Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Back of the Napkin (Business Book)

Visual Thinking. Stick Figures. Business Problems. Graphs. Maps. 

While language is a necessary tool, it has its limitations. The Back of the Napkin by Dan Roam describes a step-by-step, common sense approach to solving business problems by using visual images. This allows people to perceive a problem in a more comprehensive way and to use more of their brains. While at first the title of the book and the pictures might appear cute, this is an extremely practical, well-written book. Roam describes:
  • The process of visual thinking: look, see, imagine, and show 
  • The six ways we see: who and what, how many and how much, where, when, how, and why 
  • The five questions that open our mind’s eye: simple or elaborate, qualitative or quantitative, vision or execution, individual or comparison, change or status quo 
  • The types of visuals to use with the different ways of seeing 
The book is inspiring and contains many good examples. By the end of the book, I wanted to roll up my sleeves and start solving some problems.

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