Move Beyond Trade-Off Thinking
When it comes to our hardest choices, it can seem as though making trade-offs is inevitable. But what about those crucial times when accepting the obvious trade-off just isn't good enough? What do we do when the choices in front of us don't get us what we need? In those cases, rather than choosing the least worst option, we can use the models in front of us to create a new and superior answer. This is integrative thinking.
First introduced by world-renowned strategic thinker Roger Martin in The Opposable Mind, integrative thinking is an approach to problem solving that uses opposing ideas as the basis for innovation. Now, in Creating Great Choices, Martin and his longtime thinking partner Jennifer Riel vividly illustrate how integrative thinking works, and how to do it.
The book includes fresh stories of successful integrative thinkers that will demystify the process of creative problem solving, as well as practical tools and exercises to help readers engage with the ideas. And it lays out the authors' four-step methodology for creating great choices, which can be applied in virtually any context. The result is a replicable, thoughtful approach to finding a "third and better way" to make important choices in the face of unacceptable trade‐offs.
Insightful and instructive, Creating Great Choices blends storytelling, theory, and hands-on advice to help any leader or manager facing a tough choice.
"…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."