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Newsletter: Problem solving mindset

(Volume 1, Issue 20)


Topic of the week: Problem solving mindset


Of all the attributes outstanding journalists, gamers, scientists, investors, philosophers, or any "Shaper" have in common, the one that shines most is having a problem solving mindset. Solving problems creates value. How do they do it?


As with almost everything, it starts with mindset. The authors of Bulletproof Problem Solving share six approaches to get into the problem solving mindset which is essential to creating value:


  1. Be ever-curious: Relentlessly ask the "5 Whys?".

  2. Tolerate ambiguity: Take a Bayesian approach (odds vs uncertainty) to the world.

  3. Take a dragon-eye view: View situation through multiple perspectives.

  4. Pursue occurrent behavior: Experiment and compare.

  5. Tap into collective intelligence: Believe you are not the smartest person in the room.

  6. Show and tell to drive action: Tap into the hearts and minds to elicit change.


Quote of the week

"There are more things likely to frighten us than there are to crush us; we suffer more often in imagination than in reality."

— Seneca

Three recent articles


1. Chuck Feeney is a remarkable man who deserves more attention. His biography is one of the top three on the Related Perspectives Reading List. I was amazed but not surprised to read in the recent Forbes article that he has accomplished his philanthropic goal of successfully donating all of his $8 billion wealth during his lifetime, further compounding his positive impact on the world.


2. This podcast transcript of an interview of Mexican business leader, Simon Cohen, shows how it is possible to create a culture of happiness at work. The culture, described as "high performance, happy people," is rooted in authenticity, humility, continuous learning, gratitude.

3. A reflective article from McKinsey & Co. on igniting life's purpose in times of crisis. It comes with a companion interactive tool to explore values and interaction with self and others. A common framework in the field of Emotional Intelligence.

Current reading list


Books on my reading list:

  1. The Other Half of Macroeconomics

  2. Time Off

  3. Damn Right

  4. The Heart of Mathematics

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