Problem Solving

Northeast Shingo Prize Keynote Presentation on Problem Solving

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 10-06-11

The Northeast Shingo Prize recognizes business excellence regionally. They are established with the goal of making manufacturing facilities and other industries more competitive in the global marketplace, illustrating how world-class results can be achieved through the implementation of lean principles and techniques in core manufacturing and other business processes. This

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Call firefighting and band-aids what they are – but do them in a structured way

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 09-19-11

  Sometimes, firefighting is the right answer. Once the fire is burning, whether figuratively or literally, you must put it out. There’s nothing wrong with this. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be a reactive, firefighting organization in a structured way. What would you structure in this reactive mode? First,

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Why do we still use RE-training as a "solution" to problems so frequently?

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 08-17-11

Through my coaching efforts with clients, I get to see a lot of problems and a lot of solutions. I’ve never tried to take the solutions as data and categorize them. If I did, I think the most common solution people try is… retraining. Not training, RE-training. As in AGAIN.

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Leaning-out “dead wood” in a subcontractor-based business [Guest Post]

by Kurt Woolley on 05-23-11

Guest Post: Kurt Woolley is Lean Champion within Intel’s Fab/Sort Manufacturing (FSM) organization, and founder of Atmos Industries. See more on his LinkedIn profile at http://www.linkedin.com/pub/kurt-woolley/3/941/575. Do lean methods apply within a subcontractor-based business? Oh yes! In my recent journeys, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a sub-contractor business –

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10 Management Traps – and How to Avoid Them

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 04-30-11

Recently Steve Minter of Industry Week interviewed a range of people for an article he titled 10 Management Traps – and How to Avoid Them. The ten traps he lists are: 1. Not ‘Nipping it in the Bud’ 2. Squelching the Flow of Bad News 3. Doing Drop-Down Work 4.

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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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Lessons from the Road: Surfacing Problems Daily

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 03-21-11

This month I am starting a new column for Industry Week. The title of the column is Lessons from the Road. Lessons from the Road is the subtitle of our book The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Lean. In this new column, I hope to provide pragmatic and actionable advice for companies

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The Fine Line Between Micro-Management and Surfacing Problems

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 02-21-11

Not many people want to be the victim of micro-management. And most managers don’t espouse operating that way. But not all micro-management is created equal. As organizations pursue lean effort,s I see a tension between making problems visible and micro-management. Many organizations are very sensitive to anything that feels like

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If you’re not frustrated, then you’re not working on the right problem.

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 01-03-11

In my coaching, many of my conversations begin with a source of frustration by the individual. The source of frustration could be rooted in another person, or a team problem, or in their own abilities. But nonetheless, the frustration is there. This is a good thing. The philosophy that I’ve

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Matt Wrye’s Reflections from the Lean Experience

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 12-16-10

At the moment, I am teaching a Lean Experience at our Center for a group of mixed companies that include retail, transportation, micro-brews, and more. Recently, we delivered a private session at the company where lean blogger Matt Wrye works. Matt converted several of his lessons from the class into

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