Phlebotomic is a blog experiment that seeks to gather multiple perspectives around a common prompt, which is provided weekly.

Last week's prompt was "Beauty"...

This week's prompt is "Path"...

05 January 2009

Tension: Integrative Thinking

Being able to hold opposing ideas in the mind simultaneously is a skill to be practiced. However, I am convinced that this mental tension results in better ideas. While it is easy to settle (especially with our Western mindset) for a simple "black or white" choice, I have great respect for the visionaries who are able to see out beyond the current idea horizon. These rare individuals are able to generate altogether better option "C's" to help us solve previously difficult problems.

Many great leaders possess this skill. I tend to agree with Roger Martin, dean of the Rotman School at the University of Toronto, that this "integrative thinking" is a skill that can be honed. When faced with a problem we need to resist the urge to be defensive. This is difficult as the Socratic Method of which many of us are subconscious products is essentially a debate of ideas (with an implied winner and loser). Instead, ask questions like:

Are there causal relationships I am missing?
Are all the options truly mutually exclusive?
Are there pieces of each option that can be salvaged as part of another idea?
What are the trade-offs of the alternatives?

Can we move beyond the expected to create novel solutions to problems both small and great?

"Whenever you face a decision between two options, don’t think that your job is to choose; think that your job is to create a better option. " –Roger Martin

1 comment:

  1. two options:
    draft player a.
    draft player b.

    trade pick for multiple players.