The Opposable Mind

January 3, 2009 at 11:53 am 1 comment

I’ve started reading The Opposable Mind (Harvard Business School Press) by Roger Martin.  It is just the latest in a slew of books I’ve been reading recently.  Look for a new series of posts here about the books I am reading.

The Opposable Mind takes a different angle than many other popular business books today.  And this might be a great reason to check it out even if you aren’t interested in “business literature.”  Martin takes the approach that the success of some business leaders can be traced to their thinking process as much as the things they did  He suggests an “opposable mind” is one that as F. Scott Fitzgerald observed, “…[has the] ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”

Martin goes on to describe his interviews with several noted and less conspicuous business leaders.  He believes there is a common theme found in their success that can be traced back to a willingness and ability to consider multiple solutions has having merit, and ultimately plotting  a hybrid course.

It is important to add that Martin believes a) this thinking is NOT a necessary condition for success in business, but simply a common thread in the leaders he profiles, and b) the process can be learned.

I’ll be sharing some additional thoughts of my own as I read this book.

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A new project! Integrative Thinking

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