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Invisible Solutions

Invisible Solutions

To solve problems better, what about starting by better asking questions?

Author(s): Stephen M. Shapiro

Publisher: Mascot Books

Date of publication: 2020

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The way we express the problems determines the quality and originality of the responses we will provide. An acknowledged author in the innovation field, Stephen Shapiro proposes techniques to better formulate our challenges.

In the first part of the book, he highlights through concrete cases how the formulation of a problem determines not only the relevance and inventiveness of the responses, but also the speed at which we will find the latter.

In a second section, he proposes a true questioning toolbox, presenting 25 techniques to put on new glasses when confronted by a tricky issue. They are grouped in five categories: “How can you refine your questions when the topic seems too broad or abstract?”; “How can you reformulate questions when the issue has been raised in too restrictive a way?”; “What questions to ask to adopt a new perspective on a known problem?”; “What questions to ask to address the different facets of a problem?”; “How can you ensure that you considered the right questions?”. Each technique is illustrated with reformulation examples and with a case study from a company that used this questioning approach to get out of an impasse. Exercises invite the reader to practice this intellectual gymnastic.

A valuable manual to consult as soon as a problem does not seem to find its solution.

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