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A3 Thinking

Speciality Workshop

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 taught by Katie Anderson (author of Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn), you will learn how to more effectively practice A3 thinking through presentations, practice, and discussion.  You will learn both the technical skills as well as the social skills that support the development of problem-solving thinking in yourself and others. We will be grasping the current condition, 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.

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 purchase and read the book before the workshop and bring a copy to the workshop with you for use during the workshop

Audience: Anyone in a management/leadership or process improvement type role. Some lean knowledge is preferred.

Two days; in person (Capacity = 20)