“Dr. Roberto has skillfully managed to blend in-depth research with his straightforward and enjoyable style and, in doing so, painted a masterpiece that should be considered by any institution or individual looking to detect or solve problems. Presenting cases and their lessons from multiple venues, he offers wisdom readily applicable to any arena.
—Duane Deal, Brigadier General, United States Air Force (Retired)
“Solving problems is one thing; finding them early enough to do something about it is quite another. In this entertaining book full of insight and examples, Michael Roberto provides managers with hands-on recommendations on how to avoid falling into decision-making traps by getting a step ahead.
—Sydney Finkelstein, Steven Roth Professor of Management, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, and author ofWhy Smart Executives FailandThink Again
“In typical style, Mike Roberto gets right to the heart of major challenges facing businesses in today's rapidly changing landscape. He provides not only a burning platform for thinking differently, but also practical tools for busy leaders to implement following an ‘action learning' approach.
—Jon Shepherd, Chief Learning Officer, Mars Inc.
InKnow What You Don't Know, best-selling author Michael Roberto shows leaders how to go beyond mere “problem solving to uncover and address emerging problems while they're still manageable-before they mushroom into disaster! Roberto first identifies the diverse, sometimes surprising reasons why problems typically fester in the shadows, ignored and unaddressed. Next, he systematically introduces seven powerful solutions. You'll discover how to become a business “anthropologist, observing how your employees, customers, and suppliers actually behave, not just how they're “supposed to behave. Roberto shows how and when to circumvent your gatekeepers to see crucial raw data...how to “connect the dots among issues that seem unrelated, but are really signs of a deeper pattern...how to promote candor among front-line employees...encourage “useful mistakes, and more. Along the way, Roberto offers powerful insights for overcoming the “isolation trap so many senior executives face: the trap that can keep you assuming everything is fine, while your company's problems are spiraling out of control!
• Watch your company's “game film-and your competitors'
Systematically understand how your company is really behaving and performing-and how you really match up
• Recognize the value of “small failures
Use small problems as a window on your system-and a signal of possible weaknesses elsewhere
• Get beyond the numbers, to the reality
Discover why too much formal analysis can actually hide your problems-and start leveraging the value of intuition
• Become a true business “ethnographer
Observe your people in their natural setting-and recognize what they're not telling you
Michael A. Roberto is the Trustee Professor of Management at Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island, after six years as a faculty member at Harvard Business School. His research, teaching, and consulting focus on strategic decision-making processes and senior management teams. He is the author of Why Great Leaders Don’t Take Yes for an Answer (Wharton School Publishing, 2005).