Smashing the state of dumbstuck

Internationally acclaimed as

"a globally significant contribution"

"the leading book"

"a must read"

Most people are undermining their careers, businesses and communities by solving the wrong problems in the wrong way. Problems persist and people lose hope and motivation. "Smashing the state of dumb·stuck" remedies this situation with immediate effect. It is the leading book on real-world problem solving, rich in insights for leaders and professionals that want to be impactful, sought-after and successful.

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This new work will ensure that your thinking, creativity and energy is effectively focused on the issues you’re called to address, to make real, practical changes. It is a must read for people who are serious about the work of enhancing our organisations and society.

Elizabeth Proust AO, Advisory Board Chair at the Bank of Melbourne, Chair of Nestlé Australia, non-executive director at Lendlease, past chair of the Australian Institute of Company Directors

This book is packed with tools and tips to upend tired solutions that contribute to running sores. With the urgency of the crises in climate, nature, and post-pandemic debt the timing of this book could not be better. It is a globally significant contribution to human endeavour.

Peter Young, Independent Environmentalist, Trustee at Green Purposes Company (UK), Chair of ISO Sustainable Finance International Standards Committee (ISO TC/322)

“Nick has produced the rarest of things — a management book combining decades of research and real-world experiences in a remarkably practical set of tools. Even if a busy executive, manager, or entrepreneur could identify all the resources Nick draws upon, they could never find the time to read and combine them into such a useful set of tools. This book should be mandatory reading for innovators in government, academia, business, NGOs and the military.”

Clare John Fairfield, Chairman, Venture Capital Institute (USA and Australasia)

“This book is jam-packed with tactics for anyone wanting to solve real-world problems. It’s perfect for those starting their career, or wanting to be inspired. Rather than your typical ‘cover to cover read’ that gets left on the shelf, this book will stay on your desk as your secret toolkit. I wish I had it when I was starting my career. Nick has been generous in sharing all of his brilliance in one place.”

Felicity Furey, award-winning business leader and Founder, WeAspire Future Leaders

Nick Fleming

About the author

Dr Nick Fleming is the founder of the strategic advisory firm, Innergise. His skill is bringing clarity amid complexity, direction amid uncertainty, and superior results from better placed effort.

Nick’s insights come from working globally with businesses and governments to drive progress in the natural resources, infrastructure, energy, defence, education and social welfare sectors.

A respected thought leader, speaker and mentor, Nick’s mission is to create a more inclusive and sustainable society. This, and his commitment to innovation, excellence and leadership, has won him many awards.

Nick is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He currently sits on the boards of South Gippsland Water and Engineers Australia, and delivers executive education with the Australia and New Zealand School of Government.


Five stars

Outstanding Features

“Smashing the state of dumb·stuck” is arguably the best book in its genre.
Why? Because it:

  • deals with the messy, real-world problems faced by leaders every day.
  • is directly relevant to professionals in the public, private and the not-for-profit sectors
  • integrates the insights of global leaders from multiple disciplines
  • is packed with practical, evidence-based “how to” advice
  • provides step-by-step guidelines and a memorable problem-solving framework
  • goes beyond problem definition and solution ideas to real problem solving
  • includes several entirely new problem-solving tools and approaches
  • demonstrates use of the tools via real-life case studies
  • provides real substance in every chapter without being longwinded and boring
  • requires no prior knowledge in special fields (like finance or engineering)
  • provides an unparalleled platform for any leader wanting to delve deeper into a particular problem-solving method or field of enquiry.
Smashing the State of Dumb-stuck
microphone for speaker's speech in the seminar room with audience in the background

News and Media


Download the press release, author bio, contact information and other book details here.


Nick Fleming routinely delivers executive development programs integrating many of the most powerful and relevant insights from the book. Make an enquiry (below) if you want to find out what a bespoke program could look like for your business.


Nick Fleming is a member of faculty at the ANZ School of Government. Masterclasses, bespoke programs and hands-on executive coaching is available, applying skills in complex problem solving and systems thinking to real-world problems. For more details, contact ANZSOG.


For specific enquiries and information about speaking and consulting support from Nick Fleming, make an enquiry.

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