Clean Thinking, Personal effectiveness, Problem Solving

The learning cycle at work

I had a few clients who were expressing sentiments such as: "I'm not feeling like myself," or, "I'm just not how I used to be on the job," or, "I'm not really feeling it anymore, and I don't know why." They attribute these feelings to no longer being challenged at work, or having no growth… Continue reading The learning cycle at work

implementation issue
Management Mastery: Teams, Problem Solving

Avoid an implementation issue that ruins a great strategy

Just one critical implementation issue will ruin the most beautiful, perfect strategy. I'd like to talk about those types of implementation issues. In my mind, there are only three: insufficient buy-in from people; failure to achieve brilliant execution; and lack of a pivot when new information points to the strategy being wrong. Even if you… Continue reading Avoid an implementation issue that ruins a great strategy

customer service
Management Mastery: Clients, Problem Solving

Customer service secrets

The bottom line in any service interaction and engagement is to move forward toward resolution. When you feel stuck in those customer service engagements, when things are really not moving forward (or moving forward productively), maintain the following tricks up your sleeve to gain some traction. (Note: I use the term "customer service" very broadly. Customers… Continue reading Customer service secrets

manage limited resources
Management Mastery: Teams, Managing Stress, Anxiety, Overwhelm, Problem Solving

Two questions if you are managing with limited resources

Challenges of midlevel managers have some common themes, one of them being managing multiple initiatives within limited resources. "Limited resources" might be defined as not enough people, not enough budget, or not enough time (or all three). There are two types of work we perform: daily whirlwind tasks and larger, overarching initiatives. You'll need to… Continue reading Two questions if you are managing with limited resources

strengths and weaknesses
Personal effectiveness, Problem Solving

Strengths and weaknesses: Using one as a gateway to address the other

Strengths and weaknesses. Areas of command vs. areas of improvement. Stuff you're good at on one hand, and stuff you're bad at on the other hand. People often present these characteristics at opposite ends of a spectrum or as absolutes. You might get similar feedback at work year after year, and even with nominal improvements,… Continue reading Strengths and weaknesses: Using one as a gateway to address the other

Problem Solving

Business case method: a simplified model for interviewing

Many interview processes these days involve on-the-spot business case analysis. Companies do this to assess a candidate's thought process, and whether the candidate follows any particular methodology in their analysis. There are many methodologies out there, and I've created a simplified model for my clients specifically to employ during the interview process if they have… Continue reading Business case method: a simplified model for interviewing

brainstorm teamwork creativity
Clean Thinking, Problem Solving

You can actually cultivate creativity. Here’s how.

I remember having to fill out performance reviews where one of the questions on the forms assessed the "creativity" of the employee. Creativity? Hm. At that time, to me, creativity either had to do with art (not relevant in my line of work), or the demonstration of some grand, brilliant solution to a problem that… Continue reading You can actually cultivate creativity. Here’s how.

business woman smile critical thinking
Clean Thinking, Problem Solving

The 3-2-1 Model for Critical Thinking

I have a simplified model for critical thinking to share with you. (If you are interested in more complex models, you can check out The Foundation for Critical Thinking, Pearson's RED model, or others.) We define critical thinking as analyzing information prior to making a judgment. Therefore, at its most elemental, my version of a… Continue reading The 3-2-1 Model for Critical Thinking