The variety of approaches to problem solving appear to form a continuum, that looks a bit like:

  1. The “workaround” where you find a way around the problem, hoping by magic it will go away.
  2.  Further along the continuum we have some sort of score chart which logs the progress of the symptoms of the problem without actively looking for the cause.
  3. The next stage is an effort to solve the problem and put in  some sort of remedial action,
  4. Then we have a continuous improvement project that seeks to identify problems and improvements on a continuous basis. 
  5. Finally we have a Kaizen culture, where the standard is revised and improved on a continuous basis by those with the hands on responsibility for the process, with the active support of all around them in the organisation.  
  6. I often see the first step, usually the second, sometimes the third, very occasionally the fourth, but I have never seen a culture that actively feeds (rather than just supports) continuous improvement as a  underlying value in the business.

    Where do you fit?