the most important aspects of this is simply defining the problem. It’s

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Houston, we have a problem…or don’t we?

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 12-08-10

Do you have problems in your organization? Does everyone agree on what they are? Teams worry about problem solving processes and problem solving skills. But if they can’t even agree on what would be a problem and what wouldn’t be, then what’s the point? Is the report or order being

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Problems across boundaries require a different approach

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 11-01-10

How do you engage other departments in problems? Most organizations do this at the wrong time. This is why efforts like value stream mapping exist. People we don’t engage across functions on an ongoing basis, we need over-the-top efforts to break in and start to solve those cross-boundary issues. But

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Don’t problem solve to infinity

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 10-18-10

Good problem statements define a gap to close. They do not just describe an undesirable condition that you would like to remove completely. Why does it matter? It comes down to when you consider yourself “done”, or at least done for now. David Allen of “Getting Things Done” fame talks

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Too Many Problems

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 07-22-10

My latest article, Too Many Problems, articulates that I see problem solving in organizations as much more than problem solving skills. Many times people roll out new problem solving skills thinking that is enough. But beyond that, you also need systems and infrastructure to support those skills, and the right

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