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Weekend Fun: An Example of Poor Problem Solving

by Mark Graban on August 30, 2013 · 7 comments

Here’s a funny ESPN commercial featuring golfer Rickie Fowler.

Fowler is pouring coffee, yet he makes some bad assumptions about which coffee is decaf and about the “milk” being bad (compounded by the joke that he’s supposedly color blind).

I guess if there’s any Lean lesson, it’s that we can be at the “gemba” and that doesn’t guarantee problem solving success if we don’t understand the situation, if we have faulty mental models… and if we’re not listening to others.


Mark Graban 2011 Smaller Weekend Fun: An Example of Poor Problem Solving leanAbout LeanBlog.org: Mark Graban is a consultant, author, and speaker in the “lean healthcare” methodology. Mark is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as the new Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. Mark is also the VP of Innovation and Improvement Services for KaiNexus.


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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anonymous August 30, 2013 at 10:20 am

Good Friday laugh. Thanks for sharing.

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2 Mark Graban
Twitter:
August 30, 2013 at 10:29 am

I love the video, in part, because it makes me think of problems that people run into when they can’t see reality in the workplace due to some mental model getting in the way (not color blindness getting in the way). The “spoiled milk” is obviously orange juice to some, but leaders don’t take input or don’t take care to make sure their mental models aren’t out of whack.

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3 Chad Walters
Twitter:
August 30, 2013 at 1:08 pm

I don’t think he’s genuinely colorblind. He’s just obsessed
with all things orange. As a former Oklahoma State Cowboy golfer he
dons bright orange golf outfits to honor his school. However, the
message about going to the gemba to see the situation live is
solid. I wonder if his favorite singer is Frank Sinatra.
Chad Walters recently posted..Hours Before Marlon Byrd T-Shirt Night, Mets Trade Marlon ByrdMy Profile

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4 Mark Graban
Twitter:
August 30, 2013 at 1:17 pm

Yeah, I realize it was a put on for the commercial…

What’s the Sinatra reference about?

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5 Chad Walters
Twitter:
August 30, 2013 at 3:08 pm

http://www.examiner.com/article/what-was-frank-sinatra-s-favorite-color

Sinatra was obsessed with orange. This article shows clothes and home decorations, but he also had an orange car and I believe an airplane decked out in orange.

Maybe he drank a lot of decaf coffee in the morning as well.

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6 Chad Walters
Twitter:
August 30, 2013 at 2:59 pm

http://www.examiner.com/article/what-was-frank-sinatra-s-favorite-color

Sinatra was obsessed with orange. This article shows clothes and home decorations, but he also had an orange car and I believe an airplane decked out in orange.

Maybe he drank a lot of decaf coffee in the morning as well.
Chad Walters recently posted..Hours Before Marlon Byrd T-Shirt Night, Mets Trade Marlon ByrdMy Profile

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7 Mark Graban
Twitter:
August 31, 2013 at 8:10 am

From Ron Phipps on LinkedIn:

Learning to see is a profound change in how people think about their work. Seeing from the new lens is powerful. The challenge to manager s in charge is to lead by allowing the opportunities they now see to be tried and learned from. Understanding is distinctly different than being there. Real understanding needs to be sought for from multiple perspectives (people, perceptions, realities, processes, needs, issues, ideas, interactions, causes, effects, strengths, weaknesses, obstacles, values, purpose, reasons, etc.). Doing so cultivates trust, inspires and changes behaviors that create a new culture/ environment. Results and sustainability are easier.

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