How to solve problem : a simple book for SMART people.

Great reading during my holiday :

Problem Solving 101 : a simple book for SMART people.

About the author : Ken Watanabe studied at Yale and Harvard Business School and was a management consultant at McKinsey & Company for six years. He is now the founder and CEO of his own education, entertainment, and media company, Delta Studio. He lives in Tokyo.

About the book : Problem Solving 101 started out as a simple guide to teach Japanese schoolchildren critical thinking skills. But it quickly became an adult bestseller, thanks to the powerful effectiveness of Ken Watanabe’s problem solving methods.

Who is this book for  : Entrepreneurs, artists, parents, and virtually anyone who is interested to find out more about problem solving in a clear, no fuss manner. From finding a new university, to increasing sales of your product; everything can be solved if you learn how.

The tools in this book come from the author’s experience as an elite McKinsey consultant. But you don’t need an MBA or complicated computer software to use them. You’ll learn how to broaden and organize your thinking about a problem, so that more possible solutions become clear.

While the characters in the book are mostly children, don’t be fooled into thinking that this book is purely for kids. There’s charts, diagrams, and graphs to illustrate the process; which is broken down into manageable chunks. Ken does a wonderful job of explaining his concepts in a clear and concise manner – taking readers step by step through a scenario to arrive at the best probable choice. He demostrates this via several problem-solving toolboxes: Logic Tree, Yes/No Tree, Problem Solving Design Plan, Hypothesis Pyramid; and through Pros/Cons, Criteria and Evaluation.

Best of all, you’ll discover these tools through fun and accessible examples:

  • The Mushroom Lovers are a rock band without an audience. They drive up attendance at their shows by figuring out the root cause of their problem and developing an effective solution.
  • John the Octopus uses his problem solving skills to budget for a new computer and pursue his dream of becoming a famous CG animator.
  • Kiwi is a soccer star who wants to take her game to the next level. She evaluates the pros and cons of two soccer schools to determine the best option for her needs.

Problem-solving oriented thinking can help us take control of our lives, deal with the challenges we encounter, and even change the world. Once you’ve mastered the skills in this book, you’ll wonder how you ever got by without them.

Full of useful diagrams and quirky drawings, Problem Solving 101 is simple enough for a middle schooler to understand but sophisticated enough for business leaders to apply to their most challenging problems.

You will find here-below a link to few toolboxes used in this book.


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