Cracked it!: How to Solve Big Problems and Sell Solutions Like Top Strategy Consultants (2018)

By Bernard Garrette, Corey Phelps, & Olivier Sibony (Palgrave Macmillan)

Just used this book for the first time in my undergraduate strategy capstone course with very positive student reactions…

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Solving complex problems and selling their solutions is critical for personal and organizational success. For most of us, however, it doesn’t come naturally and we haven’t been taught how to do it well. Research shows a host of pitfalls trips us up when we try: We’re quick to believe we understand a situation and jump to a flawed solution. We seek to confirm our hypotheses and ignore conflicting evidence. We view challenges incompletely through the frameworks we know instead of with a fresh pair of eyes. And when we communicate our recommendations, we forget our reasoning isn’t obvious to our audience.

How can we do it better?

In Cracked It!, seasoned strategy professors and consultants Bernard Garrette, Corey Phelps and Olivier Sibony present a rigorous and practical four-step approach to overcome these pitfalls. Building on tried-and-tested (but rarely revealed) methods of top strategy consultants, research in cognitive psychology, and the latest advances in design thinking, they provide a step-by-step process and toolkit that will help readers tackle any challenging business problem. Using compelling stories and detailed case examples, the authors guide readers through each step in the process: from how to state, structure and then solve problems to how to sell the solutions. 
Written in an engaging style by a trio of experts with decades of experience researching, teaching and consulting on complex business problems, this book will be an indispensable manual for anyone interested in creating value by helping their organizations crack the problems that matter most.

–Book cover description

Ave Tucker Fellowship

Happy to share that I have been awarded a one-year Ave Tucker Fellowship at George Washington University’s School of Business.

Named after George Washington University’s Board of Trustee member Avram S. Tucker, this fellowship recognizes faculty members who “displayed good teaching performance, as well as recent scholarly productivity, prospects for continued publications in top outlets, and records of research leadership and mentoring of junior scholars.”

Ave Tucker Fellowship

Thrilled to share that I have recently been awarded a two-year Ave Tucker Fellowship at George Washington University’s School of Business.

Named after George Washington University’s Board of Trustee member Avram S. Tucker, this fellowship recognizes faculty members who “displayed good teaching performance, as well as recent scholarly productivity, prospects for continued publications in top outlets, and records of research leadership and mentoring of junior scholars.”

Thanks to the GWSB Executive Committee for bestowing this great honor on me!

Executive MBA in St. Gallen

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Just returned from teaching my first Executive MBA seminar at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland. Besides feeling nostalgic about returning to my Alma Mater after more than 10 years, I was very impressed with the university’s executive education program as well as with the qualifications, experience, and interest of the attending executives.

Many thanks to my former doctoral adviser, Günter Müller-Stewens, for inviting me and to the executives for having me. I look forward to coming back next week for my second seminar.

Peter B. Vaill Outstanding Doctoral Educator Award

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I just received notice that, after being nominated twice (in 2011 and 2013), I was awarded the 2014 Peter B. Vaill Outstanding Doctoral Educator Award by the Doctoral Student Association of the School of Business of The George Washington University.

A sincere thanks to the doctoral students for this honor. I look forward to many more opportunities to engage with the GWSB doctoral program…

Asia Study Tour

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I just returned from a week in Tokyo where I joined my Master of International Management (MIM) students on the first part of their Asia Study Tour.

And it was an amazing experience, both personally and professionally. The program mixed lectures by Japanese managers on Japanese business history and production methods (just-in-time etc.) and company visits with social events, like a dinner with MIM alumni at a traditional Japanese restaurant.

Thanks to Cliff Allen and Jeff Millard for their generous invitation!