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Don't Let This Happen to Your Work From Home Colleagues (Copy)

A client of mine has started to bring some of their employees back into the office. They’re not ending their work from home policies, but increasingly higher ranking staff are coming back to the mothership, particularly for important meetings. This shift makes sense for many reasons, but it’s having three unfortunate side effects. First, the work from home employees are beginning to have middle school flashbacks, where they’re...

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Jumping to a Solution (Gun Crime Edition)

Effective problem solving hinges on the ability to frame a problem properly. Not for nothing do people repeatedly trot out Einstein’s (purported) quote that “If I had an hour to solve a problem, I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about solutions.” Spending 92% of the time trying to understand the real problem is a good countermeasure to the very human tendency to leap to solutions. A...

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Craftsmanship, not Kaizen?

“Everyday improvement, everybody improvement, everywhere improvement.” That was Masaaki Imai’s, ahem, improvement on his earlier English translation of kaizen (which you can see in this video). Sadly, even though we’ve been preaching from this hymnal for more than 30 years, most organizations have a long way to go before the kaizen spirit is truly woven into its DNA. Perhaps there’s a better way to get people to embrace...

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How to Approach Your Problems the Right Way

One of the participants in my virtual workshop on better decision making suggested that I stop using the term “problem solving.” In his company, they use the term “problem learning.” I hadn’t heard that expression before, but I really like it. When we talk about “problem solving,” we’re subtly pushed towards finding an answer, fixing the situation, and moving on. That mindset leads to what I consider one of the biggest...

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Open Enrollment Class for "The Conclusion Trap" (Copy) (Copy)

Do you (or people in your organization) jump to solutions? Is it hard to get people to slow down before making decisions? Do you want to get better at solving problems?If so, you’ll be interested in an open enrollment class I’m teaching at the Stanford Continuing Studies program on July 11. “Better Decision Making: Avoiding the Conclusion Trap and Other Pitfalls” is a class based on my new book, The Conclusion Trap. The class...