Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Free To Focus … A Total Productivity System To Achieve More By Doing Less By Michael Hyatt (Summary)

Free To Focus … A Total Productivity System To Achieve More By Doing Less By Michael Hyatt
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The Main Idea

The key to productivity today is not to try and squeeze in more stuff. Instead, you should be focused on getting the right things done in the face of 24/7 distractions and sidetracks. If you can start each day with clarity about your highest value priorities and then end each day with a feeling of accomplishment, you will be doing well.

Achieving more by doing, less of the stuff that doesn't matter sounds great but how do you do that in the real world? A good 3-step system for this is:

Free To Focus

1

Stop

2

Cut

3

Act

  • STOP — and figure out why you're working first. It's only once you clarify why you're working that you can then set about upgrading how you work.
  • CUT — clarify what you won't do so you have more time for what you do need to do.
  • ACT — fill your day with high-leverage tasks, and look for ways to get these tasks done in less time and with less stress than before.

Your attention is being spammed all day long. What will your life have been, in the end, but the sum total of everything you spent it focusing on?

Oliver Burkeman, journalist

It's time to hit the reset button on your life and finally put a system in place that ensures the time and energy to accomplish your most important goals, both in and out of the office. The most productive business leaders I coach recognize productivity is not about getting more things done; it's about getting the right things done. Can you imagine it? Can you picture when you feel fully in control of where your time is going, when you get to decide how to spend your precious energy, and when you hit the pillow at night still energized from a productive, satisfying day? I hope you can, because that time is coming. You really can accomplish more by doing less.

Michael Hyatt

The Free To Focus Formula

1. Stop. It may sound counterintuitive to begin a productivity system by telling people to stop but the reality is that if you don't stop doing marginal value activities; you won't have enough time to do what matters most. The three actions in this step are:

  1. Formulate — clarify exactly what you want to achieve by being more productive.
  2. Evaluate — separate your high-leverage activities from your low-leverage busy work.
  3. Rejuvenate — clarify how to use rest to boost your results when working.

2. Cut. What you choose not to do is just as important to your productivity as what you actually do with your time. To work to eliminate low-leverage tasks in order to claw back more time for better high-leverage tasks, the three steps are:

  1. Eliminate — banish all the time bandits, which steal your time.
  2. Automate — all the low-leverage tasks you feasibly can.
  3. Delegate — get work off your schedule in a practical and sustainable way.

3. Act. Once you have cut out nonessentials, it is then time to start executing more high-leverage tasks, which add value. As you do this, look for ways to get these tasks done in less time and with less stress than before. The three steps here are:

  1. Consolidate — find ways to bunch high-leverage tasks together for efficiency.
  2. Designate — stage tasks so they fit your schedule rather than becoming urgent.
  3. Activate — eliminate distractions and make maximal use of your skills & abilities.

About The Author

Michael Hyatt is the founder and CEO of his own leadership development firm, Michael Hyatt & Company. He was formerly the chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers. He is the author or coauthor of several bestsellers including Living Forward, Your Best Year Ever and Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. Michael Hyatt's blog Lead to Win gets more than a million page views each month and he has been featured by The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Inc. and Entrepreneur. He is a graduate of Baylor University and McLennan Community College.

Summaries.Com Editor's Thoughts

I enjoyed Michael Hyatt's latest book, which followed on from his other recent book Your Best Year Ever.

His basic philosophy that the key to success is to get more of the right things done at the expense of busywork and marginal-value activities makes sense. I thought the steps he suggested — STOP, CUT, ACT — are workable for the real world. Just about everyone today obsesses over trying to cram more and more into each day.

I also liked his suggestion to have a set morning ritual, workday startup ritual, end-of-workday ritual and evening ritual as the four basic building blocks of your day. So too were his ideas about using more templates and automation.

Overall, distraction is the enemy of productivity today and this is a great system for freeing up more time to focus.

Amazon.Com Review …

Everyone gets 168 hours a week, but it never feels like enough, does it? Work gobbles up the lion's share--many professionals are working as much as 70 hours a week--leaving less and less for rest, exercise, family, and friends. You know all those things that make life great.

Most people think productivity is about finding or saving time. However, it is not. It is about making our timework for us. Just imagine having free time again. It is not a pipe dream.

In Free to Focus, New York Times bestselling author Michael Hyatt reveals to readers nine proven ways to win at work so they are finally free to succeed at the rest of life--their health, relationships, hobbies, and more. He helps readers redefine their goals, evaluate what is working, cut out the nonessentials, focus on the most important tasks, manage their time and energy, and build momentum for a lifetime of success.

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Slay Distractions, Reduce Your Task List, And Free Yourself From Interruptions

Everyone gets 168 hours a week, but it never feels like enough, does it? Work gobbles up the lion's share--many professionals work as much as 70 hours a week--leaving less and less margin for rest, exercise, family, and friends. If we're not careful, we can trade what matters most for a task list that grows longer by the day. What's the solution?

In Free to Focus, New York Times bestselling author Michael Hyatt reveals nine proven ways to win at work so you are finally free to succeed at the rest of life: your health, relationships, and more. He helps you

· redefine your work so it works for you
· filter your tasks and commitments
· cut out the nonessentials
· eliminate interruptions and distractions
· set boundaries that protect your focus and drive results
· leverage your time and energy for maximum productivity
· build momentum for a lifetime of success

Most people think productivity is about finding or saving time. However, it's not. It's about making your time work for you. Just imagine having margin and free time again. It's not a pipe dream. You can be free to focus, starting today. Michael Hyatt is the founder and CEO of Michael Hyatt & Company, a leadership development firm specializing in transformative live events and workshops, plus digital and analog planning and productivity tools. Formerly chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, Michael is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of several books, including Living Forward, Your Best Year Ever, and Platform. His work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Inc., Fast Company, Businessweek, Entrepreneur, and other publications. Michael has been married to his wife, Gail, for forty years. They have five daughters, three sons-in-law, and eight grandchildren. They live just outside Nashville, Tennessee. Learn more at MichaelHyatt.com.

From the Back Cover

"One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. No one understands this better than Michael Hyatt, and he's engineered a new, easy-to-follow approach to harness this power in his new book Free to Focus."--Tony Robbins, #1 New York Times bestselling author, Unshakeable

"Free to Focus will push you to use your time well and to become a better version of the person you were created to be."--Dave Ramsey, New York Times bestselling author and nationally syndicated radio show host

"Great stories are thought through before they're written. Great lives are the same. Mike gives us a framework to plan our lives in such a way that we won't have to experience regret. This is a great book."--Donald Miller, New York Times bestselling author; founder and CEO, StoryBrand

"Busyness is meaningless. What matters is consistently executing the work that actually matters. This book shows you how."--Cal Newport, New York Times bestselling author, Deep Work and Digital Minimalism

"Michael Hyatt is one of the best leaders I know. Leaders rely on smart systems to help them lead in the office as well as at home, and Free to Focus provides the kind of system that every smart leader craves."--John C. Maxwell, author, speaker, and leadership expert

"I've been where you may be now--buried under a mountain of daily tasks, watching my biggest goals and most important projects slip further and further out of reach. Here's the solution. Michael Hyatt has created a productivity system that really works. Free to Focus does not disappoint."--Lewis Howes, New York Times bestselling author, The School of Greatness and The Mask of Masculinity

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Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Pivot To The Future: Discovering Value And Creating Growth In A Disrupted World By Omar Abbosh, Paul Nunes & Larry Downes (Summary)

Pivot To The Future: Discovering Value And Creating Growth In A Disrupted World By Omar Abbosh, Paul Nunes & Larry Downes
Hardcover     Paperback     Audible Free With Your Audible Trial

The Main Idea

Disruption is very much a way of life in every industry today. A multi-year research project carried out by Accenture on more than 3,000 companies showed that at any one time at least 63% of companies will be experiencing disruption, and that 44% of the companies in any marketplace are highly susceptible to future disruption.

So what is the best way to respond to ongoing marketplace disruptions? Ideally, you want to become a disruptor, not the disrupted. To do that, you're going to need to have the ability to pivot again and again:

The Old

Transform Your Core Business
To Drive Up Investment Capacity

The Now

Grow Your Core Business
To Provide Capital For Growth

The New

Scale New Businesses At Pace
To Identify New Growth Area

If you can master the wise pivot and keep reinventing your business over and over, you're all set regardless of what happens in the future. To accelerate growth today and establish leadership in tomorrow's opportunities, you have to systematically balance and rebalance your investments in the Old, the Now and the New.

The only solution to continuous and potentially devastating change is constant reinvention, rearchitecting the business in a way that allowed us to pivot from one opportunity to the next, quickly and efficiently — an approach to business value creation we came to call the 'wise pivot'"

Omar Abbosh, Paul Nunes and Larry Downes

Pivot To The Future Strategy

1. Releasing Trapped Value. When you are dealing with markets which are unpredictable, a single one-time large-scale "transformation" of your company just won't cut it. Constant reinvention and multiple pivots from one opportunity to the next and then to the next after that will be required. The aim here is to keep coming up with new and better ways to unlock the value which is trapped within your current business model and then to refocus your business around the right mix of old and new assets.

2. How To Make Wise Pivots Again And Again. When you are dealing with markets which are unpredictable, a single one-time large-scale "transformation" of your company just won't cut it. Constant reinvention and multiple pivots from one opportunity to the next and then to the next after that will be required. The aim here is to keep coming up with new and better ways to unlock the value which is trapped within your current business model and then to refocus your business around the right mix of old and new assets.


1

 

2

3


Your Innovation

 

Your Finances

Your People

 

Concentration

Centralized Vs Decentralized

 

Fixed Assets

Own Vs Pay-As-You-Go

Leadership

Operators Vs Entrepreneurs

 

Control

Directed Vs Autonomous

 

Working Capital

Ready-Made Vs
Made-To-Order

Work

Human Vs Machine

 

Aspiration

Instrumental Vs Disruptive

 

Human Capital

Reskill Vs Redirect

Culture

One Culture Vs Multiple


About The Authors

Omar Abbosh is group chief executive of Accenture's Communications, Media & Technology operating group. He previously served as chief strategy officer for Accenture. He is a member of Accenture's Global Management Committee and has management responsibility for a number of Accenture's business units. Omar Abbosh is a graduate of INSEAD and the University of Cambridge.

Paul Nunes is global managing director for Accenture Research. He is the co-author of three books Big Bang Disruption, Jumping the S-Curve and Mass Affluence. Paul Nunes is a graduate of Northwestern University.

Larry Downes is a senior fellow with Accenture Research. He specializes in developing business strategies. He is the author or co-author of several books including Big Bang Disruption, The Laws of Disruption and Unleashing the Killer App. Larry Downes is a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School and Northwestern University.

Summaries.Com Editor's Thoughts

Thoroughly enjoyed this business book. The authors are all employees of Accenture, which went through a digital-era makeover a few years ago and has lived to tell the tale. I thought the point that they make that you pivot to the future technologies on the strength of your legacy business is valid and smart.

I particularly liked the fact they point out this is always an opportunity to release trapped value and to use that trapped value to fund your future movements into new technologies. That is smart. The traditional way of thinking about turnarounds has always been that you exit legacy businesses and start afresh, but this pivot strategy is far more robust and applicable. Well worth reading.

Amazon.Com Review …

The Proven, Effective Strategy For Reinventing Your Business In The Age Of Ever-Present Disruption

Disruption by digital technologies? That is not a new story. But what is new is the "wise pivot," a replicable strategy for harnessing disruption to survive, grow, and be relevant to the future. It's a strategy for perpetual reinvention across the old, now, and new elements of any business.

Rapid recent advances in technology are forcing leaders in every business to rethink long-held beliefs about how to adapt to emerging technologies and new markets. What has become abundantly clear: in the digital age, conventional wisdom about business transformation no longer works, if it ever did.

Based on Accenture's own experience of reinventing itself in the face of disruption, the company's real world client work, and a rigorous two-year study of thousands of businesses across 30 industries, Pivot to the Future reveals methodical and bold moves for finding and releasing new sources of trapped value-unlocked by bridging the gap between what is technologically possible and how technologies are being used. The freed value enables companies to simultaneously reinvent their legacy, and current and new businesses.

Pivot to the Future is for leaders who seek to turn the existential threats of today and tomorrow into sustainable growth, with the courage to understand that a wise pivot strategy is not a one-time event, but a commitment to a future of perpetual reinvention, where one pivot is followed by the next and the next.

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Omar and the team at Accenture have written a wonderful book that outlines what it takes to succeed in a world changed-and super-charged-by technology-based disruption."―Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft

"For any of us that are trying to build long-standing, sustainable businesses-which is hard-the most important thing is to listen carefully to what your customers want from you and then move quickly to innovate to improve the customer experience. Omar and his colleagues provide practical information and real-world examples that will be useful to companies looking to embrace change and adopt strategies and technologies to keep reinventing and iterating their customer experiences."―Andy Jassy, CEO, Amazon Web Services (AWS)

"In Pivot to the Future, Omar Abbosh and his coauthors make a powerful case that successful innovation is a long-term game that requires constant pivots to evolve and change. Pivot to the Future will excite, energize, and empower leaders, helping them innovate intelligently, keep moving forward, and always be future-ready."―Michael Dell, CEO, Dell

"Every company is seeking to reinvent itself. Pivot to the Future provides powerful and stimulating concepts, ideas, and examples that can help guide these efforts. A must read for anyone who is looking for help on the journey!!"―Hubert Joly, chairman and CEO, Best Buy

"We all face disruptive transformations fueled by digital technologies. Pivot to the Future: Discovering Value and Creating Growth in a Disrupted World is an invaluable testimony on how Accenture very successfully transformed and adapted. It takes more than a new strategy, it takes a new approach to strategy. It is a well-structured guide on how to 'wisely' pivot a business towards new opportunities in the digital age and definitely a must-read."―Jean-Pascal Tricoire, chairman and CEO, Schneider Electric

"The 'wise pivot' concept is a powerful framework that can shape top leadership teams' decisions around digital strategies and new operating models. With the help of Omar, we used that framework to develop a digital strategy that strikes the balance between growing our core business and shaping new ways of operating."―Giovanni Caforio, CEO, Bristol-Myers Squibb

"We'd better be ready for disruption. I like the strategies I'm seeing for unlocking trapped value and simultaneously reinventing legacy, current, and new areas of a business. I think they could go a long way in helping us-and other companies-get there."―John Pettigrew, CEO, National Grid

"We are facing a period of disruption, the like of which I have not witnessed in my career. It has the potential to obsolete businesses and destroy industries. Even the disrupters are being disrupted! As Pivot to the Future argues compellingly, traditional strategies are no longer enough. From their own experience, the authors reveal that reinvention must now be a constant, and must address not only the legacy businesses but pivot into new, scalable businesses. This requires organizations to embrace both technological and cultural change, and take bold moves from an outside in perspective. Change should be measured across three horizons: the old, the now, and the new. I recommend this book to those of you who have stepped up to this exciting challenge, understand the magnitude of what is required, and are keen to learn from their peers."

Gordon Cairns, chairman of Woolworths Group and chairman of Origin Energy

"Pivot to the Future-finally-presents a much-needed perspective that reinvigorates tired and outdated concepts of strategy. Instead of building an advantage and defending it, it shows how organizations can release waves of competitive advantage by freeing up trapped value. Instead of innovation for the Next Big Thing, this book shows how innovation plays a role in businesses at every stage. And instead of theorizing, it draws on a real-world journey to figure all this out."―Rita McGrath, bestselling author of The End of Competitive Advantage and professor at Columbia Business School

"Pivot to the Future helps decision makers break free from traditional, linear thinking and immediate concerns in order to win in the Fourth Industrial Revolution by leveraging disruption rather than fearing it."―Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman, World Economic Forum

About The Author

Omar Abbosh is group chief executive of Accenture's Communications, Media & Technology operating group and is a member of Accenture's Global Management Committee. He has served as the global client lead for leading multinational companies where he advised client executives on major strategic issues for their businesses. Mr. Abbosh joined Accenture in 1989 and became a partner in 1998. He holds a degree in electronic engineering from Cambridge University and a master's degree in business administration from INSEAD.

Paul Nunes is the global managing director for thought leadership at Accenture Research and leads the company's principle business research programs that shape its strategic vision. He is coauthor of three books, Big Bang Disruption: Strategy in the Age of Devastating Innovation (2014). He has written for MIT Sloan Management Review, Fast Company, Conference Board Review, The European Business Review, Rotman, Strategy and Leadership, and Wired. Nunes' research findings have been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, BusinessWeek.com, Forbes.com, Inc.com, CFO, CIO, CIO Insight, Los Angeles Times, and Chicago Tribune.

Larry Downes is an Internet industry analyst and author on developing business strategies in the age of disruptive innovation. He is the co-author of Big Bang Disruption and author of New York Times business best-seller, Unleashing the Killer App: Digital Strategies for Market Dominance, (1998) which was named by The Wall Street Journal as one of the five most important books ever published on business and technology. He is a columnist on innovation for both The Washington Post and Forbes and writes regularly for Harvard Business Review. Downes has held faculty appointments at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Northwestern University School of Law, and the University of California-Berkeley's Haas School of Business, where he was Associate Dean of the School of Information. Since 2014, he has served as project director at the Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy.

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Sunday, June 16, 2019

Creating Great Choices: A Leader's Guide To Integrative Thinking By Jennifer Riel & Roger L. Martin (Summary)

Creating Great Choices: A Leader's Guide To Integrative Thinking By Jennifer Riel & Roger L. Martin
Hardcover
     Kindle     Audiobook (Free With Audible Trial)

Key Concepts

Integrative thinking is a deliberate, conscious means of developing great choices and creative solutions to challenging problems. There are four steps to the integrative thinking process:

  1. Articulate the models. Define your problem and identify two extreme, opposing solutions that can solve it. Explore how each solution would work, how each solution would provide critical benefits, and why the outcomes of each solution are important.
  2. Examine the models. Compare the benefits, assumptions, underlying relationships, and generated value of each model to improve your understanding of how it works, the circumstances in which it would fail, and how others might understand it.
  3. Explore the possibilities. Engage in integrative thinking to create new possibilities that offer more value than either original alternative could create alone.
  4. Assess the prototypes. Once you have identified several new, potentially superior options, test your prototypes to determine how well each choice would work in practice. This assessment can build confidence and enthusiasm for moving forward with the option that is selected.

Introduction

Many of our most challenging situations require us to choose between two imperfect solutions. Often, our choices are limiting, and we feel as though we must accept trade-offs to arrive at a resolution. In Creating Great Choices, Roger Martin and Jennifer Riel suggest another approach: We can arrive at truly superior outcomes by engaging in integrative thinking that results in a “third and better” choice. This approach to decision making can help us as leaders, managers, and workers to make important, impactful choices while avoiding unacceptable trade-offs and maximizing the benefits of their outcomes in virtually any context.

Part One: In Theory … Integrative Thinking 2.0

When we are faced with difficult decisions, we tend to analyze the options that are before us, settle, and make trade-offs after weighing the pros and cons of our options. We choose options based on majority opinions and wind up with solutions that solve only parts of our problems. These approaches typically lead to unsatisfying outcomes, and yet we seldom take the time to create choices that will solve our problems in new and successful ways.

How We Choose

People tend to have flawed processes for decision-making. These processes fail, in part, because of glitches in our thinking that come from deeply set biases and lapses in our logic, but they also fail because we rely on mental models to help us to make sense of our experiences, even though these models are often incomplete or wholly incorrect. Our mental models can fail us for five reasons:

  1. They are implicit and rarely explicitly questioned.
  2. External forces easily manipulate them.
  3. They reflect strongly held beliefs that are difficult to shift in any significant or long-lasting way.
  4. They are simplistic and short circuit our reasoning processes.
  5. They are too narrow and singularly focused on finding the one right answer to a problem.

Because of these deficiencies in our mental models, as well as the potential for conflict when faced with opposing models, trade-offs, and interpersonal conflict in-group decision making, we tend to make suboptimal compromises that rarely result in great choices, but there is a better way. We can make better decisions by implementing a process that allows us to understand our implicit mental models, biases, and failed decision-making patterns while providing us with new tools that allow for metacognition, empathy, and creativity.

A New Way to Think

Metacognition, empathy, and creativity are three elements that are missing from many of our decision-making processes. Metacognition is the process of “thinking about thinking,” or more specifically, how we understand our existing mental models and their limitations. Empathy provides us with a deeper understanding of how others think, which can reveal gaps in our thinking and identify opportunities for collaboration. Finally, creativity helps us to build new, improved solutions as an alternative to choosing between existing options.

Integrative thinking is an approach to decision making that seeks to incorporate these three important components. It provides an alternative to other processes that minimize our thought processes, play up our biases, divide individuals, and reduce our creativity, and instead provides a deliberate, conscious route toward the development of creative solutions.

Part 2: In Practice … A Methodology

The integrative thinking process can help solve challenging problems and create great new choices through four steps:

  1. Articulate the models. Begin the process by framing your problem and defining two extreme, opposing models that will solve it.
  2. Examine the models. After expanding upon your two opposing solutions, study each model and ask a series of questions that will help you to identify the similarities and differences between the models, the aspects of the models you value most, the underlying assumptions of the models, and the cause-and-effect relationships that are at work.
  3. Explore the possibilities. Find ways to integrate the models into a single, superior option that has the potential to create more value than either model could create alone. This may be achieved by combining the best benefits of each option, intensifying one option so that it brings forth the one key benefit of the opposing solution, or finding ways to apply both solutions to distinct parts of the problem.
  4. Assess the prototypes. Define your options, determine how they might work, understand the underlying logic of the solutions, and test each solution to determine which possibility is superior to the others.

Articulating Opposing Models

In the first phase of the integrative thinking process, you must take four critical steps:

  1. Define your problem. Articulate a problem that is worth solving and is meaningful to the people who are tasked with solving it. The problem should be framed in a way that provides integrative thinking teams with a shared understanding of the issue and a shared commitment to resolving it.
  2. Identify two extreme, opposing solutions to the problem. Strive to translate your problem into a two-sided choice to create a controlled amount of tension that can help integrative thinking teams consider each opposing view and its underlying assumptions.
  3. Develop the details of the two opposing ideas. Describe each choice with enough detail for others to understand what it would look like in practice and how the ideas differ from one another.
  4. Describe how each model would work. Build on your understanding of the two models by focusing exclusively on their benefits. This positive focus is essential because it fosters open-mindedness, enhances group productivity, and enables you to see what we can take from each model to create a great new choice.

Examining The Models

After creating and defining two opposing models, you can better understand the attractiveness of each option and what you would be giving up by choosing one option over the other. You can begin to create great new choices that are superior to either of your opposing models by looking at the two models in tension and asking a series of probing questions that will help you to:

  • Understand the similarities and differences between the models.
  • Identify which aspects of the models you value most.
  • Explore the underlying assumptions of the models.
  • Study the cause-and-effect relationships that are at work in the models.

Generating Possibilities

After defining and examining the models, find ways to integrate them into a single, superior option. This can be accomplished by applying one of the following techniques for resolving tension:

  • The hidden gem approach. Select a deeply valued benefit from each opposing model and incorporate the chosen benefits into your new solution.
  • The double-down approach. Bet on your preferred model and extend or intensify it so that it produces an important benefit from the other opposing model.
  • The decomposition approach. Dissect your problem in a new way so that each model could be wholly applied to different parts of the problem.

While these pathways are not the only proven approaches to creative thinking and the resolution of tension, they are effective in helping you to develop a broad set of potential solutions. Further, they offer a starting point, a means for framing team discussions, and an approach for igniting the creative thinking that is required for any integrative challenge.

Assessing The Prototypes

Once you have generated several new possibilities, test your prototypes and determine which of the possibilities are superior to the others. There are three steps to this process:

  1. Thoroughly define each option and how it might work. You must determine what is at the core of each idea, how it integrates the two opposing models, how the newly created possibility is better than either of the opposing models alone, and how you can capture and communicate the proposed solution effectively.
  2. Understand the logic that underlies each possibility and how each possibility could translate into a winning integrative solution. You can determine the logic of your possibilities by defining them and understanding the conditions in which each of those possibilities could be a great solution to your problem. This step helps you to clarify your thinking and make the models concrete and understandable for others.
  3. Test each possibility. In testing each possibility, you may create simple prototypes or launch full-scale pilot projects. It is critical that these tests focus on the falsification of your core ideas and identify circumstances in which the possibility may fail, instead of trying to prove that a model will succeed.

A Way Of Being In The World

A final element that is crucial to the integrative thinking process is your stance on how you see the world around you and how you see yourself in that world. Your stance signifies your holistic view of who you are and what you are trying to achieve. It is unique to you and directly influences your actions and outcomes.

When it comes to stance, there is no single “right” way to be. However, people who have found success through the integrative thinking approach tend to view integrative thinking as a process and a way of being. They rely on their experiences with integrative thinking to create great choices and develop new solutions to problems. For this approach to become your way of being, you must believe three things:

  1. The world is complex, and we attempt to understand it through simplified models that tend to be incorrect.
  2. Others understand the world differently, and these divergent views provide us with an opportunity to improve our models.
  3. The world is full of opportunities that allow us to improve our models over time, provided that we are open to new answers.

If you embrace these concepts, you can develop a new sense of clarity about your own thinking and better understand your model of the world. You can also be more effective when learning about and leveraging opposing views of the world as you search for answers that resolve your tensions between your opposing ideas.

About The Authors

Jennifer Riel is an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, where she teachers integrative thinking and innovation to undergraduate, MBA, and executive audiences. In this capacity, Riel has created and led custom workshops for organizations around the world. She is also a strategy and innovation adviser to senior leaders at several Fortune 500 companies. Riel has served as an editor and collaborator on a number of books, including The Opposable Mind, The Design of Business, and Playing to Win. She has also written for the Globe and Mail, Businessweek, Strategy, the Huffington Post, and Fortune.com. She received her MBA from the Rotman School of Management in 2006.

Roger Martin is an acclaimed author, consultant, and 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 to 2013). Prior to Rotman, he spent 13 years as a director of Monitor Company, a global strategy-consulting firm, serving as co-head of the firm for two years. Martin is an adviser to CEOs on strategy, design, and integrative thinking. He has written widely on these subjects and has published 11 books, including The Opposable Mind, The Design of Business, Fixing the Game, Playing to Win (with A.G. Lafley), and Getting Beyond Better (with Sally Osberg). This year, he was named the most influential management thinker in the world by the Thinkers50, a biennial ranking of global business thinkers. Martin received his AB from Harvard College, with a concentration in economics, and his MBA from Harvard Business School.

Amazon.com Review

"…a refreshing and novel twist on the underlying cognitive processes of great decision-making…sound and wonderfully articulated." -- CHOICE, the publication of the American Library Association

"useful management guide to decision making" -- Engineering and Technology Magazine, The Institution of Engineering and Technology

"The Opposable Mind introduced the idea of 'integrative thinking'…[In Creating Great Choices], Riel and Martin turn this insight into a method that they say everyone can learn and practise. In the process they interweave the latest in behavioural and design thinking with new examples from Lego to Unilever." -- Financial Times

"If you're trying to plan an organization's future, this book contains multitudes. Two talented strategists offer vivid stories to unlock your creativity, strong evidence to challenge your assumptions, and practical exercises to sharpen your thinking." -- Adam Grant, LinkedIn

"Roger Martin has been recognized in our annual business book awards more than any other author… Perhaps the only thing more impressive than the consistently high quality of that prolific output is range." -- 800 CEO READ, Editor's Choice

"Making good choices is central to business and personal success...This new book … focuses on the process of learning and practice, the methodology, and the tools and skills leaders need to cultivate integrative thinking." -- IEDP Developing Leaders

"A decade on from The Opposable Mind, Martin sets out a practical workbook on the subject… If you take one thing away it is that to make great choices you need must be prepared to take problems apart before building fully creative solutions." -- Economia

A 2017 Best Business Book -- The Globe & Mail

Advance Praise for Creating Great Choices:

Malcolm Gladwell, bestselling author, The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers; staff writer, The New Yorker--
"Creating Great Choices is the rarest of business books that teaches decision makers how to think, not what to think. I found it superb and wholly original."

Adam Grant, New York Times–bestselling author, Give and Take and Originals; coauthor, Option B--
"This book contains multitudes. Two talented strategists offer vivid stories to unlock your creativity, strong evidence to challenge your assumptions, and practical exercises to sharpen your thinking. I’ll be recommending it to leaders, students, and anyone else who wants to get better at problem solving."

David Taylor, Chairman and CEO, Procter & Gamble--
"Integrative thinking is powerful. It provides a concrete way to leverage diverse voices and to collaboratively create better choices. I have worked hard to become a practitioner of this approach of finding the better third way, because I truly believe it leads to more effective and more creative choices. Creating Great Choices provides an essential resource for thinking differently that can help leaders resolve some of their toughest problems."

Arianna Huffington, author, Thrive; CEO, Thrive Global; and founder, Huffington Post--
"Everybody wants to succeed in their jobs and in their relationships and make the world a better place if they can. Creating Great Choices is a book that can actually help you make that happen, offering concrete, practical advice and tools to help you overcome challenges and manage your relationships. It’s an essential read that won't just change how you think, it will also change how you act."

Tim Brown, CEO, IDEO; author, Change by Design--
"Integrative thinking is a critical skill for business and life. The Opposable Mind introduced the idea. With practical and inspirational approaches, Creating Great Choices sets you on the path to mastery."

Daniel H. Pink, author, Drive and To Sell Is Human--
"Integrative thinking is a powerful idea that offers new answers to our toughest problems. In this compelling work, Riel and Martin show us how to use this fresh mental model to make great choices rather than settle for weak compromises. Bursting with practical tips, engaging exercises, and keen insights, this book belongs within arm's reach of every leader trying to navigate the future."

Lowell C. McAdam, Chairman and CEO, Verizon Communications--
"In an age where society is tending more and more to lock in on one line of thinking, Riel and Martin give us the tools to break away from our prejudices and eliminate our blind spots, giving us the chance to arrive at a different and better conclusion. A critical tool in both business and life."

About the AuthorJennifer Riel is an adjunct professor at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and a strategic adviser to senior leaders at a number of Fortune 500 companies. She is coauthor, with Roger Martin and A.G. Lafley, of the Playing to Win Strategy Toolkit (Harvard Business Review Press).

Roger Martin is an author, business school professor, and strategy adviser to CEOs. He is Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the Rotman School of Management, where he served as Dean from 1998 to 2013. He is a frequent contributor to Harvard Business Review and other leading publications and has published nine books, including Playing to Win and The Opposable Mind.

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