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The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

[A] The Back of the

Napkin: Solving

Problems and Selling

Ideas with Pictures

Dan Roam

Portfolio

ISBN 1-5918-4199-2

Hardback 15.99 [pounds sterling]

The Back of the Napkin puts forward a very simple proposition: you can solve problems by drawing pictures. This is not new, but Dan Roam offers us a compelling advocacy of his position and a powerful framework that will help you deliver the results he promises.

This is a book about visual thinking--how your ability to see, imagine and represent your ideas with simple images can help you analyse a problem and communicate your solution. It does not require drawing skills; indeed, Roam suggests that artistic talent can get in the way. What drawing skills you will need are demonstrated in the book. They are easily mastered.

Roam divides his book into three principle sections: discovering ideas, developing ideas and selling ideas. His frameworks within each section are effective and supported by relevant examples--quite literally 'illustrated' with his simple line drawings. His frameworks for working through the stages of discovering, developing and selling ideas are insightful, with simple, memorable rules and categorisations, which make this book a highly practical toolkit.

I think his 'visual codex' is excellent--I only wish it had a better name. It charts his SQVID model for what to focus on, against his six ways of seeing. It codifies a huge sweep of information in one table and, looking at it, I realised it represented a vast array of my own ideas--and he had done it for me in an easily accessible way.

This is truly a book I wish I had written. The ideas are excellent, the way Roam brings them together makes them accessible, and the book is a compelling read. Indeed, there is nothing in this book I don't like. It is not essential reading--many of you will live a long and happy life without it--but if you don't use visual thinking (or want to do so more effectively), this book has the power to transform your training, consulting, selling and creativity skills. Buy it.

Dr Mike Clayton
CONTENT *****
INNOVATION ****
CLARITY *****
VALUE FOR MONEY *****
OVERALL RECOMMENDATION *****

KEY

BOOK [A]
CD/DVD/COMPUTER PROGRAM [B]
GAMES [C]
ONLINE [D]
COURSES [F]
OPEN LEARNING [G]

RATINGS GUIDE

OUTSTANDING *****
VERY GOOD ****
AVERAGE ***
ADEQUATE **
POOR *
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Article Details
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Author:Clayton, Mike
Publication:Training Journal
Article Type:Book review
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Apr 1, 2008
Words:382
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