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Category Archives: Operational Excellence

Critical Thinking, A Necessary Ingredient In Problem Solving

September 12, 2016 | Comments Off on Critical Thinking, A Necessary Ingredient In Problem Solving

The National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking defines critical thinking as the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully

  • conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information
  • gathered from observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication,
  • as a guide to belief and action.

Every organization must be nimble when solving new and recurring challenges. Everyone must be able to use critical thinking and creative problem solving to take action on these challenges.

In our selfie-obsessed, multi-tasking, twittering world it is easy to let our mental muscles atrophy as our thumbs become more flexible and fast. Business, government, nonprofits, and humans can’t afford the luxury of giving up the characteristic that gave our species its name; we are Homo sapiens, the THINKING people.

Because nobody reads long deep articles anymore, or so I’m told, here are 5, easy to follow critical thinking tips:

5 Critical Thinking Tips:

  1. Challenge every assumption, belief, fact, idea, suggestion, solution, conventional wisdom, experience.When we face a challenge, our brain is ready to take us down the tried and true path we’ve trod before. This is useful in many situations. But it is potentially disastrous when the challenge is new, nuanced, and nasty. Critical thinking requires us to Stop, Look, and Listen or the oncoming train will mow us down.

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Are your teams chasing all the problems – or focused on resolving the biggest?

April 1, 2016 | Comments Off on Are your teams chasing all the problems – or focused on resolving the biggest?

Chaoes versus Lean BI

When teams see problems everywhere, they find it hard to focus. If you’re managing with high level results alone, your data is not helping establish priorities, i.e. its not creating team focus. This leads to whack-a-mole – problems are never permanently resolved because folks don’t stay focused. They have to move to the next issue quickly because – they’re all hot!

To help create focus, every major area of business performance can and should be broken into Categories. Categories; like where an expense or issue occurs, why it occurs, by product family, by department, etc. If

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