You know them when they walk into a room, running a meeting with ease, and come up with ideas that are superior to those around them. Just what is it that makes great thinkers and great leaders different from everyone else?
According to Roger Martin, such brilliant leaders are skilled at integrative thinking: the ability to hold two opposing ideas in their mind at once, and then reach a synthesis that contains elements of bothbut actually improves on each. By refusing to accept unpleasant trade-offs and conventional options, integrative thinkers are able to find creative solutions to seemingly intractable problems.
But is integrative thinking a talent reserved for a fortunate few? Martin says no. He believes its a habit of thought that anyone can consciously develop to arrive at fresh and creative solutions.