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Table of Contents

Book Details (the vital statistics)

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When Stuff Happens: A Practical Guide to Solving Problems Permanently, provides a proven method to help individuals and teams quickly resolve difficult situations that anger and frustrate everyone involved. Author Jeanne Sawyer distills her experience helping high-tech companies in fast-paced Silicon Valley solve problems—companies that don’t have time to waste solving the same problems repeatedly. “Stuff” does happen: it’s what you do when it does that distinguishes the most successful companies.

When asked how her book helps, Sawyer said, “From the time we’re little kids, we’re taught to solve problems by trial and error. That’s fine if the problem is as simple as a burned out light bulb. When the problem is a muddle of business, technical and political problems, we need something that helps us sort out what's really happening. Unless you're Harry Potter, treating a mess like a burned out light bulb is as effective as wishing for magic. My method helps you untangle the mess, understand what’s in it and choose effective solutions.”

Not just a collection of tools, the book presents an integrated method with step-by-step instructions to lead the reader through a problem-solving project. There are tips and hints throughout the book, and tools such as templates and checklists. Two case studies, based on actual problems in real companies, provide examples of exactly how to apply the method. An index, reading list and glossary add to the usefulness of the book.

If you want theory, this isn’t the book for you. When Stuff Happens is practical, easy to read, and designed for people who have real, messy problems to solve right now.

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Jeanne Sawyer, Ph.D.