Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

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Learn how successful leaders think. Rotman School’s Integrative Thinking Program comes to London, UK

Toronto, May 11, 2011 - For the first time, the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management will be taking its Integrative Thinking program to London, UK. The three-day executive program, which is based on theory that lies at the heart of the Rotman MBA program, will take place on September 21 – 23, 2011.

Led by Dean Roger Martin and Jennifer Riel of the Rotman School’s Desautels Centre for Integrative Thinking, the course is designed to help senior managers from all sectors make better decisions more of the time. Through research and interviews with some of the world’s top leaders, Martin identified a pattern of effective problem solving that can be learned and developed. Rather than looking at what leaders did, he looked at how leaders thought. That way of thinking – which he termed Integrative Thinking – enables leaders to tackle the most complicated problems and make better decisions.

“From interviewing these great leaders, I saw a distinctive approach to problem solving,” says Martin. “These leaders were able to face the tension of opposing ideas and deal productively with it. Instead of simply choosing, they were able to leverage the existing choices to build a new, better choice. That new choice contained elements of the original options, but was better than either one. These leaders integrated across the existing options, and created new value.”

The executive education program takes the experiences of the great leaders, from Jack Welch of General Electric to AG Lafley of Procter & Gamble to Isadore Sharp of Four Seasons Resorts and Hotels, as its starting point. From there, participants learn the tools and techniques for applying integrative thinking to their own businesses. “Our goal is to enable people to think differently,” says Riel. “Using a highly interactive format, we ask program participants to actually try out the tools and engage in new ways of doing things.”

In the 2011 Financial Times survey of executive education, the Rotman School’s open enrolment programs were ranked number one in the world for “new skills and learning,” by program participants including students in the Toronto offerings of the Integrative Thinking program. In this category students were asked to rate the relevance of course content to their jobs, the ease of implementing their new skills when they returned to work, and the extent to which the course provided new ways to think.

The London program follows sold-out offerings of the program twice a year in Toronto. The program will also be available in Toronto in April and October this year. Preliminary registration for the London program is available and further information about Integrative Thinking at the Rotman School is online.

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