Integrative thinking is a form of reasoning which allows you to constructively face the tensions of opposing models. Instead of choosing one at the expense of the other, you generate a creative solution. Your solution contains elements of the individual models, but is superior to each.

ON Integrative Thinking

The Opposable Mind

Organizations need to incorporate the best of design thinking into their ways of working to unleash innovation and creativity. An organization will be able to counter-balance analytical thinking with intuitive thinking – to enable it to both exploit existing knowledge and create new knowledge. 

ON Design of Business

The Design Of Business

Critical to the success of every organization, strategy is not a long planning exercise or document. Strategy can be simple, fun and effective and is founded on a set of five interrelated and powerful choices that positions an organization to win. 

ON Strategy

Playing To win

While prevailing theory holds that stock-based compensation perfectly aligns corporate executives’ incentives with those of shareholders, it does the opposite. As a consequence, executives have done brilliantly while shareholders have become increasingly frustrated. Incentives and governance practice needs to be transformed to enable corporations to prosper in a way that better serves society.

ON Incentives & Governance

Fixing the Game

My work in Canada, and around the globe, focuses on determining high-impact ways for modern economies to build, enhance, and/or renovate key facets of the infrastructure underlying democratic capitalism, to produce prosperity that is both broadly experienced and sustainable.

ON Competitiveness & Prosperity

Canada: What it is, what it can be

For both social entrepreneurs and corporations, the key tenet of social innovation is finding ways to make the world a better place. My work focuses on building tools for social entrepreneurs to create more powerful models for creating value for society and developing models to guide corporations on a path of productive corporate citizenship.

ON Social Innovation

The Case for Definition

Roger Martin is Premier’s Chair in Productivity & Competitiveness and Academic Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the Rotman School of Management.  From 1998 to 2013, he served as Dean.  Previously, he spent 13 years as a Director of Monitor Company, a global strategy consulting firm based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he served as co-head of the firm for two years.

His research work is in Integrative Thinking, Business Design, Strategy, Corporate Social Responsibility and Country Competitiveness. He writes extensively and is a regular contributor to: Harvard Business Review’s The Conversation blog, the Financial Times’ Judgment Call column, and Washington Post’s On Leadership blog. He has written fifteen Harvard Business Review articles and published eight books: Playing to Win (with A.G. Lafley) (Harvard Business Review Press (HBRP), 2013), Fixing the Game (HBRP, 2011), The Design of Business (HBRP, 2009); The Opposable Mind (HBRP, 2007); The Responsibility Virus (Basic Books, 2002); Canada: What It Is, What It Can Be (with Jim Milway, Rotman-UTP Publishing, 2012); and Diaminds (with Mihnea Moldoveanu, University of Toronto Press, 2009), and The Future of the MBA (with Mihnea Moldoveanu, Oxford University Press, 2008). In addition, he co-edited Rotman on Design (with Karen Christensen, Rotman-UTP Publishing, 2013).

In 2013, Roger placed 3rd on the Thinkers50 list, a biannual ranking of the most influential global business thinkers, moving up from 6th in 2011 and 32nd in 2009. In 2013, he placed behind only Clay Christensen and Chan Kim. In 2010, he was named one of the 27 most influential designers in the world by Business Week. In 2007 he was named a Business Week 'B-School All-Star' for being one of the 10 most influential business professors in the world. Business Week also named him one of seven 'Innovation Gurus' in 2005.

He serves on a number of public service boards: Skoll Foundation, Canadian Credit Management Foundation, Tennis Canada (past chair), and Ontario Task Force on Competitiveness, Productivity and Economic Progress (chair).

A Canadian from Wallenstein, Ontario, Roger received his AB from Harvard College, with a concentration in Economics, in 1979 and his MBA from the Harvard Business School in 1981. 

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The Lloyd & Delphine Martin Prosperity Institute takes an integrated view of prosperity, looking beyond traditional economic measures to include the importance of quality of place and the development of people’s creative potential. Roger Martin is Academic Director of MPI, where he, Richard Florida, Don Tapscott and others are working to influence public debate and public policy. Roger’s principal MPI project is on the future of democratic capitalism, exploring the stresses and fixes for the critical supports to our social, political and financial systems.

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Roger Martin served as Dean of the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto for 15 years. Over that time, he spurred a dramatic shift in the school’s strategy, curriculum and global reputation. The MBA class size grew from 130 students per year to just over 300. The faculty grew both in size and in influence, now a holding a top ten ranking for faculty and research in the Financial Times. This shift based on Roger’s belief that MBA could and should be transformed – that it should be deep where it is now shallow, broad where it is now narrow and dynamic where it is now static. Integrative Thinking, Business Design, corporate social responsibility, jurisdictional prosperity – all of these approaches can now be found at the Rotman School, underpinning its strategy – A New Way to Think.


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Integrative thinkers understand that we see the world through our models. They know that those models are flawed and believe that new and better models can be created. What's more, they see it as their job to attempt to create those better answers. As we taught an integrative-thinking approach to problem solving at the Rotman School of Management, we regularly heard that we were simply waiting too late. Why wait until after decades of formal education and work experience? Why not start with kids? Why not indeed! The I-Think Initiative is our answer to that question. I-Think works with educators and students to bring integrative thinking into k-12 classrooms, influencing our future leaders and how they think today.

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The Thinkers 50
Named the Third Top Management Thinker in the World
by Stuart Crainer & Des Dearlove
November 11, 2013 

More about the Thinkers 50 Awards
Top Business Degrees
20 Most Influential Business Professors Alive Today
July 28, 2013

Leadership, Innovation and Strategy
Top 50 Professors on Twitter
August 6, 2013
Harvard Business Review
Harvard Business Review’s 52nd Annual McKinsey Awards: Second Place Award for Roger Martin – The Age of Customer Capitalism
May 2011

The Real Reason Baseball Players Make So Much Money
“Capital vs. Talent” article as the most important HBR article Malcolm read
by Malcolm Gladwell
October 24, 2012

The Masters of Innovation
one of Twelve Masters of Innovation
by Scott Anthony

The New York Times
Multicultural Critical Theory. At B-School?
by Lane Wallace
January 10, 2010

Named One of the World’s Most Influential Designers 
by Helen Walters and Venessa Wong
February 1, 2010
Powerful Profs
August 22, 2007
Named a “B-School All-Star” as one of the ten most influential business professors in the world.

Meet the Innovation Gurus: The Academic: Roger Martin 
August 21, 2005
Named one of the seven Innovation Gurus in BusinessWeek’s special report: Get Creative

The Marshall McLuhan Awards

Named the winner of the Marshall McLuhan Award (2004) for “Visionary Leadership” in the business category

GMGA (Global Management Guru Award)
India’s 25 top management gurus

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MEET roger

Roger Martin is Premier’s Chair in Productivity & Competitiveness and Academic Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the Rotman School of Management.  From 1998 to 2013, he served as Dean.  Previously, he spent 13 years as a Director of Monitor Company, a global strategy consulting firm based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he served as co-head of the firm for two years.

now available playing to win strategy toolkit