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Leaders Ramp Up Results With Diagnostic Thinking

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In the working world leaders are constantly bombarded with problems they are expected to solve – and fast! With this kind of pressure it is easy to get into the habit of making assumptions and jumping to conclusions in order to make faster decisions. Unfortunately it doesn’t always lead to better decisions.

Ranjay Gulati, a professor at Harvard Business School, says that leaders must resist the urge to jump straight to a solution and instead spend more time in the middle step of  problem-solving – the diagnosis. In the video below, he provides a great personal example of how diagnostic thinking was able to provide a more effective solution to the crisis he was facing.

In Kyosei “lingo” we tell our clients they must learn to “slow down to speed up”. Developing this skill is especially critical for leaders. If you aren’t slowing down and taking the time to consider the big picture then who will? If you aren’t stopping long enough to ask the right questions that get at the root of what the issue really is then no one else will. As a leader, you set the example. If you are always rushing in to provide a quick fix then your team will follow suit. If you demonstrate the importance of slowing down, thinking things through, and analyzing root causes both you and your team will be more likely to develop solutions that will add genuine value to the organization – and each other.


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