The 25 Straws
That Broke The Manager’s Back
Jamie Flinchbaugh
Introduction
Manager’s
Workload
Right amount?
Overloaded?
Overwhelmed?
What percentage of the manager’s time is
spent on p...
The 25 Problems Problem
You Your
Team
Your
Team’s
Problems
Not Your Problems
Your team has 25 problems. But these are NOT ...
What are your problems?
You
Your Problems
What
Problems
+ Barriers
Get In
Their
Way
Your problems are:
 The barriers that...
PROBLEMS
PROBLEM
SOLVING
CULTURE +
BEHAVIORS
PROBLEMS
MGMT +
SYSTEMS
PROBLEM
SOLVING
METHOD +
SKILLS
The Manager as System...
What capabilities do we
cultivate to surface and
solve problems.
• Good problem statements
establish our vector for
improv...
How do we manage the
process of surfacing,
engaging in, and solving
problems.
• Build the work in order to
make problems v...
Surface Problems by a Process
What behaviors support a
strong problem solving
culture
• Do we surface problems
quickly?
• Do we write down the
really ha...
A Behavior Change
How it’s done How it should be done
Problem Solving Dimensions
PROBLEMS
PROBLEM
SOLVING
CULTURE +
BEHAVIORS
PROBLEMS
MGMT +
SYSTEMS
PROBLEM
SOLVING
METHOD +
S...
Jamie Flinchbaugh, Lean Learning Center
Jamie@LeanLearningCenter.com /
www.LeanLearningCenter.com
Blog: www.JamieFlinchbau...
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The 25 Problems Problem

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This presentation is on transforming how problems are managed and solved in organizations today. It is being delivered for the Iaccoca Institute at Lehigh Unversity.

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The 25 Problems Problem

  1. 1. The 25 Straws That Broke The Manager’s Back Jamie Flinchbaugh
  2. 2. Introduction Manager’s Workload Right amount? Overloaded? Overwhelmed? What percentage of the manager’s time is spent on problems?  Those chosen  Those that pop up and demand attention How many would describe their jobs entirely as solving problems?
  3. 3. The 25 Problems Problem You Your Team Your Team’s Problems Not Your Problems Your team has 25 problems. But these are NOT your problems. Your problems are not the sum total of your direct reports’ problems. You do not have 25 problems. You have your own problems.
  4. 4. What are your problems? You Your Problems What Problems + Barriers Get In Their Way Your problems are:  The barriers that prevent progress  Breakdowns in your systems  Opportunities that enable success across the work of your direct reports
  5. 5. PROBLEMS PROBLEM SOLVING CULTURE + BEHAVIORS PROBLEMS MGMT + SYSTEMS PROBLEM SOLVING METHOD + SKILLS The Manager as System Architect The role of the manager is not to solve all of the problems but to build the systems capable of solving problems at every level.
  6. 6. What capabilities do we cultivate to surface and solve problems. • Good problem statements establish our vector for improvement • The ability to explore current reality begins with the question of what do we need to learn more about? • Turning the Plan – Do – Check – Act wheel as we improve through experimentation • Tools may include A3s, DMAIC, 5 Whys and more – but how they are used matters most PROBLEM SOLVING METHOD + SKILLS
  7. 7. How do we manage the process of surfacing, engaging in, and solving problems. • Build the work in order to make problems visible – 5S, just-in-time, kanban are all mechanisms to accomplish this objective • A process to surface includes definition of what is a problem, how to surface it, to whom, and how they will respond • Are we tracking the problems and the response PROBLEMS MGMT + SYSTEMS
  8. 8. Surface Problems by a Process
  9. 9. What behaviors support a strong problem solving culture • Do we surface problems quickly? • Do we write down the really hard problems that we have no idea how to solve? • Do we dig deeper and understand cause and effect? • Do we work problems across boundaries? PROBLEM SOLVING CULTURE + BEHAVIORS
  10. 10. A Behavior Change How it’s done How it should be done
  11. 11. Problem Solving Dimensions PROBLEMS PROBLEM SOLVING CULTURE + BEHAVIORS PROBLEMS MGMT + SYSTEMS PROBLEM SOLVING METHOD + SKILLS
  12. 12. Jamie Flinchbaugh, Lean Learning Center Jamie@LeanLearningCenter.com / www.LeanLearningCenter.com Blog: www.JamieFlinchbaugh.com Find Me 12

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