Problem Solving

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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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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How more information doesn’t lead to better decisions

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 12-06-10

I recently applied to refinance a mortgage. Of course, bad mortgages were the tracks which the economic train derailed from. New regulations are inevitable when that happens as elected officials want to show their constituents that they fixed it. I’ve gotten to see some of those new regulations and did

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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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There is no water problem

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 10-15-10

…there are many water problems. Water issues around the world from flooding to sanitation is perhaps one of the most under-publicized issues in the world, relative to the impact. Perhaps this is because the issues are very correlated to income and development. Underdeveloped countries face the biggest problems. That’s one

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