Tag: problem-solving

Using Data in Problem-Solving

Several years ago, I was called to help an organization that was experiencing system outages in their call center. After months of outages and no effective action, they appointed an Operations Analyst to collect data and get to the bottom of the problem. Once they had data, the managers met monthly to review it. At

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Fill in the blanks

I’ve been noticing what’s missing lately. In some ways, its harder to see what’s not there than what is. But there’s lost of useful information in what isn’t said, as well as what is. For example: A manager, talking about one of the people who reported to him said: “He’s difficult to manage.” What’s missing?

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Fixing the Quick Fix

Here in the United States, our business culture tends to be action-oriented. We value the ability to think fast and act decisively. These qualities can be strengths. However, like most strengths, they can also be a weakness. Taking action when you don’t know the facts can lead to irreparable harm. Deciding too quickly before you’ve

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The Confusing Field of Coaching

I noticed at the recent agile conference that there were lots of people who billed themselves as agile coaches, and several sessions on coaching. Seemed like more of both than in past years. I consider myself a coach, too, though not with a capital C.  I usually coach managers or teams, and sometimes coaches. Mostly,

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A Coaching Toolkit

As a coach, your job is not to solve or do—it’s to support other people as they develop skills and capabilities and as they solve problems on their own. When it comes to coaching, one size does not fit all. You need to have a variety of practices in your toolkit in order to approach

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Facing Up to the Truth

(c) 2001-2010 Esther Derby “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, Act II, Scene 2 The other day I was skimming the Harvard Management Update when a section in bold red print caught my eye: “Why don’t more organizations stop and think? Because they

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Three States in Problem Solving

“Nothing is more dangerous than an idea, when it’s the only one you have.” Emile-Auguste Chartier There are three states in problem solving. Not enough ideas Too many ideas Just the right number of ideas In the first case (stuck) the task is to generate ideas. In the second case (stuck in churn) the task

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