HREDC hosts Employer Roundtable to help area businesses with problem-solving

A group gathered last Monday morning at HREDC’s Employer Roundtable at the Homebank Community Room to listen to Dan Pinkham Jr., owner and principal consultant at Lakehurt Consulting, speak on “8 Steps to Structured Problem Solving.”

HANNIBAL — The Hannibal Regional Economic Development Council hosted an Employer Roundtable event last Monday morning in the Homebank Community Room where Daniel A. Pinkham Jr., spoke to a room filled with area employers.

Pinkham, who is the principal consultant at Lakehurst Consulting, LLC, started by asking a question.

“What would it mean to your business if you could focus on the strategies that drive growth and value rather than being bogged down with operating distractions and problems?”

He then laid out the principles to problem solving in business in his presentation titled “8 Steps to Structured Problem-Solving.”

Pinkham’s first step was to define the root problem.

“We want to go back and identify those root causes and come up with corrective ways going forward to address those problems. Those result in corrective actions,” he said.

Doing the work to implement those corrective actions, having a plan, and following up to help make it happen is where Pinkham said “the rubber meets the road.” Then, once that work is complete, having a quantitative and qualitative way to measure the results is vital.

“We want to make it easy to do the right thing and make it sustainable as well,” he said. “Did our actions actually make a difference or not? Because that’s what we are trying to do; we are trying to make things better.”

Pinkham also stressed employee recognition and to “celebrate successes and recognize the team who is helping to build that culture.”

The presentation is part of the company’s “One-on-one Operational Excellence” approach that was announced in an article on the Lakehurst website in October 2020. In an eight-step framework, the company offers a problem-solving method where “nagging operating issues” can become opportunities to improve.

“Once a team focuses in on the true problem, it is amazing how they come together to build sustainable solutions. This establishes the foundation for a culture of continuous improvement,” Pinkham commented in the article.

Corey Mehaffy, executive director of the Hannibal Regional Economic Development Council, said he was happy with the turnout at the Employer Round Table event, both in-person and virtually. He was also grateful to Pinkham for sharing his expertise.

“Dan has (more than 30 years) of industry experience as a proven Operational Leader at both site and corporate levels…(He) provided important insights for businesses of all sizes,” Mehaffy said.

Prior to founding Lakehurst Consulting, Pinkham has also worked in chemical, fiberglass, and mining industries, both in the US and internationally. He has recent consulting experience in medical devices, food machinery manufacturing, private equity deal advising, health insurance, and defense contracting.

During his introduction at the event, Mehaffy said that HREDC is working with Pinkham, along with the Missouri Training Institute at MU Extension, John Wood Community College, MACC, and others to provide more in-person training that was previously suspended due to COVID-19.

The Ignite Program, a partnership between Hannibal Regional Economic Development Council, the Small Business Development Center, Northeast Power and the Hannibal Area Chamber of Commerce, also hosts monthly meetings focusing on entrepreneurship education and networking.

The free networking event, open to the public, is on Jan. 17 at HATS Restaurant from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. with light refreshments.

HREDC will also a thirty-minute virtual seminar titled "Micro-internships: A workforce solution for short term projects" on Jan. 12 at 12 p.m. Visit them on Facebook for more information. 

Mehaffy also expressed his thanks to Liberty Utilities and J.R. Derksen for providing breakfast for those in attendance at the Employer Roundtable event.

To view the full Master Class on Structured Problem Solving Approaches, register at

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