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Problem Solving 101: A simple book for smart people [Format Kindle]

Ken Watanabe

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

"If everyone made decisions like Ken Watanabe, the world would be a better place" (Seth Godin, author of Tribes)


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

" (Dan Ariely, author of the New York Time bestseller Predictably Irrational)

"a business best seller" (Business Week)

"This is an excellent primer on problem solving" (Lowell Bryan, author of Mobilizing Minds)

Présentation de l'éditeur

Problem Solving 101 started out as a simple guide to teach Japanese schoolchildren critical thinking skills. But it quickly became an international bestseller for readers of all ages, thanks to the powerful effectiveness of Ken Watanabe's unique methods.

Full of useful diagrams and quirky drawings, Problem Solving 101 is packed with practical tools and brain training techniques that will improve your problem-solving and decision-making ability, and enable you to find better solutions faster.

Simple enough for a high school student to understand but sophisticated enough for CEOs to apply to their most challenging problems, Problem Solving 101 has helped millions of people around the world to find successful solutions to even the toughest of problems.

Once you've mastered the problem-solving skills in this book, you'll wonder how you ever got by without them.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1755 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 128 pages
  • Editeur : Ebury Digital (6 juillet 2010)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0091929660
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091929664
  • ASIN: B003ULP3M6
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°113.008 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.3 étoiles sur 5  59 commentaires
35 internautes sur 36 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A great tool for getting people to sing from the same solid problem solving song-book 4 avril 2009
Par Craig Matteson - Publié sur
This is a fabulous little book and useful for everyone. You can use it to teach yourself or remind yourself of the solid basics of problem solving. Or you can use it within your team so that everyone is working on problems with the same approach. And you can use it to teach your children how to approach the problems they face everyday of their life.

While the author originally wrote it as a children's book in Japan, it became a big bestseller there in the business world. Watanabe has adapted it for you and me, but still keeps that same childlike simplicity that makes the book so clear and so valuable. I think that the book has become such a sensation because the book speaks clearly but not condescendingly. The book teaches basic principles without oversimplifying them.

There are four "classes" or stories in the book that take you through a core principle in Watanabe's method (remember he was a consultant at McKinsey after studying at both Yale and Harvard). The first class shows you how your attitude and approach to the problems you face has a huge impact on whether you can handle the problems or not. The author provides four steps to problem solving:

1) understand the current situation
2) identify the root cause of the problem (not being satisfied with merely labeling symptoms)
3) develop an effective action plan (not falling for the trap of doing SOMETHNG)
4) execute until the problem is solved while making modifications as you learn.

The problems-solving tool boxes are also terrific. They are:
- Logic Tree
- Yes/No Tree
- Problem-Solving Design Plan
- Hypothesis Pyramid
- Pros and Cons

Really, this book is for everyone and something you can use in many different ways.

Reviewed by Craig Matteson, Ann Arbor, MI
17 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Great Job Mr. Watanabe, Great Job 27 mars 2010
Par CFT - Publié sur
Hands down one of the best problem solving/decision making books written.

Ken Watanabe, a McKinsey consultant, hears the call of Japan's prime minister for his nation to shift their educational system from a "memorization-focused education" to a "problem-solving-focused education". His response to the prime minister's calling is to quit his consulting job to teach kids and write Problem Solving 101. Fortunately, the business community also paid attention to the content of Mr. Watanabe's book and did not get hung up on the childlike presentation, which I believe actually makes it more powerful. Eventually, Problem Solving 101 became Japan's number one best-selling business book in 2007.

I stumbled on Problem Solving 101 in a bookstore when browsing but did not purchase it. A few days later I went back to look at one of the diagrams in the book as I thought it would be a useful process for something I was working on. However I still did not buy the book as it seemed too childlike to spend money on. Two days later I was back in the bookstore looking something up again in the book. As I was walking out of the store without purchasing it I thought, "This is stupid," and went back and purchased the book.

There's the key to the value of this book, you keep coming back to it to put its concepts to actual work. In the past week I have used processes outlined in the book for a high priority business problem and a major personal decision. I can honestly say both have benefited significantly with one now having a process to solve the problem and the other reaching a confident, effective decision. You just cannot get much better consulting than what this book provides.

Great job Mr. Watanabe, great job.
24 internautes sur 27 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 DECISIONS, DECISIONS, DECISIONS ! 14 mars 2009
Par Gail Cooke - Publié sur
What started out as a book written for Japanese children became a bestseller, read and followed by so many adults that it became Japan's #1 business book. Why? Because it offers easy to understand viable solutions to making the best problem solving decisions we can in order to reach the goals we wish to attain.

Before writing this book author Watanabe was a consultant for the global management consulting firm of McKinney & Company. As he writes, "For six years I worked with major companies all over the world to help solve their business challenges using a straightforward yet powerful set of problem-solving tools."

Then, in 2007 when the Japanese prime minster placed education at the top of his nation's agenda, Watanabe felt called to help. So he left McKinney to teach children and to write this book. Now, all of us are the beneficiaries.

In a nutshell he suggests 4 steps: (1) Identify the problem quite specifically. A problem can be as simple as where to have dinner that evening or as complex as a major investment. (2) Discover the root difficulties that are causing the problem. (3) Develop a plan of action or steps to be taken to resolve the issue. (4) Take action being prepared to substitute or modify until the issue is resolved.

This abbreviation of the author's ideas does in no way do justice to his theses. His book is replete with charts, graphs and example exercises. Read and learn !

- Gail Cooke
12 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 A simple and useful book 6 octobre 2012
Par Ho Kheong Tan - Publié sur
A surprising simple and useful reference book for decision making.

Although Ken Watanabe was a consultant dealing with business decision makers, he showed his incisive self by illustrating decision tools using 3 intriguing stories.

5 decision making tools were introduced: logic tree, Yes/No tree, problem solving design plan, hypothesis pyramid, and pros and cons evaluation table.

Some salient points:
1. Problem solving isn't a talent. It's a habit. By developing the right skills and adopting the right attitude, anyone can become a problems solving kid.

2. Problem solving is a process that can be broken down into four steps: (a) understand the current situation; (b) identify the root cause of the problem; (c) develop an effective action plan; and (d) execute until the problem is solved. making modifications as necessary.

3. You have to keep asking the "why" and "how" to develop a custom made action plane.

4. On problem solving design plan, if you start collecting and analysing data without first clarifying the question you are trying to answer, you're probably doing yourself more harm than good, and realise later that most of the research was a waste of time. To avoid this problem, you should develop a problem-solving design plan before you start chasing after information. In the design plan, you clarify the issues you are trying to solve, state your current hypotheses and rationale, and list the analyses, actions, and information required to prove or disprove those hypotheses, drastically increase your problem-solving productivity. Additionally, putting your plan down on paper will not only clarify your thoughts. If you are working in a group, this plan will also help your team to focus on what needs to be done and provide the jumping-off point for your group brainstorming. You will be able to focus on only what you really need to know to make a decision.

5. The 5 columns for a problem-solving design plan are issue, hypothesis, rationale, analysis/activities and information source.

6. When you set a goal get into the habit of asking yourself, "What specifically do I want to achieve? When do I want to achieve it? What specific conditions do I have?"

7. There are 2 forms of hypothesis, an argument structure and grouping structure. Unlike the grouping structure, with an argument structure, if one of the statements is untrue, the main conclusion is automatically false.

8. Impact = plan effectiveness x quality of execution

9. Once you have a concrete plan of action to achieve your goal, don't forget to create a concrete schedule. Write down everything you are going to do, and when you plan to do it.

10. We tend to be swayed by our first impressions. If we first think something is attractive, we tend to try to collect evidence that supports that idea. On the other hand, if we think something is unattractive, we tend to highlight only its negative points. It is critical to avoid this tendency in order to make a sound decision.

11. These are more than just tools for organising your thoughts. They help point out information you might be missing and bring up questions you may need to ask yourself along the way about what you really think is important.

12. We often make important decisions without taking enough time to think through the options and to track down accurate information.

13. The most important thing for you is to be surrounded by great players that you get to both play with and compete against on a daily basis. Also get as much playing time as possible by playing real games under pressure.

14. Luck is what happens wen preparation meets opportunity.

15. Spend less time worrying about things and more time thinking about actions you can take to get closer to your goals, then actually take action.

16. Problem solving is easy when you now how to set a clear goal, figure out how to reach it, and follow through while reviewing your progress and making changes to your plan as necessary.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Everyone in America should read this book 24 décembre 2009
Par Reuben Rail - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
I agree with Seth - everyone in America should read this book. Really.

The author, Ken Watanabe, who is a former managerial consultant with McKinsey, has written a great primer on problem solving that is useful for business decisions, and everyday problems.

The examples are written using kid stories, which makes it fun, and provide the tools to start making problem solving an everyday behavior in life.

Some may complain that there is not enough depth, but they would be missing the bigger picture. It is not how much you are 'given' in a book, but rather how much is actually taken or understood - the transference of knowledge. Watanabe's book provides the frameworks for everyday problem solving that can be applied from the simple to the complex, and that's what makes it worthwhile.

Be a Problem Solver. Read this book.
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