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A3 Thinking – April 21 & 22 (POSTPONED)

Structured Problem-Solving and Coaching Skills to Support a Continuous Improvement Culture

Date: April 21-22, 2020
Time: 8:30am – 4pm
Location: TBD
Member Cost: $400
[Payment can be made via check made payable to NWHPEC, invoices will be sent out two weeks prior to the event. Payment processing must be verified one week prior to the event. Cancellations will be honored up to 10 days prior to the event. Please note: If you pay by credit card, a 10% fee will be assessed for canceling your attendance. “No shows” will not receive a refund or account credit.]
Registration: email [email protected]

Workshop summary

Do you think of an A3 as just a document or form to complete? A3 thinking is much more than that! Solving problems is not a linear process, but rather requires iterative thinking, evidence gathering, analysis, and input from stakeholders. The A3 problem-solving framework, and the thinking it represents, is foundational to the development of a culture of continuous improvement. The practice of A3 thinking develops evidence-based problem solving, fosters communication and
consensus among stakeholders, and creates better alignment to strategic goals. The process of A3 thinking and coaching also serves as a method for people development, knowledge sharing and change management.

During this two-day interactive workshop, you will learn how to more effectively practice A3 thinking through presentations, practice, and discussion. In this session, you will learn both the technical skills for root-cause problem solving using the A3 framework, as well as the social skills that support the development of problem-solving thinking in yourself and others. The focus of the workshop will be on the grasping the current condition of your problematic
issue, defining the actual problem, determining the root cause(s) to your problem, and beginning to develop  countermeasures and action plan. Participants will also practice coaching skills such as asking effective questions,
listening, and providing feedback.

During this learning experience, you will apply the thinking behind the A3 process to a process-related problem you own. Participants should come prepared to the workshop by identifying in advance a messy problematic condition that he or she has ownership for solving. If you have an A3 under development (no further than analysis), please feel free to bring it to the workshop to further develop.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the function and process of the A3 thinking framework for organizational problem solving.
  • Demonstrate better understanding of the thought process and connections between the sections of the A3 problem-solving framework.
  • Practice iterative A3 thinking on one organizational or process-related problem they own.
  • Practice asking more effective questions that support better problem-solving thinking.

Required advanced reading

Managing to Learn: Using the A3 Management Process to Solve Problems, Gain Agreement, Mentor and Lead by John Shook. Please read the book before the workshop and bring a copy to the workshop with you; we will use during the workshop.

Click here to view the course flyer.

Speaker Bio: Katie Anderson has held senior Lean leadership roles at Stanford Children’s Hospital and the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (Sutter Health), was a Fulbright Scholar to Australia, and served as a consultant for PricewaterHouse Coopers and a research analyst for two international universities.  She is the founder of KBJ Anderson Consulting, an independent consulting practice focused on helping individuals and organizations lead with intention by connecting their purpose, processes, and practices to deliver higher levels of performance.

Katie is also a faculty member of the Lean Enterprise Institute and Catalysis, where she teaches workshops about Lean leadership, coaching and problem solving thinking, and is a facilitator for Association for Manufacturing Excellence’s Bay Area Consortia. Katie is an internationally recognized speaker and has lived around the world including the United States, the UK, Spain, Australia, and Japan. Katie leads study trips to Japan to share her insights about lean thinking, the Toyota Way and Japanese culture with other leaders. Katie is launching her first book this summer, which is co-authored with Isao Yoshino, one of John Shook’s role models for A3 thinking.