How to solve big problems and sell solutions like top strategy consultants
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.
“If you want to master problem solving, buy this book. I used it the day after I started reading it.”
—Neil Janin, Chairman Bank of Georgia and Senior Partner Emeritus, McKinsey & Co.
“Too many companies fail because of bad strategic problem solving. This book is full of frameworks and tips to help you avoid that fate.”
—Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Give and Take, Originals, and Option B with Sheryl Sandberg
“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”
—Martin Reeves, Senior Partner & Managing Director, Boston Consulting Group
“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.”
—Laurence Capron, co-author of Build, Borrow or Buy and Professor of Strategy and Dean of Faculty, INSEAD
“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.”
—Stéphane Richard, Chairman and CEO, Orange
“The ABSOLUTE reference handbook on problem solving! It is clearly unique and it smartly introduces an amazing richness of methods, through cases and easy-to-understand frameworks. I have to say… I love it!”
—Jean-Baptiste Voisin, Chief Strategy Officer, LVMH