Cracked it! Book Summary - Cracked it! Book explained in key points
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Cracked it! summary

Bernard Garrette, Corey Phelps & Olivier Sibony

How to solve big problems and sell solutions like top strategy consultants

3.9 (69 ratings)
18 mins

Brief summary

Cracked it! is a book that teaches problem-solving techniques. It presents four steps to tackle complex problems, combining analytical and creative thinking. It provides practical tools for individuals and teams to become more effective problem solvers.

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    Cracked it!
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    Navigating the maze of problem-solving

    Imagine you're a detective in a room filled with seemingly disconnected clues. You have a magnifying glass in one hand and a notepad in the other. It's tempting to jump in and connect the dots, drawing on what you've seen in mystery novels or detective shows. But in real life, your intuition could very well lead you down a rabbit hole. Herein lies the conundrum many of us face in problem-solving. We often want to be the Sherlock Holmes of the boardroom, solving complex cases in the blink of an eye. But problems, especially in the business world, are rarely straightforward and often fraught with unknown unknowns – factors we don't even know we're missing.

    Which brings us to fast versus slow thinking. Fast thinking is like looking at the room full of clues and jumping to a conclusion based on a hunch. It's driven by intuition and often propelled by a desire for quick solutions. However, relying solely on quick thinking might cause you to overlook key details. Imagine missing a crucial fingerprint on a letter just because it's placed next to an obvious clue like a bloody knife. To counter this tendency, try deliberately slowing down and examining each clue or aspect of the problem methodically. This practice is known as slow thinking, and it gives you a chance to overcome cognitive biases and see the fuller picture.

    But hey – don't take it too far and end up in "analysis paralysis." Just as excessive fast thinking is risky, overdoing slow thinking can also be detrimental. You'll end up scrutinizing every possible angle without making any progress – kind of like Hamlet, who couldn't decide whether or not to avenge his father's death. The sweet spot lies in balancing fast and slow thinking – use your intuition to get started, but validate it with thorough analysis before proceeding.

    Now, let's consider the trap of expertise. Imagine you're an IT expert, and you're handed a problem related to human resources. Your immediate instinct might be to look for a tech-driven solution. But expertise in one domain can blind you to the nuances of another. So what can you do? One way to circumvent this is by cultivating a beginner's mindset. Start by acknowledging what you don't know and bring in perspectives from other domains. This approach enables you to recognize your limitations and ask questions you might not have considered otherwise. The goal isn't to discard expertise, but to complement it with a broader viewpoint.

    And finally, how many times have we seen brilliant solutions fail simply because they solved the wrong problem? We all remember the music industry's initial stance on digital file-sharing. By treating it solely as a piracy issue, they missed out on the chance to revolutionize digital music distribution. This serves as a reminder to always make sure you've correctly defined the problem before leaping to solve it. Often, the issue isn't what it appears on the surface, and by digging a little deeper, you'll come up with more effective solutions.

    So, the next time you're faced with a complex problem, don't jump to be the hero with an immediate answer. Instead, treat it like a detective's case – start with a broad lens, be willing to question your own assumptions, and make sure you're solving the actual problem, not just the one that's easiest to see. In doing so, you'll navigate the complexities of problem-solving with the precision of a seasoned sleuth.

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    What is Cracked it! about?

    Cracked it! (2018) offers you a toolbox for solving complex problems with speed and precision. Uncover how to apply methods from hypothesis-driven thinking to the Pyramid Principle, ensuring you tackle challenges effectively. Elevate your decision-making skills and become the go-to problem solver in your organization.

    Cracked it! Review

    Cracked it! (2018) is a fascinating book that provides a practical approach to solving complex problems. Here's why it's worth reading:

    • Offering a step-by-step guide with clear instructions, it empowers readers to tackle any challenge and think creatively to find innovative solutions.
    • Presenting real-life case studies and examples, the book brings the concepts to life and demonstrates how the strategies can be applied in various situations.
    • With its engaging storytelling and thought-provoking exercises, the book ensures that learning problem-solving techniques is anything but boring.

    Who should read Cracked it!?

    • MBA students learning problem-solving techniques
    • Business executives seeking actionable strategies
    • Consultants looking to sharpen skills

    About the Author

    Corey Phelps is an award-winning business school professor and Fred E. Brown Chair at the University of Oklahoma, specializing in corporate growth and innovation. His expertise has led him to deliver over 75 keynote presentations and training programs globally, and he's a recipient of several teaching and research awards.

    Bernard Garrette is a strategy professor at HEC Paris and a former McKinsey consultant who is lauded for his courses in strategic management. Not only has he penned award-winning case studies, but he’s also a fiction writer with a collection of illustrated short stories called Vous voulez de mes nouvelles?

    Olivier Sibony is a renowned professor at HEC Paris and associate fellow at the Saïd Business School, specializing in decision-making and strategy. With 25 years at McKinsey and co-authorship of a Harvard Business Review feature alongside Nobel Prize-winner Daniel Kahneman, he's a go-to expert on behavioral biases in decision-making.

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    Cracked it! FAQs 

    What is the main message of Cracked it!?

    The main message of Cracked it! is to solve complex problems effectively using a structured approach.

    How long does it take to read Cracked it!?

    Reading time for Cracked it! varies, but it typically takes a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Cracked it! a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Cracked it! is a valuable read for problem solvers. It provides practical strategies and case studies for effective problem-solving.

    Who is the author of Cracked it!?

    The authors of Cracked it! are Bernard Garrette, Corey Phelps, and Olivier Sibony.

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