Sunday, June 12, 2005

You too can be a Jedi

Well, not in the classical Star Wars sense, but yes, in the ways of being an investigator or an efficient problem solving machine, you can be trained young Problem-Solver.

Kepner-Tregoe hosted a workshop I attended as part of my training for the law firm. Now you would think that going to a law firm would teach you everything you know about being a lawyer, but I am NOT a lawyer. So, I have to be trained just like young Buck Problem-Solver.

One the facilitator is an exceptional trainer. Years of experience in the auto industry. Tons of knowledge about problem-solving. Honest and competent. He presented the material well and allowed it to sink in our minds. He then framed them in terms that we could understand.

The workshops basically created a systematic way to problem-solving. Whereas the techniques I had seen did not have any double-checks, the workshop showed how to do comparisons, incorporate timelines, question changes and differences and arrive at conclusive root cause analysis. I was pretty good already. I think I can be more effective now in investigating and executing cause analysis.

The members of the group were diverse. Two were from an investment company, another from a telecom company, an engineer from a cheese factory, a director from a superconductor plant, a facilitator for a petroleumm company and a tech service from a computer software company. Oh, the last one was a HR manager from one of the city governments in Canada.

It was interesting to note that yours truly participated in a group which identified the correct cause repeatedly. We were 3 for three. The interesting patterns I saw was that you had to leave your favorite pet hypothesis once the data did not fit. If you did not do it, you were cooked. The engineer's group on the other hand seemed to eager to throw things out. Even though things did not fit into the patterns, they were forced.

I am interested in the dynamics of the group. Clearly, I needed to know information, and a lot of it. However, I had problems when I tried to explain to the others my idea. The resolution of the threads were not as distinct in their mind as in mine. I had to struggle to show them in terms of words.

Three days of training and that was awesome. I believe I did the right choice in leaving the photofinishing place and joining the lawfirm.

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