Problem Solving

Creativity, Problem Breakdown, and Problems Such As Eliminating Approvals

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 06-22-22

There are many problems where we struggle with things such as creativity and breaking down the problem. One such problem that is frequently voiced is the elimination of bureaucracy. You cannot just eliminate bureaucracy. What can you do? You can break down the problem, understand the elements and contributing factors.

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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,

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

Your Problem Solving Spectrum

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 09-08-21

Your spectrum of problems that your team engages with can span from firefighting to strategic breakthroughs, and many levels in between. However, it is very difficult for a team to operate all across the spectrum at once. You have a critical mass of problem-solving efforts and that anchors what your

Read More