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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 13, 2003
James M. Higgins' packs every one of his 220 pages with solid content. He collected problem-solving techniques from organizations and individuals from all types of business and several countries. He wrote them up, summarized them, and presented them to us in easy-to-read, digestible, format. Most important, he explains them so that they can be taken and used.
Higgins spends two short chapters discussing problem solving and innovation, then he gets down to the techniques. He has techniques for recognizing and identifying problems, analyzing the environment, brainstorming problem-solving ideas, and choosing solutions. One of my favorite facts about this book is that he has 38 techniques for individuals to brainstorm ideas, yet also has another 32 group brainstorming techniques. He really includes something for everyone in this smorgasbord.
I have adapted and used a number of these successfully: the Lotus Blossom and Two Words Techniques have been excellent brainstorming processes for me. I have shown a large number of people the Why-why diagram for uncovering the root causes of problems. I have shared my copy of this book with five or six people, each of whom went out and bought their own copy.
If you're looking for an easily read book that gets you started on formal, process-oriented problem solving (as advocated by Quality Management philosophies), this is a great starting point.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 2001
This book in my opinion will enhance your thinking process in terms of exercising your own creativity to solve business problems. The tools in this book can be used to bring out your own originality and expressiveness in seeking solutions.
I liked the way the author James M. Higgins, gave real life examples of Giant Corporations that have used one or more of these problem-solving techniques.
The 101 techniques described in this book are broken down to by problem solving stages: environmental analysis, recognizing and identifying problems, making assumptions, generating alternatives, making choices and implementing solutions. Each one of these processes is described in detail with graphics and, some chapters will have exercises that are deemed helpful in understanding the technique.
The techniques are presented in alphabetical order and are numbered twice, the first number denotes the techniques position from 1 to 101, and the second number is the techniques position within that section of the problem-solving model.
Chapter 4 which focused on individual techniques is the one that I personally found to be most helpful. In my line of work as an IT Consultant I have exercised a few of these techniques such as mind mapping, but I also found other techniques that I can't wait to start using my next project.
There are many techniques to try in this book, some of these techniques you may not like, others won't fit, but overall this is a handy book to use for your problem-solving efforts.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 1998
How many times have you wished, as either a employee, facilitator or parent, that you had a creative problem solving book properly indexed so you can begin using the techniques right away? "101 Creative Problem Solving Techniques" helps you achieve these pronto.
Divided into Personal and Group techniques, you can handily zoom in to possible solutions quickly. And, because Jim Higgins has a extensive background in academia at the innovative Crummer School of Management at Rollins College, the book is thoroughly referenced and contains ample citations for those wishing to pursue sources further.
Furthermore, the book includes stimulating (and fun) graphics on nearly every page. Coupled with the case studies and examples, this makes for a highly engaging and very practical read.
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on July 19, 1998
In a well written, fast reading, and magical form, this tight little book gives practical and magical methods and examples of ways to get more ideas and thus, more great ideas. This one will stay on your shelf and desk for years if you do anything that requires good ideas -- and all our work and lives require it today.
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on March 9, 2004
This book is an excellent collection of creative-thinking techniques that will make you more creative in your business and personal lives. This ranks close to the classic book on creative-thinking "Thinkertoys" by Michael Michalko.
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on August 9, 1999
This is a good book replete with many creative-thinking techniques. What's missing is the rationale for the techniques. The author would better serve the reader if he would give examples of why and how the techniques work.
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on September 21, 1998
If you think you have tried all the different methods of problem solving. Think again. This book will show many different ideas.
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on February 7, 2004
This book is both original and good. The part that is good is not original and the part that is original is not good.
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