Dan Roam of "The Back of the Napkin Blog" discusses a new book on his blog called Problem Solving 101 by Ken Watanabe.  The book was originally written in Japanese, but after great success in Japan there is now an English version selling in the US.  Here’s a brief snippet from the book’s web site:

Problem Solving 101 started out as a simple guide to teach Japanese schoolchildren critical thinking skills. But it quickly became an adult bestseller, thanks to the powerful effectiveness of Ken Watanabe’s problem solving methods.

I have not read the book yet, but the web site provides some sample videos on basic problem solving techniques which could be applied not only by the Japanese schoolchildren, but certainly any organization looking to improve/establish/teach methods to improve their operations.

All of this reminds me of one of my favorite Saturday Night Live segments from Weekend Update, which featured "financial expert" Oscar Rogers and his analysis on how to correct the economic crisis.  While his process is humorous given the enormity of the problem, there certainly is validity to his process.  Here’s what he had to say, followed by the clip from Hulu.  Enjoy!

"Take it one step at time.  Identify the problem.  FIX IT!  Identify another problem.  FIX IT!  Repeat as necessary until it’s all FIXED!" -Oscar Rogers