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Mind Games

Jump-start your problem-solving skills for a better business.

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This story appears in the October 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Want to feel dumb? Then just take a look at Retrain Your Business Brain (Dearborn, $19.95), and try one of the 101 problems inside. Donalee Markus, Lindsey Paige Markus and Pat Taylor designed these visual and verbal puzzles to force open new mental pathways. If pain leads to gain, they've done it, because you'll feel as if your mind is being stretched, bent and twisted. It's like yoga for your brain.

The authors claim that leaders and employees who work their way through the book become better at solving business problems and spotting opportunities; they even promise to turn detail-oriented people into big-picture thinkers. They walk you through solutions, coaching you to color-code and label problem elements, create categories and apply other problem-solving tools. By the final chapter--in which you decipher an ancient Babylonian numbering system without the use of a decoder ring--you'll never approach a problem the same way again, whether it's unraveling a market trend or trying to develop a new product.

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