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WEBINAR: 4 Types of Problems: The Keys to Better Organizational Problem Solving

January 17, 2019, 2:00 - 3:00 PM, EST  |  Time Zone Conversion

In this free one-hour webinar and Q&A, veteran lean management practitioner Art Smalley explains how you can avoid the all-too-common trap of reaching for the same old problem-solving approach for every business problem.

4 Types of Problems: The Keys to Better Organizational Problem Solving

When faced with a problem, many business leaders and teams mechanically reach for an A3, 6 sigma, value-stream map, a kaizen event or some other familiar problem-solving methodology.

One potential problem with this approach is that the methodology is often mismatched with the situation, creating unnecessary struggle, frustration, delay, and ineffectiveness in solving the problem – if it is ever solved at all.

In other words, not every problem is a "nail" but organizations often reach for the same old "hammer." Experts should know more than one way of approaching confounding issues and outline the right strategy for their organization.

For example there is a Toyota style of solving problems but it is not as rigid or one dimensional as you might think. Even within the Toyota Way there are key differences between caused problems and created problems. There are also associated differences in root cause critical thinking routines and more creative divergent routines.

In order to help iron out the key differences and similarities former Toyota employees Art Smalley and John Shook have devised a framework entitled "Four Types of Problems" and associated approaches within Toyota and other contributing organizations.

Join Art Smalley for this important, eye-opening webinar to learn why settling on a favorite problem-solving technique or two is a big mistake. Art will cover:

  • What the four main problem types are that cover virtually every business challenge, plus real-world examples;
  • Which problem-solving methods work best for each type – and which don't;
  • How to use the 4 Cs for Type 1 or troubleshooting;
  • What conditions call for Type 2 – gap from standard – problem solving;
  • What sets Type 3 problem solving apart from Types 1 and 2;
  • Why Type 4 – or open-ended problem-solving – is critical for keeping your company thriving in the long run;
  • How to pick the right problem-solving tool for each type – when to use brainstorming, value-stream mapping, 5 whys, 6 sigma, etc., and when to use something else.

Can't make it? Register anyway, and we’ll send you a link to the archived version when we post it.

4 Types of Problems: The Keys to Better Organizational Problem Solving
with Art Smalley
2:00 PM EST
January 17, 2019
Time Zone Conversion
estimated duration: one hour

Avoid the frustrating and ineffective "hammer-and-nail" problem-solving pitfall by recognizing four main problem types so you apply the right problem-solving approach to the right problem. Get Art's latest book Four Types of Problems for you and your team today.

About the Presenter:

Art Smalley

When he isn't practicing martial arts or relaxing in his woodworking shop, Art Smalley shares his expertise in lean management, problem solving, and leadership through his company, Art of Lean, or his latest book Four Types of Problems, which illustrates the four main categories of business problems and how to attack each.

Smalley, one of the first Americans to work for Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan, learned problem solving at the historic Kamigo engine plant from Tomoo Harada, who led maintenance activities that created the stability enabling innovations in flow production to succeed. Back in the U.S., Smalley served as director of lean manufacturing director for Donnelly Corporation and later as a top lean management expert at McKinsey & Company working with Fortune 500 clients. He currently is a faculty member of the nonprofit Lean Enterprise Institute.

Besides Four Types of Problems, Art is the author of Creating Level Pull and co-author with Durward Sobek of Understanding A3 Thinking. Both books won Shingo Publication Awards. He is coauthor with Isao Kato of Toyota Kaizen Methods.