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Updated: May 11, 2023

One of my hobbies is solving problems and teaching problem-solving. The definition of a problem is a gap between an actual condition and a standard. Without standards, there cannot be a problem… which might be the biggest problem of all.

Five capabilities are necessary to become highly effective in problem-solving:

1. The capability to SEE problems. This requires having standards and understanding that any flow or work interruption is a problem.

2. The capability to ELEVATE problems. A problem elevation system must be in place and workers need to feel safe to ask for help and elevate issues

3. The capability to SOLVE problems. Scientific thinking is applied with the identification of the root cause and the validation of irreversible countermeasures.

4. The capability to SHARE learning from problem-solving. With this capability, each problem becomes a learning for the larger organization at the tactical or systemic level.

5. The capability to COACH to see, elevate, solve, and share. Leaders develop every employee as a problem solver. The enterprise becomes a learning organization.


1 Comment

Chris Chadwick
Chris Chadwick
May 11, 2023

I do not have your expertise, but the only element I would add to your picture is the root cause. Too often, I find our teams jump to solutions, making assumptions. If we pause, and investigate/ understand, we might be in a better position with the "response " and corrective actions.

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