Clarity in problem solving

resource list


Below are some suggested resources to supplement the Clarity in Problem Solving course. Please note that if you purchase any of the following using the links provided, we do receive a small commission.



Number 1 Recommendations

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 techniques to train your brain to solve problems, create solutions and make faster, better decisions.

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 skills in this book, you'll wonder how you ever got by without them.


 In Cracked It!, seasoned strategy professors and consultants Bernard Garrette, Corey Phelps and Olivier Sibony present a rigorous and practical four-step approach to overcome these pitfalls. Building on tried-and-tested (but rarely revealed) methods of top strategy consultants, research in cognitive psychology, and the latest advances in design thinking, they provide a step-by-step process and toolkit that will help readers tackle any challenging business problem. Using compelling stories and detailed case examples, the authors guide readers through each step in the process: from how to state, structure and then solve problems to how to sell the solutions.

Written in an engaging style by a trio of experts with decades of experience researching, teaching and consulting on complex business problems, this book will be an indispensable manual for anyone interested in creating value by helping their organizations crack the problems that matter most

Extra Recommended Reading on Problem Solving

Strategic Thinking in Complex Problem Solving is a tool kit that integrates knowledge based on both theoretical and empirical evidence from many disciplines, and explains it in accessible terms.

The book breaks down the resolution process into four steps: frame the problem, diagnose it, identify and select potential solutions, and implement and monitor the solution. For each of these four steps – the what, why, how, and do – this book explains techniques that promotes success and demonstrates how to apply them on a case study and in additional examples. 

The featured case study guides you through the resolution process, illustrates how these concepts apply, and creates a concrete image to facilitate recollection.

With this book, you don't just learn about problem solving, but how to actually do it.

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. 

Bulletproof Problem Solving will transform the way you approach problems and take you to the next level of business and personal success.

Other Associated Books That May be of Interest 

Structured around interviews and frontline anecdotes from former McKinsey consultants–as well as the authors, themselves McKinsey alumni–The McKinsey Mind explores how McKinsey tools and techniques can be applied to virtually any business problem in any setting. Immensely valuable in today's crisis-a-minute workplace, it discusses:

  • Techniques for framing problems and designing analyses
  • Methods for interpreting results and presenting solutions
  • Keys for managing teams, managing clients, and managing yourself

The ability to think in a rigorous, structured manner–a McKinsey manner–is not a birthright. It can, however, be a learned behavior. Let The McKinsey Mind show you how to approach and solve problems with the skill of a McKinsey consultant and obtain the positive results that have been delivered to McKinsey clients for over a century.

The third volume in the internationally bestselling McKinsey Trilogy, “The McKinsey Engagement” is an action guide to realizing the consistently high level of business solutions achieved by the experts at the world's most respected consulting firms.

Former consultant Dr. Paul Friga distills the guiding principles first presented in the bestselling “The McKinsey Way” and the tested-in-the-trenches methodologies outlined in “The McKinsey Mind,” and combines them with many of the principles and procedures implemented by the military and other organizations. The result is nothing less than the business equivalent of a “Special Forces Field Manual.”

A toolkit for bringing clarity, discipline, and purpose to all your problem-solving and change management initiatives, “The McKinsey Engagement” is an indispensable guide for consultants, as well as for executives, managers, students, and corporate trainers.

The Firm. They helped create the bar code. They revolutionised business schools and they created the corporate behaviours that now rule our world. They reinvented the idea of American capitalism and ruthlessly exported it across the globe. McKinsey employees are trusted and distrusted, loved and despised. They are doing behind-the -scenes work for the most powerful people in the world and their ranks of alumni include the Chairman of HSBC.

In The Firm, star financial journalist Duff McDonald uncovers how these high-powered, high-priced business savants have ushered in waves of structural, financial, and technological shifts but also become mired in controversy across the years. Discover how they played a critical role in building Enron's disasterous corporate structure, and who has been convicted of high level white-collar crime. This is a gripping take on one of the world's most powerful companies.

The old saying goes, “To the man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” But anyone who has done any kind of project knows a hammer often isn't enough. The more tools you have at your disposal, the more likely you'll use the right tool for the job — and get it done right.

The same is true when it comes to your thinking. The quality of your outcomes depends on the mental models in your head. And most people are going through life with little more than a hammer. Until now.

The Great Mental Models: General Thinking Concepts is the first book in The Great Mental Models series designed to upgrade your thinking with the best, most useful and powerful tools so you always have the right one on hand.