Integrative thinking

"Integrative thinking is a technique for dealing with an either/or choice you don’t really want to make." Roger Martin

I'm still buzzing after my conversation with the 2017 #1 management thinker in the world, Professor Emeritus Roger Martin last week.

One of Roger's many contributions to the business world is the concept of integrative thinking.

Put simply, thinking this way is particularly useful if presented with the choice between two options that you don't really want to make.

Instead of just sucking it up and choosing A or B you come up with a creative resolution to that tension in the form of a new choice.

Here's where integrative thinking gets really interesting.

It is the key to embracing diversity in the world, whatever form that takes.

Views will conflict in an increasingly diverse world.

Instead of thinking “I’m right, you are wrong”...

the response of an integrative thinker would be to say...

“now that’s fascinating! I wonder how she/he/they got that perspective. I need to learn more”

Doing so creates the opportunity to create something even better based on both perspectives and undoubtedly building deeper connections and trust.