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Diagnostic Thinking:

a skill, an approach, and philosophy 

What is Diagnostic Thinking?

Diagnostic thinking is a leadership ability to look at a problem and not to go from problem to solution, but engage in an intermediate step of going from problem to diagnosis and then to solution. 

 

 

Benefits of Diagnostic Thinking

Diagnostic Thinking is not as obvious as it sounds. Managers often begin with whatever they know best (training, reorganization, the supply chain). Many leaders are action-oriented. But, incorrectly framed problems might lead to a number of unintended consequences: 

 

  • Loss of valuable resources (time, people, money) 

  • Inefficiency and ineffectiveness of a solution to a misdiagnosed situation 

  • Loss of trust in organizational leadership and its credibility. 

 

Diagnostic Thinking is a better and more sustainable approach since it is going to produce the thoroughness and accuracy that the management team and situation require.

 

Accurately defining all underlying issues of an organizational challenge is the only way to determine which goals are reasonable and where leaders should focus their performance-improvement efforts.

 

 

Why Diagnostic Thinking?

Diagnostic Thinking is one of the essential qualities of effective leaders. Every organization has its distinctive strengths and weaknesses, and faces a unique combination of threats and opportunities. 

 

Embarking on this kind of diagnosis, however, can be daunting because there are countless possible points of entry. Your operations may span the globe and involve many thousands of employees and stakeholders.

  • Should you start by talking to those employees and stakeholders or by examining your processes?

  • Should you focus on the effectiveness of your procurement or analyze your product lines? 

 

 

What problems does it solve?

A systematic diagnostic process can be tailored to a specific organizational situation. Whatever the challenge that organization is currently facing, a diagnostic thinking approach will equip its leaders with:

  • An understanding of the fundamentals of organizational performance

  • The ability to be laser focused on the most important problem or opportunity 

  • A comprehensive diagnostic methodology

  • An established process for quick agreement and for the rapid implementation of the chosen solution

 

I have developed training program that cal equip organizational leaders and problem-solvers with a systematic diagnostic process and tailor-made tools. This program is currently on demand only basis. Contact me to discuss details. 

 

 

Skills supporting Diagnostic Thinking

When I apply Diagnostic Thinking as an approach to understand organizational challenges I apply a blend of techniques and a number of coaching & consultancy skills: 

  • Human - Centered Design

  • Systems Thinking

  • Appreciative Inquiry

  • Design Thinking

  • Art-based facilitation

  • Humble vigilance and inquiry

  • Process consulting

If I facilitate a training on diagnostic thinking, I aim at creating creates a safe experiential learning environment, in which participants will diagnose real life case studies. I share with participants how to use practical diagnostic tools that are based on mentioned above skills. 

 

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