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Good question! It’s all about setting expectations. I would start by putting the “Solution Parking Lot” right on the wall and asking the team to assist you in identifying what should go into it. Ask them watch for the key words, “Lack of, insufficient and inadequate.” Once they see a solution they should 1) move it to the Parking Lot and 2) rephrase it as a measurable root cause to go on the Fishbone. As an example, “Lack of training” becomes, “Level of employee knowledge.” If you enlist others in your efforts to separate root causes from solutions then they’ll become your partners.

Elisabeth Swan

Elisabeth is a Managing Partner at For over 25 years, she's helped leading organizations like Amazon, Charles Schwab and Starwood Hotels & Resorts build problem-solving muscles with Lean Six Sigma to achieve their goals.