The Opposable Mind: How Successful Leaders Win Through Integrative Thinking

Roger L. Martin, Author
Roger L. Martin, Author Harvard Business School Press $26.95 (210p) ISBN 978-1-4221-1892-4
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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 eBay, to demonstrate how, like the opposable thumb, the ""opposable mind""-Martin's term for the human brain's ability ""to hold two conflicting ideas in constructive tension""-is an intellectually advantageous evolutionary leap through which decision-makers can synthesize ""new and superior ideas."" Using this strategy, Martin focuses on what leaders think, rather than what they do. Among anecdotes and examples steering readers to change their thinking about thinking, Martin gives readers specific strategies for understanding their own ""personal knowledge system"" (by parsing inherent qualities of ""stance,"" ""tools"" and ""experience""), as well as for taking advantage of the ""richest source of new insight into a problem,"" the ""opposing model."" Each of the eight chapters is well organized, making for a clear and cumulative read. Part inspiration, part logic lesson, this title will provide fresh perspective for anyone prepared to dust off her thinking cap.
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