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TLS Continuum Manifesto Principle #10: Establishment of a universal problem-solving process

TLS Continuum Manifesto Principle 10: Through the use of logical thinking tools, the TLS Continuum will establish a universal problem-solving process


Beginning with the identification of the system constraint, the organization should establish the format for the development of any problem-solving process/ We recognize that this process is an evidence-based scientific experiment towards resolving organizational issues. We believe that there exists a proven method for how we go about resolving the issues at hand. Starting with current state and ending with the future state/ From there we understand that we establish a goal/problem statement along with the establishment of the critical success factors along with the factors necessary to reach these goals.

The logical thinking process is based on the use of tools that lead us from here and now to where we expect to be. Along the way we encompass numerous methodologies, including theory of constraints, lean, six sigma and system thinking and design thinking. We need to also repeat as I do quite frequently that you as a human capital manager are human capital management scientists – everything is a scientific experiment, and we question everything. The logical thinking process provides us with the framework to conduct those experiments. Like a scientist we look for the best tools at our disposal as we move through the process. The TLS Continuum is no different.

We can’t begin to understand how to resolve the issues at hand without understanding where we have come from. Using the methodologies, we can establish that required state.

Strategy 1: Using the principles of design thinking we can ask the question what if?

Strategy 2: Through the principles of system thinking we can begin with the world café model and enter a dialogue with our fellow organizational members as to why the problem exists. We can change the dynamics of the discussion from a meeting of “enemies” to a meeting of colleagues.

Strategy 3: Through the Gemba walk we can see, feel and understand the process as it exists. Our processes do not exist in a vacuum and so the critical point is that you need ti understand how they fit the organizational structure. Are they aligned with your values, mission, goals and strategies.

Strategy 4: Construct process maps and value stream maps of the current process. I can tell someone that this is the way a process works, and they may still not get the picture. Having the ability to see it graphically helps cement the concept with others.

With the current state model constructed we can reverse direction and ask what do we want the process to look like? Again, we can turn to the methodologies and begin that inquiry.

Strategy 5: Using Design thinking we can utilize the question What if and What Wows to give us a picture of the future. Imagine that I just told you that you can come up with as many suggestions for solutions as you want. Let your mind go and do its thing. Using system thinking tools such as the ladder of influence we can establish the full gamut of solution options. We even get the chance to create a model and test drive it with our most valued customers.

Strategy 6: Using the Logical Thinking process ‘Future Reality Tree we can begin to see the process new normal take place. Once we have chosen the suspected best solutions, we can insert into the future reality tree to understand what the process is going ot look like.

Strategy 7: With these two models we can then look at where we need to go using a gap analysis and determine what is required to remove the gap. We understand that in this world there is no such thing as perfection. There will be naturally a sense of digression between where we are and where we want to be. With this strategy we compare the two models and explore again through dialogue how we are going to resolve the gaps to bring the two visions into alignment.

These seven strategies represent the logical thinking tools and the universal problem-solving process. It makes no difference what function or what process you are working on the same strategies apply. Whether you are in HR, Finance, Marketing, Engineering or Manufacturing the same steps apply. The same strategies apply.

This brings us to a conclusion of the exploration of the TLS Continuum Manifesto. Look for an expanded version of the manifesto in print form in the not-too-distant future.  In the meantime, we encourage you to take these ten principles to heart and begin to apply them in your organization. Your goal is to bring about systemic continuous process improvement and these principles will give you the jump start in doing so.



About the author: Daniel Bloom knows HR and Change Management. He’s a speaker on transformational HR, a strategic HR consultant and trainer. Looking to ways to enhance your vale to your organization? We now offer virtual fully accredited six-sigma yellow belt certification training. Learn more at