Wright Way, the: 7 Problem-Solving Principles from the Wright Brothers That Can Make Your Business Soar

Overview

"When Wilbur and Orville Wright executed the first successful manned flight on December 17th, 1903, they stunned the world. Man could fly! Where had these two brothers come from? The impact was astonishing. (Imagine if Neil Armstrong had landed on the moon in a craft he built himself and paid for with a part-time job!)

In ushering in the age of flight, the Wright brothers got past numerous obstacles the world’s other scientists hadn’t even begun to tackle. The Wright Way defines seven essential problem-solving ...

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Overview

"When Wilbur and Orville Wright executed the first successful manned flight on December 17th, 1903, they stunned the world. Man could fly! Where had these two brothers come from? The impact was astonishing. (Imagine if Neil Armstrong had landed on the moon in a craft he built himself and paid for with a part-time job!)

In ushering in the age of flight, the Wright brothers got past numerous obstacles the world’s other scientists hadn’t even begun to tackle. The Wright Way defines seven essential problem-solving principles the brothers used in accomplishing this enormous feat, and shows readers how to apply them to common business problems. The book presents practical, inspirational principles for achievement, including:

• Hammering out problems through constructive conflict

• Addressing the toughest issues — or "worst things" — first

• Achieving perfection through "inveterate tinkering"

• Pursuing useful knowledge through "forever learning"

The book gives business leaders and managers constructive tips they can use to tackle their most difficult — and rewarding — challenges and opportunities. A perfect combination of savvy management guidance and historical adventure story, The Wright Way shows readers how to make their business soar when others can’t even get off the ground."

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Academy of Management Executive: ""The Wright Way is not written as a biography nor does one need to be a history buff to enjoy and benefit from this book. It would be useful to those making personal and organizational decisions, in addition to students in a college-level decision-making or business history course. The Wright Way is easy to read and well organized with many headings that help the reader process the flow of information.""

Chosen as one of the top 10 best business books of the year by the Toronto Globe & Mail: ""A delightful discourse on problem-solving."""

Toronto Globe and Mail
It provides a fascinating historical guide into two intriguing figures, as well as some valuable lessons for business.
&#;February 2004
Academy of Management Executive
The Wright Way is not written as a biography nor does one need to be a history buff to enjoy and benefit from this book. It would be useful to those making personal and organizational decisions, in addition to students in a college-level decision-making or business history course. The Wright Way is easy to read and well organized with many headings that help the reader process the flow of information.
From The Critics
More than a problem-solving guide, this book also provides aglimpse into the extraordinary motivation and diligence that explain the success of two otherwise non-descript bicycle repairmen.
Business to Business
Niche magazine
Eppler elevates his book to a class of its own by dissecting the problem-solving model that the Wright brothers used and applying it to the successful management of a small business.
Soundview Executive Book Summaries
Problem-Solving Methods From the Wright Brothers
When Wilbur and Orville Wright completed the first successful manned flight on Dec. 17, 1903, they not only astonished everyone in the world with their feat, they also demonstrated the power of their problem-solving methods. Business teacher and author Mark Eppler has examined these concepts and distilled them into seven principles that managers can use to find solutions to daunting problems.

After a detailed history of the Wright brothers' work that led them to that fateful day on the sand dunes of North Carolina's Kill Devil Hills, Eppler delves into the process that the Wright brothers used to attain heavier-than-air powered flight. Their systematic application of engineering principles helped them achieve their dreams, and Eppler adapts them to a more general problem-solving model that organizations can use to improve their businesses.

Launching the Era of Aviation
Eppler begins his book by arguing the case that the Wright brothers' accomplishment was the most important event of the 20th century. He writes that they not only solved a problem that others had found too complex and technical to solve, but they also did it without the help of anybody but themselves. Also, he writes that they not only launched the era of aviation and created new transportation options that brought distant parts of the globe closer, but they also did it with amazing speed, little formal training or education, and amazing brainpower. Eppler writes that "few accomplishments can match what these modest bicycle mechanics from Dayton achieved."

The problem-solving principles the Wrights used to invent and demonstrate their flying machine are still relevant today, explains Eppler. These key principles, which Eppler has labeled with his own titles, are:

  • Forging: The principle of constructive conflict. This conflict can be used to uncover and validate new ideas and strategies to find a practical solution.
  • Tackle the tyrant: The principle of worst things first. When "tyrant" problems are put first, costs for the whole are limited to this subset should a solution prove to be unachievable.
  • Fiddling: The principle of inveterate tinkering. New approaches can be created by tinkering with portions of a problem in an effort to understand it.
  • Mind-warping: The principle of rigid flexibility. Flexing the mind allows it to consider possibilities outside the plane of thought limited by policy, tradition and experience.
  • Relentless preparation: The principle of forever learning. Learning as a lifelong passion is essential to generating the information needed to solve problems.
  • Measure twice: The principle of methodical meticulousness. The fastest and most efficient way to solve a problem is by being meticulous and methodical in your approach.
  • Force multiplication: The principle of equitable teamwork. The force of a group with a common purpose is multiplied by interdependence powered by trust, effort, profits, power and honor.


Mind-Boggling Speed
Eppler illustrates each principle with the events and decisions surrounding the Wright brothers' work and describes how it can be combined with skills to solve problems when no previous procedure exists. He also points out that these principles have an added financial bonus: By using them, the Wright brothers minimized their costs to less than $1,000 and were able to solve the problem of flight with mind-boggling speed.

Why We Like This Book
The Wright Way is a passionate examination of the history of the Wright brothers and the lessons that can be learned from their historic contribution to the modern world. Eppler demonstrates the depth of his outstanding research and analysis by putting the information he has gathered into a usable form from which organizations can glean valuable business insights into innovation, speed-to-market, and hidden opportunities. Copyright © 2003 Soundview Executive Book Summaries

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814407974
  • Publisher: AMACOM
  • Publication date: 3/9/2003
  • Pages: 205
  • Product dimensions: 6.32 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Eppler (Milford, OH) is an award-winning speaker, a former marketing executive in the electronics industry, and a passionate student of "everything Wright." He has taught business and management at Indiana University and is the author of Management Mess-Ups.

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Table of Contents

"1. The Event of the Century

2. Masters of the Problem

3. Forging: The Principle of Constructive Conflict

4. Tackle The Tyrant: The Principle of Worst Things First

5. Fiddling: The Principle of Inveterate Tinkering

6. Mind-Warping: The Principle of Rigid-Flexibility

7. Relentless Preparation: The Principle of Forever Learning

8. Measure Twice: The Principle of Methodical Meticulousness

9. Force Multiplication: The Principle of Seamless Teamwork

10. Souls On Fire

Appendices

Chronology of Important Events

Short Biographies of Aviation Pioneers and Experimenters

Short Biographies of First Flight Witnesses

Bibliography

Glossary of Aviation Terms"

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2004

    Packed With Knowledge!

    The Wright brothers were an amazing team. Working part time, these two previously undistinguished bicycle dealers from Dayton, Ohio, solved a problem that had baffled, frustrated and defeated (sometimes fatally) some of the most well-educated, well-capitalized and well known scientific entrepreneurs of their and all prior time. The story of how and why they succeeded in creating and flying the first airplane is not only fascinating, but also rich in didactic value for parents, teachers and businesspeople. Author Mark Eppler does an admirable job of drawing you into the story of the Wright brothers. We relishe the problem-solving principles he defines, which are, at times, refreshingly unorthodox. He abstracts these principles well and phrases them clearly, but the best demonstration of the principles lies in his retelling of the Wright brothers¿ absorbing story. A very good book indeed.

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