People Solve Problems Episode 5 with Special Guest Elisabeth Swan
In this episode of the People Solve Problems podcast, host Jamie Flinchbaugh interviews Elisabeth Swan, co-founder of the Just-in-Time Café and a seasoned expert in continuous improvement with over 30 years of experience in the industry. As a consultant, coach, instructor, and podcast host, Elisabeth brings a wealth of knowledge to the table. In their conversation, they explore collaboration, ideation, role clarity, and identifying blind spots in problem-solving efforts.
Elisabeth discusses the importance of collaboration in problem solving and shares her research on what fosters the best idea flow. Turns out people don’t do their best thinking at work, so it’s key to allow them the time and space for ideation on their own. Then you can engage team members to expand on innovative solutions together. She emphasizes the value of diverse input and encourages everyone to participate in the process.
Elisabeth also shares a compelling story from her work with Starwood Hotels and Resorts and Marriott, where a shift in problem-solving roles led to a lasting positive impact on workplace safety. She emphasizes the significance of event-driven roles, where the focus is on addressing the immediate situation rather than adhering to rigid job titles.
On the topic of identifying and addressing blind spots, Elisabeth highlights the importance of one-on-one conversations to uncover unspoken concerns and challenges. She mentions a fishbowl approach, where difficult topics were brought to the forefront for open discussion, creating a culture of transparency and open communication.
Elisabeth’s insights and real-life examples in this podcast episode underscore the importance of collaboration, ideation, role clarity, and open communication in successful problem-solving efforts. Check out her LinkedIn profile for more information about her and her latest book, Picture Yourself a Leader: Illustrated Micro-Lessons for Navigating Change.