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Are Your Lights On?: How to Figure Out What the Problem Really Is Paperback – March 1, 1990
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"It is a down-to-earth approach to the managerial problems of the '90's." -- Jim Van Speybroeck, Data Processing Digest
"another wonderful and whimsical book from Gerald Weinberg and Donald Gause." -- Barry Kornfeld, Sound Bytes
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I give 3 stars for 2 reasons:
1) The problems in the book could be stated in a more realistic fashion, so that one would have a solid interest in giving it a try to solve on his own
2) Make main statements less ambiguous
I give one additional star for the fact that I haven't seen any other book of this kind.
George Polya wrote a wonderful book on problem-solving. His focus is on mathematics, but can be applied as a guide to any thought process. He also stresses the need to clearly understand the problem by asking yourself questions, like: "What is the unknown?, "What are the data?", "What is the condition?". He goes further into showing methods of finding a solution, devising a plan and drawing lessons from solved problems. This book also gives a chance to practice with easy mathematically, but nevertheless not standard puzzles in the end of the book.
What this book does not do, however, is tell you how to solve problems. If you're looking for how-to, look elsewhere.
There are six chapters in this book. Each chapter takes between 15 and 20 minutes to read. An average reader should be finished in less than two hours. For the cost of a movie, perhaps $8 bucks, and a similar time commitment I suggest that the lessons within this book are more powerful per dollar than anything I have ever read. For me the revelations are almost spiritual in nature. I've had mixed reactions from team members to whom I have shared its message. Some think it's cute-- it is. Some believe it's a book about problem solving-- it's not. Some are insulted by the implication--they should be, and alas some have never found the time to actually read it--that's a crying shame. Those who have seen the light share in a new found wealth. Those who have not will remain in the dark. ARE your lights on? Are your LIGHTS on? Are your lights ON? Are YOUR lights on?
--An essential read for beginning consultants
--An important read for anyone in (or supervising people in) a problem-solving function
--A worthwhile read for experienced consultants
The page layout of the book is odd and occasionally irritating, but the information layout has no such flaws. Easy both to read and use.