Problem Solving and Decision Making Course Descriptions

Advanced Decision Making and Analytical Thinking
Root Cause Works
Thinking Works (Problem Solving and Decision Making
Art of Decision-Making
Juggle Struggle  
Creative Problem Solving-The Fuzzy Front End

Advanced Decision Making and Analytical Thinking
Days:(2)

Ellen Stevenson, facilitator

Designed for those in leadership positions, this course is based on the latest technology in applied thinking technology and decision-making. Charles Kepner, cofounder of Kepner-Tregoe, has teamed up with Matt-Thys Fourie to create a process that successfully integrates intuitive, rational and creative thinking into a natural, easy to use step-by-step approach called Thinking Works. This one-day program is streamlined for the experienced decision maker. Participants will enhance their existing skills by learning proven questioning techniques to gather accurate information and improve their ability to organize and evaluate that information to find the best possible solution. The key to the success of this new Kepner & Fourie workshop is that it harnesses the natural thinking pattern of divergent and convergent thinking into a practical, user-friendly thinking approach.

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Root Cause Works
Days:(2-3)

Ellen Stevenson, facilitator

There are many important factors in achieving operational effectiveness and competitiveness in the market place, including increasing machine and equipment availability, reducing waste and rejects, improving quality, reducing operating costs, maximizing change over time, and reducing downtime. Organizations need troubleshooters who apply proficient thinking skills to avoid unnecessary and expensive fixes. This workshop is specifically designed for supervisors and key technical staff of engineering, maintenance and manufacturing divisions and covers fault tracing, troubleshooting and faultfinding.

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Thinking Works (Problem Solving and Decision Making)
Days:(2-3)

Ellen Stevenson, facilitator

Most companies lack a systematic and disciplined approach to solve problems quickly and effectively. The result is a loss of valuable time and money, trial and error approaches, and blame fixing. Kepner & Fourie's Thinking Works workshop will show participants how to organize their problem analysis and decision-making processes to avoid the most common mistakes. This workshop is a comprehensive, hands-on, skill-building program that will equip participants with the techniques of effective problem solving and decision making. Participants will learn proven techniques to gather accurate information, as well as to organize and evaluate information to arrive at the best possible solution. They will also learn a proven method to eliminate recurring problems and stimulate innovative fixes. The key to the success of this new Kepner & Fourie workshop is that it harnesses the natural thinking pattern into a practical, user-friendly thinking approach. Recommended for all levels of management and professional staff.

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Art of Decision-Making
Days:(1/2)

Greg Blake, facilitator

  • The life decision assessment
  • Decisions whether, decisions which, contingent decisions
  • 7 step decision-making process
  • 12 practical decision-making tips
  • 3 dangers in making poor decisions
  • Overcoming "Decisionphobia"
  • When not to make decisions
  • Characteristics of great decision makers
  • Making wise decisions based on your personal value system
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Juggle Struggle
Days:(1/2)

Greg Blake, facilitator

  • Getting more out of your day and meetings when multi-tasking
  • Time tips for greater planning
  • Putting your MPSS goals in writing
  • The value of time- the 86,400 Principle
  • Organizing your workspace
  • Books, desk, mail, memos and files
  • Organized vs. clutter
  • The pack rat test
  • Phone numbers, addresses and business cards
  • Tips when traveling away from the office
  • The dirty dozen
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Creative Problem Solving
Days:(1/2)

Kathy Kegley, Ph.D., facilitator

Problems that are ill defined, open-ended and rich with social complexity often resist solutions due to inadequate processing in the early stages of problem solving (also known as the fuzzy front end).  The tendency to rush to closure and over reliance on critical-thinking during the fuzzy front end of creative problem solving can limit the scope of possible solutions and may even result in the wrong problem being addressed.  This workshop provides tools and techniques to enhance the early phases of creative problem solving including problem finding, problem restructuring, the construction of shard mental models, and scenario improvisation to stimulate fresh thinking.  The process of idea clustering will be introduced as a method of zooming out from the individual ideas to find unexpected connections and patterns in the big picture.  Recommendations will be provided for facilitating the process of incubation to stimulate sudden insights and "ah-ha" moments after the initial idea generation sessions have concluded.  

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