Revisiting Case Studies and Concluding Insights

Article 7 of 7-part thought leadership series: Enabling ‘Good’ Innovative Problem Solving for Organisational Sustainability and Success

In our final instalment, we re-examine the crucial case studies of Lehman Brothers, Monarch Airlines, and the NHS Cyber-Attack, applying the comprehensive 9 Pathways framework. This re-evaluation offers insights into how a strong organisational culture, influenced by these pathways, might have changed the outcomes for these entities.

Lehman Brothers: A Case of Misaligned Values and Missed Opportunities


The collapse of Lehman Brothers illustrates the dangers of overlooking crucial aspects of organisational culture:

Trust and Integrity: A lack of transparency and a culture that didn’t prioritize trust led to risky financial dealings and irresponsibility.

Innovation and Change: The company failed to seize opportunities for innovation in its risk assessment and financial practices.

Preparation and Tactics: Insufficient strategic foresight and planning for market shifts played a role in its downfall.

Monarch Airlines: The Cost of Resistance to Change


Monarch Airlines’ demise teaches the critical need for agility:

Vision and Mission Alignment: The airline struggled to adjust its vision to keep pace with the fast-changing aviation industry.

Adaptability and Learning: Its inability to respond to the emergence of low-cost competitors and evolving customer preferences was a decisive factor in its failure.

Team Synergy: A collaborative environment could have promoted innovation and adaptability.

NHS Cyber-Attack (2017): A Digital Wake-Up Call


The 2017 NHS Cyber-Attack highlights the importance of digital vigilance:

Responsibility and Integrity: The priority should have been to safeguard patient information, reflecting the NHS’s core values.

Preparation and Tactics: The lack of readiness for cyber threats highlighted deficiencies in strategic planning and risk management.

Innovation and Change: Delayed updates to digital infrastructure and cybersecurity measures were detrimental.

Key Insights and Actions


The analysis underscores the 9 Pathways’ role in building resilience and enhancing problem-solving skills within organisations. Main takeaways include:

Holistic Culture: Adopting all 9 Pathways helps create a culture that is both innovative and balanced, ideal for problem-solving.

Ongoing Learning: Organisations should continuously evolve by learning from both internal experiences and the external environment.

Balancing Human and Operational Factors: A focus on people combined with a drive for results is essential for sustained success.

Strategic Recommendations for Leadership


  1. Prioritise Trust and Integrity: Make transparency and ethical conduct the cornerstones of every decision.
  2. Encourage Diverse and Innovative Thinking: Create an environment where different viewpoints are welcomed and innovation is cultivated.
  3. Ensure Strategic and Visionary Alignment: Regularly review and adjust strategies to reflect the organisation’s overall vision and mission.
  4. Adopt a Proactive Stance on Change: Stay nimble, anticipating and responding swiftly to market shifts and emerging threats.
  5. Invest in People and Technology: Achieve a balance between nurturing talent and embracing technological advancements to prepare for the future.


Concluding Thoughts

Our series has underscored that excellent innovative problem-solving transcends strategic efforts; it’s a cultural necessity. Integrating Hartman’s Dimensions with the 9 Pathways provides a blueprint for developing organisations that are not just resilient and adaptive but are also deeply committed to ethical and people-centric values. In navigating today’s complex business world, these guidelines are invaluable for leaders dedicated to steering their organisations toward enduring success and impactful contributions.

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