Click Funnel Categories: Process Improvement Tools

The Tools of Systems Thinking

The Tools of Systems Thinking When you use systems thinking, you start to see the invisible forces acting upon your organization. Small signals become more important; symptoms become relegated to the background as you identify underlying causes. You see patterns of recurring behavior reinforced by either positive “learning loops” or negative “ignorance loops.” You come …

The Five Frames of Systems Thinking

The Five Frames of Systems Thinking Systems thinking can help you appreciate the multiple ways that one can “frame” a problem. In the field of cognitive science, it’s well understood that frames influence how people think about a particular issue or problem. Each frame typically oversimplifies the problem and inhibits systems thinking. Download the PDF …

The Substitution Fallacy

The Substitution Fallacy Process improvement is a complex combination of art and science. It’s all about how value is created for the customer. Typically, you discover a process is only partially connected to what customers want. Rather, it’s rooted in deep traditions and habit. When does a motion picture project move from editorial review to …

Developing Management Standards

Developing Management Standards Leaders and managers need to take the time to articulate and implement a consistent set of management standards for themselves and every manager and supervisor in the company. This checklist should detail the specific practices expected of every manager and supervisor. For example, it should clarify how managers assign decision-making responsibilities, how …

How to Grapple with Dynamic Complexity

How to Grapple with Dynamic Complexity Peter Senge, the author of The Fifth Discipline, points out human beings are experts at dealing with detail complexity but poorly equipped to deal with dynamic complexity. We are great at Cartesian thinking – dissecting a process or a machine into its constituent parts. But we are not wired …

Ignorance Loops

Ignorance Loops I wrote in an earlier blog about the virtues of localized learning loops. In contrast, one of the most insidious forces at work in any organization are ignorance loops. They occur when people assume they know the answers and avoid looking further – even when the data suggests they are wrong. If their …

Tips for Solving Complex Problems

Tips for Solving Complex Problems The role of a leader often boils down to solving complex problems. People have a natural tendency to want to solve problems in ways that are comfortable for them. In some cases, this can be detrimental, if a leader picks only problems that can be quickly resolved, or doesn’t take …

Managing Successful Change

Managing Successful Change What techniques manage broad organizational change successfully? How do you engage an entire organization in effectively moving from one way of thinking about the business to another? How do you drive strategy from the top of the organization so that it is supported and implemented throughout? How do you optimize the change …

Eight Step Process Improvement Plan

Power Sources and Stakeholders In considering who to engage in a change process, think about both “power sources” and “stakeholders.” Power sources are the key influencers in your organization, the people who control the resources needed to make change work. They can provide money and materials, education and expertise, and political support. Engage them first …

A Method for Solving Tough Business Problems

A Method for Solving Tough Business Problems This tool lays out a step-by-step process for addressing tough business issues. It’s designed to work with any industry and any problem. The best results will usually come by using project teams composed of some people with finely honed intuitions based on experience and others with highly developed …