Category: Systems Thinking and Problem Solving

two people in a canoe paddling in opposite directions

Paddling in Opposite Directions

Tired.Frustrated.Demotivated.  So much time, energy, and money expended. And yet we’re still in the same spot on the lake.  I’m angry at them. They’re angry at me.  I’m working hard! We’re getting nowhere. It must be THEIR fault.  If one of the people in the canoe changed direction, in just a few minutes there would be more progress…
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Person stuck at a barrier with a clear path behind and to the left of him

Your Path Forward May Be Behind You

Did you “go on a lion hunt” as a child?  Going on a lion hunt.Gonna catch a big one.I’m not scared. Uh oh!  A log.Can’t go over it. Can’t go under it.Can’t go through it.Gotta go around it! As children, we knew the best way was around, but as adults, we often get to a barricade and…
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Why Are We Stuck?

Why are we stuck doing things that aren’t a good investment of our time and energy? In a recent post, I noted that if you’re like many leaders, you’re spending a lot of your time, energy, and money in three main areas that are holding you back from doing your best to lead people and achieve…
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Iceberg Model

How Do You Feel About Systems Thinking?

It’s been deemed one of the key management competencies of the 21st century. It’s an area of great potential for organizations. But I’ve observed that the term “systems thinking” creates stress. It falls outside of people’s comfort zone. It’s perceived as technical and complicated. And while there’s a lot about system thinking that can be…
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No pizza

Pizza is Not a Solution

Almost every caring, intelligent leader I’ve met has at some point attempted to solve a morale, motivation, or engagement problem with a pizza party. In our linear-thinking world, when faced with a problem, we often respond immediately with “we need more ____.”  We need more people We need more time We need more money We…
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Thoughts Feelings Behaviour and Results are all connected

Thinking It Through

Our thoughts, feelings, behaviour, and results are all connected. Every result we get comes from the “story we tell ourselves,” which means we can often change our outcomes by changing our thinking. Here’s an example: Issue: The Purchasing Manager is not doing their job well.  They’ve missed deadlines and made errors.  They take long lunch…
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