Paulo Savaget
2023 |
Business & Economics

Oxford University professor and award-winning researcher Paulo Savaget reveals the ways the scrappiest organizations solve problems and explains how everyone can use the same tools at work and in life. We constantly encounter complex problems at home, in our places of work, and in society at large. Even if we had all the time and money in the world, sometimes no good solution can be found. So, what should we do, especially when we can’t wait? The answer: A Workaround. For ages, global corporations have been lecturing small organizations and not-for-profits on how to get things done. As it turns out, it should have been the other way around. In this groundbreaking book, scholar Paulo Savaget shows how the most valuable lessons about problem-solving can be learned from the scrappiest groups. Savaget draws most of his examples from small organizations dedicated to social action that have made an artform out of subverting the status quo and proven themselves adept at achieving massive wins with minimal resources. Through his research, Savaget identified the four workarounds that these groups commonly employ: the piggyback, the loophole, the roundabout, and the next-best. He demonstrates how each one works, and how to know which one to use when. The Four Workarounds shows how seemingly intractable problems—from public urination to the challenges of delivering life-saving medicine to remote communities—were addressed using unconventional tactics. Some of the world’s biggest and most admired companies are already using Savaget’s research to transform the way they do business. And these same lessons can also revolutionize the way we all approach the challenges we encounter, from small to big.

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The Four Workarounds

Strategies from the World's Scrappiest Organizations for Tackling Complex Problems