Posts Tagged ‘integrative thinking’

Use Integrative Thinking to Crack Hard Problems

There are literally dozens of methods you can use to solve problems.  We will try to cover all of them in this blog. The latest crop are driven by the idea that we can become better problem solvers if we learn to think like professionals that are really good problem solvers. Makes sense.  For example, in design thinking we try to think like a successful designer or in leadership thinking we try and think like a highly effective leader.

One approach to think-like-a-leader that has worked for me comes from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. It is called integrative thinking.  In essence it is:

“the ability to constructively face the tensions of opposing models, and instead of choosing one at the expense of the other, generate a creative resolution of the tension in the form of a new model that contains elements of the individual models, but is superior to each. “

Easy to say but hard to do.  The payoff  however can be enormous as this often used quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald suggests:

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function”

In the language of this blog integrative thinking is an important option for building Your Next Brain!

To dig deeper check out the book, The Opposable Mind: How Successful Leaders Win Through Integrative Thinking.  You can get a free preview of the book here. Or if you have more money to spend and want some personal training consider the 3-day executive program in Toronto this April. I will blog on my experiences later. Meanwhile please share your ideas and experiences with integrative thinking techniques.

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mark Clare - January 27, 2010 at 12:55 am

Categories: Books, Decision Making, Executive, Leader, Problem Solving, Training   Tags: ,