Pig Wrestling

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 Jan 2019

Member Reviews

This is a great book full of fresh thinking and new ideas.  It is written with just the right amount information and pitched at a level anyone can understand.  It can been used in business but also in your personal life or other scenarios.  It is particularly relevant to anyone who has been stuck in the same problem or difficult situation for a long time.  The only downside (and this is probably just me !) is that I did not take to the mnemonic used.  It felt as if the brilliant idea had been wrapped in glitzy paper and your first job was to unwrap it again so you could get to the brilliant ideas !  However I am sure this is what will appeal to many people.  It would be very very helpful if you could provide a list of summary steps at the end that were not tied in to the picture.  It just felt as though you have worked really hard to make the mnemonic fit the brief.  But love the ideas and the thinking outside the box.  It would be easy to design a picture or scenario myself that was more suited to my way of thinking, so it really isn't a big problem.  The ideas behind the pig are brilliant.
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This was a departure from the book genres I usually read but I'm pleased to say that it was a very enjoyable read. The process and the principles were explained clearly and I was able to read it in one evening. As the authors recomend, it may need another read - at least of the summaries - to recall the steps when faced with a real situation but the images described will help (think about pigs in picture frames, crystal ball, bungee cords, etc!)
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Pete Lindsay's and Mark Bawden's Pig Wrestling is an interesting book about how to analyse and resolve problems. You could blast through it in a single sitting (1-2 hours) but it still contains concepts worth taking away (cleaning the problem, for example). I'm not convinced by the Fable approach to self-help books. I first encountered this approach with Eliyahu Goldratt's The Goal - and with that book it seems like the story just added padding, and it does seem the same here. Without the fiction, this could've been either a short essay, or, my preference would be instead of spending the time introducing characters which are all business stereotypes, use that effort to illustrate with examples and case studies. A good non-fiction author doesn't necessarily convert to a good fiction author, the prose just ends up being distracting. Still, enjoyable, so a solid 4 stars.

Book kindly supplied by Netgalley for an honest review.
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An interesting and quick read, presenting a fresh framework for tackling tricky problems. 
Using the power of story-telling to make the method stick, the book introduces a well thought-out structured approach to addressing intractable situations.
Although I’m not a massive fan of parable-type illustrations usually, I really enjoyed this book. It was well written, nicely light in tone, clear and succinct and much more memorable than your usual management book. And the method can be used for problems anywhere, not just in the office.  I’m looking forward to using the ideas contained in it.
Many thanks to the publishers and NetGalley for a copy in return for a fair and honest review.
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I was expecting more fables than a personal development book, which really isn't my cup of tea. Cue lots of yawning, eye rolling, and comments like 'that's common sense', 'that's bloody obvious', 'how clueless is this guy' or 'but what happened to the Hanoi rats?' for the first few chapters.  Turns out, nothing happened to the Hanoi rats. Nothing!

The pig mnemonic seemed a wee bit too complex to be memorable.  However, the fable does grow on you after a while and towards the end I was thinking of how I could apply some of the lessons to my own pig wrestling work situations.
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Interesting read that makes you think twice about how you see problems and how we can be blind to solutions.
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Sometimes the best things come in small packages. This short book is simple, memorable and profound. After a long bi-vocational career in IT and business transformation and in church leadership, I have used most of the popular techniques for and approaches to problem solving. Yet this book brought something fresh and helpful to me, especially in situations where it is difficult to pin down the problem exactly and describe it succinctly.
This is an easy read but one that will make you think hard about the problems that you are facing and cause you to think in different ways. Any book that makes you do that is worth your time.
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I loved the format of this book, as a short fable. So many books on subjects such as this are long, dry and theoretical, making it difficult to engage with the material and apply it to your life. Whilst I read this as a means to helping me at work, I can think of a lot of personal situations I can apply it to. Highly recommend.
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Pig Wrestling by Pete Lindsay and Mark Bawden a three-star read that I don’t know how to describe. I picked this up not really knowing much about it and gave it a go It took me a while as I would read it and then get chewed with it, but I couldn’t not see how it ended, its one that some will love, and some will hate. But if it appeals to you give it a go, as you may get something out of it. If you are having trouble figuring out your problems, then you may get some ideas from it.
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Excellent business fable. Great thinking/decision-making framework. A pleasant surprise! The only downside is the protagonist that felt a little too clueless to be real. Otherwise - a really worthwhile read.
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Interesting but not the most invigorating book, from other reviews I was expecting a little bit more.  Reads a little bit like a novel but not the grabbing literacy I was expecting.
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Don't be fooled by the fact that this is a quick and easy read. Crammed into these pages is a powerful problem solving tool that will help you across all aspects of your life, whether you're like the protagonist and struggling with difficult employees or you have other problems you need to deal with, like annoying neighbours.

Told in fable form, I found the writing style to be a little pretentious and self conscious instead of relaxing and letting the story flow. However, that didn't take away from the important message contained therein - if you find yourself wrestling pigs, you're dealing with the wrong problem, so you need to step back and figure out what exactly you should be focusing on instead.

One of those books you'll need to read a few times to glean all the wisdom from - and then read and reread again just to remind yourself of how simple things can really be if you only approach them in the right manner.

Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC without obligation.
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Thoroughly enjoyed this very readable coaching manual. Told as a fable, the problem solving methodology is both clear and practical.
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Really enjoyed reading this- I did dip in and out of it. It’s a book that youas a reader will take so much from. 
Thank you to both NetGalley and Penguin Random House UK for my eARC of this book. This is in exchange for my honest unbiased review
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I like the premise of this book in that it presents a way of addressing a problem via a fable. The central character being the Young Manager who works in an old power station now containing many start-ups and small businesses known as The Collective. The Young Manager has a problem and is sent around various people in The Collective to be given advice. 

The Young Manager receives advice from several individuals and is helped to remember them by a pictorial mnemonic involving a pig pen, containing a huge pig with it’s neck sticking through a picture frame. Nearby are a red plastic bucket filled with soapy water and a sponge and a tin feeding trough as well as other weirdly placed objects. And so the picture builds up to help remember the stages involved in needing to solve a problem. The reader is introduced to some psychology ideas such as ‘premature evaluation’, ‘reframing’, ‘confirmation bias’, ‘the fundamental attribution error ‘and ‘capability assessment error’.

I found it a quick read but nothing particularly earth shattering. I’m writing this a week after finishing it and am struggling to remember any of the advice despite the quirky pictorial mnemonic. I do remain open minded though as to how useful it is and will plan on rereading it when I encounter a problem I need help on. Although I suspect that next time I encounter someone getting involved in my problem that shouldn’t be they won’t be overly impressed by my telling them "that isn't your pig to wrestle" as recommended by the authors. My usual response to such people (in a community environment) is “why don’t you volunteer and help do this job?” This is quite effective if they are whinging as such people usually are the last to help in any way.
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I really enjoyed reading this book, it was very inspiring and will be a useful future reference book for problem solving. I particularly like the way it was written in the way of a story where a young manager who is experiencing issues in his teams goes on a journey, meeting various people. His journey starts with an old barista who introduces him to the concept of pig wrestling and there is much to be learnt  in the processes explained. It's a short read and all the more powerful for it. I think it would make a great present for anyone in management though the problem solving concept can indeed be applied to any issue! Highly recommended!!
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This book is great - a “quick read” (1-2hrs) that packs a real punch in its pages and delivers a few lightbulb moments along the way. Short & snappy, in the vain of “Who Moved My Cheese” and books like that. 
I love how the authors have brought the principles of Pig Wrestling to life with this well written, easy to remember parable. 
The story is based on a Young Manager’s struggle with a work issue, but the framework and skills you learn through the story can be applied to changes or issues in either work or personal life. 
There are handy summaries throughout the book to consolidate your learning and the characters stick with you so much better than if the same information was simply presented as dry facts. 
I’ve personally taken a lot from reading the book - “none of us have unlimited time or energy, so what matters is how wisely we put to use the time and energy that we do have” & “the questions that we ask define our reality” were key takeaways. 
I actually want to see this story filmed and shown in my company meeting (!) and am recommending the book to my sister and good friend, both of whom are managers in fast moving industries. 
Thank you authors for giving me the skills to clean my dirty thinking - I’m looking forward to life outside the pig pen!
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Here we have a supposed ‘everyman’, known only by the patronizing moniker of the ‘young manager’ (YM), being passed from pillar to post, or from one condescending guru to another, through various stages of enlightenment designed to enable him to avoid the ‘pig wrestling’ dogging his professional existence.  Up until this point he’s been banging his head against the proverbial ‘wall’, trying to sort out people problems within and between the teams he is trying to manage.  It’s at this point he providentially happens upon the potential way out of his nightmare, in the form of a friendly barista, taking the place of the traditional bar tender as the repository of all wisdom.

The barista is the owner of the Courtyard Coffee Shack on the ground floor of a converted former power station, now given over to a group of small business enterprises known as the ‘Collective’.  Each of these appears to be run by one of the gurus, the barista being merely the first of such.  Hearing his tale of woe, the barista offers, in time-honoured fashion, to tell the YM a fable, which promises to bring him illumination regarding his problem.  And so begins the YM’s journey towards enlightenment guided by a series of appropriately enlightened beings.  

So far so good: the advice provided by these luminaries is an assortment cherry-picked from the welter of self-help/mind-body-spirit/business/management stuff stocking the shelves of most modern book stores.  Thus we have a variety of techniques each of which are ‘clothed’ in the form of elements of a graphic metaphor; the ‘wrestling ring’, in which the eponymous pig is wallowing in mud, with his head stuck through several picture frames, and surrounded by various other curious items, designed to be memorable images related to different stages in the problem ‘cleaning’ process.  Chuck in a sprinkling of NLP and a mention of Gregory Bateson and Milton Erikson and there you have it!

So, there is some good stuff in there, which, those for whom it might be new, may well benefit.  Unfortunately, the ‘fable’ vehicle through which it's delivered, in addition to being patronizing, is clunky, cheesy and peopled with stock cardboard characters too good to be true, who can’t stop themselves, ‘winking’ and ‘beaming’; stopping just short of patting him on the head when the hapless YM gets it right!

A solid three stars, then, but no more!
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Pig Wrestling promises a powerful approach to problem solving delivered via a 'fable'. The fable is in fact a not-very-interesting and over-long story about a man known only as the Young Manager, who, at the behest of the Santa-like Barista in his company's building, wanders round various departments getting lectures from colleagues (they get names for some reason). The advice is based on ideas that will be familiar to anyone who has read a few pop psychology books - confirmation bias, reframing, that thing about the flies etched into urinals to make men piss more tidily.

At the end, the authors suggest, apparently without irony, ways in which you can apply your learning in your own work. If a colleague is taking too much interest in a problem that doesn't concern them, you should say, "That isn't your pig to wrestle". If nothing else, this book offers a worthy addition to your next team meeting's buzzword bingo.
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The ideas and concepts were portrayed brilliantly in this short and inspiring book.
The use of a fable (with a few anecdotes included) and mnemonics made for an enjoyable read where the inherent knowledge was shared through an engaging cause of discovery.

Having read the kindly edition I’ll definitely try and get a graphic I can print out and use for future reference. It would also be enjoyable re-reading the book within the context of my own problem I might be struggling with.

Anyway, great read!
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