People Solve Problems Episode 2 with Special Guest Mark Graban

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 07-20-23
        In an engaging episode of the podcast, host Jamie Flinchbaugh welcomes distinguished guest, Mark Graban. The conversation provides invaluable insights into management, problem-solving, and risk mitigation methodologies, drawing from Mark’s wealth of experience and expertise. Mark begins the discussion by emphasizing the importance of failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA), a tool used to identify potential failures in a system, product, or process. He stresses the value of FMEA in evaluating the likelihood of a mistake, its severity, and its detectability, which can help organizations prioritize and manage risks. The method, despite its subjective nature, can help companies avoid mistakes that could be detrimental to their business or clients.  Further into the discussion, Mark brings up the concept of “lean startup” and the idea of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). He argues that while an MVP approach may be suitable for low-risk ventures like music discovery platforms, it might not be the best choice for high-stakes industries like banking or healthcare where the cost of failure can be extraordinarily high. The conversation then steers toward the idea of psychological safety, where Mark cites Amy Edmondson, a renowned scholar in the field. According to Mark, Edmondson categorizes mistakes into three distinct types: those that shouldn’t occur in routine processes, those that are unanticipated due to differing circumstances, and those that happen at the frontiers of innovation where there is a high level of uncertainty. The ability to distinguish between these types can be crucial for businesses to learn from their mistakes and foster a culture of innovation. As the dialogue winds down, Jamie and Mark discuss the implications of their discussion for startups. They agree that it’s crucial for companies, especially new ones, to understand the severity of the risks they’re taking, ensuring that investors are on the same page with them about the potential for failure. This episode with Mark Graban offers a deep dive into the mechanisms of risk management, offering useful perspectives for any organization striving to improve its problem-solving and innovation processes. Be sure to connect with Mark on LinkedIn and check out his website for more insights.  Don’t miss this informative episode with Mark, where his insightful ideas are bound to spark thought and foster new ways of thinking about how to approach risks in your organization.