thinking with pictures and solving problems

249088931I recently finished reading Dan Roam\’s book, The Back of the Napkin:  Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures.  I am a paper on the wall, whiteboard, and post-it note person when it comes to brainstorming and solving problems so this book was an easy sell.  I recommend it though to even the most picture resistant.  An easy read…follow the pictures, but very insightful as to what it takes to understand a complex problem or a simple one, come to a set of solutions, make a decision, and then communicate that decision visually to another group of people.

You can get the basics from Dan Roam\’s webite and watch his presentation to the Commonwealth Club of California.  In the last few weeks I have been trying to apply his approach and so far have found it to speed the process of decision making and communication along.  In fact, last night I was watching Celebrity Apprentice and thought, \”Gosh, they need Dan Roam, to help them visualize this problem.  Both teams would have saved themselves about 5 hours of painful conversations and they would have gotten the best out of their most creative thinkers.\”

This is a great book for anyone involved in making decisions, leading, and then having to communicate the problem, solutions, and decisions. Pick-up the book and give it a read.  And then… try it yourself.


One thought on “thinking with pictures and solving problems

  1. Our whole decision making approach needs a reorientation. We tend to make decisions to solve problems instead of making decisions to root out the causes of problems (single-loop versus double-loop thinking).

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