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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.
About the Authors
Charles Conn (Oxford, UK) is CEO of the Rhodes Scholarships in Oxford. Previously, he was a Partner at McKinsey & Company, led a technology start-up to its IPO, and was an early team lead at the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation in San Francisco.
Robert McLean (Australia) is a Senior Adviser at McKinsey and Company. He led the Australian and New Zealand McKinsey practice for eight years and served on the firm's global Director's Committee.
Introduction: Problem Solving for the Challenges of the Twenty-First Century xiii
Chapter 1 Learn the Bulletproof Problem Solving Approach 1
A straightforward seven-step process is the key to bulletproof problem solving.
Chapter 2 Define the Problem 31
Take time upfront to fully understand the problem and its context.
Chapter 3 Problem Disaggregation and Prioritization 49
Cleave the problem into manageable parts.
Chapter 4 Build a Great Workplan and Team Processes 87
Drive your workplans from hypotheses to action for efficient problem solving.
Chapter 5 Conduct Analyses 111
Start with summary statistics and heuristics to find simple answers to complex problems.
Chapter 6 Big Guns of Analysis 135
Employ sophisticated tools of analysis with confidence when they are needed.
Chapter 7 Synthesize Results and Tell a Great Story 179
Synthesize your analysis and turn it into a compelling narrative.
Chapter 8 Problem Solving with Long Time Frames and High Uncertainty 195
Add tools to address issues of long time frames and uncertainty.
Chapter 9 Wicked Problems 235
Unpick wicked problems to yield surprising insights.
Chapter 10 Becoming a Great Problem Solver 253
The magic of the bulletproof process is now yours.
Appendix: Blank Worksheets for You to Try 259
About the Authors 265