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The Thinker's Toolkit: 14 Powerful Techniques for Problem Solving
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The Thinker's Toolkit: 14 Powerful Techniques for Problem Solving

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  180 ratings  ·  20 reviews
The Thinker's Toolkit is an invaluable resource for every manager or professional - a unique collection of proven, practical methods for simplifying any problem and making faster, better decisions every time. Thanks to the computer and communications revolutions, businesspeople today are inundated with more data than ever before. But making sense of the information and usi ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published June 30th 1998 by Crown Business (first published October 3rd 1995)
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One of the best books I've seen on analysis so far. Relatively simple, well structured, has good examples and interesting practice exercises.
"Learning by doing" - the good quote for describing this reading; really, it took some time - not just to *read*, but to apply the described techniques: every technique is *complex* during first application, but becomes just natural afterward :)

Highly recommended, if you are interested in structured analysis and application of mind tools to your everyday t
This book is not written very well. It is written as if a bad motivational speaker is talking to you. Kind of hokie and a little bizarre because of how he make statements that say "you can ask anybody this" and appealing that this is general or well known knowledge. I did not enjoy how he did that. Also he makes claims about how humans are and act without any evidence to support it. He is just telling you that is how it is. It may be true but it is just his word he is using to support it.

Read as a part of a graduate course. The greatest aspect of this book is also its greatest shortfall and that is: a prescriptive approach to problem-solving. These are basic and foundational concepts for dealing with uncertain and complex situations. What is useful is that the author readily admits that many of these tools are (at least partially) used already within the mind of the reader. What the text does accomplish is providing the reader with an awareness of how they misapply or only parti ...more
Bill Lalonde
I zipped right through this one, as it's basically an operations research text with the mathematics watered down. This isn't meant to be taken negatively; the book is quite good at what it aims to do, which is to teach how to structure analysis to the general public. It's explanations are lucid and illustrated with plenty of good exercises to work through. If the author seems a bit too "gee whiz" about the psychological aspects, that's not entirely unexpected when the psychology and interpretati ...more
This book is not perfect - at times it offers too many examples and not enough explanation, and this leads to confusion. Still, it's a useful collection of different methods that can be used to think through problems. Some I doubt would be all that useful to me (I don't trust my own judgment well enough to come up with the probabilities for various things occurring, so I don't think I'll ever be using utility trees/matrices), but others are surprisingly simple, like coming up with not just a lis ...more
Dana Kraft
Offers a good set of analytical tools for complex problem solving. If you can assemble all the right inputs, these tools help you get the right outputs. However, in my experience, the hard part is agreeing on the correct inputs (options, probabilities and range of outcomes).

If you're interested in this book, you should commit to doing the exercises in it. In that respect, this book is almost like a class. Reminds me of a class that I took at UT. Needless the say, the book is cheaper.
I think the book has some good techniques to be sure. But it's hard reading something that is very much like a textbook. It makes me want to read more about choice architecture and how the brain's structural biases against certain kinds of decision making and perceptions. The idea of numerically assigning values for certain types of unknown social science conundrums seems to stretch the limits. Perhaps I'm more interested in the process than utility trees.
Oct 15, 2007 Dave rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone interested in problem solving
I like books on metacognition and problem solving. This book may not appeal to everyone but I'm enjoying it. It's a good book on analysis and structuring problems for solving. The early chapters include a good overview on how the mind is prone to bias and error. It's expository so it can be slow going if you don't have an interest or need to learn the material. Worthwhile for anyone who deals with problem solving.
Hans Marius
Useful read.
Ricardo Vargas
Decision making and problem solving techniques book with interesting information. Not a book that will solve all your problems :)

Livro sobre tomada de decisão e técnicas de resolução de problemas com informações interessantes. Não é um livro que irá resolver todos os seus problemas :)
TK Keanini
This dude was a former CIA analyst. The title is dumb but the book is good. Even if you think what he is saying is common sense, he offers you a more formal presentation and there will be something new to add to your toolkit.
This was a useful, pragmatic little book that was well worth reading. I look forward to using the tools explained in this book to become a better analyst.
Useful, simple and to the point. The techniques are basic but it is useful the showing of the different approaches required in problem solving.
Lori Grant
A should-read book on decision making and problem solving, which are two critical competencies in business life.
May 26, 2014 Rakesh marked it as to-read
So far (first two chapters) it has been an excellent read... very insightful... very interesting.
I don't remember this book at all. Read in 1999
A tough read, but effective tools.
Christopher Jackson
A great book for problem solving
S.A.  Turnbull
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