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Problem Solving

By Cheryl Andrew & Mary Brady of Syndetics


The ability to take hold of a practical problem and solve it is a key success factor for managers in today's business environment. This session establishes the link to planning. It approaches problem solving from the perspective of responding to a deviation between what should be happening (the plan) and what is actually happening (the result of an unanticipated change producing an unwanted effect)! the Sequential Model© also incorporates a straightforward risk analysis formula as a way of searching for order ... even as you take the risks necessary to help the organization grow.



1 Day



Combination of lecturette, interactive discussion, reflection and planning, key learning presentations and experiential activities.


Key Learning Points:

  • Upon completion of this program you will be able to:
  • Relate problem solving to planning
  • Employ the five steps of The Sequential Model© problem solving process
  • Identify the difference between problems and symptoms
  • Understand the principles of problem identification
  • Identify the considerations in selecting alternative solutions
  • Apply the key elements of effective decision making
  • Set priorities for solving problems back in the workplace
  • Explore the connection between solution implementation and empowerment


Customizable Points:

- Management Profiling © -

Distorted self-perception? When it comes to skill development that sticks, what you don't know definitely can and will hurt you! Management Profiling© fills the feedback void that exists when you examine your behaviour in the light of only one source ... you!


- Management Profiling© -

  • Analyzes current levels of specific leadership expertise
  • Indicates skill areas to change of improve
  • Enhances leader ability to cope with pressure and change


Offered under exclusive license from Synthetics, this program emphasizes self-awareness and activity-based learning that enables ready transfer of the new skills and knowledge to the realities of your workplace.


Benefits & Outcomes:

  • Use our Model to solve problems and achieve planned objectives ... effectively
  • Identify any predisposition to some specific problem response mode or 'set'
  • Coach direct reports and employees to identify and report 'real' problems
  • Recognize that most problems are related to people (productivity goals, hiring levels, service, training, etc.)
  • Once a solution is chosen, plan the methods to implement
  • Before implementing, determine the metrics now for evaluating the results ... later
  • By evaluating each decision as part of implementation, you will be in a  position to stay on top of the effects of any deviation and make adjustments as necessary


Additional Information:

- One-Day Program Outline -


Setting The Stage

Discuss "finding the right answer" ... one key premise of the Sequential Model©



What Causes deviation from the "the plan"?

How to minimize the unwanted effect of deviation on organizational goals? How to balance sticking to a plan with taking the risks necessary for organizational growth?


Experiential Activity

An examination of the ...

  1. Challenges, skills and competencies necessary for dealing effectively with 'deviations'.
  2. Predisposition to 'set' responses that get in your way when faced with deviations.


The Model

The first layer of exploration of the Model is accomplished by working through a generic case study.


Coaching Clinic

Second layer of exploration is more intense and focuses on transfer to the work place while taking full advantage of resources available in the training room. team members work through 'real time' problems with the assistance and coaching of teammates and facilitator using The Sequential Model© Worksheet.


Synthesis Exercise

To what extent are you part of the problem? Managers assess employee and direct report empowerment levels. Managers then take a hard look at the extent to which they authorize and empower decision making and risk taking in their functional areas.


Action Planning

Managers reduce the extent to which they are a part of the problem by making commitments to increase decision-making and risk-taking powers for each direct and employee, as appropriate within the scope of their role.