Bulletproof Problem Solving
The One Skill that Changes Everything
Charles Conn & Robert McLean
Future of Jobs: Employment, Skills and Workforce Strategy for the Fourth Indus trial Revolution (World Economic Forum, 2016).
Complex problem solving is the core skill for the 21st Century, the only way to keep up with rapid change. But systematic problem solving is not taught in most universities and graduate schools. The book covers the seven-step approach to creative problem solving developed in leading consulting firms. It employs a highly visual, logic-tree method that can be applied to almost any problem, from strategic business decisions to global social challenges. Conn and McLean, with decades of experience at McKinsey, start-up companies, and environment-focused foundations, provide a toolkit with 30 detailed, real-world examples.
Rob McLean AM
Rob is a Director Emeritus of McKinsey and Company. He led the Australian and New Zealand McKinsey practice for eight years and served on the firm’s global Director’s Committee. As Dean of the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM), Rob saw the growing need for stronger problem-solving capability for business leaders of the future. He is now an investor in mathematics education and data analytics software, alongside his philanthropic interests in conservation and social enterprise. He employs these techniques in his role as a Trustee of The Nature Conservancy in Australia and Asia to address water for wetlands, shellfish restoration and improving human health from urban green spaces. He is a director of the Paul Ramsay Foundation, Australia’s largest philanthropic Foundation. He is a graduate of the University of New England in Australia and the Columbia University Graduate School of Business. He became a member of the Order of Australia in 2010 for his contributions to business, social welfare and the environment.
Charles Conn is a seasoned cross-sector leader and entrepreneur. Charles is an experienced investor, and is co-founder and CEO of Monograph Capital, a life sciences venture firm based in London and San Francisco. Before that, he was CEO of Oxford Sciences, a £600m venture firm formed in partnership with Oxford to develop the University’s advanced science ideas. Charles has been a technology entrepreneur, and as founding CEO of Ticketmaster-Citysearch led the company through its IPO (NASDAQ TMCS) and acquisitions of Match.com, Evite, and other companies. He is also a nonprofit education and conservation leader, including a five year term as CEO of the Rhodes Trust, the organization that delivers the Rhodes Scholarships in Oxford. Earlier, Charles was senior advisor to the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation, he sits or has sat on many company and nonprofit boards, including Patagonia and The Nature Conversancy European Council. He began his career at McKinsey & Company, where he was a Partner and a leader in the strategy practice. He is a graduate of Harvard Business School, Boston University, and Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.
“Problem Solving is the core skill for the twenty-first century. Now, finally, we have a guide to doing it right that any of us can follow.”
“The Bulletproof Problem Solving approach acknowledges the reality many environmentalists face today: this is hard work. Conn and McLean’s guide makes it a little bit easier.”
“As a former policymaker who argues for moving beyond policy to the broader enterprise of public problem-solving, I welcome this volume! The techniques and insights apply, with various modifications, to problems everywhere: personal, professional, public and private, local, national and global.”
“Great strategic problem solving is an essential tool, one whose value is only going up. Bulletproof provides the secret sauce behind the McKinsey framework to help structure and guide the problem-solving process. I want to hire people who understand this approach.”