Master Clinic on Solving Tough Problems

Master Clinic on Solving Tough Problems (Saskatoon, SK)
Apr 23, 2018 to Apr 24, 2018
Location : K W Nasser Centre (256 - 3rd Avenue South)

Now taking registrations for 2018. Please see brochure and online registration below.


Master Clinic

A Road Map for Quick and Effective Solutions

Introduction & Background:

Required Course of the Operational Excellence Certificate

Most problems in organizations fall into six general categories. Particularly knotty problems involve some combination of the six. When managers are unable to diagnose the problem, they are likely to use the wrong problem-solving approach. This leaves them frustrated and exhausted - and no further along in fixing the problem.

This course is designed to help you identify which category your toughest problem falls into. Once you understand the problem type you can select the best problem-solving method for your specific problem, and follow a straightforward roadmap to a lasting solution. The objective is to dramatically improve your problem solving abilities for all types of problems, and to make you a better business thinker and decision maker.

The main feature of this clinic is to address, analyze and solve your toughest problems. You will also learn how to classify other problems, and use the best approach to solving each problem type.

“A great class that gives you tools to deal with tough problems in your organization.” - James Johannesson, University of Saskatchewan

Who Should Attend?

This course is designed for those who want hands-on experience in solving tough problems in a business context. Such as:

  • Department heads, managers and supervisors
  • Executives
  • Teams, committees and task force groups
  • Consultants

Key Takeaways:

  • Identify the six general categories of problems and problem-solving processes
  • Evaluate the nature of the problem, and discover what type (or combination of types) it is
  • Apply the correct problem-solving approach for each problem type
  • Build skills in major leadership and problem-solving competencies
  • Quickly solve or know how to solve your toughest problems
  • Nip emerging problems in the bud
  • Get a roadmap for solving future problems
  • Know when to exit a problem that is unsolvable
  • Analyze your decision-making strengths and weaknesses, and build skills in the seven solution areas
  • Recognize and avoid the eight pitfalls of decision making
  • Influence those in positions of authority, and create an impact on your "higher-ups"

“Great session, that will help provide tools for working through simple to difficult problems in the future.” - Jennifer Ball, Ministry of Highways & Infrastructure

Course Outline:

How do we typically solve tough problems?

The three things that must be in place before you can address a problem

  • How to change a belief
  • Influencing and getting buy-in from your boss and other senior-level managers

Describing and analyzing your toughest problem

  • Do enough stakeholders agree that it is a problem?

Solving problems where cause and effect can be made visible

  • The role of experts
  • The right tools and methodology

Solving problems that involve many stakeholders with strong vested interests

  • Interests versus positions
  • Creating a win-win
  • Compromise

Solving problems relating to multiple priorities

  • Politics and jockeying for resources
  • What does our strategy tell us

Solving problems relating to the future

  • The four levels of uncertainty
  • Crafting scenarios
  • Early warning indicators

Solving problems involving large groups, where actions can be unpredictable

  • Learning from the past
  • Getting the players together
  • Trying small changes and seeing what happens

Solving problems where two goals are in conflict with each other

  • Identifying a dilemma
  • How do we know that we have gone too far on one side of the dilemma
  • Structural ways to manage a dilemma
  • The clean sheet approach to a breakthrough

The eight traps of decision making and countermeasures for each

  • Balancing advocacy and inquiry
  • Exploring organizational dysfunctions and politics


Instructor Profile:

Dan Madison, MBA, CFA

Dan Madison

Dan Madison has been a consultant and university instructor for more than 23 years. He is currently Principal of Value Creation Partners, an organizational consulting and training firm. He helps clients increase value through operational improvement, organizational redesign and leadership development. 

Prior to his current activities, Dan was a professional money manager, interviewed over 100 corporate officers (CEO’s and CFO’s) of the Fortune 500, and extensively analyzed hundreds of publicly held companies. He has an MBA in Finance (with honors) and is a Chartered Financial Analyst. Dan received his Lean Office Certificate from the University of Michigan.

Program Fees

$1,195 plus GST plus GST

  • Program fee includes course tuition, all course materials, lunches and refreshment, but not hotel accommodations.
  • University of Saskatchewan's liability is limited to reimbursement of paid tuition fees.
  • Cancellation received in writing at least 14 days in advance of the course start date will receive a full refund. Written cancellations received less than 14 days prior to the course will be subject to a $200 administration fee. Non-attendance (notification 24 hours or less) will incur full course tuition fee.
  • One free transfer is permitted, provided written notice is received at least 14 days in advance of the course start date.