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Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.Albert Einstein

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Creating Great Choices

Creating Great Choices

How integrative thinking can help you improve the quality of your decisions.

Author(s): Jennifer Riel, Roger L. Martin

Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press

Date of publication: 2017

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In business settings, people tend to prefer compromises to big debates, for the sake of efficiency and to avoid conflict. This is a mistake, say the authors of Creating Great Choices. For the secret of great leaders is precisely to approach dilemmas head on. On the other hand, rather than making tradeoffs between one solution and its alternative, they look past the initial contradiction and come up with an even better “third way.” It’s this approach, called “integrative thinking,” that enables these leaders to express their full creativity and devise disruptive innovations.

The first part of the book provides a theoretical description of different modes of decision-making and defines integrative thinking. The second part proposes methodology to apply it. The authors suggest a four-step technique, which can be applied to both day-to-day dilemmas and major strategic decisions. The goal is to make better decisions by avoiding frustrating compromises and cultivating new choices. Each step is illustrated with many examples, along with exercises to put these suggestions into immediate practice. This book is thus a valuable “problem solving manual” for all leaders who would like to improve the quality of both their individual decisions and those made in a team.