The 5 Best Books on Problem Solving (in 2024)

The 5 Best Books on Problem-Solving

If you are looking for the best books on problem-solving, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we will cover the top 5 books on problem-solving that you can use to help you solve problems faster, easier, and better. I have personally read each one and recommend them.

The 5 Best Books on Problem-Solving

1. Stop Guessing: The 9 Behaviors of Great Problem Solvers by Nat Greene

Top, best problem solving books - Stop Guessing cover

Stop Guessing teaches 9 main actions you need to take when solving problems. It doesn’t teach a problem-solving “method”, but steps you need to take to be able to solve the right problem and solve it well.

The 9 behaviors/actions are:

      • Stop guessing
      • Smell the problem
      • Embrace your ignorance
      • Know what problem you’re solving
      • Dig into the fundamentals
      • Don’t rely on experts
      • Believe in a simple solution
      • Make fact-based decisions
      • Stay on target

I personally enjoyed this book and found it very informative. If you aren’t necessarily looking for a method but the steps you need to take to solve problems more effectively, this book is for you.

You can get it on Amazon here.

(Note: The links for Amazon are affiliate links. Thanks!)

Read More: The 5 Best Books on Decision Making 

2. Think Smarter: Critical Thinking to Improve Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Skills by Michael Kallet

Top, best problem solving books - Think Smarter cover

As the title says, Think Smarter is about using critical thinking to improve your problem-solving and decision-making.

What sometimes hurts us in our problem-solving is that we don’t really take the time to think critically. Kallet gives 3 main steps for solving problems and making a decision:

      • Clarity
      • Conclusions
      • Decision

If you want to learn more about critical thinking when it comes to problem-solving and steps to take to really clarify your problem and come to better conclusions, and ultimately decisions, this is a good book for you.

You can get it on Amazon here.

3. Problem Solving 101: A Simple Book for Smart People by Ken Watanabe

Top, best problem solving books - Problem Solving 101 cover

Problem Solving 101 is a neat little book on problem-solving. It was originally meant for a younger audience, but it has taken widespread appeal to all ages for people who want to solve problems better.

In the book, through some simple examples, Watanabe teaches how to find the root cause, how to set and test hypotheses, how to make better choices, how to use a logic tree, and more.

If you want a simple, easy book on problem-solving for yourself and/or your kids, this one is for you.

You can get it on Amazon here.

4. The Thinker’s Toolkit: 14 Powerful Techniques for Problem-Solving by Morgan D. Jones

Top, best problem solving books - The Thinker's Toolkit cover

In The Thinkers Toolkit, the author gives detailed information on methods you can use to solve problems better and make better decisions.

Too often we use “trial and error” to try to solve problems, and that is incredibly ineffective. Jones teaches about the errors we often have when solving problems, how our brain sometimes works against us, and 14 techniques we can use to solve our problems better.

If you want a detailed guide on how we often do it wrong and the different methods you can use to solve problems better, this book is for you.

You can get it on Amazon here.

5. Systematic Problem-Solving and Decision-Making by Sandy Pokras

Top, best problem solving books - Systematic problem solving and decision making cover

Systematic Problem-Solving and Decision-Making is an old book (published in 1989); however, it is still chock full of great information.

In the book, Pokras goes over, step by step, the steps you can take in your organization to solve problems.

She discusses not only the steps to do it but how to do it together as a group so that everyone is on board with what the problem is and how to solve it.

There are 6 main steps she recommends that she dives into:

      • Step 1: Problem recognition
      • Step 2: Problem Labeling
      • Step 3: Problem-Cause Analysis
      • Step 4: Optional Solutions
      • Step 5: Decision Making
      • Step 6: Action Planning

If you are looking for a step-by-step guide on how to solve problems within an organization (and even by yourself), this book is a great resource.

You can get it on Amazon here.

Bonus book

Why Not?: How to Use Everyday Ingenuity to Solve Problems Big And Small by Barry Nalebuff and Ian Ayres

Top, best problem solving books - Why Not? cover

Why Not? is, as the title suggests, how to use everyday ingenuity to solve problems.

The authors dive into different methods and tools you can use to help solve problems, including:

      • Asking what Croesus would do
      • Feeling others pain
      • Looking where else it would work
      • And flipping it

You can get the book here on Amazon.

Which decision-making book will you choose?

We’ve covered 5…err..6 books on problem-solving. I personally have read each one and recommend them.

I’d also recommend checking out books on decision-making, as the topics are intertwined and related.

Now to you: What do you think? Have you read any of these? Are there any we are missing?

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