The simple and powerful message of the book is that all problems can be solved...if they are problems and if you apply the right methods with skill and integrity. There are three requirements for success:
1. Know what you are facing - not all problems are the same, differing as a result of 2 factors - complexity and uncertainty. At the lower levels of each factor there are Decisions, mid-way are Problems, and at the high end are Dilemmas. Each requires a different attitude and approach: make decisions, solve problems and manage and exploit dilemmas.
2. Know yourself, the problem solver - the main barriers to solving problems are personal, stemming from fears, attachments and an assortment of negative and self-defeating behaviors. Clearing away the cobwebs and removing these self-limiting forces begins with awareness and courage.
3. Know a range of methods - decisions, problems and dilemmas are different from one another and require the right type of efforts applied with competency and conviction.
No Problem begins with the challenging thought that not all problems are problems. Learn to recognize what you are facing, and your likelihood of succeeding is much higher.
Excellent problem solvers know how to do this and they make adjustments to their approach based on the nature of the challenge. Chapter One explains the difference between three distinctly different levels of challenge - decisions, problems and dilemmas. The remaining chapters provide a straightforward tutorial on the best approaches to apply for each of these three levels.
This is an outstanding contribution to the literature on problem solving, as practically useful as it isoriginal in its modeling and advice.
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