Creating Greater Organizational Capacity
From Training to Installing a system
attempt to shift the problem solving
style of an organization is likely
to run into both the culture and
the senior leadership style. The
services proposed here are generic,
and need to be reconfigured to
fit a particular situation. A training
course can also be a way to check
out how new ideas might clash or
coincide with a culture. Or
it can be an
exercise in futility. Please contact
me for an
initial conversation if you are
interested in any of the options
OUTCOME: Addressing your current organizational problems and learning the problem solving model.
Spending 1-2 hours/week on the phone reviewing the toughest problems you're facing, and how to approach them most effectively.
Typically this option is only available for someone who has attended one of the various trainings on the PS2 model. The purpose is to extend that learning by applying it to real-world issues in the organization.
This option works well for someone directing a specific problem solving effort (such as a task force leader or project manager) as well as someone overseeing a wider domain (such as a department head or division executive).
Training in Problem Solving
OUTCOME: Training for participants and possible strategies for addressing the problems they face.
A one- or two-day course covering the basic problem solving model. Class participants are asked to bring in the tough problems that challenge them the most. Those situations become the case materials for the course. During the exercises, they will analyze those problems, identify their essential nature, and plot out a strategy for attacking them.
In the longer version, we can also cover the implications for leadership. The focus shifts to how to cultivate and support problem solving below the participant. The material covers how to frame problems initially and how to delegate for the greatest leverage of staff time and talent.
For this offering I have an affiliation with Barnes & Conti; they have blended their expertise in corporate instruction in with the Problem Solving model for a high-quality, professional course ofering. They have instructors able to deliver the course anywhere around the United States. I have trained their instructors and can guarantee their qualifications to teach the material.
Solving a Tough Problem
OUTCOME: Training for participants and a significant problem solved for the organization.
This is an excellent way to explore (and hopefully demonstrate) the utility of the model by taking on a significant organizational problem. The participants are not "students" but more like a task force. They work directly on solving the problem through a series of meetings. They will likely interview stakeholders, collect data, solicit input from others through focus groups, explore options, and pilot a solution.
The group should have a clear charter to fix a
problem, not just make a recommendation.
They should have the authority to secure
resources, take action, and get on the
calendar of key players.
Installing a new problem solving system
OUTCOME: Training for the participants, the solution of several problems for the organization, and the installation of a system for problem solving that can frame future problem solving efforts.
The key to this most elaborate option is six people working together on six problems over about six months.
Imagine a key group of employees focused on addressing several strategically critical problems within the company. They meet frequently over a half a year to learn the model and apply it to real life issues. It is target practice with live ammo! Everyone they work with in the course of solving these key problems is introduced to a new process for doing the work.
A critical complement to this program is orienting top executives on how to play their unique role in this new problem solving approach. Leadership and robust problem solving are intimately intertwined. And, installing this new model will address several issues leaders often find frustrating:
If you are wondering how this program could be tailored for your organization, I encourage you to contact me for an initial discussion.