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Creating Great Choices: A Leader’s Guide to Integrative Thinking

September 21, 2017

Toronto - In his 2007 book, The Opposable Mind, Roger Martin made a convincing argument about how successful leaders think. They can hold two opposing ideas in their minds at once, he argued “and then reach a synthesis that actually improves on each.”

That book focused on how successful leaders think, more than what they do. But over time, many self-declared fans of integrative thinking began to ask Roger (and later Jennifer) this question: “How do we actually apply integrative thinking to our own problems and situations?” They understood the concept but not how to apply it.

Now, in Creating Great Choices, Roger Martin and Jennifer Riel apply new learning about how to apply the theory of integrative thinking that they have learned over the last decade. In the process of teaching the methodology to graduate students, executives, educators and community leaders, they have refined and enhanced their own understanding of integrative thinking. The result is a new book that blends theory and practice to show how to use integrative thinking as the basis for innovation.

With a clear four-step methodology to help readers move from idea to action, templates for readers to map out their problems and the opposing ideas for solving them, and with practical and memorable stories, from music mogul Jay-Z, to the founder of Vanguard Group, Creating Great Choices was written with MBA students, business managers, non-profit and government agency leaders, teachers, and even elementary school students in mind. Together, this anticipated book introduces integrative thinking to a new generation of people eager to make great choices.

Creating Great Choices: A Leader’s Guide to Integrative Thinking
Roger Martin and Jennifer Riel
256 pages
Harvard Business Review Press
Pub date: September 19, 2017
hardcover; Kindle eBook  
ISBN-10: 1633692965
ISBN-13: 978-1633692961

Roger Martin is an acclaimed author, an advisor to CEOs on strategy, design and integrative thinking and a professor. He is Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto (where he also served as Dean, from 1998-2013). Prior to Rotman, he spent 13 years as Director of Monitor Company, a global strategy consulting firm and served as co-head of the firm for two years. He has published 11 books, including The Design of Business, Fixing the Game, Playing to Win (with A.G. Lafley) and Getting Beyond Better (with Sally Osberg). A Canadian from Wallenstein, Ontario, He received his AB from Harvard College with a concentration in economics in 1979, and his MBA from the Harvard Business School in 1981.

Jennifer Riel is an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, where she teaches undergraduate, MBA and executive audiences. In this capacity, she has created and led workshops for organizations around the world. She serves as a strategy and innovation advisor to senior leaders at Fortune 500 companies. She has served as an editor and collaborator on several books, including The Opposable Mind: How Successful Leaders Win Through Integrative Thinking and The Design of Business: Why Design Thinking is the New Competitive Advantage. She has written for The Globe and Mail, Businessweek, Strategy Magazine, Rotman Management, Huffington Post and She received her MBA from the Rotman School of Management in 2006.


Ken McGuffin
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