Problem Solving 101
A Simple Book for Smart People
ISBN 9781591842422 | 128 pages | 05 Mar 2009 | Portfolio | 5.51 x 8.26in | 18 - AND UP
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The fun and simple problem-solving guide that took Japan by storm“Problem Solving 101 teaches us to recognize the common elements in the decisions we face every day, and how to think carefully about them. It offers tricks and tips for every age. If I may offer one more suggestion: when you don't know which of two options to chose, toss a coin, and when it is up there in the air think about how you want it to fall, and you have your answer.”
Ken Watanabe originally wrote Problem Solving 101 for Japanese schoolchildren. His goal was to help shift the focus in Japanese education from memorization to critical thinking, by adapting some of the techniques he had learned as an elite McKinsey consultant.
He was amazed to discover that adults were hungry for his fun and easy guide to problem solving and decision making. The book became a surprise Japanese bestseller, with more than 370,000 in print after six months. Now American businesspeople can also use it to master some powerful skills.
Watanabe uses sample scenarios to illustrate his techniques, which include logic trees and matrixes. A rock band figures out how to drive up concert attendance. An aspiring animator budgets for a new computer purchase. Students decide which high school they will attend.
Illustrated with diagrams and quirky drawings, the book is simple enough for a middleschooler to understand but sophisticated enough for business leaders to apply to their most challenging problems.
—Dan Ariely, author of The New York Times bestseller Predictably Irrational
“This book made me angry. It made me angry because there are so many people in this country who need to read it, who should read it, who will benefit enormously from reading it . . . and won't. They'll watch a reality show on TV instead. If everyone made decisions like Ken Watanabe, the world would be a better place.”
—Seth Godin, author of Tribes
“This is an excellent primer on problem solving.”
—Lowell Bryan, author of Mobilizing Minds
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