For most of us, solving complex problems and selling the solutions doesn’t come naturally and we haven’t been taught how to do it well. In Cracked It!, seasoned strategy professors and consultants Bernard Garrette, Corey Phelps and Olivier Sibony show us how, using a rigorous, practical and proven four-step approach.
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 you tackle any challenging business problem. Using detailed case examples, the authors guide us through each step in the process: from how to state, structure and then solve problems to how to sell the solutions.
Written in an accessible and engaging style, Cracked It! provides compelling stories of both good and bad problem solving and solution selling from diverse contexts. We learn how a new CEO quickly sized up a problem facing an aging retail chain and implemented a strategic solution that worked for him before, only to experience disastrous results; how an industrial designer of MRI scanners saw his design problem through the eyes of a child, leading him to reimagine the scanner experience; and how a seasoned scientist failed to convince people that too much sugar causes obesity, while a shrewd rival successfully sold an alternative story incriminating fatty food.
Cracked It! will be an indispensable manual for anyone interested in creating value by helping their organizations crack the problems that matter most.
Research shows numerous pitfalls trip us up when we try to solve difficult business problems and sell the solutions. The 4S method will help you develop and sell better solutions by avoiding these pitfalls.
A narrow framing can lead to a flawed problem definition and irrelevant solutions. Cracked It! provides a disciplined approach to understanding and defining problems.
It's easy to fall prey to the solution confirmation trap where we zero in on a solution without testing it and ignoring conflicting evidence. Cracked It! shows you how to structure a problem effectively using hypothesis pyramids, issue trees and solution imperatives.
The frameworks we use to analyze and solve problems can blind us to their true nature, leading to ineffective and costly solutions. Cracked It! provides you with the tools to overcome this challenge and arrive at the best solution.
When we communicate our recommendations, we often tell the story of how we arrived at the solution instead of why the solution should be adopted, forgetting that our reasoning isn’t obvious to our audience. Cracked It! shows you how to use the pyramid principle to develop a persuasive pitch.
“Too many companies fail because of bad strategic problem solving. This book is full of frameworks and tips to help you avoid that fate.”
“Strategy is problem solving - an important, subtle and pervasive skill for which business practitioners receive little formal training. Cracked It! provides a valuable and practical guide to the art, from framing the problem through to communicating and selling the solution, which should be invaluable to practitioners and consultants”
“Written by a trio of leading experts on strategy who draw on decades of rigorous academic research and consulting experience, Cracked It! offers a crystal clear approach to frame and solve challenging strategic issues. A must-read for executives, consultants, and business school students."
“When dealing with a major business issue, every decision maker faces his own cognitive biases that can trip him up. Cracked it! provides practical, value-creating and proven insight to develop and sell sound solutions by overcoming these biases.”
Intuitive approaches to solving problems can end badly, especially when we rely on assumptions we don’t question (or even acknowledge), and jump to conclusions. Cracked It! explores five real-life cases that illustrate the primary pitfalls of assumption-based problem solving.
Bernard Garrette is Professor of Strategy and Business Policy at HEC Paris. He serves as management consultant and business educator for various organizations, from start-ups to multinational corporations.
Corey Phelps is the Dean and Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at the Price College of Business, University of Oklahoma. His research and teaching, which are focused on innovation and strategy, have received several prestigious awards.
Olivier Sibony is Affiliate Professor of Strategy at HEC Paris, where he teaches problem solving and strategic decision making. Previously, he was a Senior Partner of McKinsey & Company, where he spent 25 years...
© Copyright 2018 by Bernard Garrette, Corey Phelps and Olivier Sibony. All Rights Reserved.