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The Four Workarounds

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781529346053

Price: £12.99

ON SALE: 18th January 2024

Genre: Economics, Finance, Business & Management

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‘A hymn to deviance and “scrappiness” and a rich repository of stories . . . Entertaining’ Financial Times

‘Original and inspiring’ Olivier Sibony, bestselling co-author of Noise

‘Helps us live happier, successful, and more fulfilling lives’ Jenn Lim, CEO and co-founder of Delivering Happiness and bestselling author of Beyond Happiness

Real-world problems need real solutions. Often ‘perfect’ isn’t an option, and we need something easy, smart, and quick: we need a workaround.

In this groundbreaking book, Oxford University professor and award-winning researcher Paulo Savaget shows how the most valuable lessons about problem-solving can be learned from the scrappiest, poorest groups. Savaget draws examples from organizations dedicated to social action that have made an art form out of subverting the status quo, proving themselves adept at achieving massive wins with minimal resources. They do this by employing four particular workarounds: the piggyback, the loophole, the roundabout, and the next best.

From remote Zambia to the waves of the North Sea, Brazilian mines to American biohackers, The Four Workarounds shows how seemingly intractable problems have been solved using unconventional tactics. Through these remarkable cases – spanning public urination to the challenges of delivering life-saving medicine to remote communities – we see how some of the world’s most admired companies are already using Savaget’s research to transform the ways they do business. And they can revolutionize how we approach the real challenges we encounter in our everyday lives.


Savaget cleverly reveals how you take scrappiness to success . . . he uses real world examples to show us smart, efficient ways to problem-solve. This book helps us live happier, successful, and more fulfilling lives
Jenn Lim, CEO and cofounder of Delivering Happiness, and New York Times bestselling author of BEYOND HAPPINESS
An original and inspiring read for anyone interested in non-traditional problem-solving approaches
Olivier Sibony, Professor of Strategy at HEC Paris and New York Times bestselling co-author of NOISE
The most effective companies have figured out how to "hack" their own problems and use the Four Workarounds to bypass obstacles. But these "hacks" are also used by all changemakers. Read this book to discover how to unleash the Four Workarounds in your organization
Steve Blank, Adjunct Professor, Stanford University and author of THE FOUR STEPS TO THE EPIPHANY and THE STARTUP OWNERS MANUAL
A smart guide to finding creative solutions for a variety of difficulties . . . Wise and level-headed, this delivers
Publishers Weekly
A hymn to deviance and "scrappiness" and a rich repository of stories about how to work around rules and norms to solve complex problems . . . Entertaining
Financial Times