What's Your Problem?: To Solve Your Toughest Problems, Change the Problems You Solve



"The author makes a compelling case that we often start solving a problem before thinking deeply about whether we are solving the right problem. If you want the superpower of solving better problems, read this book." -- Eric Schmidt, former CEO, Google

Are you solving the right problems? Have you or your colleagues ever worked hard on something, only to find out you were focusing on the wrong problem entirely? Most people have. In a survey, 85 percent of companies said they often struggle to solve the right problems. The consequences are severe: Leaders fight the wrong strategic battles. Teams spend their energy on low-impact work. Startups build products that nobody wants. Organizations implement "solutions" that somehow make things worse, not better. Everywhere you look, the waste is staggering. As Peter Drucker pointed out, there's nothing more dangerous than the right answer to the wrong question.

There is a way to do better.

The key is reframing, a crucial, underutilized skill that you can master with the help of this book. Using real-world stories and unforgettable examples like "the slow elevator problem," author Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg offers a simple, three-step method - Frame, Reframe, Move Forward - that anyone can use to start solving the right problems. Reframing is not difficult to learn. It can be used on everyday challenges and on the biggest, trickiest problems you face. In this visually engaging, deeply researched book, you'll learn from leaders at large companies, from entrepreneurs, consultants, nonprofit leaders, and many other breakthrough thinkers.

It's time for everyone to stop barking up the wrong trees. Teach yourself and your team to reframe, and growth and success will follow.

Product Details

$35.00  $32.20
Harvard Business Review Press
Publish Date
March 17, 2020
7.4 X 0.6 X 9.5 inches | 1.5 pounds

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About the Author

Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg is a globally recognized expert on innovation and problem solving. He has shared and refined his reframing method with clients like Cisco, Microsoft, Citigroup, Time Warner, AbbVie, Caterpillar, Amgen, Prudential, Union Pacific, Credit Suisse, Deloitte, the Wall Street Journal, and the United Nations. His first book, Innovation as Usual, with Paddy Miller (Harvard Business Review Press, 2013), was translated into five languages. For more information, visit thomaswedell.com.

To learn more about reframing, visit howtoreframe.com.


Named a "top pick" for leadership books in 2020 by Adam Grant on LinkedIn

"The author makes a compelling case that we often start solving a problem before thinking deeply about whether we are solving the right problem. If you want the superpower of solving better problems, read this book." -- Eric Schmidt, former CEO, Google

"Whatever problems you're facing, this book is going to transform the way you solve them. Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg is an exceptionally lucid thinker and writer, and he has just raised the bar for practical wisdom. His framework won't just help you generate more creative ideas and make smarter decisions--it will teach you to see around corners." -- Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author, Originals and Give and Take; host, TED WorkLife podcast

"This unexpectedly engaging book is as practical as it is wise. Wedell-Wedellsborg shows us how to take off the cognitive and cultural blinders that prevent us from solving tough problems in our organizations and in our lives, and even makes it sound like fun." -- Amy C. Edmondson, Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management, Harvard Business School; author, The Fearless Organization

"Problem solving underpins strategy, management, and leadership, yet few business people receive any formal training in it. Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg has created a practical and accessible manual for how to frame and reframe problems, which should be very valuable to anyone engaged in business or government." -- Martin Reeves, Senior Partner, Boston Consulting Group; Chairman, BCG Henderson Institute

"Every once in a while, I read a book that makes me slap my forehead and ask, Why in the world haven't I been doing this? It was a particularly hard slap after reading What's Your Problem?--a book that provides you, quite literally, with a simple, evidence-based process to be more creative, insightful, and effective in your work every day. It also happens to be a delight to read." -- Heidi Grant, author, Nine Things Successful People Do Differently and Reinforcements

"Here's our challenge to you: Open this book to any page and start reading. If you don't feel immediately compelled to buy it, your life is a lot more interesting than ours. This book is a joy to read. It brings to mind the awesome power of that rare simplicity found 'on the far side of complexity.' It's the most useful business book we've read in years." -- Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen, New York Times bestselling coauthors, Difficult Conversations and Thanks for the Feedback