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Problem Solving 101: A Simple Book for Smart People
Format: HardcoverChange
Price:$16.89+Free shipping with Amazon Prime

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 5, 2011
I am glad this book exists. Many, especially the youthful cohort, could really benefit from it. Watanbe presens three basic problems or goals and shows how to rightfully solution them using thought-out, processed thinking. He shows how to use tools like logic trees, pro/con analysis, four quadrant matrix, hypothesis pyramids to diagnose problems in an easy-to-understand way (the book is written for kids, mind you). While the problems are geared towards those in which kids would face, it shows how every single problem can be solved in a similar fashion: understanding, identifying, solutioning and executing.

I would think this would be mandatory reading for every grade 10 class, because the mi.dframe it endows you with is extremely powerful.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
TOP 50 REVIEWERon March 14, 2009
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
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