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The Park Avenue Solutions Blog

2 min read

Deliberate Practice in Action

By Leigh Ann Schildmeier on Jan 26, 2022 7:02:57 AM

The strongest part of my golf game has always been my short game. Depth perception is essential for determining distance around the green. This week I discovered that my vision loss has affected my depth perception and therefore my short game. I am truly grateful that I am able to be back swinging a golf club. Rather than be frustrated, I thought that I would try some of my own advice that I generously have given out over the years on chipping. Later, I realized that I was using Deliberate Practice to relearn the basics of chipping.

I was practicing chipping in my backyard like I've done for years. I was struggling to land near the targets, and as I kept hitting balls, it wasn't getting better. Rather than be frustrated, I remembered my GOLF ADVICE: chipping is like tossing a ball and imagining the club is just an extension of your hand.

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2 min read

Jumping to Conclusions

By Leigh Ann Schildmeier on Jan 12, 2022 11:14:48 AM

Have you ever had a doctor make a quick diagnosis without asking you for more information on your current situation? “You’ve always had sinus issues, so your headaches are just sinus pressure.”

It’s an easy thing to do – in fact, we all do it many, many times every day … at home, in our relationships, driving, and certainly at work.

It’s called “cognitive bias,” and it’s a way for our brains to make decisions more quickly and efficiently. Without completely conscious thought, our brains use pre-existing information to run algorithms based on our previous experiences and fill in the blanks.

It’s a powerful mechanism that helps our brains process the massive amounts of information and decisions we have to make every waking moment, but when it comes to making decisions about new situations, our unconscious biases and preconceived notions can create a problem.

We only know what we know! When we’re only drawing on what we already know, we can run into errors in judgment and decision-making.

In order to overcome cognitive bias, we need to break through the threshold of knowledge, the “line in the sand” where we move past what we already know, learning occurs, and new perspectives open up to us.

One of the most effective ways to do this is through Scientific Thinking.

Scientific thinking is a skill. And like any skill, the best (and really the only) way to learn it is to practice. When we’re young, learning comes easily and naturally. We’re quick to try new things, make mistakes, learn from them, and try again.

That “fail forward fast” mentality is fundamental to scientific thinking. Unfortunately, it’s not how we usually operate as adults. Just like in sports or music or any other new skill we want to acquire, we have to first learn how to do it and then practice it consistently until it becomes a new habit.

Scientific thinking is really about learning to learn again … and learning from both our successes and our failures and using that information to make better decisions and find real solutions instead of making “quick diagnoses” and hoping for the best.

How powerful would it be if the people in your organization could make better decisions or be advanced problem solvers?

The Improvement Kata combine a scientific working pattern with techniques of deliberate practice, to make scientific thinking a teachable skill anyone can learn. These foundational thinking patterns are a basis for successfully pursuing seemingly unattainable goals in complex systems, and it enables teams to make decisions and maneuver effectively.

Sounds like a pretty useful skill, don't you think? Click here to learn more about the Improvement Kata and Scientific Thinking, or contact me (Leigh Ann, the resident Kata Geek). #DoYouKata 

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3 min read

Jumpstart Your Progress with Kata(Con)

By Angela Barbosa on Mar 9, 2021 10:13:37 AM

I've long been a fan of conferences, seminars, and other networking events as a mechanism for reigniting the fire in my work. Although the field I'm currently spending much of my time in falls outside of my specific areas of marketing and writing expertise, last year I had an experience that jump-started my idea-machine just the same—KATACON.

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2 min read

3 Ways to Start Learning Kata Now

By Leigh Ann Schildmeier on Oct 8, 2020 1:51:49 PM

“Growth and comfort do not coexist.” ― Ginni Rometty, CEO, IBM

This is an important point to understand in education in general and particularly on point for those of us training and coaching Toyota Kata.

Getting out of your comfort zone is an important step to growing new skills, including Scientific Thinking, PDCA, and the entire Improvement Kata methodology. Reaching the outer limits of what you know —your "knowledge threshold"—is by its very nature an uncomfortable place to be. But right there is the starting point for learning, improving, and growing. Are you ready?

Here are a three ways to get started learning and working with Kata: 

  • Check out my Toyota Kata workshop coming up on October 14 as part of the IISE Engineering Lean Six Sigma 2020 Conference + AI Symposium. This workshop will provide a good overview plus quick hands-on practice. It's a great jumpstart for skill-building tools that will advance your career & build your problem-solving chops. WEDNESDAY, OCT 14: Toyota Kata: People and Processes. Only at VIRTUAL #ELSS2020 + AI. CEUs available. Conference registration: https://link.iise.org/ELSS2020register
  • Visit www.doyoukata.com — This is our Kata overview and resource page (approved by Mike Rother, the guy who literally wrote the book(s) on it) for understanding the fundamentals of the Improvement Kata and Coaching Kata, along with links to Starter Kata resources, including a Kata Storyboard template and other templates and materials. 

For reading all the way to the end, here's the bonus way to start learning about Kata: Call me. When you click that link you'll be able to schedule a call at a time that's convenient for you. You can ask questions, learn more about what's available for Kata training and coaching, or talk through whether Kata would be a good fit for your particular challenge, personal or professional (hint: it probably is). 

However you choose to get started, just get started! The skills you build with Starter Kata will serve you for a lifetime. 

 

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2 min read

Dispelling Myths Around Disability and the Workforce

By Lori Daly on Sep 23, 2020 10:25:32 AM

My name is Lori Daly.  I formed Diversifi Consulting Group (DiversifiCG), a certified Disability-Owned Business Enterprise (DOBE ®) to provide employment best practices and disability awareness based on my unique experiences and understanding as a recruiter, manager, and person with a disability.

This year marks an important milestone: the 30th Anniversary of the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a civil rights legislation to prevent discrimination against people with disabilities.

What do you think of when you hear the word “disability”?

As a person with a disability, I can attest to how challenging it is for people with disabilities to receive support, dispel the myths and perceptions around disability, and feel they have a safe space to ask for help. And I understand the fears and misperceptions from employers to hire someone with a disability.

Why should you care? 

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6 min read

Learning about #RootCauseRacism

By Leigh Ann Schildmeier on Aug 11, 2020 5:01:50 PM

UPDATED:  Additional #RootCauseRacism post links added. 

Although #COVID-19 may be the over-arching theme of 2020, #racism has been catapulted back into our collective awareness. With #BLM, protests, 24/7 news coverage, and numerous articles, books, documentaries, and discussions at the forefront right now, finding a logical, cohesive starting point for learning about systemic racism can seem impossible. We humbly suggest this one:  #RootCauseRacism

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1 min read

Tech Leadership 4.0: Leading in a Technologically Driven World

By Angela Barbosa on Aug 5, 2020 5:56:46 AM

We are excited to share the new book Tech Leadership 4.0: Leading in a Technologically Driven World from our friend and colleague Michael A. Anleitner of Livonia Technical Services! It's a fascinating exploration of leadership in the "Fourth Wave" of the industrial revolution.

Co-authored with Rob Pasick, PhD, the book provides an in-depth guide to developing the skills needed to become a successful Fourth Wave leader and how to develop and follow a leadership action plan that turns your personal vision and mission into reality.

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2 min read

Production Boards & Peanut Brittle

By Leigh Ann Schildmeier on May 27, 2020 10:08:44 AM

During quarantine, we’ve all had to get back to basics with many things. At our house, that has included eating at home more, which, of course, means cooking more. We are both great cooks, but we rarely seem to have time to make our meals at home. So, while we have a repertoire of meals that we create from memory, this time is different, so, let's try some new things. Or, as it turned out, some old things.

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Tips & Tricks: Whiteboard vs Sharpie

By Leigh Ann Schildmeier on May 14, 2020 11:51:46 AM

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3 min read

Caught in a Fixed Mindset

By Leigh Ann Schildmeier on May 12, 2020 6:32:47 AM

I got caught with the fixed mindset. How about you?

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