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What's Your Problem?: To Solve Your Toughest Problems, Change the Problems You Solve
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What's Your Problem?: To Solve Your Toughest Problems, Change the Problems You Solve

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  253 ratings  ·  30 reviews

"The author makes a compelling case that we often start solving a problem before thinking deeply about whether we are solving the right problem. If you want the superpower of solving better problems, read this book." -- Eric Schmidt, former CEO, Google

Are you solving the right problems? Have you or your colleagues ever worked hard on something, only to find out you were fo

Kindle Edition, 232 pages
Published March 17th 2020 by Harvard Business Review Press
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Mar 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hbr
I loved this. Takes you back to basics, communicates ideas well, and has tons of resources. Probably used about 50 post it notes throughout the whole text. Have already recommended to my team and leadership.
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Those with a tendency to misidentify, overanalyze, freak out about, or altogether avoid problems will benefit from reading this practical and frankly FUN book about problem solving. It will invigorate your sense of confidence in confronting messy issues both professionally and personally. The content is invaluable and delivered in a pleasing way – insightful research flavored with a dash of wit. Rarely are business books so enjoyable.

One of the best parts about the book is its accessibility, and
Everybody who deals with problems at work and in life should read this book. That’s the simplest way to say it. This means that every human being will benefit by getting hold of ideas in this wonderful piece of business literature.

The book focuses on the concept of reframing. Most of the time we focus on getting the solutions to every bit of problem we encounter. However, we rarely stop and think if we had the right problems in the first place. This book explains in an intelligent, witty, and m
Scott Wozniak
Aug 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
A quote I've always loved (not from this book) is "a problem well defined is a problem half-solved." This book helps you not just get clear on what your problem is, but explore the many different ways to frame your problem. For example, you can go deeper into what's really going on (e.g. narrow in on the most critical detail) or pull out and aim for the problem above/behind your problem (e.g. you don't need a bridge, you need a way to get across the river).

This way of thinking is one of the mos
Tõnu Vahtra
Jun 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is about reframing problems, which in turn is mainly about becoming aware and acknowledging your cognitive fallacies (yes, I'm referring to Kahneman again) and then taking relevant actions to avoid systematic thinking errors.

The author proposes a formal steps for problem reframing:

*Frame the problem. What's the problem? Who's involved?
Look outside the frame. What are we missing?
Rethink the goal. Is there a better goal to pursue?
Examine bright spots. Are there positive exceptions?
Look i
May 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excellent info. Highly readable. Tons of great sources and tangible techniques you can use right now in your personal or professional life.
Jun 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most useful books I've read so far.

It explores the concept of reframing in enough depth that you can use it in almost any situation and it's simple enough so it doesn't get boring.

By reading it, you'll learn what's reframing, why it matters and how to do it so you can start using your time to solve the right problems and avoid those that are a waste of energy.

I'd recommend it to anyone who has problems to solve, and yes, by that I mean to everyone.
Simon Hohenadl
Apr 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great explanation of problem reframing with a lot of practical insights.
Unlike other books, I always had the feeling I missed something of value as soon as my thoughts drifted off while listening.
I wondered NLP was not even mentioned, it has a lot of tools for reframing.
Louise Thorup Mundt
Jun 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
A few years ago I had an epiphany: My entire life I'd invested a ton of my precious ressources either solving problems that didn't exist or inventing problems to fit my solutions. And why? Because I didn't pause long enough to examine WHAT the problem really was and WHY it was a problem in the first place.

I began using my newfound ideas at my job as well and saw that the same thing was true to projects there but I wasn't able to communicate it properly to my boss and colleagues. By chance I read
Łukasz Słonina
Jan 10, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good book about approaching problems in general. Framing and reframing. Contains many real life cases. Many references if you're interested in more reading on this topic. ...more
Aug 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. This book changes the perspective of looking at problems in a different point of view. I am looking forward to use the framework discovered to my own problems. It's a must read. ...more
Elizar Khananaev
Jul 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
The book provides a different perspective when looking at problems we 're trying to solve. We're looking at problems within some "frame", we're usually tending to run to solutions instead of analyzing the problem itself first and understanding the "real" problem we're trying to solve. The book offers practical tools to look at problems within different frames, to re-frame the problems and to analyze them before actually solving them. Highly recommended book. ...more
Mar 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great book in solving problems!

This book illustrates a very useful method in solving problems “Reframing”. It is full of stories (the elevator is slow) that explain the process steps and how to practice it.
Rafal Witaszek
If you have doubts that mirror can solve slow elevator problem or you feel that too often you invest time solving wrong problems and jumping too fast for the solution - this book is for you. I bet everyone will find something for his/her problem-solving toolbox.
Frank Calberg
May 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Takeaways from reading the book:

Examples of defining a better problem:
- Page 4: Problem: An elevator is too slow. Solution: Make the elevator faster. Defining a better problem: Waiting for the elevator is annoying. Solution: Make the wait feel shorter, for example by putting up mirrors, installing sanitizers and/or playing music.
- Page 15: Problem: People don't know that millions of dogs are delivered to dog shelters every year. Solution: Do more advertising. Defining a better problem: It is har
Trang Suwannasilp
Dec 22, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
penny shima glanz
Aug 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Problem solving often falls into a trap of justifying one specific solution. In What's Your Problem? you learn a better method -- how to reframe and find innovative solutions to make better decisions. The clear examples, straightforward diagrams, and simple steps will help you succeed at reframing. There are also strategies for working with resistant teams and bringing them onboard. Figure out how to making decisions among reframing options. And along the way, tips for creating a reframing probl ...more
The  Conch
Apr 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
This book is for solving problems. Though the subject is pretty simple, but author points out intricacy about solving problem. What he means to solve problem is as follows:

1. Framing the problem for e.g. lift is moving slow
2. Reframing the problem for e.g. finding better problem for which is lift is moving slow. It may not be due to any technical fault, but too much crowding during morning or lunch hour.
3. Moving ahead - solving the problem.

So, as per the author, just jumping at any solution i
Niels Philbert
May 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have planty og problems - but this book is not one of them.

Rather I am recommending it for its usefulness to everybody tackling complex problems in moden day. Reframing is a simple tool, that is used too seldomly, which means not a lot of people are good at reframing. It's like playing the bass; easy to pickup - very hard to to master. And the answer is practice.

The style of writing is engaging and very approachable. The subject matter is both intuitive - and counterintuitive, so it'll make y
Sep 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Book presents an interesting approach for problem solving. It can be look as additional complementary approach to lean problem solving. Before solving a problem - make sure that you understand the problem you are trying to solve and it is a right problem. Book gives practical guidance to how you use this reframing approach, which is always a plus for any business book.
Ryan McCormack
Apr 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommend for improvement advisors and business consultants. Many practical tips and memorable examples.

Abhishek Kapur
Apr 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Important ideas

I like the way the book started. The elevator story stuck. But taught an action oriented person like me the importance of knowing - Am I solving the right problem?
Michael Chieves
Aug 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
You need this skill set more than you understand

I would love for Thomas to provide a required presentation to every senior elected official. This would give a totally different perspective on I want that rock.
Jan 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book on problem solving. It helps you to think differently (reframe) when you face a problem. All those stories shared are very inspiring. Highly recommend it!
Ignacio Parada
Jun 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mental-models
Es un framework interesante, me hizo bastante sentido. Hace falta que más gente trate de enfrentar problemas desde distintos ángulos, tanto en el trabajo como en el día a día.
Jan 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audible
Fantasying writing. Each bit is so exciting and helpful: few chapters I had to re read to grasp the concepts.
May 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Clear & practical.
Sep 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Engaging, informative, hands-on, and funny too. An excellent guide to improving your problem-solving mindset and skills.
Kathy Cowie
to be reviewed in the July-August issue of Global Business and Organizational Excellence.
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