Organizations literally live and die by their ability to solve challenges that rise up on a continual basis. While many problems are simply remedied on the move, many can become complex and difficult to even define. Companies that do not properly define the issues they are dealing with can quickly find themselves applying patches to symptoms of much larger problems. Doctor's Medical Center, Dillard's Inc., Benton County Foods, and McLeod Insurance Agency are examples of companies within the Northwest Arkansas area that use systematic techniques in first defining what problem the organization is dealing with, then designing a solution for it. Each company is unique in its approach, but this disparity does not diminish the effectiveness once implemented.
Lou Gerstner, a former consultant and IBM chief said he "believes every decision is stronger when a group of people argue about it debate it, try to figure out how to make it better (Chapter 2 paragraph 31). The current decision making method utilized in Doctor's Medical Center, is the "Keep it Simple", or "Limited Search Error" process. The physician wanted input from all stakeholders, however, rather than taking the information into consideration in most cases she had a plan in her head and everybody knew what was gong to happen.
The limited search method is, simply put, staying within reach, never taking a chance, or going with the grain, so to speak. The office was set up on a tried and true foundation, "no need to do anything different if what you are doing is working," Doc said on many occasions, and never truly searched for an alternate because the method she always used was available. The operating procedures and the effectiveness of the office could have been extraordinary if Doc could have taken a step back off of the "status quo" mobile.
Chapter 2 mentions the benefits of "brainstorming:" involving the staff, creating more ideas, getting more people... [continues]
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