The Opposable Mind: Winning Through Integrative Thinking

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Harvard Business Press, 2009 - Business & Economics - 210 pages
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If you want to be as successful as Jack Welch, Larry Bossidy, or Michael Dell, read their autobiographical advice books, right? Wrong, says Roger Martin inThe Opposable Mind. Though following best practice can help in some ways, it also poses a danger: By emulating what a great leader did in a particular situation, you'll likely be terribly disappointed with your own results. Why? Your situation is different.

Instead of focusing on what exceptional leaders do, we need to understand and emulate how they think. Successful businesspeople engage in what Martin callsintegrative thinking creatively resolving the tension in opposing models by forming entirely new and superior ones. Drawing on stories of leaders as diverse as AG Lafley of Procter & Gamble, Meg Whitman of eBay, Victoria Hale of the Institute for One World Health, and Nandan Nilekani of Infosys, Martin shows how integrative thinkers are relentlessly diagnosing and synthesizing by asking probing questions including: What are the causal relationships at work here? and What are the implied trade-offs?

Martin also presents a model for strengthening your integrative thinking skills by drawing on different kinds of knowledge including conceptual and experiential knowledge.

Integrative thinking can be learned, andThe Opposable Mind helps you master this vital skill.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - canalrat - LibraryThing

The title and the concept held such promise, but really there is one single idea - innovation is sometimes achieved by combining seemingly opposing idea to occupy previously unseen market space. The same idea is spun out for a whole book, it was a disappointment. Read full review

The Opposable Mind: How Successful Leaders Win Through Integrative Thinking

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In this primer on the problem-solving power of "integrative thinking," Martin draws on more than 50 management success stories, including the masterminds behind The Four Seasons, Proctor & Gamble and ... Read full review

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About the author (2009)

Roger Martin is dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and a professor of strategic management at Rotman. Formerly, he was a director of Monitor Company, a global strategy consultancy based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He has authored numerous articles for leading business publications including Harvard Business Review, Business Week, Barron's, and Fast Company.

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