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 in The 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 calls integrative 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, and The Opposable Mind helps you master this vital skill.
Table of contents
- CHAPTER 1: Choices, Conflict, and the Creative Spark
- CHAPTER 2: No Stomach for Second-Best
- CHAPTER 3: Reality, Resistance, and Resolution
- CHAPTER 4: Dancing Through Complexity
- CHAPTER 5: Mapping the Mind
- CHAPTER 6: The Construction Project
- CHAPTER 7: A Leap of the Mind
- CHAPTER 8: A Wealth of Experience
- About the Author
- An excerpt from the forthcoming The Design of Business
- Title: The Opposable Mind
- Release date: July 2009
- Publisher(s): Harvard Business Review Press
- ISBN: 9781422148105
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