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Problems are just opportunities to improve.


Be your own worst enemy, that way you can't be surprised

Ritual and Culture

Cultivate a culture of integrity and honesty to address the pain and not shoot the messenger that points out that systems are not working.

The difficulty is that bad news is taken as pessimism, but conversely pessimism has widely become falsely misinterpreted as intelligence. So need to create a dedicated ritual in time and space where everyone must speak their truth on the problems they see and why they are occuring.


Create rituals that help get into the right head space to own problems objectively without taking them personally

Leaders need to show the way by being brutally honest with indentifying their own failures in critical reflection.


Negativity and pessimism has widely become falsely misinterpreted as intelligence.

Once you commit to action don't dwell on the negative. What will be will be, move forward with optimism and have fun tackling the problem.


Choose to be optimistic

Investigation Techniques

Establish frameworks to define problem types and evolve skills to address them more effectively. Follow the flow upstream to check for the origin of the pain.


Better an open wound than silent cancer, a problem well defined is on the path to being solved.

  • Simple: The impact of cause and effect are well-defined. Simple data analysis to monitor and easily understood workflows to prevent or fix problems without much experience. Best practice exists
  • Complicated: Need domain expertise/experience to understand the problem and how to fix with decision tree in the workflow map. Best practice analysis
  • Complex: Requires analysis and reflection, ad-hoc problem solving with workflows to help solve the problem. Resolution is not a predictor of the future. Experts don't exist Experimentation and outcomes prove what works.
  • Chaotic: Difficult to understand the relation between cause and effect. No obvious pattern to follow. Financial markets, highly dynamic and personal, results reflect changes in time and complex data structures.

Solutions are much more likely to arrive in the shower than at a brainstorming meeting

Kaizen sources of Waste

Don't be lazy

Follow the flow upstream to solve the problem at source

  • Defects: Scrap or products that require rework.
  • Excess processing: Products that must be repaired to satisfy customers needs.
  • Overproduction: When there are more parts in production than customers are purchasing. This type of waste spells big trouble for an organization.
  • Waiting: A person or process inaction on the manufacturing line.
  • Inventory: A valuable product or material that is waiting for processing or to be sold.
  • Transportation: Moving a product or material and the costs generated by this process.
  • Moving: Excessive movement of people or machines. It is more common to talk about people movement, as this leads to wasted effort and time.
  • Non-utilized talent: When the management team fails to ensure that all the potential and experience of its people are being used. This is the worst of the eight wastes.