Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Foundations of Integrative Thinking with Dean Roger Martin

What a way to start your MBA career. My first class, Foundations of Integrative Thinking was graced with a lecture from Dean of the Rotman School of Management, Roger Martin.

In his introductory session, he introduced the idea of conflicting models from his book, The Opposable Mind. The central idea of integrative thinking, the hallmark of the Rotman School of Management and Dean Martin, is that opposing models should not be considered mutually exclusive, but rather as each offering a potentially new piece of the puzzle which can improve the overall model to have a better understanding of "reality".

He introduced the case of A.G. Lafley, recently former CEO of P&G, who was introduced at a low point in P&G's history who need to turn around a large global company who had issued two quarters of profit warnings and who needed to build a new model for turning the company around. In his interview with Dean Martin, A.G. is noted as saying "Anyone can do 'or'", refering to the idea that decisions that assume models are mutually exclusive are common and typical. The implication is that what is common is not often the best solution ('the higher the fewer').

Roger continues by building on his model: Salience, Causality, Architecture and Resolution.

Salience: What features do I see as important?
Challenge of Conventional Thinking: Limited consideration of features

Roger Martin goes on to poke a little fun at linear regression (Personally, I don't even really like polynomial regression) what he characterizes as an atrocious standard dependency relationship model.

Causality: How do I make sense of what I see?
Challenge of Conventional Thinking: Simplified consideration of causality

Roger continues by pointing out that specialization based focuses will create localized (piece meal) salience. He emphasizes multi-directional and non-linear causality considered.

Architecture: What tasks will I do in what order?
Challenge of Conventional Thinking: Sequential / independent consideration of piece-parts

Recognizing the whole while working on the individual parts.

Resolution: How will I know when I am done or not?
Challenge of Conventional Thinking: Ready acceptance of unattractive trade-offs

Searching for creative resolution of tensions.

In Roger Martin's model, he points out that in CT, the thinking is linear both in process and thinking, however, he mentions that IT requires conflict (the idea of the opposible mind).

For more information and a primer on IT, check out the definition page at Rotman.


Mainak said...

This blog is gonna get me hooked, specially for my CFA preparations. Looking forward to reading all your posts.

I think I digressed a bit from the post.

Yes, Roger Martin as the first speaker was a very interesting and good experience. I had the opportunity of talking to him last year. He has changed from that time, for reasons understandable.

Integrative thinking, its gonna be ingrained in us during the 1st year.

Sofia said...

OMG...finally...someone who understands the way I think.

I knew I made sense all along...

Investment Advisor said...

Thanks for This nice Post

This Article is Beneficial for me

So Please again post related to this post

I am waiting......

Investment Advisor