Bulletproof Problem Solving

Book description

Complex problem solving is the core skill for 21st Century Teams

Complex problem solving is at the very top of the list of essential skills for career progression in the modern world. But how problem solving is taught in our schools, universities, businesses and organizations comes up short. In Bulletproof Problem Solving: The One Skill That Changes Everything you’ll learn the seven-step systematic approach to creative problem solving developed in top consulting firms that will work in any field or industry, turning you into a highly sought-after bulletproof problem solver who can tackle challenges that others balk at.

The problem-solving technique outlined in this book is based on a highly visual, logic-tree method that can be applied to everything from everyday decisions to strategic issues in business to global social challenges. The authors, with decades of experience at McKinsey and Company, provide 30 detailed, real-world examples, so you can see exactly how the technique works in action. With this bulletproof approach to defining, unpacking, understanding, and ultimately solving problems, you’ll have a personal superpower for developing compelling solutions in your workplace.

  • Discover the time-tested 7-step technique to problem solving that top consulting professionals employ
  • Learn how a simple visual system can help you break down and understand the component parts of even the most complex problems
  • Build team brainstorming techniques that fight cognitive bias, streamline workplanning, and speed solutions
  • Know when and how to employ modern analytic tools and techniques from machine learning to game theory
  • Learn how to structure and communicate your findings to convince audiences and compel action

The secrets revealed in Bulletproof Problem Solving will transform the way you approach problems and take you to the next level of business and personal success.

Table of contents

  1. Cover
  2. Foreword
  3. Introduction: Problem Solving for the Challenges of the Twenty-First Century
    1. Problem Solving Capability
    2. Education Gaps
    3. The Seven‐Steps Process
    4. High Stakes
    5. Pitfalls and Common Mistakes
    6. What's in Store?
    7. Notes
  4. Chapter One: Learn the Bulletproof Problem Solving Approach
    1. The Bulletproof Problem Solving Cycle
    2. Prepare for an Avalanche of Trees!
    3. Let's Start with Some Case Studies
    4. Case 1: Does Sydney Airport Have Adequate Capacity?
    5. Case 2: Should Rob Install Solar Panels on His Roof Now?
    6. Case 3: Where Should I Move?
    7. Case 4: Making Pricing Decisions in a Start‐up Company
    8. Case 5: Should Charles Support the Local School Levy?
    9. Chapter 1 Takeaways
    10. Problems to Try on Your Own
  5. Chapter Two: Define the Problem
    1. Design Thinking and Seven Steps
    2. Chapter 2 Takeaways
    3. Problems to Try on Your Own
    4. Note
  6. Chapter Three: Problem Disaggregation and Prioritization
    1. Introduction
    2. Types of Logic Trees: Getting Started
    3. Step 3: Prioritization—Pruning Your Logic Trees
    4. Advanced Class: Using Cleaving Frames to Take Apart Problems
    5. Team Processes in Problem Disaggregation and Prioritization
    6. Chapter 3 Takeaways
    7. Problems to Try on Your Own
    8. Notes
  7. Chapter Four: Build a Great Workplan and Team Processes
    1. Workplanning and Project Management
    2. One‐Day Answers
    3. Great Team Processes for Workplanning and Analysis
    4. Chapter 4 Takeaways
    5. Problems to Try on Your Own
    6. Notes
  8. Chapter Five: Conduct Analyses
    1. Heuristics and Rules of Thumb
    2. Question‐Based Problem Solving
    3. Chapter 5 Takeaways
    4. Problems to Try on Your Own
    5. Notes
  9. Chapter Six: Big Guns of Analysis
    1. Firepower Availability
    2. Sequence Your Thinking
    3. Which Big Gun to Choose?
    4. Case Studies for Employing the Big Guns
    5. Takeaways
    6. Problems to Try on Your Own
    7. Notes
  10. Chapter Seven: Synthesize Results and Tell a Great Story
    1. Introduction
    2. Synthesis of Findings
    3. From One‐Day Answers to Pyramid Structure
    4. Telling Compelling Stories
    5. Chapter 7 Takeaways
    6. Problems to Try on Your Own
    7. Notes
  11. Chapter Eight: Problem Solving with Long Time Frames and High Uncertainty
    1. Levels of Uncertainty
    2. Logic Trees to Deal with Uncertainty
    3. Case Examples of Long Time Frames and Uncertainty
    4. Case Study: How Should I Choose My Career?
    5. Case Study: Will My Retirement Savings Last?
    6. Case Study: How to Make Really Long‐Term Investments
    7. Case Study: Building New Businesses with Strategic Staircases
    8. Case Study: Managing a Long‐Term Strategy Portfolio, Pacific Salmon Example
    9. Chapter 8 Takeaways
    10. Problems to Try on Your Own
    11. Notes
  12. Chapter Nine: Wicked Problems
    1. Obesity as a Wicked Problem
    2. Overfishing: The Quintessential Wicked Problem
    3. Conclusion
    4. Chapter 9 Takeaways
    5. Problems to Try on Your Own
    6. Notes
  13. Chapter Ten: Becoming a Great Problem Solver
  14. Appendix: Blank Worksheets for You to Try
  15. About the Authors
  16. Acknowledgments
  17. Index
  18. End User License Agreement

Product information

  • Title: Bulletproof Problem Solving
  • Author(s): Charles Conn, Robert McLean
  • Release date: March 2019
  • Publisher(s): Wiley
  • ISBN: 9781119553021