April 20, 2014

Best of MFP: Healing the workplace: This isn’t a pharmacy.

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TweetWhen trying to overcome a person, team, or even an entire company that is not performing up to snuff, there is almost always an effort to find a one-time, quick fix that solves the problem.  At such time, consultants are brought in, or experienced internal personnel are reassigned, so that the problem can be dealt [...]

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Solving Problems with Nostalgia

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TweetHave you ever found yourself stuck with a dilemma and wishing you could just start all over again?  If you’ve ever felt that by going back to the start, especially if you knew then what you know now, you could avoid all the pratfalls and emerge in a much better spot, you need to ask [...]

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Magnetic Poetry: a problem statement A-ha!

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Tweet Shuffling the pieces around creates new statements. Back in April of this year, when I started to develop this blog, I wrote a series of posts on Elephant Biting. The concept behind these posts was simple: You can’t take on an entire, big problem all at once. Those problems need to be handled little [...]

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Change Management and the 5S Framework

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TweetA couple weeks ago, I wrote a post about Rube Goldberg Leadership, in which I related management and leadership practices to the 7 Wastes concept found in Lean thinking. That proved to be a fairly popular post by my modest standards, so I thought I’d take another swing at relating some more intangible activities to [...]

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Conformity, Innovation, and Muda

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TweetHow to stand out from the crowd when everyone else is moving about as quickly and rapidly as possible?  While everyone is flapping, shouting, kicking, rolling, and running about attempting to get noticed, who will actually be the one to draw attention to their ideas? The answer is simple:  The one who isn’t doing any [...]

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Sightseeing Tourists: A Continuous Improvement Idea

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TweetWe need more tourists at work.  While the hospitality industry would certainly agree, that’s not what I have in mind.  What we need are people to walk around, keep journals of what they see, and share their experiences with others.  When trying to generate improvements, people often get stuck when trying to look at their [...]

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Focus on the Problem: Your Customer is a Lens

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Tweet“Focus on the customer” might be an overused phrase.  It also might be entirely wrong.  At the very least, it’s inaccurate. Consider this familiar, but still powerful, example: You work in a hardware store.  One day, Bill comes in and indicates he wants a drill.  What does Bill need? You might be tempted to say [...]

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Critical Thinking & Creative Thinking: Combine Tools to Develop Insights

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TweetVery often, many of the solutions we develop when attempting to deal with a problem don’t result in long-term improvements.  Instead, they are band-aid approaches that only attempt to keep today’s fires at bay.  Unfortunately, those fires tend to rekindle, and we approach them, yet again, with another round of short-term “solutions.”  In order to uncover systemic [...]

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Elephant Biting: Three Tips for Seeing New Combinations.

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TweetAny time we take on a large project, there are always times when we feel like we’re getting stuck.  Rather than letting frustration or despair sink in, sometimes we simply need to approach the task from a different perspective. Every process we engage in involves an element of learning.  Often, those frustrating periods of apparent [...]

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Best of MFP: The Rules are the Problem

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TweetThe way in which you approach a problem determines the way in which you solve it. One of the most important lessons you will ever learn, is how to make your own rules.  In order to overcome obstacles and transform situations, others and yourself, you have to go beyond what you are told to do [...]

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