Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ambition (part 2)

As a refresher from yesterday, here are our problem solving steps from "The Happy Manager":

  • Find the right problem to solve
  • Define the problem
  • Analyze the Problem
  • Develop Possibilities
  • Select the Best Solution
  • Implement
  • Evaluate and Learn

This is what I have so far:

Step 1: Find the right problem to solve

  • Lack of progress toward goals.

Continuing on...

Step 2: Define the problem

Remember, the Happy Manager says: "The secret to defining the problem, is really about attitude. Try to see every problem as an opportunity."

They also provide a Question Checklist to Investigate Problems - and that is what we are going to do today.

Not sure what to make of the Opportunity comment, but I can following a checklist, so here goes:


  • What (exactly) do I want to achieve? 
    • I want to be making verifiable progress toward my goals.
  • What are the facts? 
    • I have been having difficulty motivating myself to work on the things on my list.
    • Productivity is down. 
    • Class time is down. 
    • The boys seem to be having difficulty with the latest things, but I'm pretty sure it's how I'm teaching them and not any problem on their end. 
    • Class time is no longer fun (for me) but work. 
    • I want to work on fun stuff, but know I should be working on "real" things (like duration activities, Training Levels things, etc.) and even the fun stuff I have my list just doesn't seem that much fun lately.
  • What would happen if no decision was made or solution found? 
    • I will loose momentum, fall out of the training rut, and nothing will happen at all.
  • What do I need in order to find a solution?
    • I need to understand why the wheels feel off!


  • Why do I want to achieve a solution? 
    • So class time can be fun again. 
    • So I can see the boys enjoying themselves learning new things. 
    • So I can realistically enter Zachary in a Rally trial this fall.
  • Why did the problem or opportunity arise? 
    • Perhaps because we moved on to hard things? 
    • Or things that take longer? 
    • Or possibly because I fell out of the training habit/rut and haven't found the rhythm again.
  • Why do I need to find a solution or way forward at all? 
    • Because if I don't I'm afraid I'll quit working toward my goals. 
    • Because there aren't any classes around here that I can enter Zachary in, and I want him to keep learning. 
    • Because they are both smart dogs and I hate to see them bored.
  • Ask 5 Whys: 
    • Hmmm... not sure what to do with this one at the moment...


  • How will the situation be different? 
    • (I'm guessing this means compare the current situation with the "solved" situation) I want to return to the happy way I used to feel after class time, when I could cross things off the list or watch the videos I made, and know that progress was made.
  • How relevant is the information I am gathering? n/a
  • How can I find out more? n/a
  • How can I involve relevant people? 
    • The dog groups are both good sources of input, if I can pinpoint a particular (relevant) problem.


  • Where did the issue arise? 
    • At home.
  • Where does it impact? 
    • Both at home and On The Road, I guess.
  • Is the "where" important? 
    • Not for the problem, although possibly for the solution.
  • If so, why? 
    • Perhaps a change of venue will put a spark back into things?


  • Who am I trying to please? 
    • Me, me, and... uh... well... me!
  • Who cares about this situation? Who is affected? 
    • No one cares at all but me. No one is affected but me.
  • Who is involved (information, help, action)? 
    • The dog groups might be a source of information and/or help.
  • Who needs to be informed? n/a


  • When did the issue arise? 
    • This spring, during the time Zachary was taking the CGC class, when my son was playing Lacrosse, and during Finals. I believe we also started Training Levels Four around that time.
  • When do we need to act? 
    • The sooner the better!
  • By when must be resolved? 
    • The sooner the better!
... you know, after all that, I actually think I have a germ of an idea - but this post is already too long and the boys await, so it will have to wait until tomorrow.


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