Why Were You Late for Work?

Logic Trees There is a simple way of diagnosing a problem, and then finding a solution.  It is called “the five whys?” No doubt you have heard of it, it is a way of refining a problem until you get to its cause. When faced with a problem ask why it happened. Then ask again. […]

The Solution to Everything

Management is full of solutions… There is always another management solution.  Something that we must invest in.  Over the past 20 years or so the solutions I have seen include: Analytics Big Data Big Scale Value Analysis Customer Journey Mapping Customer Relationship Management Customer Satisfaction Measurement Business Process Re-engineering Business Process Outsourcing Near Shoring Off […]

4 Ways to Solve a Problem

An apocryphal story: A man you know is hungry.  There are 4 ways you could solve his problem: Slap him about a bit. This will take his mind of it.  Hunger gone, problem solved. Give him a fish to eat.  Hunger gone, problem solved. Give him a fishing rod and show them how to fish.  Hunger gone, problem solved. Develop a […]

Go, Look, Understand

Problem solving To solve a problem you need to understand the problem. Understanding comes at all sorts of places: Opinions We all have opinions, mental models of how things work and people behave.  Our opinions help us box off and make sense of the world. Data Numbers and patterns.  Information that helps us see how […]

Problem Solving – All Buck and No Bang

There are two ways to solve a problem: First order problem solving: Also known as the quick fix. This type of problem solving removes the issue.  E.g. getting the information you need to finish a task.  But it doesn’t do anything to stop the problem happening again. Fixing a problem this way often causes a […]

Where Do You Keep Your Ketchup?

Diversity It is a little known fact that people in the U.K. tend to keep their ketchup in the cupboard.  People in the States tend to keep it in the fridge. I know what you are thinking – “not me” (it is a generalisation) and more importantly “so what?” Problem solving The “so what” comes […]

The Problem with Cause and Effect

We think in straight lines Cause and effect. If I do this, then that will happen.  If I make this change then I will get that outcome. Unfortunately the world isn’t like that.  An initiative might work for a while, but then it will stop or backfire. Unintended consequences and side effects bedevil us.  Performance will plateau or […]

Marshmallows and the Cure for Everything

Test and learn Now I’m married with daughters I don’t go out that often. Nightclubs and cinemas are a thing of the past (unless it is to watch Frozen… 4 times and counting). An evening in front of the TV is a treat. I sat down last night to watch a re-run of House.  It […]

5 Creative Ways to Brainstorm Solutions

This is a Guest Post It is hard finding good solutions to your process issues How do you get those creative juices flowing and think outside of the box? In this article we talk through some creative ways to find answers to your process problems! 1. Play the “why” game! Those of you who have young children will have […]

A Bad Attitude

It happens… Some times it all goes a bit Pete Tong. (An explanation for any American readers).  Things don’t go according to plan: Your deliveries are too slow Your operation costs too much Your customer service is too…  Well it is rubbish. How do you respond?  There are two ways: When it goes belly up there are two […]