Unfolding the Napkin: The Hands-On Method for Solving Complex Problems with Simple Pictures

Front Cover
Penguin, Dec 29, 2009 - Business & Economics - 320 pages
18 Reviews
An original workbook companion to the acclaimed business bestseller The Back of the Napkin

Dan Roam's The Back of the Napkin, a BusinessWeek bestseller, taught readers the power of brainstorming and communicating with pictures. It presented a new and exciting way to solve all kinds of problems-from the boardroom to the sales floor to the cubicle jungle.

The companion workbook, Unfolding the Napkin, helps readers put Roam's principles into practice with step-by-step guidelines. It's filled with detailed case studies, guided do-it-yourself exercises, and plenty of blank space for drawing. Roam structured the book as a complete four-day visual-thinking seminar, taking readers step-by-step from "I can't draw" to "Here is the picture I drew that I think will save the world."

The workbook teaches readers how to:
•Improve their three "built-in" visual problem solving tools.

•Apply the four-step visual thinking process (look-see-imagine-show) in any business situation.

•Instantly improve their visual imaginations.

•Learn how to recognize the type of problem to choose the best visual solution.

If The Back of the Napkin was a guide to fine dining, Unfolding the Napkin is the cookbook that will soon be heavily marked up and dogeared.

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Review: Unfolding the Napkin: The Hands-On Method for Solving Complex Problems with Simple Pictures

User Review  - Manolo Frias - Goodreads

Excellent complement to "The Back of the Napkin". Deeper explanations about the 6x6 method and SQVID with examples and exercises. Read full review

Review: Unfolding the Napkin: The Hands-On Method for Solving Complex Problems with Simple Pictures

User Review  - Vandana - Goodreads

Hi. So for all those out there who gaze at their laptops and computer screen for long number of hours each day, to figure out what those bulk charts, dashboards and tables say about your company ... Read full review


Every problem has its own pizza
Six ways of seeing? So what?
What do these pictures have in common?
The Thomson Corporation and the multimilliondollar chart
the six ways of showing
The theory behind the 6x6 rule
What six pictures?
Welcome to Day 3

2 What pictures?
3 What people?
our agenda
The unwritten rules of visual thinking
Onward and upward to the nations capital
Our first napkin sketch
our builtin tools
which color is your pen?
we need a picture process
A quick hand of poker
Active looking
Look Mom no Excel
The dawning of the age of the napkin sketch
Welcome to Day 2
the power of what
How can we see a problem?
Our next six blades
Heads or tails? Either way we win
what kind of problem do we see?
The six problem types
Why do some pictures work and others fail?
The six ways of seeing
who and what
how much
The next set of blades
How to uncork a bottle
a practical exercise in applied imagination
Our imagination has a fivespeed transmission
opening our minds eye and stretching our imagination
A journey along the SQVID
Putting the SQVID back together again
Were not done with the SQVID quite yet
What is a solution worth?
What people?
Newbie versus expert
The simple versus elaborate conundrum and the simplicity principle
Reviewing our equalizer settings
So when do we draw the picture?
the visualthinking codex
teapots revisited
Quick review
Unwritten Rule 4
How can we draw human pictures in business?
the third use of the SQVID
Practice makes picture perfect
P 48 Active Looking Exercise 2
Make a list and check it twice
What to keep what to chuck
P 157 Your first how picture
A theme and variations

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About the author (2009)

Dan Roam is the founder and president of Digital Roam Inc., a management-consulting firm that helps business executives solve complex problems through visual thinking. He has brought his unique approach to clients such as General Electric, Wal-Mart, Wells Fargo Bank, the U.S. Navy, HBO, News Corporation, and Sun Microsystems, among many others. He lectures around the country for clients and at business conferences.

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