Len is going to read his new book, 5/67 Problem Solving, with Craig Humphreys, as podcast episodes - one per week. Or more often if he has time to do so. The book describes the approach that Len and Craig have taken to solve problems that they rationalize into 3 categories: stupid, difficult and Wicked. They proceed to tell you a number of things that you probably knew but what is fun about this book is that they disclose quite a few myths that they debunk and they provide great case studies of what happens when you don't follow their advice. As a book, it is a short read of 70 pages and as an audio podcast, it is easy listening. We trust you will enjoy it as an audio podcast.
This is the Introduction of the book in which the authors explain why they wrote the book and they introduce the three types of problems that they detail in the book: stupid, difficult and Wicked Problems. And more importantly the demand that No Blame is an integral to the success of any problem solving effort. This is key to "Change without Reprisal." And they invoke a mantra that they tout: "It is ok to be wrong." Enjoy.
In the first chapter, Craig and Len explain what they mean by 5/67 and how it serves as a powerful way to focus you problem solving efforts. They explain a few examples of obvious stupid problems and stupid problems that were disguised as difficult problems. And they mention a story of difficult problems posing as a Wicked Problem. Enjoy.
In the second chapter, Craig and Len discuss what they call the "Aha Moment." This is the moment that occurs after a problem solving session when participants acknowledge that they missed finding the obvious solution. Why did they miss it? That is the Aha Moment. The chapter also goes into their response when a team of problem solvers opine that they don't know how to solve the problem. The suggested response to that is "what do you know?" Start there and progress to a 5% solution that gives the 67% of the benefit. It is one of the more fun chapters of the book. Enjoy.
In this Chapter, we get more clarity on what the authors mean by "Difficult Problems." They provide a number of good examples that guide the listener to a better understanding of what they really mean. They take some examples from their own experiences and some really big examples from science and engineering. They continue to emphasize that they never solve difficult problems but incremental progression to a better understanding and break down of the problem to a tractable subset of the problem. Enjoy.
In this chapter we find out about the Yes/No Chart as a tool to be used in 5/67 Problem Solving. It requires invocation of No Blame to anchor the status of the Yes or No response to a simple question. The answer is either Yes or No with Maybe not being an option. The tool has proven useful over the last 30 years and is an integral part of 5/67 Thinking. Part 2 will go into a couple of real examples.